International Projects

Library Project, China

A class of 10 MSOE graduate students from the Doing Business with China program participated in a Servant-Leadership project of setting up an English language library in the Hunan Province of 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.

Tuk-Tuk Bridge, Guatemala

Ten students, representing five majors, participated in the most recent EWB trip, which took place Feb. 22 – March 6 of 2017 in the community of El Temal, Guatemala. Joined by Davis and three professional mentors, on this project students set out to design and build a cable suspended bridge that would be passable by tuk-tuks –three-wheeled taxis that are commonly used for transportation but unable to travel long distances. Because travel by other means is costly and time prohibitive, a bridge that accommodated tuk-tuks would make medical care, markets and schools more accessible. This is the first cable-suspended bridge designed specifically for tuk-tuk travel and has several unique design features. The bridge is 50 percent wider than a typical pedestrian bridge and, in order to reduce the slope for tuk-tuks, the cables are tighter than usual; a concrete and stone structure weighing 200,000 pounds anchors the cables at each end of the bridge.

Global Brigades

More than 70 MSOE students gained hands-on experience in their areas of study on a multi-project service trip to Nicaragua. The trip was organized through Global Brigades, a non-governmental organization that empowers under-resourced communities to meet their health and economic goals with help from student volunteers, industry partners and local residents. Global Brigades-MSOE, the university’s student chapter, has sent teams to locations in Central America since 2013. Each team, or brigade, has worked collaboratively with community members to support medical, water and infrastructure projects. In 2017, MSOE introduced the Public Health Brigade – a team focused on empowering rural communities to prevent common illnesses through in-home infrastructural development, community leader training and health education. Also on this trip were the Water and Medical Brigades. The Water Brigade worked with local engineers and technicians to construct water systems custom designed for rural communities. The Medical Brigade provided access to health services in rural communities alongside doctors, staff and local leaders

Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania

A group of civil engineering students traveled to Tanzania as part of a senior project focused on a dam construction feasibility study. The project was initiated by senior Constantine Moshi, an international student with a special connection to Tanzania – it’s the place he calls home. In addition to surveying, student teams evaluated soil and rock; gathered rain and river gauge information; and researched local construction practices, including materials, costs, and cultural aspects that would be considerations in the final design. During the spring semester, MSOE students split into two design teams of four students, with two student-consultants who worked with both teams. The teams independently developed three dam alternatives chosen from the winter quarter. Throughout the process MSOE teams were in regular communication with USDM students, who conducted the labs and soil tests. The preliminary design on viable dam options – a total of six – were assembled into a feasibility study.

Cocoa Bean Dryer, Dominican Republic

Through collaboration with Servant-Leadership at MSOE, four senior mechanical engineering students are focused their senior project efforts on a service project in the Dominican Republic. The MSOE Cocoa Bean Dryer Senior Design team was tasked with the development of a cocoa bean drying system to be used in the Dominican Republic. The drying system needed to operate independent of the surrounding weather conditions and automate cocoa bean agitation. The design was intended for rural farmers whose lives depend predominately on the profits generated from the bi-annual harvest of cocoa beans. During the MSOE Thanksgiving break, the design team travelled to the Dominican Republic to obtain design critical measurements, evaluate the current drying process, and develop servant leadership skills. The knowledge gained during the trip helped in the development of an effective drying system (see attached photo).

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 is an activity that our students look forward to all winter long!

Milwaukee Empty Bowls

Servant-Leadership at MSOE sponsored the 18th annual Milwaukee Empty Bowls event. The event uses art to heighten hunger awareness and raise funds that help support food pantries and meal programs in Milwaukee. In 2017 there were over 300 volunteers, 35 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 over 80 student volunteers. Additionally, throughout the year, MSOE students supported Milwaukee Empty Bowls in their needs as a non-profit. For example, a student in Leading Project Teams produced a promotional video for the non-profit.

Outreach to St. Joan Antida High School

MSOE professors, Dr. Cynthia Barnicki of Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Anne-Marie Nickel of Physics and Chemistry presented to two classes of 25 students each at St. Joan Antida High School. The duo received a research grant in 2015 which became a catalyst to this partnership. Nickel and Barnicki have continued with the relationship through sponsorship of Servant-Leadership at MSOE. Now these professors volunteer their time to introduce high school students to the exciting world of chemistry through chocolate. “We talked about the chemical makeup of the molecules, why chocolate is special, tested the hardness of it, talked about nucleation – how you can ‘ruin’ chocolate by not cooling it correctly,” Barnicki said.

Tricklebee Café Garden Renovation

MSOE students worked with the owner of Tricklebee Café on North Avenue to design and begin the renovation of an outdoor garden adjacent to the café. Tricklebee is one of the areas ‘pay as much as you can’ restaurants that provides opportunities of community members to pay-it-forward and support those in the area that are unable to pay for food. Servant Leader Faculty Fellow, Doug Nelson from the Civil and Architectural and Construction Management Department has led this effort. Students from Habitat for Humanity and the Professional Construction Society student organizations have contributed to his project. Construction on this project is expected to continue into the 2017-2018 academic year.

MLK Day of Service at MSOE

To commemorate the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., MSOE students participated in a dedicated day of service on January 16th, with student organizations getting involved. A school supply drive was held that donated supplies for the students at Messmer Catholic Schools. Students crafted appreciation cards for those serving our country. Inspirational notes were written for women who are battling breast cancer. A total of 50 snack boxes and 50 birthday boxes were put together for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The numerous service activities made it easy for students to get involved and participate in the event!

Annual School Supply Drive

Every year in conjunction with our MLK Day of Service, the MSOE Bookstore collects donations for school supplies. These school supplies are sorted and packed during MLK Day of Service and then a different student organization is invited to deliver the supplies to a school in need. This year, students from Lambda Zeta Nu Sorority were selected to make this special delivery. The first graders at Messmer Saint Rose Elementary School were very excited! This year, students at MLK Day of Service also wrote cards to the students who were going to receive the supplies – this added touch was appreciated by all involved.

Habitat for Humanity

Servant-Leadership continues to sponsor Habitat for Humanity throughout the year. In 2017, six women from MSOE’s Chapter of Habitat for Humanity participated in National Women Build Week in Milwaukee. The women-only build was a great learning experience for our students. Habitat for Humanity also hosted the first annual MSOE Shack-a-Thon to raise awareness of homelessness in Milwaukee. Finally, the student group participated in Spring Break Collegiate Build Week in Beaumont, Texas.

Ronald McDonald House

Throughout the academic year, small groups of students select and prepare a meal for the families staying at the Milwaukee Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In 2017, 12 students participated in these visits where they served approximately 100 guests. 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.

Christmas on Campus

In partnership with Our Next Generation (ONG), Servant-Leadership at MSOE student leaders provided kids a fun day filled with crafts, pictures, games, books, and photos in front of a festive holiday set up. Together, the volunteers and participants listened to holiday music while students from MSOE organized these different events for the kids, allowing them to enjoy the holidays and make/receive gifts in preparation for the holiday season.

Matt Stachelski Memorial Bike Ride

In July of 2017, the User Experience and Communication Design degree program (formerly known as Technical Communication) enacted the second Annual Matt Stachelski Memorial Bike Ride. Working in conjunction with the Summer in the City event that is orchestrated by the Development Office, Dr. Shalamova and Dr. Howell lead the implementation of a bike ride that honored the memory of Matt Stachelski, a 2011 graduate. $5,615 were raised for a scholarship that will go to an MSOE student who shares the characteristics of Matt: non-traditional, hardworking, and service oriented.

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 items to donate to Cathedral Center of Milwaukee.

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.