Student Feature – Kyle Thompson

Kyle ThompsonKyle Thompson

PhD Environmental Engineering

EDC Certificate Completion: Spring 2015

Undergraduate: Missouri S&T

What are your hobbies outside of academic life?

Camping, writing, piano, biking, reading.

How did you become interested in global development?

I became interested in global development way back in high school when I concluded that I wanted to use my math and science skills to make a difference, not just earn a paycheck or pursue prestige.

Why did you join the EDC program?

I joined the EDC program to build a skill set and earn a certification that would help me find at succeed at an engineering career overseas.

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

The most valuable thing I have learned from the EDC program is humility. Development is not about being the “white savior” and solving all the world’s problems yourself. To make a difference, first you have to find yourself and find your role. You can’t and shouldn’t do everything yourself. Development is about people. Teaching, delegating, and encouraging are some of the most valuable things you can do. Think of people in other countries as customers or clients, not victims or charity-recipients. Realize that there’s a good chance they’re smarter than you, and 100% chance they know more about their problems than you do.

Where did you complete your practicum?

I did my practicum in Jalapa, Nicaragua for five weeks with Second Mile Water.

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

I hope to become an engineering professor in university in a developing country.

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