One of the most exciting aspects of engineering and computer science is the fact that the technical skills that are fostered in the classroom can be applied to solve real world problems. Many of the issues that cripple communities around the world can be overcome through the hands-on application of the principles that are taught in our own Engineering & Computer Science Department. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to translate book knowledge into meaningful action, but this is a trend that Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) seeks to counteract by providing opportunities for people to use their unique skills to empower communities and engineer a better world.
Although many of the students and faculty here at Andrews are brand new to the EWB-USA organization, we are excited about the future of our newly-formed student chapter. Since the chapter was born in 2014, student involvement has grown from just two active members to over a dozen committed members. This past school year, our chapter has spent many hours drafting chapter documentation, researching EWB-USA, and networking with other professional and student chapter members. In February, Andrews University’s EWB-USA chapter was invited to participate in the Premier AUSA Service Gala where we were able to raise awareness on campus about the Engineers Without Borders vision.
“The foundation has been laid and we believe that we are ready to
take on our first community development project, but we continue to
welcome the support of professionals, alumni, faculty, and students with
the hope of turning this vision of an active EWB-USA chapter into a reality."
“Going to the EWB conference this last week made me realize the need for engineers in poorer communities and exposed me to people who have world changing ideas that we can contribute to. I connected with organizers and other students with the same mindset, and this experience has encouraged me to strive to work on meaningful projects that we can do through our school.”
- Andrew Gagiu, Electrical & Computer Engineering Emphasis, Class of 2019
“For the longest time, I thought my path in life was to get involved with international aid and development. Although the Engineers Without Borders conference did not change that, it did change my perspective on how to help a community. Instead of merely serving my own altruistic motives, I now see the most important aspect of effective service is building a relationship with the community we desire to help.” - Phillip “TC” Coleman, Mechanical Engineering Emphasis, Class of 2018
“The EWB International Summit placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of being thoughtful and compassionate in our interactions with people, communities, and the planet. I was repeatedly reminded that my desire to help people must be born out of a sincere motive based in love and humility. As Andrews University students and followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to share our skills and resources with those who do not have the same opportunities, but we must also understand that interpersonal relationships are the foundation on which sustainable changes must be built.” - Nathan Verrill, Electrical Engineering Emphasis, Class of 2017
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Words attributed to Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia, quoted by EWB-USA advisor and
International Summit presenter, Hunter Lovins