Introducing “The Team”
Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, coordinated a J-term trip in 2008 for five engineering senior students and two advisors to travel to the Karagwe District of Northwestern Tanzania. The purpose was to install two solar-powered water pasteurizers. The seniors had majored in a combination of ME and EE and one in both. They were:
- Andrew DePompolo
- Tom Knowles
- Ann Majewicz
- Jason Menken
- Andre Trawick IV
The original advisors included Dr. Kaye Smith, School of Engineering and one other who had to back out at the last minute because his father was extremely ill. The team looked outside for another advisor and invited me, Professor Jan B. Hansen, School of Education at the University of St. Thomas.
Our team leader, Ann spearheaded the trip, worked with the Advisor for ESW who oversaw the details of the trip. They coordinated with Dr. Curt Larson, Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls who helped assemble and build the parts of the solar pasteurizer, packaged the parts, and along with others at Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls, coordinated shipment to Karagwe.
In general our team was bright, motivated, kind, funny, level-headed, optimistic and good-hearted. It has been five years between the trip and my sharing the blog I wrote then and I am still in contact with the team. I have coffee with several of them at least once per year, connect with two in their doctoral programs, am on social media with most and have invited one to be on the Board of Directors and serve as webmaster for Educate Tanzania, Inc. (ETI), the nonprofit organization that had its roots in the 2008 trip. It was formed to help meet the needs of the people of Karagwe.