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Kienan McIntee is a current junior at Benedictine College from Marshfield, Wis., and Gregorian Fellow studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Many of our Gregorian Fellows have opportunities to participate in valuable service. Here is his experience of leading a mission trip to Nicaragua:
“The Benedictine College Engineering Mission Trip sends a group of students each spring break to work on an engineering project in a developing country. I went on the mission trip last year to Orurillo, Peru, where we built a greenhouse.
“Last spring, I applied to lead this year’s trip, and with the help of several engineering professors, decided on a location in Nicaragua. We paired up with A Simple House, a non-profit based in Kansas City, to work with them on their plans for a new mission house in San Marcos, Nicaragua.
“Prior to the trip, I took an independent study with Dr. Newbolds titled Engineering for Human Development. I learned the basics of surveying land and retaining wall design. We also researched the community that we would be serving to better understand the problems the people face every day.
“While in Nicaragua, our group of 13 students and two faculty members surveyed the new mission land for A Simple House, started building a road on the land, worked at a neighboring school to replace broken water lines and add a water tank for additional water storage, served lunch with the Carmelites, and grew in friendship with the people of San Marcos. I feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of the preparation and trip.”
Kienan will also be presenting on Discovery Day, along with 3 other students, about his mission trip. The project is titled “A Simple House”. Nicaragua just received a donation of land for a new mission house. This will serve as an area where the locals can learn trades such as welding and carpentry, use the shop tools for home improvement projects, grow crops in a community garden, make marketable products such as canned fruit and coffee, and most importantly grow in faith and community. One of the engineering mission trip tasks while in Nicaragua was to survey the mission land to help with the planning of the future buildings, roads, and other projects such as a rainwater collection system.
Kienan plans on graduating in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. He hopes to work in manufacturing or aerospace engineering.