International Projects

Global Brigades, Central America

Over the break between Winter and Spring Quarters, a total of 74 MSOE students, faculty, staff, regents, alumni, and parents participated in international service learning trips to Honduras and Nicaragua as part of Global Brigades-MSOE, which is a university chapter of the international service organization Global Brigades. These 74 participants composed of total of four brigades: a Medical Brigade that provided basic medical services in La Candelaria, Honduras; a Public Health Brigade that built sanitary facilities in La Campos, Honduras; a Business Brigade that developed a microfinancing project in El Ocote, Honduras; and a Water Brigade that helped build a freshwater system in Las Cureñas Nicaragua. This was the fifth year in a row that Global Brigades-MSOE sent brigades to Central America. It has grown by about 20% per year since the first Medical Brigade went to Panama in 2014. Global Brigades-MSOE continues to explore possibilities for growth, and it seeks to develop a deeper relationship with the main organization.

Engineers without Borders, Guatemala

EWB-MSOE led two trips to Guatemala in early 2018 to construct a vehicular bridge project in the Joyabaj area. The first visit included five MSOE students who focused on the foundations and abutments. The second trip included eight MSOE students who focused on the bridge deck, rails, and wing walls. The students who travel with EWB-MSOE are from all across campus and spend the entire academic year planning for the construction trips, these on campus activities include engineering design, safety planning, scheduling, estimating, cultural education, and much more.

Domestic Projects

MLK Day of Service

To commemorate the servant leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Servant-Leadership at MSOE hosted the 4th Annual MLK Day of Service at MSOE. School supply packs were assembled using the donations collected during a month long school supply drive hosted by the MSOE Bookstore. Students also created snack bags and tie blankets to donate to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. This annual event is hosted by Servant-Leadership at MSOE to provide students an opportunity to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while giving back to the community. This year, staff from the Wellness Center and Athletics Departments also volunteered their time to give back to the community during the event.

School Supply Donation

A group of MSOE students meet with students at Tamarack Urban Waldorf High School to deliver the school supplies that were collected by the MSOE Bookstore and assembled during the MLK Day of Service at MSOE.

Ronald McDonald House Meal Program

Servant Leadership has been a partner for Circle K for the 2017-18 school year at MSOE. They have given the organization an opportunity to volunteer more often enabling students to have greater community outreach within the Milwaukee area. Servant Leadership has funded the adventures at Ronald McDonald House, where Circle K had three events with 17 volunteers total and a total of 85 hours of service. In addition, Servant Leadership helped fund a Sandwich Making event where eight club members made over 100 sandwiches for the Guest House with a total of four services hours. Even more, a Cookie Baking event was hosted where five volunteers made cookies for older folks in the community for a total of ten hours of service.

University Scholars Program

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, Servant-Leadership at MSOE supported the University Scholars Program (USP) which was taught by Dr. Michael Carriere. During the year, faculty integrated servant leadership theory and application into the freshmen experience for the honors students. The students were invited to hone their leadership skills through service project work. One of the projects provided students with the opportunity to partner with professionals from Johnson Controls to begin the design and construction of both a solar dehydrator and an aquaponics system for Browning Elementary School. This was a joint effort lead by SHARP Literacy which included both Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and the Silver Spring Neighborhood organizations. Professor Doug Nelson and Instructor Jeff MacDonald from the CAECM Department served as mentors to last year’s honors students and will help transition the project to students during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Habitat for Humanity Women's Build Day

This year Servant Leadership at MSOE sponsored five women to partake in the women’s build day. While on site, students were encouraged to learn how to handle various power tools. Students learned about construction basics and how the real life application sometimes varies from what is taught in school. The students were given a hands-on experience with construction that was transformational.

Playground Design Project

Over 20 students from the CAECM Department’s Professional Construction Society and Habitat for Humanity student organizations collaborated with Servant-Leadership at MSOE to organize a playground design competition for Cross Trainers Academy, a K-12 school affiliated with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Five interdisciplinary teams completed a needs assessment for the school and provided the organization several design options for a playground. In fall of 2019, MSOE students will continue their involvement with the school which serves children from families who are experiencing homelessness.

St. Joan Antida High School Chemistry Workshop

Dr. Cynthia Barnicki of the ME Dept. and Dr. Anne-Marie Nickel of the Physics and Chemistry Dept. teamed up to present the chemistry and material properties of chocolate to students in chemistry classes at St. Joan Antida High School as an outreach activity. In addition to the properties and chemistry of chocolate, engineering concepts were also covered. The hands-on activity included the investigation of the ingredients in chocolate, the steps in making chocolate, the importance and influence of cocoa butter on the properties of chocolate and some differences between chemical and physical properties. The final activity involved testing for taste and texture of different chocolates, which resulted in many smiles and an increased understanding of chemistry and material properties by the students.

Milwaukee Empty Bowls - Bowl Making Event

MSOE works to support the efforts of Milwaukee Empty Bowls throughout the year. This partnership provides MSOE students with opportunities to apply the knowledge they acquire through their academic studies to serve the community and practice servant leadership theory on various projects throughout the year. In spring of 2018 a student in the Technical Communication Program created a new website for the non-profit organization as part of her practicum experience. Another student in the Technical Communication Program at MSOE is creating an educational video as part of her practicum during the summer of 2018. Additionally, Servant-Leadership at MSOE sponsored a bowl making party for 15 students to help them take a break from studying before final exams. The bowls that they created where donated to the fundraiser that will be held at the Kern Center in October of 2018.

Milwaukee Servant-Leader Roundtables

Servant-Leadership at MSOE facilitates monthly roundtables. The Servant-Leader Milwaukee group hosts similar monthly roundtables throughout the Greater Milwaukee Area. These informal gatherings give participants the opportunity to discuss how they apply the servant leadership philosophy developed by Robert K Greenleaf. The MSOE roundtables attract students from all academic programs on campus in addition to faculty and staff from departments across the university. While the individuals in attendance fluctuate, the group is always diverse and full of wisdom to share.

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!