Much like the world we live in, the environment here at HQ is always changing. One of our newest staff members is Melissa Montgomery, who is jumping into her role as a Project Engineer feet-first! In her spare time, Melissa is a world-class explorer and avid music fan, which fits right into the lifestyle here in Denver. We sat down with Melissa so that we (and you!) could get to know her better.
EWB-USA: How did you first learn about and get involved with EWB-USA?
Melissa Montgomery: I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru between 2009 and 2011. It was during my service that I first learned about EWB-USA and became involved as a mentor for the Princeton University Chapter for their water supply project in Peru.
EWB-USA: Tell us about your new role here! Who will you interact with and impact the most?
Melissa: I am the newest Project Engineer working with the International Community Programs Team, and will mostly be interacting with various chapters around the country. In addition, I will be working with the great volunteers who assist with technical reviews.
EWB-USA: What does “engineer change” mean to you?
Melissa: Working with a community on shared goals to improve the overall health and safety of that community at a sustainable level is part of engineering change. I believe in the social impact as much as the physical impact that engineering changes can have on a community. In addition, working with engineering students to empower them with the knowledge and experience to aid in improving infrastructure around the world is also part of engineering
EWB-USA: What is the biggest change you’ve help to make?
Melissa: The biggest change I’ve helped make was probably my work that I completed as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. I am hopeful that my presence and work in my community initiated some shift in basic sanitation and hygiene practices that will continue to be encouraged and supported by future volunteers in that area for long-term improvements.
EWB-USA: How do you spend your free time?
Melissa: Being outdoors is how I like to spend my free time. I enjoy the mountains and the water, as well as hiking/exploring and riding my bike. I am also a big fan of cooking and reading books and going to see live music.
EWB-USA: Finish this sentence: “I never meant to ___ but I’m so glad I did.”
Melissa: I never meant to live in Florida for so long, but I’m so glad I did.