David Rounce CE ’10 Receives Udall Scholarship

Udall Scholarship recipient David Rounce CE ’10

David Rounce CE ’10 is the recipient of a 2009 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to students committed to careers related to the environment or to Native Americans or Alaska Natives engaged in tribal public policy or health care. Rounce has built up an impressive record of environmental activism in the College and the broader community.

Having received an undergraduate research grant from Villanova, Rounce spent last summer investigating the impact of microbial processes on nitrogen removal in a constructed stormwater wetland located on campus. “Stormwater runoff containing excess nitrogen can negatively affect the quality of receiving water bodies,” said Dr. John Komlos, Visiting Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Rounce’s faculty mentor. “David’s work concluded that the constructed wetland’s natural conditions can be adequate for these microbial processes to occur and that these processes can influence nitrogen removal from stormwater runoff.”

Off campus, Rounce participated in the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative’s Water Ambassadors program to learn about the depletion of natural water sources and its impact on the environment and public health. He then prepared a slide presentation that incorporated his own research to educate various constituencies about water sustainability and the global water crisis.

Rounce has made service trips to Mexico and Nicaragua. In the former, he worked with a community that was developing sustainable practices. In the latter, he assessed water distribution systems and collected data on new water sources. In addition, he is helping develop a sanitation system for a health clinic in Honduras and is one of the project managers of an Engineers Without Borders initiative in Kenya.

After graduation, Rounce plans to pursue a PhD in environmental management. “I’d like to teach at a university and do research that would have a positive impact on the environment and public policy.”

Jessica Shaw CE/Physics ’10 received Honorable Mention in the Udall Scholarship Program.