As the 2014-2015 school year is drawing to a close, we would like to take time to thank all of our outstanding graduating seniors! We are incredibly thankful for all that each of you have contributed to EWB-RHIT over the years and we hope you found the deep enlightenment associated with helping those less fortunate than us. Whether you traveled abroad with EWB or not, we hope you realize the impact that each of you made on those in the communities we served.
We would also like to take this time to thank a special individual. Few members have devoted more of their time and energy into EWB-RHIT than our past president, marketing team manager, and treasurer, Jung Fang. Originally from China, Jung joined EWB his freshman year and made an immediate impact within the club. Jung traveled to the Dominican Republic his freshman year to implement latrines for the community of Batey Santa Rosa. Jung was also selected to travel on the implementation trip to Ghana last summer but was unfortunately unable to travel as the trip was cancelled due to health and safety risks in West Africa during last summer. Jung will be graduating this spring with a degree in chemical engineering and will be attending Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall to pursue his PhD. We wish Jung the best of luck at Georgia Tech and in all of his future endeavors. Jung is a valued member of EWB and his involvement has been critical to the club’s success over the years. We are all sad to see him go but excited for his future! Thanks again, Jung!
From February 28 to March 1, seven students and our advisor John Aidoo had the opportunity to attend the EWB Great Lakes Regional Spring Workshop at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The two day conference included participants attending the 2015 Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit, a dinner and discussion with members of other EWB chapters, and a Village Earth training session.
Club members spent the first day of the conference at the Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit (APTE). The summit, which is held every year at Ohio State University, explores topics of social entrepreneurship in order to “educate and inspire future change makers.” This year’s summit featured seven speakers. First to present, setting the pace for the rest of the summit, was Jim Ziolkowski. Ziolkowski is the founder of BuildOn, an organization focused on empowering youth through service and breaking the cycle of poverty through education. He was followed by Jennifer Jin, an MIT Fellow, and Joe Degloss, the founder of Hot Chicken Takeover. Following lunch, the final four speakers presented, starting with Quijano Flores, the Co-founder of NextDrop. Next up was the inspirational Demetri Patitsas, the founder of Exela Ventures. Our chapter members learned a lot from his presentation including that “you can start making a difference before you’re 35” and “passion is what you are willing to struggle for.” The final two speakers of the summit were Bita Diomande, an MIT Fellow, and C. Nicolas Desrosiers, the Co-founder Qorax Energy. Our EWB members left the summit feeling inspired and with reassurance that each of us does of the ability to make an impact on the world.
Later that evening, students from EWB chapters across the Great Lakes Region met to discuss the APTE Summit. Chapters represented included the University of Toronto, Michigan Tech, Youngstown State and the University of Cincinnati. Our club members spent the evening sharing stories and ideas with each other about how to better connections between chapters, how to improve connections with our regional steering committee, and what members would like to see at the next workshop.
On Sunday, club members attended a Village Earth training session on community mobilization. The morning was spent learning about personal empowerment and the outcomes of promoting personal empowerment. Students also learned about the history of development through discussing the dependency and modernization theories. Despite being snowed in and having to remain in Columbus an extra evening, students learned a lot at the conference as well as bonded over exploring a college campus that is much larger than our small Rose-Hulman community.
Help us welcome the new EWB officers for 2015-2016!
Co-Presidents: Sanders Park (JR, Civil) and Amanda Sparks (JR, Civil)
Co-Engineering Managers: Andrew Roan (JR, Electrical) and Jordan Kamp (JR, Mechanical)
Fundraising Manager: Zhou Zhou (FR, Computer Engineering)
Marketing Manager: Daniel Reyna, (SO, Chemical)
Treasurer: Rachel Broughton (FR, Engineering Physics)
Secretary: Camille Blaisdell (FR, Biomedical)
The new officers will spend winter quarter training under the current officers to learn how fill their new roles. They will officially take office in the spring. Congratulations to all the new officers!
Over Fall Break this year, part of our group took a trip to Panama for the Annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) conference. Normally, this would not be an event we would attend, but this year ASCE met up with EWB-USA to discuss the many points the two groups have in common and had students from both organizations attend.
The trip started early for Anna Tierney, Sanders Park, Daniel Renya, Amanda Sparks, and Dr. Kershaw, leaving Rose-Hulman at 3:45 in the morning to make it to the airport by 6. After 9 hours of travel, they arrived in Panama. After a quick check-in and dinner, they all walked to the hotel where the conference was held. After the opening ceremonies, they met with the Panama Canal Authority Administrator Jorge L. Qujiano and spoke about how the Panama Canal has changed in the 100 years since it has been built. They met a few fellow event goers at a networking dinner and then heading to bed.
As an attending student recounts,
“The following day, we rose early to listen to a talk entitled “Developing Sustainable Projects: Beyond Environmental Issues”. This session gave an overview on what EWB was and went into the details of how the community [thrived] after they left. After lunch we went to a talk which discussed the finer points of Giga project ethics. There was a presentation for those being inducted into the hall of fame, so we were done for the day and decided to spend the rest of the day exploring. We visited ancon hill and hiked to the top. From the peak you can see the whole of Panama City and its odd mixture of new and old. When our hike was done our group ventured into the old district of Panama, and wandered among the shops, old buildings, and historic sites. Among our favorite sites was the church of the golden alter, which holds a golden alter that was nearly captured by pirates 300 years ago. With sore feet we ended our night with a sea food restaurant overlooking the bay and a beach filled with hermit crabs. The next day started a little later, and after a coffee run we were ready to see the next presentation. Topics ranged from religion to school stereotypes. We were introduced to two mentors from EWB-USA and listened to their stories of building a well on an island in the Dominican Republic. ”
Their adventure came to an end and they returned home full of great memories as another student recaps: http://www.rose-hulman.edu/ewb/ewb-members-attend-global-engineering-conference-in-panama/
Charity races are on the rise in the U.S. It’s an excellent opportunity for people to be healthy and get to know the host organizations at the same time. Engineers Without Borders hosted a 5K on October 18th, 2014 to raise money for latrines in Ghana. A total of 19 runners, 3 walkers and 10 volunteers participated in the event. There were two alumni, Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery and Haaken Hagen-Atwell, who were past engineering team managers. Also, Dr. John Gardner, who is a Spanish faculty and Dr. John Aidoo, a Civil Engineering faculty, participated in the event.
The winner, Andreas Maher, finished in 17 minutes and 6 seconds and the top five runners received a $15 gift card from Road Id. The event was a success, and people had the opportunity to be engaged with the EWB project. The club was able to interact with the local community and spread the word about what it does.
Dr. Kershaw and four EWB students attended the ASCE-EWB Global Engineering Conference in Panama City, Panama. This conference celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. The conference was a great opportunity to learn more about the canal and other EWB projects around the world. The student Daniel Reyna shared his experience of their last day in Panama:
“Event: Friday Night at Cinta Costera”
“After our busy day at the conference, and visiting the Panama Canal, we all went out for dinner. We had dinner on the bay, and we had a beautiful view of the city off in the distance. After dinner, we were driving back to the hotel and we decided to stop to walk along Cinta Costera. This is a road that goes out into the water and formed a half circle with the land. The trail that was next to this road was very nice. It was a beautiful night, a slight breeze in the air, and the city was all lit up.”
“At the half way point, there are two circular platforms. We all sat there for a while and admired the city. Because this was our last night in Panama, I think we were all feeling a bit sad. We started taking pictures of each other and were playing around. We got to know each other very well throughout the week, and we were just having a good time telling each other funny stories from our past. Even Dr. Kershaw had some funny stories. This was honestly the perfect end to our trip. It was a nice yet sad walk back to the car. But it was time for us to get back to the hotel to pack, and get some rest before our flight in the morning.”
In September of 2014, Rose-Hulman Student Chapter was highlighted in Engineers without Borders-USA’s 2013 Annual Report for their work in Gomoa Gyaman, Ghana. This national recognition is an accomplishment to be proud of. Among all chapters that executed a grand total of 684 projects in 39 countries, only four student chapters are recognized in this report. This is a great start and a great momentum builder for the 2014-2015 academic year. Thank you and congratulations to everyone for their hard work and dedication to EWB.
EWB-USA is currently engaged in several projects, such as helping the community in El Salvador to get to impoverished areas by constructing new roads, helping Nicaraguan communities become more sustainable by implementing an agricultural projects, and building new schools in Togo that can change the future for many children. EWB’s projects around the world aim to help those communities that really need assistance. With everyone’s help, we can truly make a difference in the world.
Image retrieved from Engineers Without Borders USA’s 2013 Annual Report
On October 18th, 2014, our chapter will host a 5K walk/run to raise funds for our current latrine project in Ghana and future projects. More details can be found in the registration form below:
EWB-RHIT 5K Registration Form
If you have any questions, please contact Allison Phillips at email@example.com.
If you wish to use PayPal, please select an option from the list below and click “Buy Now.” Please remember to also turn in a completed registration form.
Having finished our program in the Dominican Republic (which included the construction of a septic system and retrofitting an existing building with a hurricane proof roof to increase the quality and quantity of care provided by a medical clinic, as well as constructing latrines in a disease-ridden community nearby), our next program, starting this summer, will be in a brand new community. We will be returning to Ghana, this time to the community of Gomoa Gyaman, about 50 miles from our previous program in Obodan where we constructed a brooder house and a community center. Everyone is very excited about the prospects of this collaboration and we can’t wait to see what working together over the next 5 years will lead to!
The Gomoa Gyaman community has about 5,000 indigenous citizens and over 100,000 in the surrounding region. The community is primarily agrarian and has no major public infrastructure except for a school, church, and public market square. They lack key infrastructure that will help them realize their mission to provide opportunities for development for the community members. The elders, in conjunction with the traditional leaders and Gomoa Gyaman Youth Association, have concluded that four public latrines strategically located throughout the community will curb the health and environmental hazards of improper disposal of human waste.
Sanitation is critical to the welfare of this community and the provision of compost latrines will go a long way to improve the health of the community as a whole as well as provide fertilizer for their crops. A healthy community will lead to more productive citizens and improve the wealth of all. Other possible future projects with this community include a solar-powered library, a senior secondary school, and a health clinic which would further augment the health and education of community members.
While this is a large undertaking, with a bigger scope than all of our previous projects, this collaboration will lead to a great experience for both parties. In order for this to be successful, we need your support. Traveling to Ghana costs roughly $1,600 per person, and in order to maximize the number of students who can benefit from this great opportunity to travel and work with people from a very different culture than their own, extra fundraising is necessary.
Our preliminary budget estimates that the upcoming assessment trip will cost roughly $13,900, allowing 6 students and our professional engineering mentor to travel to the community to learn about the community and their greatest needs, as well as to collect the necessary technical data relating to the design of the compost latrines.
Our second implementation trip to Batey Santa Rosa in the Dominican Republic took place at the end of February, 2013. Our project’s goal in Batey Santa Rosa is to build twelve latrines for the community, which will help limit the spread of fecal-born parasites and disease.
During our first implementation trip we constructed three latrines and over the next six months the community successfully built three latrines on their own, using the skills and knowledge that we taught them. The second implementation project was a one week trip where six students and two mentors inspected the latrines that they had built and then constructed three additional latrines; this brings the total number up to nine latrines, three shy of the project’s goal.
Next year we will return to inspect the final three latrines that the community plans to construct and will bring the project to a close as we begin the process of transitioning to our new project in Ghana.