From the very beginning of its existence, EWB-VU has been recognized as a student chapter that transcends an organization solely composed of engineering mentors and students. As each project entails a need for financial and marketing expertise, health assessments, cultural awareness, and religious and linguistics studies, the V.U. Colleges of Engineering, Business, Nursing, and Arts & Sciences have all played vital roles in the growth of the chapter. As each project encompasses an entire academic year of planning, this multidisciplinary element of EWB-VU has been vital to its continued success.
EWB-USA's founder, Dr. Bernard Amadei, professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder, recognized the efforts of the Valpo Chapter and agreed to speak to the campus and members of the local community in February, 2005. Attendees filled the Duesenberg Hall to hear Dr. Amadei's words of inspiration and commitment to humanitarian betterment.
In the Spring of 2005, after the completion of the chapter's first implementation trip to Nakor, Kenya, EWB-VU's then co-advisor Elizabeth Gingerich, Professor of Business Law at the V.U. College of Business Administration, was invited to speak at EWB's international convention at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Prof. Gingerich presented a lecture highlighting the group's multidisciplinary component and the different ways to fundraise to subsidize awarded projects. During this convention, the group presented its findings and pictorial narrative of its first year's efforts. Due to this widespread recognition, EWB-USA requested that the Colleges of Business and Engineering host one of its national conventions at Valparaiso University in September of 2005. Valparaiso's Mayor Jon Costas was the convention's keynote speaker, and student and professional group representatives hailing from over 36 universities were in attendance.
Following the chapter's third implementation trip to Kenya in May of 2006, the transformation of a large part of once barren desert region was transformed into various community gardens marked by thriving crops. These transformative results of all three implementation years were presented at the World Educational Colloquium in October, 2006, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The chapter's construction of a merry-go-round powered water system in the Spring of 2008 was mentioned in an interview with its pump's inventor, Trevor Field. These findings were published in the V.U. College of Business's Journal of Values-Based Leadership, Summer/Fall 2008 issue (http://www.valpo.edu/cba/jvbl/).
In the Fall of 2008, the group's successful retro-fitting of solar panels and pumps and the installation of the merry-go-round pump during the May 2008 implementation trip led to the the chapter's International "Friends of Kenya" award while its numerous trips since its inception in 2003 helped the university to win the prestigious "Paul Simon" award.
While the chapter is certainly honored by the recognition of its accomplishments, it remains dedicated to finding the best ways to develop and maintain long-term international relationships with the developing world while assisting in answering humanitarian needs in a sustainable way.
Recognition from Clinton Global Initiative
Valparaiso University's chapter of EWB was selected to partake in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) which occurred from April 1st to April 3rd, 2011 in San Diego, California. Two EWB-Valpo students attended the conference and proudly represented Valparaiso University on an international scale. The conference was founded by former President Bill Clinton and allows students from both Graduate and Undergraduate institutions to discuss and search for remedies to global issues. In order to attend, EWB-Valpo had to submit an application which consisted of proposing a 'Commitment to Action'. Focusing the application on the recent service trip to Tanzania, it is no wonder that EWB-Valpo has been accepted. With national recognition such as this, EWB-Valpo will be able to continue making a difference and encouraging others to do the same.