Clarkson University as a Springboard to Water Environment Federation Leadership
Laura Jo Oakes (Bertrand BS CE ’03 MS CE ’05) and Lauren Livermore (Crocker BS CE ’04) both started off their WEF careers in the Clarkson University New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) Student Chapter. They each served as the NYWEA student chapter president in their senior years. Fast forward 18 years and Laura and Lauren are serving on the executive board again, both now presidents of their respective Water Environment Federation (WEF) member associations, the Chesapeake Bay Water Environment Association (CWEA) and NYWEA. The presidents recently reconnected in Nashville, Tennessee at a WEFMAX conference, along with fellow Clarkson Alum and Past President of CWEA, Ellen Frketic (‘79).
Ms. Oakes is a professional engineer in the state of Maryland and a board certified environmental engineer. She has served as an Engineer and Project Manager at EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC based in Hunt Valley, Maryland since 2005. In college, she served as President for the University’s NYWEA student chapter as well as several other roles. To bring it around full circle, while at Clarkson University, Laura was a recipient of a NYWEA Scholarship granted to students pursuing environmental degrees. Upon moving to Maryland in the summer of 2005, Ms. Oakes became a member of the CWEA. In 2006, she expanded her involvement with CWEA by assisting in the review of abstracts for the WEF Nutrient Control Specialty conference and participated in a YP Community Service event at Roland Park Elementary School. In 2007, she became and has since stayed an active member of the Spring Meeting Committee and served on the Board as the Maryland Trustee from 2015 to 2018. Laura is also a member of the CWEA’s Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (5S Society).
Ms. Livermore is a managing engineer in the asset management practice area for Barton & Loguidice in Syracuse, New York. She is a professional engineer in New York and a board certified environmental engineer. Ms. Livermore holds a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering from Clarkson University. She has held numerous roles in both the Central Chapter and state NYWEA organization, including: Central Chapter Young Professionals Representative, Director on the Central Chapter Board, member of the state Young Professionals Committee, Young Professionals Representative to the State Board, State Program Committee Chair, and Association Activities Committees Representative. Lauren was a recipient of one of the first two bronze shovels in the 5S Society which are given to young professionals.
What Laura and Lauren share (beside their alma mater) is their passion for the environment and the need to convey the message to students, and YP’s alike, as well as the importance of getting involved in professional societies early in your career! For both of them, their connection to WEF built a strong foundation for their current positions of leadership in their respective member associations. The educational, networking and leadership opportunities that stem from professional societies are limitless!