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Alumna's employer nets $400,000 investment on 'Shark Tank'

Analies Ross-Dyjak

Water.

It’s essential to all life on Earth, but not everyone has access to the clean, safe drinking water they need to survive — and one University of Southern Maine (USM) alumna is part of a growing company that's trying to change that.

Analies Ross-Dyjak, who graduated from USM’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) in 2017, is the “policy nerd” for Hydroviv, a Washington, D.C.-based tech start-up that builds and sells filters optimized for one’s specific drinking water. 

The company is currently making headlines for its recent success on ABC’s popular television show “Shark Tank.” Earlier this month, Hydroviv secured a $400,000 investment from Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and one of the main investors on the show, to expand its mission of improving human health.

“My role at Hydroviv is to condense regulations, legislations and other policy papers into something more palatable for the public,” Ross-Dyjak said. “My job is to comb through data and determine which chemicals have concentrations that are above what’s considered to have a negligible impact on human health.”

Ross-Dyjak will graduate with her master’s in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy from the George Washington University this May. Thrilled to be part of the growing company, Ross-Dyjak credits her professors at USM for encouraging her to chase her dreams of pursuing a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Analies Ross-Dyjak and coworkers“Something that women in science, policy and STEM struggle with is having the confidence to go after what they’re passionate about, mainly because this field is dominated by men,” she said. “The ESP department at USM went above and beyond to ensure me of my capabilities … (my professors) expressed to me that I would absolutely get accepted into the masters program and be successful in this field. I can’t thank them enough for that.”