Engineers Without Borders USA’s E-Learning Specialist, Abigale Johnson, is a world traveler and explorer who also loves getting her hands dirty in her garden. In the office, she focuses her energy on developing engaging educational content that helps our volunteers gain the knowledge they need to best serve our community partners.
How did you first learn about and get involved with EWB-USA?
I was introduced to Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) in 2012, when I was working on the production of two documentary-instruction micro-courses with my previous company, In the Telling. The micro-courses feature volunteers and experts and help prepare volunteers for their work in the field. Since then, I have assisted in training the EWB-USA team on the production of volunteer engagement courses.
Tell us about your new role here! Who will you interact with and impact the most?
As the E-Learning Specialist, I will be helping to advance the strategic goal of education and knowledge sharing throughout the organization. Part of my role is developing the education strategy and determining how we can best equip volunteers and recognize their achievements. I am looking forward to working with staff, volunteers and other subject matter experts to develop engaging educational content that helps our volunteers gain the knowledge and skills they need to better serve our partner communities.
What part of your job are you most excited about and why?
I am thrilled to be employed by such an impactful organization that is fueled by the dedication of the volunteers and partners who contribute to the success of its mission. It is my hope that the experiences, stories and lessons learned from these incredible changemakers will serve as the foundation and inspiration for content that will help guide future volunteers to make an even greater impact!
Beyond the amazing mission and people, I am very excited to be working with such purposeful content. I have always had an interest in sustainable community development, so getting to learn more and help tell the story about how EWB-USA makes a difference is a huge benefit. I am honored to have the opportunity to pull together all of the experience and knowledge EWB-USA has to offer into accessible courses and trainings.
What does “engineering change” mean to you?
For the solution to any problem to be successful, you have to think about the environment, the players, and all of those impacted. Engineering change is about taking the time to understand the context, build relationships, listen and design solutions that are appropriate for that context and set communities up for success.
From an education perspective, I think the same approach should be taken to design a system that takes into account the needs of the community it serves. Engineering change starts with the educational needs of the volunteers and is about developing an innovative educational system that delivers useful and engaging content and sets volunteers up for success.
How do you spend your free time?
It may be cliché, but there is a reason people come to Colorado! I love to spend much of my spare time outside hiking, biking, camping, getting my hands dirty in the garden, jumping in an icy mountain lake, or just enjoying the sun with my dog. I also love to travel and experiencing other countries, cultures and environments. My favorite vacations involve swimming with sea turtles and laying in a hammock.