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A new chapter for Tufts global engineers

In her senior year as a mechanical engineering major at Tufts, Sarah Freeman, E05, EG08, was looking for a way to apply her engineering knowledge in the real world and do some social and environmental good.

She and a friend wanted to start a Tufts chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which provides professional services to the global poor. But Freeman felt she needed “more of an international perspective” to lead it effectively, so she participated in the EPIIC course, which that year concentrated on global oil and water. The course taught her about complex social, political, and economic issues, and reminded her that few problems invite easy solutions.

With encouragement and support from IGL, Freeman did establish an Engineers Without Borders chapter, a collaborative effort of the IGL and the Engineering School that is distinctive because it involves both engineering and social science majors. The group’s first trip was to Tibet to work on a sanitation system in a village communal area and to investigate the potential for solar-powered cookers.

While earning her master’s degree at Tufts, Freeman traveled to Ecuador, again with Engineers Without Borders, to work on water supply projects. Her later work has taken her to Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, and Peru. In Lima she mentored two EPIIC students while doing research on potable water access in the slums.

Freeman is now a water resources specialist for the World Wildlife Fund, working in the Gandaki River Basin of Nepal. She says, “I feel incredibly lucky and satisfied by the adventures and challenges that my work provides me.”

About IGL

Tufts Institute for Global Leadership is an incubator of innovative ways to educate learners at all levels in understanding difficult and compelling global issues. We develop new generations of critical thinkers for effective and ethical leadership who are able to comprehend and deal with complexity, to bridge cultural and political differences, and to engage as responsible global citizens in anticipating and confronting the world’s most pressing problems.

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When education works, it not only instructs, it inspires.

To support the Institute for Global Leadership, please visit On the giving form, select “University” as the school, and from “Select an Area,” choose “Institute for Global Leadership.”

Or to learn more about the IGL and ways to support it, contact Miriam McLean, M.B.A., director of development for university initiatives, at 617-627-5975 or