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Engineers Without Borders completes service in Randolph County

West Virginia University chapter of Engineers Without Borders

From left to right back row: Gina Paugh, MacKenzie Day, Lauren Patton, Ross Levelle, Sam Holm, Kristy Rumball, Jessi Hartsell, Madison Thompson, Soofia Lateef, Shivani Karlapatiand Tabitha Hilston. Front row: Colin Frosch, Michael Fouts, Cristin Dolan, Elizabeth Dangand Ben Grenier at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Charles Dickens once said “no one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”West Virginia University’sEngineers Without Borderschapter is anything but useless.


The chapter visited Huttonsville, a rural town in Randolph County with a population less than 300, May 7-12, to complete service projects with Tyrand Cooperative Missions.

“Tyrand Cooperative Missions ended up being the perfect partner for our chapter as they helped us find suitable projects and gave us access to their head carpenter,” said Colin Frosch, president of EWB and a civil engineering graduate student from Fairmont. “We worked on design, layout and completion of all our projects under their expert guidance.”

Seventeen engineering students went on the trip and completed 417 community service hours. The students broke up into small groups each day to complete the projects, including pressure washing and painting at a church; constructing shelves and organizing for the Mission; building and installing porch gates, handicap accessible ramps and porch roofs for members of the community; collecting materials for a local thrift store; and visiting Elkins Middle School to discuss WVU, engineering and conduct problem-solving activities.

“One particular moment that stood out to me was during a car ride to get supplies for a gate we were building for an individual with Alzheimer’s,” said Madison Thompson, a junior civil engineering major from Morgantown. “The individual’s son told me about the issues they face every day getting his father treatment in such a rural and undeveloped area. To be able to build this gate for this family in an area where there’s no other assistance was very rewarding and I am truly grateful we were able to help them.”

The students also spent time exploring the local sites and bonding as a chapter. Activities included visiting the Green Bank Telescope, Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks and Blackwater Falls.

Students who joined Frosch and Thompson on the trip included civil engineering majors David Donaldson and MacKenzie Day; mechanical engineering majors Benjamin Grenier, Jessi Hartsell and Ross Levelle; chemical engineering majors Cristin Dolan, Michael Fouts and Soofia Lateef; industrial engineering majors Samantha Holm and Elizabeth Dang; biometric systems and computer engineering major Kristy Rumball; aerospace engineering majors Tabitha Hilston and Jaya Karlapati; mechanical and aerospace engineering double major Lauren Patton and elementary education major Gina Paugh.

“We had a diverse group of engineers from different majors and states but everyone joined together to support a common goal,” said Frosch. “I was proud to see how well everyone represented WVU, worked together as a team and accomplished our tasks. I believe this trip energized my classmates to go forward and continue helping others throughout our studies and careers.”

EWB has more than 138 members that complete service projects and student activities throughout the year. While most members are engineering students, all majors are welcome to join.



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