July 30, 2010

Professor Sharon Jones and Lindsay Weir ’11 Featured in International Educator Magazine

Work by Professor Sharon Jones and Lindsay Weir ’11 and the College’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) to develop locally sustainable drinking water resources in Malawi and Honduras has been featured in the July/August edition of International Educator magazine.

Sharon Jones (left), professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Lindsay Weir ’11 work with residents of Blantyre, Malawi, to help develop locally sustainable drinking water resources within the city.

The article, “Water, Water…Anywhere?” focused on students and faculty who are helping people in the developing world gain access to the world’s most precious resource. An excerpt:

“At Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, Sharon Jones…is developing a long-term relationship with the nonprofit organization Water for People to educate students in rural water and sanitation issues. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Water for People is pairing Lafayette students with students in Honduras where they will collect field data on sustainable water infrastructure: Are water users getting what they need? Do local residents know how to use and maintain the infrastructure, both technically and financially? Is there a need for hygiene education? Jones says her goal is to ‘get students interested in rural infrastructure issues and help them realize that engineering is a service-oriented profession.’”

Through Water for People, Weir (Castleton, N.Y.), a double major in biology and policy studies, spent her winter break mapping water and sanitation access points in Blantyre, Malawi. The project coincided with research on sustainable rural water systems she is performing with Jones, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the engineering division.

Since 2003, EWB has been implementing water filtration and distribution systems in El Convento, Lagunitas, and La Fortuna–rural Honduran villages without any modern amenities. Jones previously served as EWB faculty adviser.

International Educator is the flagship bimonthly magazine of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Comprised of nearly 10,000 members at 3,500 institutions worldwide, the association works to advance international education and exchange.

posted in Academic News, Collaborative, High-Impact Learning, Engineering, Faculty and Staff, News and Features, Parents & Families, Students

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