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2017 Ready for the World Award

Ready for the World honors those who enhance intercultural and international awareness of students and the campus community.

John McRae

John McRaeIn the wake of the 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti, Professor John McRae reached out to a longtime friend in the island nation and asked what the College of Architecture and Design could do to help. The result was the Haiti Project, which has allowed more than 70 faculty members and students to use their expertise and resources to design structures to improve life in Haiti. The project has included five design studios and supplemental seminar courses. All the classes are multidisciplinary, involving students and faculty from the College of Architecture and Design, the Tickle College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, and the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. The Haiti Group has designed a secondary school, the first phase of which has been built, in Fond-des-Blancs. They’ve developed a master plan for a neighborhood that includes 20 homes, with strategies for pure water, sewage, and sustainable construction. A medical clinic and a preschool are in the works. Through this project, McRae has taught his students how to think as designers and engineers and act as global citizens. “From the outset, the importance of cultural immersion and direct communications between students and the people they were working for, learning from, laughing with, was stressed paramount,” a colleague said.