Students team up to aid community

January 5, 2004

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2004_01_05.jpgPLATTEVILLE - Working together on a community service project for Family Advocates in Platteville is what four students at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently completed for their senior design class.

Each of the four students will be graduating this month with a degree in civil engineering. These students include Wendy Coyne, originally from Fond du Lac, and Krista Puttkammer, originally from Tomah, each with an emphasis in structural engineering and geotechnical engineering. Dan Erickson, originally from Vadnais Heights, Minn., has an emphasis in transportation engineering; and Dan Schilling, originally from Dubuque, Iowa, with an emphasis in environmental engineering and construction engineering.

To complete the project, the design team worked with approximately 40 education students from the "Working with Families" class taught by Rea Kirk, associate professor of education.

According to Kirk, the experience provided the students with a unique opportunity to aid Family Advocates by filling various roles such as answering a crisis line, working with children and completing assorted home improvements to the Family Advocates house, which is able to accommodate up to six families at a time.

The design team aided the project by designing and constructing an eight by 10 foot storage shed to be used by Family Advocates. In designing the shed, the team worked with the city of Platteville to follow the proper ordinances and zoning laws. The design team also developed a cost estimate plan to replace all the current windows in the Family Advocates building.

The design team remarked that during the stages of the project they improved their organizational skills, time management skills, communication and coordination skills through contacting the client and city, and gained hands-on experience. The design team added that working on the Family Advocates project not only benefited each of them for future employment, but also benefited the community.

Throughout the course of the project, the design team was aided and advised by Dr. Christina Curras, assistant professor in geotechnical engineering, Dr. Matthew Roberts, assistant professor in structural engineering, and Dr. Yuan-Ling (Dave) Wang, professor in structural engineering.

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