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College of Design

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Holiday Vacation

Hola from Saint Martin!

Right now, I am on vacation on the tropical island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean. Saint Martin, approximately 37 sq. miles, is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two sovereign nations - France and The Netherlands. Traveling around the island has made me appreciate Minneapolis in spite of its harsh winters. The lack of building codes, garbage management, and water quality are masked by the beautiful ocean and foliage.

In 1995, Saint Martin was hit by Hurricane Luis, resulting in 7,000 people left homeless, ships sunken or run aground, and three towns without power and water. Damage from the hurricane can still be seen today. If you're a tourist, you probably focus on the beach and attractions that the island offers. If you were like me (trying to find a solution), you would be very interested in projects the University of Minnesota is working on. Each spring, a group of Architecture graduate students spends eight weeks in Haiti to design schools. This program helps design buildings that will be loved and cared for over generations. Also, the apparel design students assembled over eighty garments for school children in Haiti. The garments were bright and beautiful! These projects within the College of Design are helping change the world. Just think of all the other projects/programs the University of Minnesota has to offer!

Next week spring semester begins. This will be my final semester so I'm looking forward to the hard work and fun it shall bring.

Holly Engle
Architecture, B.S.