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Making a Difference

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At the beginning of his first year at UNH, Kevin Henne '14 was looking for a way to get involved with a campus activity that would bolster his résumé and afford him the opportunity to give back to the community.

A mechanical engineering student, Kevin joined UNH’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a humanitarian organization working in 45 developing countries to implement sustainable engineering projects. Before long, he was one of five students in Ecuador designing  water treatment system to provide clean drinking water.

"As a result of this trip, my teamwork and project-planning skills were sharpened, and I learned a great deal about water filtration and environmental and civil engineering," said Kevin, now president of UNH’s chapter of EWB.

"These experiences will help in my future career as they create a foundation for how I work with people, develop plans and make decisions," he continued.

Opportunities to give back to the community are available to students across the University.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, students in Assistant Professor of Psychology Amanda Bozack’s course on adolescent development mentor kids at Common Ground High School, a New Haven school focused on sustainability and environmental education. These one-on-one relationships involve academic tutoring and after-school activities. Common Ground students also shadow their UNH mentors for a day to experience campus life. The results, says Dr. Bozack, can be profound.

"We have an obligation to give back to the community," she says, "and we have created ways for students to achieve this firsthand. They begin to reflect on their own experiences; most discover that they’ve led lives of privilege."

"I had never worked with at-risk students," says Annie Sheerin '12, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. "Now I understand their lives better. It was an eye-opening experience."

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