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IWR Team Member Receives Outstanding Economic Alumni Award

Published May 29, 2012
Erin Rooks

Erin Rooks

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - May 29, 2012.  Ms. Erin Rooks of IWR recently received the University of Nebraska’s 2012 Economics Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award. During her acceptance speech in Omaha, Ms. Rooks spoke about how important her work with IWR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been, how it affects people’s lives, and the challenges of finding a balance between human and ecosystem needs. She talked about how important it is to effectively communicate risk, how there can be a gap between public perception of risk and the intent of those communicating risk and the importance of bridging that gap.

Blaine Remmick, an economist at the USACE Omaha District, was also honored at the April 1st dinner as an Outstanding Economics Student. Supporting Ms. Rooks and Mr. Remmick at the event were Dave Brandon and Gene Sturm of the USACE Omaha District. Ms. Rooks’ former academic advisor Professor Janet West attended. Prof. West had encouraged Ms. Rooks to consider a career with USACE due to her interest in both economics and natural resources.

Ms. Rooks is currently manager of the National Economic Development manuals project, the Corps Risk Analysis Gateway, and IWR Planning Suite. In addition to her experiences at IWR, Ms. Rooks shared her experiences as a student intern, being detailed to New Orleans as part of a blue roof team after Hurricane Katrina, and her previous work with Jacksonville District in the Everglades. She spoke about how her experiences have placed her in a position to perform a detail at the Pentagon, attend meetings with Office of Management and Budget staff, and have a role in work that affects national policies and procedures. Ms. Rooks often speaks to students and faculty about her work when she is visiting Omaha. She encourages future alumni to take advantage of opportunities that may come their way. Ms. Rooks graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BA in Economics and was named Outstanding Economics Student in both her junior and senior years.

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