Meet the 2021 NEHA/AAS Scholarship Winners

Date posted: 
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 11:45
Blog poster: 
Jonna Ashley
Email of Blog Poster: 

Each year NEHA and our partner organization, the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS), provides scholarships for three deserving students. NEHA and AAS began the scholarship program 25 years ago out of a shared desire to support well-educated and well-prepared environmental health students committed to working as environmental health/sanitarians professionals and contributing to the public health of communities. This year the scholarship selection committee was faced with the challenging but rewarding task of evaluating many outstanding applications. Congratulations to the 2021 student recipients listed below!

NEHA would like to thank the Scholarship Committee members James J. Balsamo, Jr. (committee chair), Bob Powitz, Petrona Lee, Keith Krinn, Robert Nelson, Marie Woodin, Harry Grenawitzke,  Michele Samarya-Timm, and Bob Washam for their great due diligence in scrutinizing the applications and choosing the best students for the undergraduate and graduate scholarships.

Graduate Scholarship

The graduate scholarship winner is NEHA member Saba Wube. Saba is enrolled in the Master’s in Public Health-Environmental and Occupational Health track at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has maintained a 3.74 GPA. Saba expects to graduate in 2023. She is presently employed in the Southern Nevada Health District. Saba started as a generalist in inspecting pools and public accommodations, solid waste management, and complete restaurant inspections but is now specializing in food safety on the Las Vegas Strip performing inspections and training new sanitarians in Nevada. She works with private sector sanitarians and executive cooking staff at major casinos in the area.

When Saba graduates from school, she has stated that she wants to use her knowledge to continue her career growth and mentor future generations of environmental health specialists. She has been said to be a self-sufficient, diligent, and dedicated student who is an excellent and engaged listener with good presentation and communication skills, good academic writing ability, and a strong ability for critical thinking with a powerful desire to make a difference for public health.


Undergraduate Scholarships

Samson Strickland is an undergraduate student at East Carolina University majoring in environmental health and expects to graduate in 2022. He has worked as an intern in the Wake County Department of Environmental Services as a swimming pool technician performing inspections for over 500 pools. He is a student who is involved in many university activities and service organizations. He feels that environmental health offers him the opportunity to truly help people stay safe, protect the environment, engage in many new experiences, and make a difference in the world. He has maintained a 3.938 GPA through his third year of college taking courses in microbiology, safe drinking water, principles of food sanitation, air pollution, industrial hygiene, physics and chemistries, and institutional and recreational sanitation. Samson is a varsity student-athlete who excels in his academic work and has an enthusiasm for environmental health. He is said to be self-motivated, has good communication skills, and can apply knowledge and skills learned in class and labs.

"This scholarship means a lot to me. I am extremely grateful to those who donated toward this scholarship so that it could be an opportunity for me and anyone else who is fortunate enough to receive it. I have many plans and goals ahead. I am currently working toward an internship with my university on Covid-19 wastewater surveillance. I’m in the process of applying for a few more upcoming internships including one at Duke Energy, before I get started on my inevitable career. Again, I would really like to thank everyone who made this possible and I won’t let them down." --Samson Strickland




Graham Siegel is an undergraduate student at Western Carolina University majoring in environmental health science with a 3.739 GPA and expects to graduate in May 2022. He has participated in the U.S. Public Health Service Environmental Health Junior Co-Step program with the Indian Health Service. Graham feels that serving as an environmental health specialist is the perfect avenue to both engage in the sciences “while also sheltering and improving my community”  and contributing to public health by better understanding how the environment affects our health and well-being. He has taken courses in public health, chemistry, bioterrorism, emergency and disaster management, environmental health sciences, physics, occupational health, water quality, resource management, writing and critical inquiry, environmental toxicology, and global disparities in public health. He is said to be a technical leader in the environmental health program who is inquisitive, detailed-oriented, and hard working with a strong intellect, work ethic, and deep interest in environmental health.    





The 2022 NEHA/AAS Scholarship Application period will open this fall. More information can be found here

Donate to the NEHA/AAS Scholarship Fund and help support the next generation of environmental health professionals.

Join the NEHA community to support all of our work on behalf of students and the field of environmental health.

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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect the policy, endorsement, or action of NEHA or the organization where the author is employed. NEHA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.  

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