The Clemson University chapter of Engineers Without Borders (CU-EWB), advised by Dr. Mark Schlautman, was awarded Clemson University Organization of the Year by ODK. ODK is a national honors society that places an emphasis on leadership, and the Clemson chapter each year gives out a number of awards. The one that CU-EWB received has the following description from ODK: “This award is the highest award an organization can receive. It goes to the organization that goes above and beyond in service, leadership, and academics. The organization that holds this award is the model organization, which all others strive to parallel. CU-EWB will receive $1,000 to continue their pursuit of excellence.”
Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) has the mission of building a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. EWB-USA’s vision is a world in which every community has the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs.
CU-EWB is a student chapter affiliated with EWB-USA. Active members in the chapter come from every engineering department at Clemson, as well as a few non-engineering programs. By participating in this service organization, Clemson University students help identify problems in developing countries and work throughout the academic year to develop sustainable solutions. Once the projects have been thoroughly planned and designed, a smaller team of students typically travels to the country to implement the projects. The CU-EWB student chapter has ongoing projects in Nicaragua and the Republic of Gambia, and it has completed previous projects in El Salvador and Liberia. Through Clemson’s Creative Inquiry (CI) program, participating members have the option to receive class credit for their work.
CU-EWB is always in need of individuals in engineering, science, public health, agriculture, and other related fields to act as mentors or otherwise share their knowledge and skill sets with CU-EWB students. Although our students have the desire to assist communities in developing countries and improve their standard of living based on sustainable solutions, the fact of the matter is that many students have not had an opportunity to gain much practical, hands-on experience that is needed when working in developing countries. So CU-EWB can definitely use more help from Clemson alumni, faculty, and staff as well as people they may know.