The integrated knowledge that we develop in the university environment should be applied to and employed directly in the larger community. With this as a model, substantial contributions can be made for the purposes of public service and sharing knowledge for the benefit of communities and businesses. Through relationships inside and outside of the classroom, this model has created design and construction solutions for international, non-profit industry partners such as Building Goodness Foundation, Project Reclaim, and Peaceworks and provided inexpensive housing solutions for those in need in Belize and other developing countries. Students’ domestic projects used Project Reclaim plans (below) to help those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Project Reclaim Home Designs

Acting locally is also important and there are several community projects in Virginia Tech’s backyard, particularly in Blacksburg. Besides serving on the New River Valley Habitat for Humanity Board, I also serve as the faculty sponsor of the Virginia Tech student chapter. 

Beginning in 2009 and working with a team of local volunteers, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Building Construction students designed and led the construction of a much-needed mobile kitchen for the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market

The mobile kitchen allows local cooking experts direct access to fresh, healthy food from the market, and provides a stage for public awareness on nutrition issues. The mobile kitchen concept won the University’s Alumni Excellence in Outreach Award, with placement into the Service Hall of Fame.