EWB-IIT, AIChE-IIT receive regional, national recognition

Technews Writer
Fri Oct 19, 2012

IIT’s very own student organization, Engineers without Borders was recently named the 2012 EWB-USA Regional Premier Chapter for the Great Lakes Region, edging out over 40 other student chapters. They will move on to the national competition as one of seven student chapters eligible to win the coveted title of 2013 EWB-USA Premier Student Chapter. At the same time, former chapter president and recent IIT alumna Dhara Shah (BME, 2012) was named president of the EWB Great Lakes Region, having served previously as Illinois State Representative. The IIT chapter was recognized specifically for the group’s large student base active in multiple civic engagement projects, participation in the activities of the Chicagoland local chapter, and for showing exemplary courage in deciding to close out of the long-running Haiti program. Opportunities with EWB are not just restricted to engineers! It takes committed individuals from all backgrounds to “build a better world, one community at a time,” the EWB motto. Students are encouraged to check out the chapter website (ewbusaiit.moonfruit.com) to learn more about projects to get involved in, get onto the group mailing list and attend the next general body meeting.

The EWB Great Lakes Regional Conference, where the award was announced, was a very productive weekend in more than one way. The small town setting of Mt. Pleasant, MI and the suburban college campus of Central Michigan University provided an intimate environment to carry out positively stimulating conversations with some of the premier EWB professionals in the country. The sessions were tailored to suit the needs of contemporary challenges faced by student chapters; and most of the workshops were relevant to student organizational skills even beyond EWB. Grant writing, editing and designing social media tools for both inter- and intra-communication among chapters, health and safety assessment training for implementation trips, an introduction to EWB project management (very relevant to almost any professional sphere, and facilitated by IIT alumna Kat Weissman!), and the basics of intercultural communication (increasingly relevant in today's rapidly globalizing world) were some of the key highlights.

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) also recently recognized Illinois Institute of Technology’s AIChE Student Chapter for its exceptional level of participation in AIChE activities, the quality and regularity of its meetings and its local, regional, and national participation. The recognition comes in the form of an award to be announced at the AIChE Annual Meeting in late October. It is not unusual to see general body members actively attending most chapter events and meetings; along with participating in mentorship programs and making time for social events like ‘Dinner with Professors’ or ‘ChemE Olympics’. The chapter also benefits from the excellent guidance and support provided by its faculty adviser, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Donald Chmielewski. “This award is simply a reflection of the sustained level of dedication exhibited by these students. Week in and week out, they plan, organize and manage events benefiting their student members, the ChBE Department and the profession at large. They are examples of IIT’s best and brightest.” AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 40,000 members from over 90 countries. To learn more about ways to get involved with IIT’s AIChE Student Chapter, which promotes professional development and networking opportunities for chemical engineering students, please visit the chapter website, http://iitaiche.org/. Some of its members will be leaving for Pittsburgh, PA this upcoming weekend for the Annual National Conference; hoping to come back even more energized to take the chapter to greater heights.

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2012 - Fall - Issue 7
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