First College Degrees for the Pool and Spa Industry Awarded

Cailley Hammel Headshot
photo of pool industry professionals getting a pool and spa industry degree
From L to R: Connie Gibson Centrella, Cynthia Burdett, Wendy Purser, Martha Galan.

Four industry professionals from the U.S. and Singapore have been honored with the first university degree specific to the pool and spa industry.

The degree, Associate of Science in Aquatic Engineering, was awarded by Keiser University eCampus to Wendy Purser, Cynthia Burdett, Martha Galan and Terence Lei this summer at the Ft. Lauderdale Performing Arts Center. The online degree takes two years to complete and covers subjects like water hydraulics, electrical systems, chemistry, structure design and facility management. 

“The ultimate goal of an online instructor is to instill a passion for learning,” explained Connie Centrella, professor and department chair for the Aquatic Engineering Degree Program at Keiser University eCampus and 40-year industry veteran. “These four students were totally engaged and committed throughout their studies. I am proud of their accomplishments and I look forward to their continued success in the swimming pool industry.”

Meet the graduates here:

Cindy Burdett has worked as an aquatic engineer for the past 14 years, and joined the Keiser University eCampus program to learn more about aquatic management. Burdett met her current employer, D2 Marine Solutions, just two months before completing her degree and moved 1,200 miles from Vermont to Florida for her new position. Burdett performs water quality management on cruise ships; her primary focus is currently watching over the Princess Cruise Line. 

Martha Galan aspires to own her own pool design and construction firm. With experience as a civil engineer, she sought the online program to learn more about the industry. She will be continuing her studies at the University of Central Florida in Construction Engineering, and is currently searching for a position at an organization that specializes in pool design and construction.

Terrence Lei was already employed as a project engineer in Singapore when his supervisor encouraged him to enroll in the online program to grow his knowledge. Lei is now a project director, working on several large scale pool construction projects.

Wendy Purser is an experienced pool professional who, like many others, joined the industry in high school and never attended college. She decided to attend the Keiser University program to “complete something in my life I always wanted: a degree.” She owns Hampstead Pool, Spa and Patio in North Carolina. Purser credits the degree with a greater confidence in her knowledge and plans to “hopefully use this degree to continue working into my old age as well as provide a better resource for my customers and employees.

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