Dr. Carmen Vélez Vega and Trainee Colleen Murphy Collaborate with Undergraduate Students from University of Puerto Rico—Mayaguez

Arshley K. Rey Torres, Colleen Murphy, Nerida De Jesus Villanueva (front), Dr. Carmen M. Velez Vega (back), and Angeliz Vargas Medina

Arshley K. Rey Torres, Colleen Murphy, Nerida De Jesus Villanueva (front), Dr. Carmen M. Velez Vega (back), and Angeliz Vargas Medina

On March 1, 2016, Community Engagement Core (CEC) Co-Leader Dr. Vélez Vega and trainee Colleen Murphy joined three undergraduate civil engineering students from the University of Puerto Rico—Mayaguez to discuss community engagement for a project the students have been independently conducting with a community in Añasco, Puerto Rico.

Nerida De Jesus Villanueva, Angeliz Vargas Medina, and Arshley K. Rey Torres have been working with community leaders to monitor well water. The community uses private wells as the primary water source, and the students are helping with monitoring to ensure that the wells meet local guidelines and that the water is safe to consume. The CEC will assist the students with documenting and publishing the important work they have done engaging community members in research and reporting the findings to the community on a regular basis.

Currently, they are working on a manual of guidelines and regulations for maintaining the well. The manual will serve as a tool to protect the community’s goal of maintaining their independently-owned wells as a healthy and safe water source. As a pilot project, the students hope to replicate this model in other communities and regions of Puerto Rico.