Pre Implementation 2020

In December, several of our members prepared to travel to the community of Njua in The Gambia. Learn more about our travel members below!

Maggie Miles

“Anyone who really wants to work towards a better, more sustainable standard of living for all humans of the world, should join this organization”

How long have you been involved with EWB and what is your current role?

I’ve been involved since my freshman year in EWB and I am the current President. On this travel team I serve as the travel logistics coordinator and the PMEL (Planning Monitoring Evaluating Learning) Lead. I focus on making sure the team completes everything to travel as well as help plan the trip itinerary to assist in timeline of project and make sure everything we need to do gets done in country.

What is your motivation for going on the trip?

I’ve been involved as an officer for a while but never had time to travel. I got to meet the head of our NGO Isatou Ceesay here at OSU when she visited and other members over the phone. I’ve learned so much about how amazing this community is through this interaction and really wanted to finally visit them in person. I also want to make sure our largest implementation trip goes smoothly because we have a pretty extensive project to complete.

What are you most excited for? 

I’m most excited to meet everyone in person and to go through the official naming ceremony that Njau holds for us when we get there. When we arrive in the community, we receive a gown made by community members and the entire group gathers around to give us a namesake after a community member. This is a really exciting time because we get recognized as part of the community and it seems like such a cool celebration. Plus, they’re all as excited as we are for us to come.

What are you most nervous for?

This is our biggest implementation to date, and if successful, this project would be our first successful project as a chapter. This is a big jump, coming from our first project in the DR not being a feasible project. I know everyone has worked really hard to get to this point, but it’s still a very difficult project. And I am sure something will not go to plan and we will have to be ready for anything in country that we might not expect.

Is there anything else the world needs to know about you or EWB?

Anyone who really wants to work towards a better, more sustainable standard of living for all humans of the world, should join this organization. We need a wide variety of knowledge bases (not just engineers) and people who really want to work hard to make a difference in their own way. So bring a friend and come join us for any meeting – who knows you could meet some really cool people and get to learn about something you never thought you’d learn about!

Lily Liu

I have a strong passion both for helping others and for engineering, and EWB has been the ideal intersection of these two passions.

How long have you been involved with EWB and what is your current role?

I joined EWB during my first semester at OSU, so I’ve been involved with EWB for a little over a year now. Currently, I am the DOT (Daily Operations and Training) Committee Lead – this committee recently finished the solar panel/water tank maintenance and repair document for the community.

What is your motivation for going on this trip ?

 I have a strong passion both for helping others and for engineering, and EWB has been the ideal intersection of these two passions. I’ve never really had an opportunity like this — our work with Njau impacts a real community of people, is largely student-driven, and we get to actually experience and guide the implementation of our work. I think it’s so cool that EWB is focused on sustainability (both environmentally and systematically), and that our chapter has developed a relationship with the community, and will truly be able to leave a lasting impact. I’m motivated to go on this trip because I know that this a unique opportunity that will enable me to experience new cultures and ideas, gain exposure to a large-scale engineering project, and create new memories. I’m so grateful to (EW)Be part of this amazing chapter and have amazing opportunities like this!

What are you most excited for?

 I’m most excited to meet the people behind the names and the community of Njau as a whole. Although I haven’t been involved with this project since the beginning, both our chapter and the community have put in hundreds of hours of work, so I think it will super rewarding to see all of that come together. Beyond the social aspect of this trip, I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to apply all of the engineering research we’ve done. I have so much random knowledge of boreholes and hydrogeology and I can’t wait to actually see the construction of the system take place.

What are you most nervous for?

As this is the longest trip that our chapter has ever done, I’m both excited and nervous to be part of the travel team. I know that we have a lot of work to do, and our time in the community of Njau will be a little shorter than expected, which might lead to last minute changes in the construction schedule. However, I’m confident that our team will be able to take initiative and stay on schedule!

Andrew Derge

“This is the greatest opportunity that I may ever have to positively affect people’s lives

How long have you been involved with EWB and what is your current role?

This will be my third year with Engineers where I work with our faculty mentor for project related things as well as working on a mentor group.

What is your motivation for going on the trip?

When I first came to Ohio State it was really easy to get lost in the crowd, especially at such a small place. The first club that I saw at the activity fair was Engineers without Borders so I went to the meeting and saw a video of the previous travel and knew right away that I wanted to join the travel team and make a difference. This is the greatest opportunity that I may ever have to positively affect people’s lives. 

What are you most excited for?

I cannot wait to meet the people I have been working so hard to help and grow relationships with them. 

What are you most nervous for?

This will be my first time in Africa and this is a technically challenging project. There are a lot of moving parts to this but I am still confident we will get everything done needed. I will also be in Africa for three weeks so this will certainly be my longest time away from the country. 

Dante Della Vella

“The travel team was built around expertise regarding the implementation of the project. I had wanted to travel since joining the club, and now I get to lead the trip!”

 How long have you been involved with EWB and what is your current position?

I’ve been involved with EWB since my sophomore year. I run the International Projects division and act as the main point of contact for Isatou (WIG) and our contractor WaterPoint Gambia.

What is your motivation for going on the trip?

 I thought it was important that I be a part of this trip because it is very technical and I have been overseeing the project since the beginning of the year. The travel team was built around expertise regarding the implementation of the project. I had wanted to travel since joining the club and now I get to lead a trip.

What are you most excited for?

 I’m overjoyed to see the community myself, meet everyone we’ve been working with, and be present for implementation. I am so excited for the moment that we turn the pump on and create reliable access to water.

What are you most nervous for?

My main concern is that WaterPoint will be behind schedule with materials when we arrive. More generally I want to make sure that the community has access to water by the time we leave. I am also concerned that something will break between trips and I hope that we have prepared enough to help them take ownership of the system and be able to operate it for years.

Is there anything the world needs to know about you or EWB?

I speak Italian and play the guitar. I’m getting a Master’s degree and I love to cook. I am a big animal lover and soccer fan.

Jared Brown

“Working and partnering with people around the work is the most rewarding work I have done and I wish everyone could have this experience”

How long have you been with involved EWB and what is your current role?

I have been involved with EWB for the past 4.5 years and have held committee lead roles in International Projects as well as been the Local Projects Lead for 2 years. 

 What is your motivation for going on the trip?

Since I traveled on our first assessment trip to Njau, my motivation to go on this trip is wide ranging. I am excited to go back and see all the friends and people that I meet on my first trip. I am also very excited to finally see the fruits of the work that we have all done over the past 4 years as we have been putting this project together!

What are you most excited for?

I am most excited for the food, the people, and the experience in general. It is a very humbling experience and extremely rewarding to work with such motivated and inspiring people in Njau like Isatou!

What are you most nervous for?

 I am nervous for the project in general as we have done so much to plan for this that I am nervous and excited to finally follow through with our plans.

Is there anything the world needs to know about you or EWB?

 EWB at OSU is a fantastic student organization that has really been instrumental in my experience at OSU. Working and partnering with people around the work is the most rewarding work I have done and I wish everyone could have this experience. So join, get involved, and support EWB if you can as we continue to partner with fantastic communities around the world!


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