Spring break “workcations” are providing an opportunity for students, alumni, professors, and friends of Virginia Tech to come together, roll up their sleeves, and make a tangible difference in developing corners of the world. College of Architecture and Urban Studies Dean Jack Davis founded these service projects as valuable contributions to the college’s long-standing commitment to student learning, discovery, and engagement abroad.
Service abroad trips through the college are faculty led, student designed, and constructed with alumni support and involvement.
In 2009 and 2008, the college coordinated their first two service abroad projects with Peacework, a nonprofit organization in Blacksburg, Va. Peacework helps alleviate conditions of poverty and promotes peace and prosperity through economic development partnerships and service around the world.
Students, faculty, and alumni are bringing water and other services to Africa
Two industrial design students in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies have brought clean water to five eastern African villages.
Then rising fourth-year student Jonathan Mills from Fredericksburg, Va., heard about a group of villages in Africa that had no convenient source of clean water.
Mills got in touch with John Ywalasiwa, a village resident, and decided to raise the necessary funds to travel to Africa after his graduation from Virginia Tech to help. Mills told fellow fourth-year industrial design student Howard Chen, from Richmond, Va., who also jumped at the chance to help.
The villagers were walking about thirty minutes each way over hilly terrain to a clean water source to bring buckets of water back to their village.
CAUSe for Engagement (PDF | 210 MB) highlights examples of outreach and engagement work by faculty and students in Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies over a 15-year period.