BYU civil engineer receives ASDSO scholarship

Civil engineering student Cali McMurtrey has been awarded the 2016-2017 Senior Undergraduate Scholarship from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). As recipient, McMurtrey will receive a $7,500 scholarship for this upcoming academic year, a one-year ASDSO student membership and complimentary registration and travel to ASDSO’s 2016 annual conference in Philadelphia.

ASDSO Scholarship Chairman John Moyle said in a press release, “All of this year’s candidates were highly qualified, but we were especially impressed by Cali’s dam safety related activities, as well as her impressive academic standing.”

The scholarship was open to all U.S. college seniors studying civil engineering or another form of water resources. After submitting three letters of recommendation, a transcript, an essay and a resume, McMurtrey was thrilled to be chosen as a winner.

“I was so excited to win. I had no idea if I was even a good candidate. I’m really grateful for the support of Rollin Hotchkiss and others for writing my letters of recommendation and providing me with valuable experience,” McMurtrey said. “I’m most grateful because my parents have been so wonderful and supportive in helping me pay for school, and I feel blessed by God to be able to take that weight off of them.”

McMurtrey has worked closely with Rollin Hotchkiss, department chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, conducting research on low-head dams, along with having worked as a teaching assistant for a fluid mechanics course. She also recently interned for Wright Water Engineers, Inc. in Denver, where she worked on hydraulics and hydrology projects. Currently, McMurtrey is working part time at the MTC where she teaches Russian.  

In addition to her jobs and internships, McMurtrey is also a member of several engineering organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers, Association of State Dam Safety Officials and American Society of Civil Engineers.

When she manages to get some free time, she enjoys the outdoors, particularly gardening and rock climbing. She’s also passionate about street tacos, priding herself in having tried nearly every taco joint in Provo.

McMurtrey plans to graduate this coming spring, after which she wants to pursue a master’s degree in water resources.

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