February 20, 2023

“Public Service Is Work That Is Never Finished” | RK&K’s Amanda Barrett Honored with Community Service Award

Senior Project Engineer received the award from ACEC-Maryland for spearheading strategies to optimize RK&K’s resources and staff to help those most in need.

Throughout Senior Project Engineer Amanda Barrett’s career, she has always viewed civil engineering as an avenue for public service. Her ongoing dedication to improving Baltimore and the surrounding community was honored recently as she received the 2023 Community Service Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies/Maryland (ACEC/MD).

“Amanda was nominated in recognition of her service-oriented dedication to her personal and professional communities,” said Senior Project Delivery Leader Steve Phillips, PE.

Senior Project Engineer Amanda Barrett, PE (center) received the 2023 Community Service Award from ASCE/MD.

In addition to her notable achievements as a Professional Engineer, Barrett has pursued a second “career” as a community service leader in Baltimore and the surrounding community. During the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, Amanda engaged RK&K’s leadership to create the Baltimore Community Involvement Committee to connect the firm’s resources to serve those most in need.

“I was honored to be recognized by ACEC and honored to have gotten the chance to speak at the reception about the good that we have been able to do over the past few years in the Baltimore community,” Barrett said. “A large part of the credit for that work does not lie with me, but with the leadership of RK&K for being willing to financially commit to this type of proactive service, and with the members of the Baltimore Community Involvement Committee, as well as everyone who has attended our events in an effort to give back to the community.”

Barrett identified and developed the firm’s partnership with BRIDGES Baltimore in 2021, which provides summer internships for high school graduates.

During the 2022 holiday season, Barrett led RK&K’s Baltimore office’s “adopt-a-family” effort in support of Baltimore Family Alliance. The result was more than $6,200 in donations, of which $800 was in the form of grocery gift cards for family caretakers. The donations also included 32 winter coats. Collectively, the donations helped 37 families and 63 children around the community.

As a result of the RK&K Baltimore office’s 2022 “Adopt-a-Family” campaign, 37 families and 63 children received assistance over the holiday season.

Ahead of Thanksgiving 2022, Barrett helped collect and pack more than 40 food baskets as part of the local office’s annual food drive partnership with the Assistance Center of Towson Churches (ACTC) in Baltimore County.

Since 2020, Barrett has led the office’s partnership with The 6th Branch, a service organization that rehabilitates urban spaces around Baltimore. She has organized more than 20 RK&K volunteers in multiple neighborhood cleanups each year around the city.

Barrett also channels her passion into her professional work. As part of the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT-SHA) MD 851 project, she extensively coordinated with local and state officials to address the impact the project could have on the historic community of Sykesville in Carroll County. She has also worked part-time on-site with MDOT-SHA since 2016 in its Highway Hydraulics and Plan Review Divisions, serving as embedded staff, and acting on behalf of SHA. This has enabled her to receive unique insight to view projects and decisions from a client’s perspective.

“Public Service is work that is never really finished. There will always be a need, and I look forward to continuing to find ways to address those needs moving forward, both as an individual and in partnership with others at RK&K.”Senior Project Engineer Amanda Barrett, PE

“Amanda is a proven leader in the water resources industry, delivering many complex projects and successfully mentoring our young RK&K engineers,” Phillips added. “She inspires others to become more active in their communities with her driven and compassionate leadership in her personal and professional life.”

Barrett also spends time volunteering with Blue Water Baltimore and participates in her neighborhood tree planting and community cleanup efforts.

“Public Service is work that is never really finished. There will always be a need, and I look forward to continuing to find ways to address those needs moving forward, both as an individual and in partnership with others at RK&K,” she said.

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