COLLEGE OUTSOURCES RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

At most colleges and universities, it’s up to the faculty members to secure grants and research opportunities for students.  At Messiah College in Mechancisburg, PA, they have developed a facility called the “Collaboratory”.  The Collaboratory operates like a third party that writes grants and secures research projects for students from non-profit organizations around the world.  The organization is working with large non-profits, such as World Vision, on projects around the world including Burkina Faso, Niger, Haiti, Ghana, Nicaragua, Mali, Malawi, Zambia and the United States. 

“This allows faculty members to join projects as consultants,” said Brian Swartz, a professor of engineering at Messiah.  “Many times projects are limited to a year or two when a student is enrolled, but with the Collaboratory helping to secure and manage these projects we’re able to take on larger multi-year projects.” 

Currently there are more than two-dozen projects that are ongoing with 250 students involved.  These projects include a development and instillation of a Village Water Ozonation System in Oaxaca, Mexico, building a pedestrian bridge in Panama, and installing solar panels in Zimbabwe.  

The Collaboratory isn’t exclusively for engineering students, though more than two-thirds of the students are engineering majors.  The director of the Collaboratory is an engineering professor.  It does have a full time project manager that helps to facilitate contact and maintain relationships with the multi-national non-profit institutions it serves. 

Source Contact Information

Institution:
Messiah College
Title:
Project Manager, Collaboratory
Email:
rgreen@messiah.edu
Phone:
717-796-1800 ex. 7226 (work).@RodneyPGreen (Twitter)
Institution:
Messiah College
Title:
Professor of Engineering
Email:
bswartz@messiah.edu
Phone:
717-796-1800 ext. 2190