With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are reminded of how thankful we are for our thousands of outstanding volunteers dedicated to the mission and vision of Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA). At the 2017 EWB-USA Conference in Milwaukee, we honored the volunteers who go above and beyond in their service to EWB-USA and our community partners. From outstanding individuals to dedicated chapters, join us in celebrating our 2017 award winners!
The True Value Volunteer Award: Kelsey Brandt
Last year, we introduced the True Value Volunteer Award. This award honors any type of volunteer — member, mentor, faculty advisor — who embodies the values of EWB-USA by supporting fellow members, equipping new leaders and aligning with the mission of EWB-USA.
Kelsey Brandt is an active leader at the EWB-USA Iowa State University Chapter and was nominated by not one, but six, people. Kelsey is a selfless contributor who always keeps the community at the forefront of projects. She’s known as “The Rock” in her chapter and is a model for all members.
The Peter J. Bosscher Award: Doug Stahl
The Peter J. Bosscher Award recognizes faculty advisors who provide outstanding mentorship and leadership to their student chapter. This award commemorates the late Peter J. Bosscher, an EWB-USA faculty advisor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Doug Stahl has advised the EWB-USA Milwaukee School of Engineering Chapter since its founding in 2005. Coordinating with chapters working in Guatemala, Doug contributed to the founding of the EWB-USA Guatemala office in 2016. Doug also plays an important role on EWB-USA’s Global Programming Committee, representing student chapters in our country office expansion efforts.
2017 Founder’s Award: Roger Ward
The EWB-USA Founder’s Award recognizes the work of individual volunteers who exhibit outstanding leadership in their regions, chapters and/or project teams. By fostering responsible leadership with other volunteers, chapters and partnering communities, these individuals are supporting partner communities in meeting their basic human needs.
Roger Ward has dedicated 10 years of service to EWB-USA. Roger played an integral role in the EWB-USA Indianapolis Professional Chapter’s multi-year clean water project in Kenya. Under his leadership and hands-on mentorship, all projects successfully completed technical and development objectives while creating lasting relationships with country partners and beneficiaries.
The Premier Chapter Awards recognize an EWB-USA student and professional chapter who strive to meet the ideals of a successful chapter. These ideals include excellence in operations, fundraising and communications; engagement in mentor/mentee relationships; and chapter and regional participation with EWB-USA.
Premier Student Chapter: EWB-USA Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chapter
The EWB-USA Worcester Polytechnic Institute Chapter works both in the U.S. and internationally, focusing on creating community partnerships and education programs. The chapter’s program in Guachtuq, Guatemala, encouraged community-driven development via the construction of 34 rainwater harvesting systems completed by teams of community members. Guachtuq residents were able to plan and construct two of their own rainwater systems after the project team returned to the U.S., exemplifying the chapter’s emphasis on community capacity building. Its success facilitated two new EWB-USA projects in nearby communities and inspired a member of the project’s local partnering nonprofit to create a business financing and building these systems for families around the region.
2017 Premier Professional Chapter Award: EWB-USA New Orleans Professional Chapter
The EWB-USA New Orleans Professional Chapter is currently our most active chapter in domestic project work with our Community Engineering Corps, maintaining more than a dozen partnerships with stateside nonprofits. Their most recent project is working with Greenlight New Orleans to install a water cistern at the Hollygrove Community Garden. The chapter also helps mentor the EWB-USA Tulane University Chapter and collaborated with the EWB-USA Baton Rouge Professional Chapter on emergency response following the August 2016 flooding in the Baton Rouge area.