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Reflections: The Haiti Experience

September 14, 2012
A small group of students, faculty and staff from the School of Science and Engineering opened their hearts and their minds to spend June 3, 2012 to June 9, 2012 in the third-world country of Haiti, using the skills they learned at Merrimack College to help those in need.

Brian Suehs-Vassel, campus-minister; Marc Veletzos, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Kevin Melanson, clinical instructor for athletic training collaborated with Project Medishare to bring their talents and those of the Merrimack students to the people of Haiti.

The three were joined by four students who were eager to apply the knowledge and skills they learned in their educational programs at Merrimack in a very different real-world setting.  Margaret (Maggie) Jacques and Dan Borges, civil engineering majors assisted with improving access to clean water, while Mollie Fitzgerald and Chelsea Jacoby, athletic training majors, trained allied-health professionals in new ways they could better help patients with physical ailments.  



Personal reflections from service workers in Haiti

  • So many of the Haitian people touched my heart and made me a better person without even knowing it, and for that I am forever grateful.” -Chelsea Jacoby, Athletic Training

  • I participated [in the Medishare service trip] because not only would I get to serve others and benefit from learning about another culture, but while doing so, I would be able to implement the knowledge and skills I have learned over the past three years of being an Athletic Training student.” -Mollie Fitzgerald, Athletic Training


  •  Our experience evaluating and treating some musculoskeletal disorders displayed the need for, and potential benefit from, increased access to musculoskeletal braces and rehabilitative exercises in Haiti.” -Kevin Melanson, Clinical Instructor for Athletic Training

  • We found that our students, staff and faculty have the skill to help them in exactly the way they need.”  -Brian Suehs-Vassel, Assistant Director, Campus Ministry

  • Without this trip I don’t know if I ever would have gotten into service work; now I know it is something I can’t live without!” -Maggie Jacques, Civil Engineering


Learn more about Merrimack College’s service work in Haiti.

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