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Sources: Robert Stokes, 785-532-1595, drbobb@k-state.edu;
and Terese Gorman, 785-832-5293, tgorman@douglas-county.com
Hometown interest: Manhattan and Minneola
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535, tmsharp@k-state.edu

Friday, Aug. 26, 2011

SCHOLARLY SERVICE: CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENT RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP FOR COMMUNITY WORK

MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University senior is being honored for his commitment to education, public sector work experience in several Kansas communities and community service.

Tanner Yost, senior in civil engineering, Minneola, recently received the Steve Webb Memorial Scholarship from the Kansas chapter of the American Public Works Association. The scholarship provides $2,000 for two semesters of academic work.

Yost was selected because of his academic credentials and community-oriented activities, according to Terese Gorman, engineering division manager for Douglas County Public Works and the Kansas chapter's scholarship committee chair. Yost has worked in public works for the cities of Manhattan and Minneola and with Riley County. Yost also is a volunteer firefighter and Little League baseball coach. He is a graduate of Minneola High School.

"Tanner is an excellent student who is currently working with the Riley County Public Works Department," said Robert Stokes, K-State professor of civil engineering. "The scholarship provides support for his studies while recognizing and encouraging his work in public works."

The scholarship is named in honor of Steve Webb, a 1978 K-State civil engineering graduate. Webb worked for the city of El Dorado as a project engineer and the city engineer. He later worked as an engineering consultant, specifically with transportation and traffic engineering. He was active in the American Public Works Association and served on the Kansas chapter's executive board for seven years. Webb organized many scholarship fundraisers and consistently promoted public works and engineering.

Civil engineers frequently work in public works upon graduation, according to Gorman. The purpose of the scholarship was to encourage and support students in completing their degree.

"More civil engineers are needed to maintain and repair the country's existing infrastructure," Gorman said.

Public works is the combination of physical assets, management practices, policies and personnel necessary for government to provide and sustain structures and services essential to the welfare and acceptable quality of life for its citizens, according to Gorman. The different services include maintenance and construction of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and water treatment plants, as well as day-to-day services like trash collection and plowing snow. Public works personnel are also part of the emergency response team after a natural disaster, such as a tornado.

Performing those roles has never been more important.

"We need to help in any way to encourage more students to pursue civil engineering and then to work in the public works field after graduation," Gorman said.