2021 PDSA Recipient, Michaela Mitchell

Michaela Mitchell

Michaela Mitchell

Frankfurt, Illinois | Electrical Engineering Major

The accomplishments of Michael and fellow recipient Sophia Dent are so closely linked that the first part of both pages are the same, followed by additional contributions of each recipient. Sophia and Michaela served as president and vice president of Miami’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) organization over the past year. Prior to COVID, EWB members were involved in planning and coordinating multiple simultaneous projects in different locations. Although members stopped meeting in person, these projects did not stop because of the pandemic. Through Sophia’s and Michaela’s leadership, EWB continued to work with a Cincinnati park to survey and design a bridge for hikers, and even worked remotely with communities in Uganda and Rwanda to help supply water to five villages, almost 5,000 total people. Even more impressive, EWB members continued their work with enthusiasm and even recruited a large class of new members in the Fall. They kept the organization responsive to members’ needs, from changing meeting times to including more professional development and more opportunities to interact with the chapter’s mentors.

Michaela previously served as the grant writing chair of EWB, where she increased stewardship efforts to keep in touch with merchants and donors who gave to the organization. She traveled to Uganda with EWB in 2019, working on the trip project and interviewing community members. Outside of EWB, Michaela is a member of Miami’s swim team, twice earning academic all-MAC honors. She has also conducted research in two different labs on campus.

One nominator put it well, saying that “both Sophia Dent and Michaela Mitchell have provided outstanding leadership to Engineers Without Borders, first in separate roles and then working together to guide the chapter through the challenging pandemic year of 2020.” They are receiving recognition for their distinguished efforts both separately and together.