BUSINESS NEWS ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS MINNESOTA CELEBRATES PROJECT COMPLETION & FORGES FORWARD The Minnesota Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA announced they have completed the Aldea Patzac school project in rural Guatemala. The all-volunteer project team designed, fundraised, and supported construction of a new school, replacing the community’s former structure which they had outgrown and hadbeenadverselyimpactedbydecades of seismic activity and erosion. The new school features three classrooms, a kitchen, new bathrooms, a new retaining wall to stabilize a critical eroding slope, and better accommodations for all 60 elementary-aged students in the growing community. “I am tremendously proud of the team and the work that went into completing the Aldea Patzac school project,” says Jake Hexum, chapter president. “We have such a phenomenal group of volunteers; I can’t wait to tackle more projects and help those who need it most.” EWB-MN iseager tokeep themomentum on both local and international projects. Internationally, the chapter has two concurrent projects: one in Chuchurras, Peru and the other in RioAzul, Guatemala. In Peru, the group is engineering and fundraising for a solar powered water project that will provide a year-round source of clean and reliable water for a 500-person rural community. The
community currently collects unclean water manually from local streams and rivers, with an often-scarce supply during the three-month dry season. And in Rio Azul, a 2,000-person rural community lacks a building dedicated to secondary education. To help, the group is engineering and fundraising for a school complex that will feature seven classrooms, two admin rooms, a kitchen, restrooms, and an athletic court. The group expects to begin construction on both projects this fall with Chuchurras already underway. The chapter is also proud of their local work in the Twin Cities community. Most recently, the team completed energy audits for Beacon Interfaith, assessing and collecting data through utility bills and site walks. After one year, recommendations were provided to the Beacon Interfaith property management teams for review. The team is also supporting the Division of Indian Work. The group has three building upgrades that our team will support by completing a solar panel array assessment, water catchment system design, and compositing integration. These efforts will support building efficiency and their community garden. These two impactful projects have given both Beacon Interfaith Housing and Division of Indian Work actionable ways to reduce their carbon footprint, be more sustainable, and utilize more cost-effective systems The work conducted by EWB-MN is
completed by volunteers and fully funded by donors. The team is thankful for the generous contributions and partnership provided by Minnesota- based engineering firms Westwood Professional Services, Barr Engineering Co., and Bolton & Menk. These partner organizations don’t just donate to a great cause; their people work shoulder-to- shoulder to engineer and construct impactful solutions for communities in need. As 2022 nears, the chapter has their sights set and fundraising efforts focused on preexisting local projects and two new international projects. The new international projects will focus on a structural project in Uganda and a water project in Guatemala. “With passionate volunteers, partnership support, and dedicated leadership, the Minnesota Professional Chapter of Engineer Without Boarders is excited for what’s next,” says Matt Wessale, vice president of International Projects. Engineers Without Borders MN is a nonprofitgroupofprofessionalengineers, architects, scientists, and others who aim to implement solutions for communities in need across the globe. The team also provides professional mentors for the student chapters at the University of Minnesota and MNSU Mankato. The group has approximately 100 volunteers residing primarily in and around the greater Twin Cities metro area.
avoidance is smart. So could be avoiding people and situations that could trigger you. 4. If you find yourself in a triggering situation, consciously slow down. Don’t respond instantly even if you want to. Step away physically and gather your thoughts if at all possible. And if you can’t do that, count to 10 or 20, and shift your mind out of gear for a moment so you can reflect back on your prior thinking of how you ideally wanted to respond should you be in that situation. None of this may seem at all profound. But it IS important, nevertheless. And although I didn’t know these things 30, 20, or even 10 years ago myself, I sure wish I had. If I can keep just one of our readers from blowing up (and blowing it!) in response to one of their triggers, I will feel like I did my job. Happy new year to all of our readers! MARK ZWEIG is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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to respond in these situations before you are actually in them. How can you keep from blowing up? What would be the best response you (or anyone) could give if you were in that situation? Practice responding in that way. You may want to do this several times a day until your response is automatic. “One of the worst sins you can commit is losing your cool. You never want to do that. It is an instant way to generate fear, uncertainty, and lose the respect of your people.” 3. Avoid these situations if at all possible. That may sound silly, or make you feel like you are copping out for wanting to avoid a blowup, but it is neither. It’s just smart. Tax
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THE ZWEIG LETTER JANUARY 17, 2022, ISSUE 1424
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