Isabel's work includes both direct service and building RWU's capacity to serve the community. In her role at the RWU Community Partnerships Center (CPC), Isabel has been invaluable in carrying out team and individual projects while working with real clients on important community projects. She is the lead on two projects including the Historic and Existing Building Energy Calculator (HEBEC), a grant-funded project for which she served as our lead researcher and concept investigator. She is also collaborating with Architecture/Construction Management team members on a project designing an after-school gathering place for high school students in Portsmouth, RI. We were most impressed by one instance this year when Isabel sought out the Dean of Engineering on her own initiative to present the idea of leading Engineering students in a CPC project to rebuild a community playground that had been destroyed in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This kind of initiative is not often found in undergraduate students and should be cultivated and encouraged! Isabel's work directly supports RWU's purpose of "strengthening society through engaged teaching and learning" and our goal to "be the University the world needs now". She exemplifies both the letter and the spirit of the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
Helping people and bettering society: the baseline concept of what an engineer does. By default, an engineer's job is to find a solution to a public need. While these needs can come in all shapes and sizes, I have always known that I wanted to have a direct, identifiable, and meaningful impact on society. To begin working towards this goal, I joined the Community Partnerships Center (CPC) during my freshman year. Throughout my three years with the CPC, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with multiple community partners to complete meaningful projects that would otherwise be overlooked due to lack of funds and resources. Two of the projects that I've worked on were redesigning a space at the local community center to be used as a "teaching kitchen", and designing a fun, safe space for youth to congregate after school to combat drug and alcohol use. This experience has instilled within me a deep passion for community engaged work, as well as the realization that a small group of like-minded and dedicated individuals can have a large impact on a community.