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  • Office Location:
    315 Science Center
  • Mailing Address:
    Clarkson University
    Box 5535
  • Phone: 315/268-4483
04-02-2015

Clarkson University Students Spend Spring Break Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Buffalo

A team of 14 Clarkson University students dedicated their spring break to improving a community by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Buffalo, N.Y.

Clarkson University students from the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Buffalo, N.Y. over spring break.Over the course of the week, students from five engineering societies at Clarkson worked at two different sites to demolish one building and rehabilitate another. This is the second year Clarkson Students have participated in this alternative spring break program.

Representatives from the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity project.

"I love the social aspect of it because I met people from different majors and got to know them better," said Poul Cruz '17, a mechanical engineering student from Brooklyn, N.Y., and a member of NSBE. "You learn you can work well with people you don't know, and it was a good project we were working on, so we had fun."

Civil engineering student Julia Dockum '15 from Fair Haven, Vt., served as the student leader on the trip. Dockum said while the students on the trip did not have much experience beforehand, their desire to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity is indicative of their drive to have a positive impact on their community and environment.

"I think this says a lot about Clarkson students in general because this event was started by student initiative, and the students who went on this trip were very hardworking and dedicated to helping others and improving society," she said.

Dockum said she enjoys volunteering for Habitat for Humanity because the organization gives families an opportunity to own equity and create a better life for their children. She said learning about the refugee family who would be living in the rehabilitated house motivated the volunteers to work hard every day to install new materials.

"It was cool for them to see their progress," she said. "After a day, you see all the walls up and the insulation put in, and you see all your work come together toward the installation of the house."

While the Clarkson students came from various different backgrounds, Dockum said the experience working together on the project brought the team closer by the end of the week.

"I love the hands-on experience of helping someone else and improving the community and environment as a whole," she said. "You really bond with the people you're working with, not only the Clarkson volunteers, but also regular volunteers in the Buffalo area who all have the common goal of helping the community."

Environmental engineering student Alex Rowe '16 from Georgia, Vt., said participating in Habitat for Humanity as an alternative spring break was the most rewarding experience of her life.

"By interacting with the other selfless Habitat volunteers on site, I was reminded of how kind people can be, which was so uplifting," she said. "I would recommend doing Habitat work to anyone, and would absolutely do it again."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University students from the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Buffalo, N.Y. over spring break.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/habitat-for-humanity-2015.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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