Spring 2023

Guatemala Meeting photo
jeff the mentor
aaron in malawi
student highlight
conversations in malawi

Team Updates

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Team Updates

Project Updates

East Africa

This semester, the East Africa team has been working on the design and implementation portion of the St. Pius Primary School project. At the beginning of January, a group of students and mentors traveled to the site of the school in Zomba District, Malawi to conduct geophysical and topographical surveys, test soil, and interview community members. The team is now in the process of authoring a post-trip assessment report that will analyze the collected data and feature prospective borehole locations, depth, and pump options. During the last half of the semester, members will produce an alternative analysis report, comparing proposed solutions on the basis of cost, longevity, expandability, and ease of implementation. The East Africa team is also investigating how to efficiently manufacture soap, as reliable soap production in the community has the potential for sanitational and economic benefits; additionally, the team plans on engaging in construction seminars, as the project will shift into the design phase beginning in the summer of 2023.

group photo in Malawi


Over the past few months, the Local Projects team has been hard at work on the gardens they have partnered with the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance (UFGA) on throughout the last 3 years. The group of students working on maintenance projects at our completed garden, the Peace Sanctuary Children's Garden, have begun to make improvements to the security system and educational displays to increase its long-lasting functionality. The team of Victoria Community Garden students has finalized the remaining tasks to complete the project. Students have begun construction of the remaining benches and garden boxes needed in our Civil Engineering building lab space and will install them when the warm weather arrives! The team plans to complete implementation early this upcoming summer. The final group of students has begun working with our newest garden, the Pilgrim Baptist Church Community Garden. Working with the primary users of the space to determine what the goals of the project are and how to best involve the surrounding community has been the primary task thus far.


The Guatemala project has been working hard during our Thursday project meetings. The CAD subgroup has been going through tutorials in AutoCAD and Civil 3D to prepare to model a water tank in a water distribution system. In the photo, our mentor Jeff Stewart is explaining the principles of CAD and how to use data from assessment trips when creating designs in CAD. 

guat meeting

Marketing & Context Committee Updates

Fundraising Update

Over the course of the 2022 year, our EWB chapter has been able to fundraise $37,000! This has been an exciting year for our chapter, including finishing up implementation in Chirijuyu, making strides in the implementation in the Victoria Garden and starting a new project with an assessment trip in Malawi. We want to thank everyone who has donated to us in the past year, and look forward to another year of project work in EWB!

Context Committee Update

The Context Committee has had a great first semester! We have given a presentation on the phrase “somebody always has it worse” where we break the phrase into three parts, “somebody”, “always” and “worse”, and we analyze how each of those words might have different impacts.  Some questions posed to our chapter about the word “worse” were “Who/what is that standard based on?” and “Why don’t we say someone always has it better?”. The goal of the presentation was to look inward at our own mental health and how we compare personal struggles to others, and also putting that on a global scale. We have an upcoming presentation about miscommunication that will be presented after spring break. Other than that, our weekly Tuesday meetings are filled with great conversations about our projects and we are excited for the rest of the semester ahead.

conference presentation

Member Highlights

Student Highlight

Sarah Whelan (pictured left) is a junior studying chemical engineering who is currently in her third year of working with EWB. Throughout her freshman year, she worked with the Ethiopia pipe bridge subgroup in the East Africa project. Because the meeting were online throughout this year, her favorite part of EWB was testing out modeling software on large snow piles around campus. Throughout her sophomore and junior years she’s worked on the victoria garden project through the local project program, helping design and build five benches, as well as helping to design a lighting system. Outside of EWB Sarah works in the Hackel lab on campus researching the developability and evolvability of proteins. She also volunteers at a cat shelter which she says has made her Thursday nights almost as much fun as her Wednesday nights (when the local program meets).

sarah and alayna sitting on a bench in the victoria community garden

 Mentor Highlight

Jeff Weiss has been a long time mentor with our East Africa program, helping on with our Uganda, Ethiopia, and Malawi project. Professionally he works as a principal engineer at Medtronic. Jeff’s favorite part of volunteering with EWB is working with the students, “... they always have new ways of looking at life and problems and it is refreshing to see their view.” He also enjoys being able to use his engineering skills to give back to the underserved area. In his free time Jeff enjoys doing things outside. In the winter he enjoys cross-country skiing and in the summer he enjoys working in his vegetable garden, hiking, biking, and taking trips to the BWCA. He also says that no matter the weather, he and his dog go for a walk every evening. Jeff’s guidance has been invaluable to the success of our projects.

photo of jeff