On April 24, 2019, Maine Campus Compact awarded the Community Partner Award to RSU 14 Windham-Raymond School District and Bill Hansen in partnership with USM. This award “recognize[s an] outstanding partnership between a higher educational institution and a partner in the community.”
The Windham-Raymond School District and Bill Hansen, who is the school district’s facilities director, have partnered with USM Professor Ivan Most, who teaches Engineering Economics, for mechanical and electrical engineering students. Under the direction of Bill and Professor Most, over 51 students have worked on 10 different projects benefiting the Windham-Raymond School District. These projects include endeavors such as finding a cost-effective light system for tennis courts and football fields owned and operated by the school district (completed in Spring 2018) and creating a plan for Raymond Elementary School to lower energy costs while increasing their eco-friendliness (completed in Summer 2018).
The students who have completed projects under the guidance of Bill frequently state “that the service-learning project made the course concepts much easier to understand and the course more enjoyable overall.” This service-learning course gives students both a sense of belonging as they “apply their coursework to real world situations” and “the opportunity to develop soft skills like presenting proposals and supporting/defending their work to the community...with which they work.”
Bill has continued to give back to the USM community by providing guidance and mentorship to the students he works with, as he has for the last 6 years. Currently, Bill, Professor Most, and Engineering Economics students are working on an initiative to determine the best alternative for replacement for Windham High School’s Rooftop Air Handlers for the Summer 2019 semester of EGN 304.
Thank you to Bill Hansen for his continued support of our USM students and for being part of a culture shift of instilling the values of service in engineering.