Student Feature – Bryan Bei

Bryan BeiVersion 2

M.S. Civil Engineering, Civil Systems

Expected EDC Certificate Completion: Fall 2016

Undergraduate: University of Colorado Boulder, B.S. Environmental Engineering

What are your hobbies outside of academic life?

I love all things outdoors. Fly-fishing, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, and surfing are some of my favorites. I ran my first couple marathons this past year, but I’m not quite sure I’m ready to make that a hobby. I’m also a big sports fan, so you can usually catch me at CU football and basketball games.

How did you become interested in global development?

My first introduction to developing communities came on several mission trips to Mexico with my church in high school. These trips opened my eyes to the reality of life for many people in the world and sparked a desire to do something to help communities facing these challenges. My subsequent involvement with Engineers Without Borders in both student and professional chapters helped to strengthen what has now become a passion and something I hope to do full-time upon graduation.

Why did you join the EDC program?

I joined the EDC program because of its focus on approaches that aim to make community development truly sustainable. I also appreciated its balance of relevant coursework with the opportunity to gain real-world development experience in the form of a practicum.

What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned from the EDC program?

In the short time since the start of classes, I think the biggest takeaway for me has been the importance of remembering the most vulnerable people in communities. They are often the forgotten, the neglected, and the people whose voices are not heard. If communities are going to develop in a sustainable and inclusive manner, the needs of the most vulnerable must be addressed.

Where do you hope to complete your practicum?

I plan on doing my practicum in Summer 2016. I am open to working anywhere, but would like to work on WASH projects in some manner. I have some Spanish language skills and am currently learning Swahili should I end up doing my practicum or future work in East Africa.

What do you hope to do after completing your EDC certificate?

I hope to get a job in the WASH sector, ideally working for a Christian non-profit like World Vision or Lifewater International. I would like to be able to work directly with communities, helping them develop their capacity and improve their access to safe water and sanitation.

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