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The Ethos Center

Summer 2022 Student Stories
2022 ETHOS Immersions and Breakouts

In summer 2022 all three of our immersion programs were back up and running! 65 plus graduate and undergraduate engineering students participated in the ETHOS International, Dayton and Domestic Immersion programs throughout 2022. Students lived and worked across the world, from South America to Africa and India, across the country, from the Pacific Northwest to Vermont to low country South Carolina, to right here in Dayton, Ohio. 

Baruch Marine Laboratory in Georgetown, South Carolina

Camryn, a senior electrical engineering technology major, CJ, senior mechanical engineering technology major, and Daniel, a bioengineering graduate student, spent the summer near the coast in Georgetown, South Carolina, at Baruch Marine Field Laboratory with UD alum Bill Strodsnider. The mission of Baruch Marine Field Laboratory is to “conduct research and support education to improve the management of marine and coastal resources and advance basic science for the well-being of people and their environment." The three students worked on a variety of projects including the installation of an irrigation system in a community garden, the restoration of the historic Myrtle “Muckle” Grove Cemetery, and improvements of a seawater pump. Not only did the students have the opportunity to use their engineering skills to design and build these systems and projects but they were also immersed in the rich history and culture of the surrounding community. Before they implemented their projects, they took the time to build relationships with community members and local activists in order to identify the actual community needs. Specifically, for the community garden project, they worked with Zenobia, the owner of the garden, to address food insecurity  in the area as well as preserve the culture of the Gullah-Geechee, which includes growing and cooking your own vegetables. Furthermore, the overarching goal of the cemetery project was to honor the enslaved and free African Americans buried within the unmarked graves and provide a place for people to honor their history. Overall, the three students were able to learn and work with people within the entire town.

Burn Design Laboratory in Vashon, Washington

Grace and Sydney, senior mechanical engineering students, spent their summer working at the Burn Design Lab in Vashon, Washington. Burn Design Lab partners and works with other organizations across the world to design, develop, and improve fuel-efficient, clean cookstoves that address some of the environmental and health implications associated with other cooking methods. Sydney and Grace worked on various projects including designing and sizing the layout for a cookstove factory in Uganda, improving and designing cookstoves and specific cookstove parts, modeling cookstoves in CAD, and other factory improvement projects. Along with the technical projects, they also were exposed to social justice issues that Burn Design Lab focuses on, such as energy efficiency and the health risks in low- and middle-income countries.

Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro, VT

Emma, a senior civil engineering student, and Josie, a senior chemical engineering student, worked with Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Rich Earth Institute engages in research, education and technological innovation to advance the use of human waste as a resource, specifically as fertilizers for local farms. They perform both social and lab research, participate in community outreach programs, design and distribute portable toilets, and manage one of the only community Urine Nutrient Reclamation Programs. Josie worked on various projects including the design and implementation of a vermiponics system, a demonstration garden, and lab research. Emma and Josie  supported the bio acidification project, which included targeted research to improve the efficiency of fertilizer derived by increasing the acidity of the urine to prevent volatilization. Emma also provided a lot of support for grant applications, specifically centered around providing literature reviews about  the benefits of mitigating PFAS contamination. Lastly, Emma spent time doing public relations work and worked on Rich Earth Institue’s social media presence, so people can learn more about and feel more connected to the organization.


Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, OH

Jarod, a sophomore mechanical engineering student,  was partnered with Five Rivers MetroParks through the ETHOS Dayton Immersion Program. Jarod, supervised by Tim Pritchard, spent his summer analyzing the operations of a fleet of MetroParks' vehicles to illustrate the costs and benefits of potentially switching to electric vehicles. Jarod also researched the lifecycle carbon reduction that would occur if MetroParks were to make the switch to a full electric fleet of vehicles. In addition to his electric vehicle research, Jarod also performed an energy analysis on an old 1880s farmhouse at Possum Creek MetroPark and made suggestions for repairs and improvements. The goal of this analysis was to showcase how others can retrofit old homes to save energy and money. Working with MetroParks has inspired Jarod to always keep sustainability in mind as you tackle engineering problems and projects.

Catholic Social Services in Dayton, Ohio
Lauren Doorley, a sophomore chemical engineering student, was immersed in the Dayton community while partnering with Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley through the ETHOS Dayton Immersion Program and the Ethics and Leadership Program. Catholic Social Services offers a variety of services to vulnerable populations in Dayton. Lauren worked in their Brown Street Office where she focused on various projects within CSMVs refugee resettlement program. Specifically, Lauren researched, analyzed, and collected data on health care disparities within the refugee community and helped address a variety of needs that refugees encounter when coming to the U.S. Overall, Lauren learned how to approach problems through an engineering- and community-centered lens to better understand the root of the issues that refugees face.

The Ethos Center, Kelly Bohrer, Executive Director

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0212