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Click on symbol left - SESH group at Work and Play - Haiti 2011


A big thanks to the SESH group for their assistance in Haiti. We had a great trip and started to rebuild a home of a needy family. The foundation for future trips to assist in the rebuilding of Haiti has begun.

"Structural Engineering Students for Haiti (SESH) is a team of students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with an educational emphasis in structural design. The team is comprised of nine students that have been preparing for a trip to Haiti since April, 2010.


The global goals of Haiti Engineering resonate with the objectives of SESH. Through the combined efforts of all these partners and advisors, SESH hopes to ultimately provide knowledgeable assistance that can improve the resilience of a recovering nation. All members of SESH are dedicated to the success of this project for the betterment of Haiti. The team is focused on the overall picture; it views this service trip as an opportunity to help improve the quality of life and safety of the Haitian people."


Read the Biographies of the SESH group below


Rae Arizabal, Architectural Engineering Alumnus, 2010
Seeking to contribute to the continued rebuilding of Haiti, acknowledging a retained need for aid in the post-M7.0 earthquake environment. I desire passionately to uplift culture through my engineering.
Fun Fact: I’m a Muay-Thai fighter.

Alese Ashuckian, 5th Year Architectural Engineering Student
During our trip to Haiti, I would love to positively and lastingly contribute to the Haitian community by sharing some of the engineering knowledge I’ve gained at Cal Poly while also experiencing Haiti’s unique culture.
Fun Fact: I can speak (a little) French and I’d love to make a career out of doing community-based structural engineering projects in developing countries.

Caelen Ball, 4th Year Architectural Engineering Student
My main goal for SESH is to create a long lasting relationship between structural engineering students and a community in Haiti. While SESH is currently a small, university-unaffiliated group of students, I envision it to someday grow into a multi-university program that helps young engineering professionals get physically and emotionally involved with the reconstruction of Haiti.
Fun Fact: I collect hats with city skylines on them.

Kim Bowen, 4th Year Architectural Engineering Student
My personal goal for this trip is to apply what I have learned throughout my academic career to a real situation, environment, and community. I would like to offer my knowledge and abilities to people in need and leave a lasting impact for future generations. I hope to make as big of a difference in Haiti as it will have on me.
Fun Fact: I set my high school’s triple-jump record, which has yet to be broken.

Emily Carlip, 5th Year Architectural Engineering Student
My main goals for this trip are to fully realize an idea, give selflessly, and find opportunities in my future career that I never thought were possible. I can’t wait to experience a new culture and hopefully make a positive influence on someone’s life!
Fun Fact: I worked at McDonald’s during my senior year of high school and won the McScholar of California scholarship in 2006.

Kevin Chen, 4th Year Architectural Engineering Student
Through this short trip, I hope to gain a global perspective on the potential impact of my field, and to develop a long-term relationship that may bring me back in the future. I have a passion for helping create a safe and stable built environment around the world, and hope that my skills will be put to use for that purpose either now or in the future. I hope to learn about Haitian culture and sympathize with those who are still suffering from the earthquake last year, and I hope to return to the Untied States with a new appreciation for building codes and regulations.
Fun Fact: I really like hedgehogs, and hope to own one as a pet someday--I even have a name picked out for it!

Jose Chig, 4th Year Architectural Engineering Student
My personal goal for this trip is to experience the effects an event like this can have on a society, and appreciating the impact we , as structural engineers, can have on the rebuilding effort. As a secondary goal, I am looking forward to gaining some hands on experience and also to get to know a different culture and different people. See the Haiti and hopefully visit some beaches.
Fun Fact: I love to go to the beach

Laura Rice, 3rd Year Architectural Engineering Student
I’m interested in visiting Haiti for many reasons, but my main goal is to interact with the people and apply my education to help them in any way I can. In the United States everything we do is dictated by the building code and the importance of local materials and labor are often ignored. It’s my desire to interact with the Haitians and experience a different viewpoint; one that values skill and hard work over equations.
Fun Fact: In my spare time, I dance competitively with the Cal Poly Dancesport (ballroom and latin) team. I find it’s a nice way to clear my mind and do what I love.

Joe Rice, 4th Year Architectural Engineering Student
My main goal for the trip is to aid in the reconstruction efforts in Haiti and make an impact in this effort. Also, to gain a personal understanding towards proper building techniques in underdeveloped countries in relation to life safety of the population in the event of an earthquake; in order to forward my awareness and understanding so that I can continue to help countries such as Haiti in the future.
Fun Fact: My favorite season is winter because I love snow, and activities that it brings (Snow¬boarding, Skiing..etc.).

Ken O’Dell, Architectural Engineering Alumnus, 1989
I’ve been employed by MHP since the time of my graduation and have worked my way through the organization to become one of the Partners of the firm in 2002.
As a member of the ARCE Advisory Board and the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council as well as having been to Haiti in March 2010, I have a number of goals for this trip:
1) Provide an industry member’s insight to the student group as they look to gain knowledge
outside the University format.
2) Be an “informal” mentor and advocate of the group.
3) Return to Haiti to build on the relationships previously formed with the goal of impacting decision makers as they look to develop new standards for construction. In the effort, I see decision makers” as being those individuals who have the determination to rebuild…this is as simple as the individual with a brick-in-hand to as complicated as the office of the Minister of Public works. 4) Gain additional insight to bring back to organizations in the US (Doug Lowe’s coalition of Universities and Professional Organizations) on how to establish/redefine “Best Practices” for humanitarian and technical support of developing nations.