The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS) have established education in environmental health as one of their primary goals. They believe that structured education at the undergraduate and graduate levels is important to an individual’s successful professional development in the EH field and that continuing education is a vital component in an EH professional’s continued career growth.
As a result, the NEHA Board of Directors established a scholarship fund in 1984 that began with a gift of $1,000 from Dr. A. Harry Bliss, a NEHA Past-President, and personal donations from NEHA Board Members. Because of their strong belief in scholarship programs, AAS also made a financial donation to the NEHA program, allowing NEHA to increase the number of undergraduate scholarships awarded. As the program grew, NEHA offered scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in the EH field.
In 1996, NEHA and AAS decided to jointly fund undergraduate and graduate EH scholarships and call them the NEHA/AAS Scholarships. In 2020, the boards of both organizations voted to name one of the undergraduate scholarships to honor Sheila Davidson Pressley, DrPH, CPH, DAAS, REHS, HHS. In 2021 the second undergraduate scholarship was named in honor of Dr. Carolyn Hester Harvey, Ph.D., MS, RS, CIH, CHMM. Both of these esteemed members served as champions for students and environmental health academics throughout their impressive careers.
Funding for the scholarships is continually obtained from donations, proceeds from association fundraisers, and NEHA/AAS donation commitments. By offering the NEHA/AAS Scholarships to eligible undergraduate and graduate students, NEHA and AAS hope to positively contribute to the future of environmental health.