This panel discussion will focus on several successful fundraising strategies, as implemented by the New York Professionals, Pittsburgh Professionals, and University of Pittsburgh chapters. Audience members are invited to participate in the conversation as well, and share their successful (and less successful) fund raising strategies.
Moderator - Alec Aman
Biography - Beth Cullinan, Pittsburgh Professionals:
Beth Cullinan is an Applications Engineer with Emerson Process Management for the Power & Water Solutions, Inc. division in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At Emerson, she works in the Marketing Department for Global Services. She became an active member of Engineers Without Borders Pittsburgh Professional Chapter shortly after it's development in 2007. She acts as Fundraising/Marketing director for the Pittsburgh Professional Chapter, increasing local awareness of EWB and the Pittsburgh chapter's ongoing projects in Mali and Ecuador. She also currently serves as the Secretary for the Northeast Region.
Biography - Nicole Ostrowski (Univ. Pittsburgh):
Nicole Ostrowski is a senior Materials Engineering major at the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked primarily on fundraising efforts for Pitt’s chapter of EWB. She is also a member of Tau Beta Pi (engineering honors society), Phi Sigma Rho the engineering sorority and is a Freshman Engineering Peer Advisor.
Fundraising efforts to date for University of Pittsburgh’s EWB chapter have been within a couple categories: grants, events and donations. Last year the chapter was a recipient of a grant through EWB-Nationals sponsored by Boeing Company. A yearly publicity and fundraising event was started in partnership with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Additional funds were received through generous donations of the University of Pittsburgh and a private donor. This year, the chapter is once again hosting an event with the Pittsburgh Symphony and is researching numerous grant possibilities. The possibility of partnering with a local Rotary Club is also being explored.
Biography - Matt Sisul (New York Professionals):
Matt started his academic career studying engineering at Columbia University. Benefiting from a program with an emphasis on a liberal arts education, Matt quickly learned the value of breadth of knowledge. His choice of major, Civil Engineering, found a perfect compliment in a minor in Architecture.
After graduating, Matt began working for the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. Engaged in large-scale public infrastructure projects like bridges, tunnels and subways, Matt was given the opportunity to learn first-hand how projects are managed and how infrastructures projects are designed and maintained in the developed world. Looking to apply his skills for those who needed it more, Matt was drawn into the newly formed New York Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-NY). He became the chapter president in August of 2006, a position he held until July 2009 where he was responsible for developing the chapter, introducing new projects, and increasing membership.
At EWB-NY, Matt started with a role on the first project team, a potable water source for a resettlement community in Kenya called Usalama. After a number of successful experiences, Matt began to see the limitations of the EWB model. He believes that engineers should not try to act alone to lift communities out of poverty. They could alleviate suffering, but in order to succeed, engineers need to understand the larger context within which they work. In the June of 2009, Matt traveled to Honduras to pursue the link between technical assistance organizations, local NGOs, and government organizations as they provided infrastructure services and delivery in developing countries. He advised the construction of a foot bridge in a remote village in the south of the country, teaming with an Bridges to Prosperity, ASU, Ayuda en Accion and the local community. In July he participated in the supervision of the construction of a library in Usalama, Kenya. In August he travelled to Southern Sudan as an independent consultant for Malek Girls International to perform a site assessment for a potential secondary school. Matt currently attends NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and is pursuing an MA that focuses on the role infrastructure service delivery in poverty alleviation. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering at CUNY's New York City College of Technology (Citytech).