WINTER 2020-21 Spotlight

Michael Malone, Water Director
City of Vallejo Water Department

My association with AWWA began in 1989 after my promotion at San Jose Water Company.  That first introduction was watching the team prepare to compete in the tapping competition. While in Sacramento I was pleased to support the Department of Utilities sending their first women’s team to the Tapping Competition, “Meter Madness and Hydrant Hysteria.” 

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to share information as a presenter and gain useful information by attending sessions at the local and national events. AWWA has provided a platform for me to encourage others to submit presentation ideas and share their experiences with our colleagues in the industry.  

I also found that spending time checking various exhibits provided insights on changing technologies from meters, advancements in meter reading, CMMS/asset management software to better hand tools - just to name a few. These take-a-ways helped keep my approaches current, and support my teams in efficiency and effectiveness.  

An article in the Journal on performance indexing started me on a path of performance measurement and challenging myself and organizations I’ve worked in to always seek ways to improve delivery of services to our customers and the communities we serve. 

Student Spotlight

Catherine Morales-Sandoval
UC Davis - AWWA Student Chapter Vice President (2020-21)

I joined the CA-NV Section at the start of my junior year after participating in a group project, which focused on creating a video informing 6-12th graders about the importance of water. My engagement with this project connected me to the AWWA Chapter at UC Davis since several members who participated in the project were also involved in AWWA.
As a junior, I participated in informational sessions and site visits that were hosted by the student chapter. In my 4th year, I became more engaged with my chapter by joining the board as president 2019-2020. As a board member, I have been introduced to many opportunities available in the water industry. I met many professionals and connected with many undergraduate and graduate students interested in water quality and water management. These connections along with my involvement in AWWA inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in civil and environmental engineering which I then applied for and was then accepted at UC Davis to start my master’s degree in January 2021. I continued to stay involved with the AWWA Student Chapter Board as vice-president for 2020-2021.
As I wrapped up my undergraduate degree, I took advantage of the opportunities available to grow as an engineer in the water industry. I attended the virtual AFC in October and the information sessions hosted by my student chapter. With events being virtual, it was easier for me to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities since most events were also recorded and I did not have to worry about the logistics of attending an event. I also participated in the WE Build Water Tower Competition, which was a fun experience. It was nice to do something hands-on and design a water tower. I am very excited and stunned that I won the individual student category. I look forward to attending the 2021 YP Summit in Atlanta!


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