AWWA 2017 American Water Scholarship Awarded

American Water today announced that Alma Beciragic, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been chosen as the recipient of the American Water Works Association 2017 American Water Scholarship. The scholarship is an annual award of $5,000 presented to a graduate level student to assist with the development of professionals interested in service to the water industry.

“American Water is pleased to present this prestigious award to Alma, who was selected among 54 outstanding applicants,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, vice president and chief science advisor, and member of the award selection committee. “Not only is Alma an exceptional scholar, she has the credibility to take on a future leadership role in the stewardship of environmental protection. We are honored to help advance her drinking water research studies.”

Beciragic was selected for this scholarship due to her exceptional academic abilities, outstanding character, community and outreach experience and dedication to contribute to the advancement of science in the field of drinking water. Her current research is focused on examining membrane systems to treat impaired water sources to produce high-quality drinking water.

Beciragic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and came to the United States as a refugee in 1994. In June 2010, she was awarded a presidential scholarship to attend Queens University of Charlotte. During her time there, she studied environmental science and chemistry, and participated in numerous research projects on federal and local levels. These projects include:

  • Working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Geodetic Survey Remote Sensing Division on shoreline uncertainty visualization
  • Working with Charlotte Water on various continuous improvement projects studying climate change adaptability, fleet fuel efficiency, and business cost minimization

Administered by AWWA, American Water’s Scholarship is currently the only one offered by a water utility among the Association’s 16 active scholarships. For more information about AWWA scholarships, visit

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