International Projects

Library Project, China

A class of 13 MSOE graduate students from the Doing Business with China program participated in a Servant-Leadership project of setting up an English language library in Bijie, China. The team set up a reading library, and provided books. The project was planned and executed by these students to provide children at this rural school an opportunity to learn English.

Vehicular Bridge, Guatemala

EWB-MSOE students completed the design, planning, and construction of a 42-foot span reinforced concrete vehicular bridge at Chumisa in the municipality of Joyabaj, Guatemala, in April 2016. The students worked with Milwaukee-area PE mentors and their faculty advisors throughout the design and planning process, and partnered with experienced bridge builders for construction.

Global Brigades, Honduras

This year, Global Brigades students at MSOE split into two groups. Thirty-one students in the medical brigade focused their efforts on staffing a medical clinic where they saw a total of over 1,000 patients. Additionally, eleven students traveled with the architectural brigade to help residents of these communities build the foundation for a chicken processing facility. Between the two brigades, students from 12 majors were represented: including nursing, business management, technical communication, mechanical engineering technology, and architectural, biomedical, biomolecular, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical and software engineering.

Hagley Gap, Jamaica

At the end of the 2015-16 school year, Dr. Gonwa of the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department accompanied seven freshman students to Hagley Gap, Jamaica to build a solar dehydrator to dry abundant, locally produced mangoes resale and export. The construction project culminated a year’s worth of for the participants who were all students in Dr. Carrier’s three quarter long freshman honors symposium. During the quarter, the student led effort developed an identified a need, developed a business plan, and studied, designed, prototyped, and finally built a demonstration solar dehydrator at the Hagley Gap Primary School. The project was completely student led and directed with professors providing only general oversight. This project was performed in collaboration with a student group at the University of Michigan, and with the Blue Mountain Project, a non-governmental organization that promotes health and development in the region. Within four days of arrival, the dehydrator was built with high levels of assistance from the elementary school children. During the final three days, MSOE students taught the local school children how to operate and care for the dehydrator and demonstrated successful dehydrating of local fruits, such as mangoes. A follow-up project involves constructing a similar solar dehydrator in Nigeria.

International Community Plumbing Challenge

Professor Doug Nelson from the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department lead two teams to participate in the challenge. The first team included two MSOE students and two students from the Fox Valley. This team traveled to India in October of 2015 to represent Team USA. The second team included on MSOE student and three students from the Fox Valley. This team traveled to South Africa in May of 2016 to represent Team USA.

Domestic Projects

Blue Lotus Spring Clean Up

Every year, students from MSOE head out to Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat in Newburg, Wisconsin to help the facility get ready to welcome community members for the summer months. MSOE has been working with Blue Lotus since 2006 and uses this spring visit to help maintain their relationship with Blue Lotus and make sure that the deck they built is well maintained. This year our students worked side-by-side with the Construction Leadership Council of Greater Milwaukee. This is an activity that our students look forward to all winter long!

Mission Pizza Games

MSOE students participated in this fundraising event organized by Palermo’s Pizza to raise awareness of hunger in Milwaukee. Together with students from other local universities, our students competed to create an award-winning pizza. The winner chose the recipient of a $1,000 donation from Palermo’s pizza. Activities like this allow our students to exercise their humanity while having fun and connecting with the Greater Milwaukee Community.

Kayla’s Krew Playground Project

MSOE students played a key role in helping build Kayla’s Playground in Franklin, Wisconsin in September of 2015. As a follow-up to that project, Kayla’s Krew asked members from Sigma Lambda Chi Honors Society to design and build a donor’s board to honor all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make this dream a reality. This past spring, three students took the lead on this final project for the playground.

MLK Day of Service at MSOE

To commemorate the servant leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., MSOE students participated in a dedicated day of service on January 18th, with student organizations getting involved. A school supply drive was held that created 100 bags of supplies for the students at the Milwaukee Math and Science Academy. Students crafted appreciation cards for those serving our country. Inspirational notes were written for women who are battling breast cancer. Over 200 sandwiches were made to give to the local shelters across the Milwaukee Area. Fifty birthday boxes were made for kids who typically don’t get to celebrate their birthday. Even the kids from Our Next Generation joined in on the fun and participated alongside MSOE students to help out their community. The numerous service activities made it easy for students to get involved and participate in the event!

National Women Build Week

Servant-Leadership sponsored five women from MSOE’s Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to participate in National Women Build Week in Milwaukee. The women only build was a great learning experience for our students. Students were asked to submit their desire to participate in the event on the Servant-Leadership Facebook Page. This was a great way to share their experience with the MSOE community.

Ronald McDonald House

Once a month a group of students select and prepare a meal for the families staying at the Milwaukee Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. This ongoing Servant-Leadership activity is a great example of how the Milwaukee community benefits from the service of our students. This is also a great way for students to practice the tenet of empathy when they visit with families who are staying at RMH to be near an ill child. Since this is an ongoing activity, many students from all over campus get the opportunity to participate every year.

Matt Stachelski Memorial Bike Ride

In July of 2016, the User Experience and Communication Design degree program (formerly known as Technical Communication) enacted the first Annual Matt Stachelski Memorial Bike Ride. Working in conjunction with the MSOE’s annual Summer in the City event that is orchestrated by the Alumni Office, Dr. Shalamova and Dr. Howell led the implementation of a bike ride that honored the memory of Matt Stachelski, a 2011 graduate. $5,463.24 were raised for a scholarship that will go to an MSOE student who shares the characteristics of Matt: non-traditional, hardworking, and service oriented. Matt died in a house fire in October of 2015. It was important to recognize Matt for being a student who represents the best of what can come from MSOE. He was the first Research Assistant for the office of Servant-Leadership and wrote a report that helped the Chair understand the need to place greater emphasis on leadership, since the model at that time was based more in service learning. Matt also participated in numerous service initiatives, taking a leadership role in each one of them. Matt’s friends and family participated in the memorial bike ride that started at MSOE, went up to the beer garden in Estabrook Park, and returned back to the MSOE campus. At Estabrook Park, there was an opportunity for the participants to say a few words in remembrance of Matt, an opportunity that was healing for all involved. Austin Campbell was the first recipient of the scholarship. He was selected by the Stachelski family as a student who exemplifies the qualities Matt demonstrated. Visit the Facebook page at

Hat and Mitten Drive

Our Resident Housing Association organized a hat and mitten drive to help keep our community members warm during the winter months. Our students and their families collected over 400 items to donate to Cathedral Center of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Empty Bowls

Servant-Leadership at MSOE hosted the annual Milwaukee Empty Bowls event. The event uses art to heighten hunger awareness and raise funds that help provide food pantries and meal programs in Milwaukee. This year there were 300 volunteers, 33 restaurants, three bakeries and more than 2,000 attendees who raised a record $66,000 for seven charities. Servant-Leadership coordinated MSOE’s involvement of 100 student volunteers.

Christmas on Campus

Christmas on Campus has become an annual MSOE event. Children from Our Next Generation, an inner-city after school program, come to MSOE and participate in crafts and fun Christmas activities with student volunteers.

Round Tables

As a department, we started holding biquarterly discussions. These discussions have various themes/topics that allow MSOE students, faculty, and staff as well as people from the Milwaukee community to come together and discuss their Servant Leadership journey. It is a great time to converse, learn, and connect!

Respite Day

This annual event enables MSOE students to spend the day with kids who spend a great deal of time at the Children’s Hospital. The parents of the children get the opportunity to take an afternoon off and rest. Meanwhile, over 100 MSOE students receive the educational and interpersonal opportunity to interact with kids with extreme mental and physical challenges. Both the student leaders and volunteers get so much out of participating in the service activity that is organized by servant leaders.

Milwaukee Greek Clean-up

Greek fraternities and sororities from across Milwaukee come together to clean up the downtown Milwaukee area. Afterward there is a cookout for all the volunteers with lawn games and a great chance to mingle with new people from the community.

South Sioux City Science Program

Students and faculty from MSOE partnered with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to work with 125 American Indian youth from seven schools in South Dakota and Nebraska. The high school and junior high students had the opportunity to build a DNA models and were able to physically see how a snowflake is built thanks to resources from MSOE’s Center for BioMolecular Modeling. Our students were able to share the knowledge they have on these subjects while learning about students from across the US.