(Above, left: 2018 Corporate Honoree Melissa Duvall of the Nevada Chapter Associated General Contractors of America)
At the SWE Women in STEM Achievement Banquet our fellow engineers are recognized by their companies and friends for their leadership in STEM outreach!
Showcasing the achievements of these outstanding STEM professionals puts a spotlight on the contributions women engineers are making to their communities, their peers, their organizations and their families. SWE SNS is pleased to offer a way for companies to recognize their employees in front of their peers in an industry-specific setting. For the students we honor on the same evening it is an incredible source of inspiration to see women on the path ahead of them being lauded for their success in STEM fields.
We also take time honor our friends that support the SWE mission, be they male or female, with special recognition and to thank our amazing keynote speaker for adding even more inspiration to the event.
Director of Education, Nevada Chapter Associated General Contractors
Melissa Duvall is a 15-year employee of the Nevada Chapter AGC. Over those years she moved into several positions before being offered the opportunity as AGC’s Director of Education. Melissa has a passion for construction education and truly enjoys spreading the message of the importance of STEM education in the classroom. She also practices what she preaches; Melissa’s youngest step-son is a sophomore at ACE Charter High School, a building trades high school in the Washoe County School District.
Melissa was an instrumental part of the multi-award winning Nevada Chapter AGC Education Externship, which gives teachers a real world perspective of construction industry careers. In 2015 the Externship program was honored by the Associated General Contractors of America for the Best Construction Futures Education Program and also won a Governor’s Points of Light Award for the hundreds of volunteer hours construction industry professionals give to the program.
Over the last year Melissa has worked with a local nonprofit, Sierra Nevada Journeys, to create a Building Trades Curriculum that aligns with the Nevada Department of Education Academic Standards. The curriculum has been piloted with great success and will be placed in 4th – 6th grade classrooms during the 2018- 2019 school year. Melissa volunteers her time annually to help support the local MATHCOUNTS competition and she continues to work with the local school district to encourage more STEM opportunities in the classroom and to open their eyes to the many successful career options available in the construction industry.
Melissa does everything she does with a positive energy, quiet determination and a belief in the good in others. Thank you Melissa!
Engineering Manager of the Environmental Engineering Section of the City of Reno’s Public Works Department
Kerri Lanza, Engineering Manager, is a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, School of Mines, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in both Nevada and California. She was raised in Fair Oaks, California, and later, in Carson City, Nevada, where she earned academic scholarships and graduated from Carson High School. Kerri has memberships in the American Society of Civil Engineers (“ASCE”), the American Public Works Association (“APWA”), and most recently, the Society of Women Engineers (“SWE”). Prior to her employment with the City of Reno in 2005, Kerri worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation (“NDOT”) for eight years working with the Roadway Design and Hydraulics Sections.
Kerri’s Division with the City is responsible for operating the City of Reno’s Stead Water Reclamation Facility and for implementing capital improvements and expansion projects for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility. Kerri’s Division is also responsible for bridge preservation, flood control projects, the region’s Storm Water Program, as well as the inspection and provision of maintenance recommendations for high-hazard dams. Kerri and her Staff also inspect commercial and industrial sewer users to protect the City's treatment and collection systems.
Kerri appreciates her full-time employment with the City of Reno and enjoys any spare time with her husband Alex and her children, ages 9 and 6. Kerri and her family live in Carson City, Nevada, and delight in the wildlife of the area and in biking and hiking the single-track trails in the foothills behind their house.
As the evening's keynote speaker, Kerri talked about the importance of even the smallest contributions we make and how they can affect the lives of others. She shared her journey and the obstacles as well as how much her family is a part of her success. Her speech was warm and open - a real inspiration for future engineering leaders.