Sienna George, helping to bring clean water to Honduran and Panamanian communities
Sienna George ’13 is pursuing a double major in chemical engineering and toxicology, with a minor in global health. Although she’s focused on achieving academic success―as president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers student chapter, member of the Society of Women Engineers, recipient of the 2012 Priscilla Guthrie World-Class Engineer Award―she’s also passionate about using what she’s learned in the classroom to improve the lives of others.
Sienna is an active member of Water Brigades, Penn State’s chapter of Global Brigades, the world's largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. The Penn State chapter systematically works with more than 300 other university groups around the world to deliver and implement one of nine skill-based programs to benefit more than 130,000 Honduran and Panamanian community members annually.
In March 2012, Sienna and other Water Brigade volunteers spent seven days in Honduras, in a community with limited access to a sufficient quantity and quality of clean water. There, she and her teammates deployed a water system to increase access and quantity of water and prevent communicable illnesses in communities with limited access to clean water. Additionally, Water Brigade partnered with the community’s Basic Sanitation Committee to provide education and training about proper water use and proper sanitation and hygiene practices. This effort was part of a collaboration with Sociedad Amigos de los Niños, an non-profit organization in Honduras led by Sister Maria Rosa Leggol, a recent nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sienna plans to graduate in the summer of 2013. She will have completed an internship with Hoffman LaRoche Pharmaceuticals, three co-op terms with Dow Chemical, and traveled abroad with the Global Water Brigades twice and the Global Health minor once. Looking forward, Sienna intends to pursue a graduate degree in the field of public health while working in industry.