March 16, 2006
Over 20 Cornell engineering students and professors traveled to Honduras in January to fill the technology void in the nation’s water treatment. The two week trip was just part of a continuing effort by Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) to transfer new water treatment technology to a country where current water systems could mean brown water from the tap.
Student participants in the Honduras Water Treatment Project, led by Prof. Monroe Weber-Shirk, civil and environmental engineering, presented their experiences and achievements Wednesday in Hollister Hall. The group designs treatment systems at Cornell and then transfers the technology to communities in Honduras.
“The rewarding piece about this project is that it’s a real project,” Weber-Shirk said in an interview. “We have all the resources from Cornell, including its bright students, and we’re tackling a project that no one is tackling.”
Dan Smith ’07 has been involved with the program for one year. He will travel to Honduras this summer to work in Ojajona, a small town in the southern region of the country. In Honduras, students take on roles as researchers, field engineers and traveling salesman for clean water, Smith said.
Students are working with local authorities and managers to make sure that the project is effective. Between communicating with local water boards to buying supplies using broken Spanish, this can be quite a task. But the engineering students are handling this difficult situation – building gravity-fed water systems without electricity in Honduras’ mountainous landscape.
“These systems have to function, and that’s the bottom line,” Smith said. “It’s only going to be sustainable if there’s a connection to the people in the community.”
Weber-Shirk attributes the success of the program to the students’ willingness to work within the limitations of the project, such as unreliable electricity sources in Honduras.
“There are solutions to just about everything; it means being creative and sometimes developing new technologies,” he said.
Shada El-Sharif grad, who is studying environmental water resource systems, said that studentS use local resources, such as corrugated roofing material, to build the water treatment systems.
“We want the Hondurans to be able to maintain them after the Cornell students return home,” she said.
Roslyn Odum grad was a member of the first team to travel to Honduras last year. During her trip she watched Hondurans fix PVC pipe with banana leaves.
“We knew we had to use local materials, keep it simple and make it work,” she said. Construction of the plant took five months. When it was finished, it ran with up to 95 percent efficiency.
“It was an optimistic trip,” Odum said.
El-Sharif hopes that engineering students will get excited about making a difference.
“The work you do in class can have a real impact on people,” she said. “We live in such a privileged place that its easy to take what we have for granted. There are a large number of people in this world that don’t have those luxuries. This project is really eye opening.”
These students have become involved in the project by joining ESW or taking a class for credit. ESW, founded at Cornell in 2001, has expanded to over 30 campuses nationwide; the organization takes on global issues, including safe drinking water and energy needs.
Archived article by Hailey Wilmer Sun Contributor
March 16, 2006
After months of training and hard-fought dual meets, eight Cornell wrestlers will now begin the most important three days of the season – competing at the NCAA championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., beginning today.
Eight individual wrestlers from Cornell qualified for the tournament at the EIWA championships two weeks ago, as five earned automatic bids, while three wrestlers managed wild-card berths.
“We feel like we can have a really good showing because we do have some superstars,” said head coach Rob Koll. “And we’re sending eight wrestlers out there, so we’re at an advantage over some of these teams because we have the numbers.”
The national tournament is both a team and individual competition. A national champion will be crowned in each of the ten respective weight classes, and the school that earns the most overall points will win the overall team championship. Cornell finished fourth last year in the team competition, while Travis Lee ’05 took home a national title at 133 pounds. The top-8 wrestlers in each weight class will earn All-America honors and also earn points for their team.
“You get points for placing, and we feel like we have a lot of guys who can place,” Koll said.
The Red contingent will be led by two 2005 All-Americans, seniors Dustin Manotti (157 pounds) and Joe Mazzurco (184 pounds).
Manotti is a three-time All-American, and he has a 10-5 record at the NCAA tournament. Although he was injured in the championship match of the EIWAs, Manotti has returned to full health and will be looking to earn his first national title, according to Koll.
“Manotti got knocked out, but he’s healthy now and he feels great,” Koll said.
Mazzurco – the No. 4 seed in the tourney at 184 pounds – was an All-American last year and he has lost only twice this year. His top competition at the NCAAs is likely to be No. 1 Josh Glenn of American, who managed to defeat Mazzurco at the final round of the EIWA championships.
Freshman Troy Nickerson – the No. 5 seed at 125 pounds – will now have his opportunity on the national collegiate stage. Nickerson recorded a 32-1 record this year – leading the team in wins- and he has also earned nine major decisions.
At 133 pounds, senior Mike Mormile will take to the mat in his third national tournament. Mormile wrestled at 125 pounds last year, and will be facing new national competition at 133 pounds.
Junior Keith Dickey will wrestle for Cornell at 149 pounds. Dickey has had a mixed season, but he put together a solid run at the EIWAs to qualify for the national tourney. Koll noted that he is looking to see a continuation of solid wrestling from the Missouri native.
“He’s real unorthodox,” Koll said. “He put it together a little bit at [the EIWAs], but that’s still not the best I think he has to offer.”
Sophomore Steve Anceravage will be Cornell’s wrestler at 165 pounds. The Pennsylvania native will also be making his first trip to the tournament, and he will compete as the No. 11 seed. Anceravage turned in a second place finish at the EIWAs, defeating 2004 national champion Troy Letters of Lehigh in the semifinal round.
At 174 pounds, senior Dan Miracola will make his first trip the NCAAs. His fifth place result at the EIWAs was good enough to earn him a wild-card berth to nationals, and Miracola seems to be peaking at just the right time for the tournament.
Junior Jerry Rinaldi will make his third trip to the national tournament at 197 pounds. Rinaldi ranked among the best wrestlers at his weight class in the country this year, as he recorded a 28-3 record.
“He lost a match to the number one ranked guy in the country [at Easterns], but Jerry knows he can beat that guy,” Koll said. “He should have a great deal of confidence.”
Archived article by Ted Nyman Sun Staff Writer