Civil engineering student participates in Texas A&M University's BUILD

BUILD1BUILD, a student-led organization that is aimed at unifying the student body through a physically uniting effort, is making waves across the Texas A&M University campus for its innovative and aspirational endeavors. The organization, which also aims to connect students from all different types of organizations, educational backgrounds, fields of study and aspects of Texas A&M, accomplishes this by encouraging students to work together in planning, organizing and constructing a project.

The long term vision of BUILD is to build and send out portable medical clinics around the world in honor of those who lost their lives in the collapse of the Aggie Bonfire, as it was a tradition that pursued these same Aggie Core Values.

Annie Clark, a senior in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, is heavily involved in the BUILD organization. Passionate about service and giving back, Clark has served as a student supervisor and a member of the marketing command team.

Over the past three years, BUILD has done impressive work for the community, both locally and globally. In 2013, BUILD partnered with the Bryan and College Station Habitat for Humanity chapter to build a house for a local single mother and her family. This was BUILD’s first project, but hundreds came out to help, and it turned out to be a great success.

BUILD2In 2014, BUILD began a three-year project to turn 12 shipping containers into portable medical clinics called Texas Aggie Medical Clinics (TAMCs). The 12 portable clinics are dedicated to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives in the Bonfire collapse of 1999. In its final year of this project, BUILD plans to finish the shipping container project by completing and dedicating the final four clinics.

As a student supervisor, Clark helped oversee and plan the construction of the TAMC units in the fall of 2015. Now on the marketing command team, she has been responsible for creating videos to attract donors and volunteers. Her position also involves speaking to other student organizations to recruit volunteers and make contacts with potential donors. So far, BUILD has raised $70,000 of its $100,000 goal for the fall semester construction.

“My studies and internships in civil engineering have helped me understand what all goes into a large project, from the design to construction to funding,” said Clark. “As a civil engineer you get to help people and make decisions that will impact the public for a long time. BUILD is such a cool project because we are helping people in the Caribbean, Central America and Africa.”

What initially drew Clark to BUILD was how the organization’s mission reflects the Aggie Core Value of selfless service.

“I wanted to join an organization that completely revolved around service,” she said. “Selfless service is a Texas A&M core value for a reason and we, as a large university with an even larger network, have the manpower and resources to do great things. I was fascinated by BUILD because it related to my career goals to help impoverished communities.”

After graduating, Clark hopes to pursue a master’s degree in water resources in order to help create clean, sustainable water systems in her career as a civil engineer.

Construction on the 2016 fall project will begin on Sept. 26and last until Nov. 11. The eight finished TAMCs are located in Antigua, Guatemala; Tecpan, Guatemala; Thomzeau, Haiti; Dolores, Honduras (two units are located here); Kingston, Jamaica; Beaudachita, Haiti; and Maua, Kenya. 

Contributing author: Ryan Terry