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03-25-2015

Clarkson University Students Design Bridge to Be Built in Nicaragua

Clarkson University's new Bridges to Prosperity chapter has designed a bridge that will be constructed in Las Lagunas, Nicaragua, this summer.

From left to right, Clarkson University Bridges to Prosperity executive board members Julianna Makarsky '16, Lauren Smales '17 and Michael Baron '15 traveled to the Bridge Builder Conference to connect with other student chapters. Clarkson's Bridges to Prosperity chapter has designed a bridge that will be constructed in Nicaragua this summer.The student organization was established with the Clarkson University Student Association last summer after the University awarded an honorary degree to Bridges to Prosperity CEO Avery Bang. The chapter is co-advised by Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Kerop Janoyan and Director of Construction Engineering Management Erik Backus.

Bridges to Prosperity aims to eliminate poverty caused by rural isolation, and so far the organization has partnered with communities to construct more than 130 bridges in 16 countries to provide an estimated 650,000 people with improved access to education, healthcare and economic opportunities.
 
In its first year, the Clarkson Bridges to Prosperity chapter traveled to the second annual Bridge Builder Conference, where team members applied to work on a bridge building project with University of Iowa's Bridges to Prosperity chapter. Civil engineering students Julianna Makarsky '16 and Michael Baron '15 sent a series of designs to the Iowa team, and one of their designs was selected as the primary design for the bridge in Nicaragua.

Janoyan said this is a great achievement for the new Bridges to Prosperity chapter at Clarkson, and a good indication the team will be ready to work on their own independent bridge project next year. He said this organization enables students to develop a wide range of skills outside of the classroom.

"It's not just the technical experience, but also the exposure to international issues and working in teams," he said.

While the Clarkson students won't be in Nicaragua to see the bridge being built, the students are already working on other opportunities for projects. Janoyan said the students are eager to build new bridges both in the United States and abroad.

"The students are already working with Bridges to Prosperity directly to help with other bridge projects around the world," he said.

Read more about Bridges to Prosperity at bridgestoprosperity.org .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: From left to right, Clarkson University Bridges to Prosperity executive board members Julianna Makarsky '16, Lauren Smales '17 and Michael Baron '15 traveled to the Bridge Builder Conference to connect with other student chapters. Clarkson's Bridges to Prosperity chapter has designed a bridge that will be constructed in Nicaragua this summer.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/b2p-eboard.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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