Monday, November 16, 2015

What do frisbees and Mexico mean to Jamie Vawdrey? Read to find out!



“As I prepared for Mexico, I didn't really know what to expect,” Vawdrey said. “I had never actually applied engineering principles into the real world.  Prior to my involvement with EWB, all my experience was nothing more than homework problems on paper.”

Jamie Vawdrey, USU EWB member, tells us a little bit about herself and things she recalls about preparing and going on the Mexico service trip.

She is from Highland, Utah.  She came to USU because she liked the environment, and everyone she talked to absolutely loved Logan.  She got involved with EWB because ultimately, she wanted to work with people who designed systems to benefit developing nations. 

She said in order to prepare for the trip, attending team meetings really helped.  She said they had excellent team members that really helped to prepare everyone for the upcoming adventure.

“The Mexico experience was amazing!  The community that we worked with treated us very nicely, and it was great to get to know them individually,” Vawdrey said. “My favorite memory was when we played frisbee with all the kids in the community.  We had brought quite a few frisbees, and on one of our last days, we all played together.  We all laughed and played together, and it was definitely a fond memory that I have from Mexico.”



“Coming home, I felt exhausted.  The trip to Mexico was not like a vacation; it was a lot of hard work.  We worked all day every day in the hot sun.  I wish we could have spent more time in Mexico, but we were also very tired,” said Vawdrey.

In August 2015 Jamie and her experience was featured in the Utah Statesman. You can find that story here: https://www.usu.edu/studentmedia/index.php/2015/08/28/bottoms-up-engineers-without-borders-provides-clean-water-to-la-salitrera/

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sharing knowledge about water sustainability in Guanajuato Mexico

USU’s EWB Team Mexico Trip 2015
 (An exclusive look, at Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders team Mexico trip 2015 with “D” (Darianne Willey).
By Maddison Lund

 
“D” Willey

Darianne Willey or “D” (for short), is presently an enrolled student at Utah State University. Currently she is on track to becoming an Environmental Engineer as well as a Water Shed & Earth Systems major! As a result of these majors, “D” is very interested in sustainability, specifically the sustainability of water. With USU’s EWB program “D” was given the opportunity to volunteer abroad and share her knowledge of water sustainability with members in Guanajuato Mexico. To find out more about “D’s” personal experience, travel, and advice, please see interview below.

1.     Q: What did you know about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program before you joined?
 A: “I had never heard of them before joining. I had no clue what they were!”

2.     Q: Where did you hear about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
A: “In one of my classes Dr. McNeil gave a presentation about the Engineers Without Borders program. The presentation was about the entire organization, their trips, and how students could join the program locally. The presentation intrigued me so much, that when I learned about a meeting they were having, I decided to attend.”

3.     Q: How did you decide what team to join since Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program has two equally enthralling teams (Team Mexico/Team Peru)?
A: “I decided to join the Mexico team ultimately because of my majors. I am an Environmental Engineer and a Water Shed and Earth Systems major. Because both of my majors are heavily focused on water, I figured the water filter that the Mexico team was putting in seemed a better fit over the Peru team’s alpaca shelter.”

4.     Q: What was your overall out of pocket cost to attend Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders team Mexico trip 2015?
 A: “My overall out of pocket cost for Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trip to Mexico this last summer was zero! I had fortuitously been given an Honors Scholarship. For the rest of my team however, their out of pocket cost was about 25% of the actual cost to go to Mexico, which was about $230.00 per person.”

5.     Q: What was the overall duration of time you were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team?
A: “The overall duration of time we were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program last summer was about ten days. Those ten days also included travel time as well as the implementation of the water filter.”

6.     Q: What was an average day like during those ten days you were in Mexico with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
A: “The entire trip was pre- planned by the professors. In the morning we would all wake up to a new juice for breakfast (some weren’t so pleasant), then when it came time to work we would split into two teams. The first team was made up of students who could speak Spanish, and they would go around educating the community on the health risks of arsenic and the importance of maintaining the water filter daily. The second team (which I was a part of) was made up of the rest of us not in the first team. Our responsibility was to go down to the river and sieve sand and other materials that would be used in the water filter. From this process we were naturally teaching the community how to use their own materials, such as sand, to create purified drinking water within our implemented Engineers Without Borders water filter.”

7.     Q: What was your experience like with the other five students and two professors chosen to go on Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team trip with you?
A: “All I have to say is that we were the best group to have ever gone to Mexico with the Engineers Without Borders program.  Each person was so fun, kind, and friendly to each other. We all just had great chemistry!”

8.     Q: What was some of your favorite moments/ experiences from Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team trip 2015?
 A: “There are so many amazing moments from this last trip with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team that it’s hard to choose. I especially loved the tourism day we had on our last day in Mexico (La Salitrer) where we went to the capital city of Guanajuato, which was Guanajuato. I also just loved all the random moments 2015’s Mexico team trip had together. For example learning that one of the professors who had decided to come with us, had at one time, a total of seventy two cats at home! Another random moment that I believe is everyone’s favorite moment there was the, ‘community spoon’. The ‘community spoon’, occurred when we were having dessert one night and all but one spoon had been put away. The entire Mexico team then had to share this one spoon, thus creating the inside joke.”

9.     Q: What do you think other Utah State University students should know about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trips?
A: “Other Utah State University students should know, that anyone can do it. That joining USU’s EWB is a great opportunity for innovation skills to become real world skills, in a real world application. Join Us!”

To read about more interviews and to see USU’s Engineers Without Borders in action, visit us on any of our three social media plat forms below:







usuEWBblast




 ewb_usu



Utah State University Engineers Without Borders

Alan Hodges...Volunteering Abroad with USU's EWB


What is USU’s Engineers Without Borders Part 2?
(An exclusive look, with an EWB club comrade to find out from their perspective, just what Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program is like.)
By Maddison Lund


Alan Hodges
Alan Hodges is a Biological Engineering student, studying here in Logan Utah at Utah State University. Alan is also a member of Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program. This means that Alan is a part of a national organization where they actively participate in helping the world’s sustainability. To find out more about Alan’s personal experience, travel, and advice, please see interview below.

1.     Q: Before joining, what were your initial thoughts on Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
  A: “Before joining Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program, I thought that the EWB was an extremely exclusive club that was not open to any new members. I quickly learned however, that that was incorrect. Everyone involved is actually quite excited to bring on new comrades!”

2.     Q: Where did you first hear about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program?
  A:I first heard about Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program from a friend. He had been a member of Utah State University’s EWB Mexico team. Learning about his last trip to Mexico with the EWB intrigued me, so I decided I would join.”

3.     Q: In simple terms, how would you describe Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trips?
A: “Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders trips can be described as, a group of engineers who go to communities of less developed nations to help that specific community increase their standard of living.”

4.     Q: How did you decide what team to join since Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program has two equally enthralling teams (Team Mexico/Team Peru)?
A: “I decided to join Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders Mexico team. My undergraduate research has been focused on water treatment and I am therefore very interested in this field. This field of water treatment aligned well with the focus of the upcoming team Mexico trip, which was to implement a water filter for villagers in a particular area in Mexico.”


5.     Q: What was your personal experience with Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders team Mexico trip last summer?
A: “My personal experience travelling to Mexico last summer was incredible. I learned so much about not only engineering and project management, but also about developing relationships with people you've never met before and have little in common with. It is really difficult to put into words how great the entire experience truly was.”

6.     Q: Why do you think other students at Utah State University should join USU’s Engineers Without Borders Program?
A: “I think other students should join Utah State University’s Engineers Without Borders program, because you will meet many great people, and will have an immense amount of fun regardless of getting to travel or not, and you will get a chance to meet the great faculty whom you will later be working with. With no hesitation I can attest it has been the best club experience I have had at Utah State University.”


               To read about more interviews and to see USU’s Engineers Without Borders in action, visit us on any of our three social media plat forms below:





 usuEWBblast






ewb_usu







Utah State University Engineers Without Borders

Our new domestic team!

Engineers Without Borders at Utah State University (EWB-USU) has long helped villagers in Mexico and Peru, but a new domestic team is start...