Students to serve at five locations during spring break

For many college students, spring break is a week to take it easy. But 69 students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will instead spend an eye-opening week learning how others struggle and discovering ways they can help.

The students are involved in Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge, a week-long alternative spring break program that gives them a chance to help individuals and communities affected by issues like poverty, homelessness, a lack of access to education and natural disasters, while developing their own leadership skills. This is the eighth year of the program.

This year students will spend their time doing service work in Nicaragua, Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Teams leave on Saturday, March 21, and return on Sunday, March 29.

Individuals and businesses that are interested in helping sponsor the students are encouraged to visit the Miner Challenge website at minerchallenge.mst.edu. So far, the group has raised about $25,000 for the trips.

“Our students’ dedication to ensuring quality of life and dignity for all members of our global community is far-reaching,” says John Gallagher, director of student life at Missouri S&T. “We look toward expanding programs to accommodate every student who wishes to participate.”

“Participants of Miner Challenge strive to dream big, work hard and change lives,” says Ben White, coordinator of volunteerism and involvement at Missouri S&T. “The students appreciate all of the donation they have received to date from local businesses and community members.”

A team of eight students will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, to work with an early childhood development program specifically designed for homeless youth. They are:

— Jorge Bretzke, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from Seattle, Washington

— Patty Khongdi, a sophomore in petroleum engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Aaron Latal, a junior in chemical engineering from St. Louis

— Travis McGuire, a sophomore in engineering from Springfield, Missouri

— Nathaniel Oberley, a junior in civil engineering from Virginia Beach, Virginia

— Rebekah Slinger, a sophomore in engineering from Wheaton, Illinois

— Jenna Slocum, a freshman in nuclear engineering from New Haven, Missouri

— Juan Remolina, a senior in economics, mathematics and physics from St. Charles, Missouri

A team of 11 students will travel to Santa Julia, Nicaragua, to work with a women’s cooperative to further develop their economy and assist with crop and fertilizer production. They are:

— Heather Castelli, a senior in mechanical engineering from Catawissa, Missouri

— Melody Elder, a junior in geological engineering from Waynesville, Missouri

— Raheel Hassan, a 2014 biological sciences graduate of Missouri S&T and a graduate student in business administration from St. Louis

— Kent Lin, a senior in biological sciences from Ballwin, Missouri

— Alyssa Luczak, a sophomore in aerospace engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Andrew Meese, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Ballwin, Missouri

— Preston Miller, a freshman in mechanical engineering from Joplin, Missouri

— Lauren Pilla, a junior in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering from Fenton, Missouri

— Mary Puleo, a senior in environmental engineering from St. Louis

— Nocona Sanders, a senior in physics and applied mathematics from Poplar Bluff, Missouri

— Seth Molenhour, a senior in chemical engineering and political science from Salem, Illinois

A team of 16 students will travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. They are:

— Michael Berdeaux, a junior in chemical engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Logan Breitbarth, a freshman in metallurgical engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Samuel Cyr, a junior in aerospace engineering from St. Robert, Missouri

— Andrew Embrey, a junior in mechanical engineering from Lawson, Missouri

— Jenny Huber, a senior in civil engineering and architectural engineering from Godfrey, Illinois

— Aron Johannsson, a freshman in civil engineering from St. Louis

— Mason Lampe, a sophomore in petroleum engineering from Caseyville, Illinois

— Nicholas McGraw, a senior in engineering management from Rolla, Missouri

— Sven Olberg, a junior in nuclear engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Zachary Phipps, a junior in chemical engineering from Hurst, Texas

— Jacob Rein, a junior in chemical engineering from Columbia, Illinois

— Emma Schneider, a freshman in engineering from Maple Lake, Minnesota

— Stephanie Soendker, a sophomore in ceramic engineering from Independence, Missouri

— Jacob Whanger, a junior in ceramic engineering from Montgomery City, Missouri

— Randi Cory, a junior in civil engineering and architectural engineering from Atchison, Kansas

 

A team of 14 students will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and work at a local food bank. They are:

— Patrick Brennan, a junior in engineering from St. Charles, Missouri

— Kaylee Cannon, a sophomore in geological engineering from Bowling Green, Missouri

— Sunghee Choi, a senior in chemistry from Rolla, Missouri

— Nathan Compton, a junior in mechanical engineering from St. Charles, Missouri

— Thomas Cooper, a senior in information science and technology from Wentzville, Missouri

— Michael Janke, a junior in civil engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Darian Johnson, a senior in chemical engineering from Kansas City, Missouri

— Nicholas Luckert, a freshman in civil engineering from Baltimore

— Kiran Patel, a senior in biological sciences from St. James, Missouri

— Adam Schafer, a senior in electrical engineering from Springfield, Illinois

— Amelia Sipe, a senior in chemical engineering from St. Charles, Missouri

— James Wetzel, a sophomore in engineering from Kearney, Missouri

— Austin Williams, a sophomore in architectural engineering from Los Angeles

— Daksh Desai, a junior in chemical engineering from Sullivan, Missouri

A team of 13 students will travel to Detroit, Michigan, to partner with local agencies on community development, including beautification and hunger-related issues. They are:

— Jacob Bautista, a senior in aerospace engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Joshua Cruzada, a sophomore in computer engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Tyler Grant, a junior in ceramic engineering from Rolla, Missouri

— Nicholas Hoang, a sophomore in computer engineering from Sikeston, Missouri

— Joshua Holl, s sophomore in mining engineering from Lone Jack, Missouri

— Krishna Lella, a freshman in electrical engineering from Ballwin, Missouri

— Karan Madra, a graduate student in engineering management from Noida, India

— Kathleen Mazanec, a sophomore in ceramic engineering from St. Louis

— Ryan McCoy, a senior in psychology from Ozark, Missouri

— Reagan Schnieders, a sophomore in computer engineering from Holts Summit, Missouri

— Andrew Wilkening, a senior in computer science from Glen Carbon, Illinois

— Jon Colgan, a junior in aerospace engineering from Kaiser, Missouri.