Sources: DeeAnn Turpin, turpind@k-state.edu;
and LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin, lbaldwin@k-state.edu, 785-532-5949
Hometown interest: Leavenworth
Photo available: http://www.k-state.edu/media/images/dec11/turpin122211.jpg
Cutline: DeeAnnTurpin helps distribute parasitic worm prevention medication to Guatemalan schoolchildren in March 2011.
News release prepared by: Tyler Sharp, 785-532-2535, tmsharp@k-state.edu

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011

A service-oriented scholar: Senior from Leavenworth named one of new faces of college engineering

MANHATTAN -- DeeAnn Turpin is passionate about creating a more sustainable environment.

For Turpin, a Kansas State University senior in biological systems engineering from Leavenworth, this passion began early. From a young age she sought out opportunities to reduce waste and to assist others in doing the same. When she arrived at the university that passion translated into an active involvement with the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Trips with the organization to India, Guatemala and Ecuador to aid in the development of sustainable water systems have been coupled with a myriad of volunteer projects at the university.

These efforts and Turpin's scholastic achievements are drawing a special recognition.

Turpin has been honored by the inaugural New Faces of Engineering College Edition program. This recognition program is led by the National Engineers Week Foundation. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the National Council of Examiners provide funding for the honor.

The New Faces of Engineering College Edition program promotes the accomplishments of third-, fourth- and fifth-year engineering students by highlighting their academic success and student contributions to the industry and participating engineering society. The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers honored Turpin.

The society highlighted Turpin's work with the university's student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit organization committed to humanitarian efforts around the world. Turpin traveled with the organization to India in 2009 to help develop a sustainable, electricity-free rainwater harvesting system, among other services. In 2011 she helped distribute and install water filters in Panajachel, Guatemala. The organization will travel to Yakunay, Ecuador, in 2012 for the design of a new water system, installation of water filters and other tasks aimed at reducing the waste and improving health and nutrition.

Turpin calls the recognition a huge honor.

"I'm very, very proud to represent Kansas State University and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Engineers Without Borders," she said. "This is a great school and a great opportunity for not only my accomplishments to be recognized, but what great opportunities and organizations are available at K-State."

Along with Engineers Without Borders, Turpin also has been active with the Students for Environmental Action and created Give It Up For Good, a campuswide program aimed at reusing items. As part of the program, areas are provided in the lobby of each residence hall floor for students to donate reusable, unwanted items. The items are then sold, and the money is donated to local charities. In May 2011, $2,500 was raised, and the remaining items were recycled. The Give It Up for Good program includes a partnership with the Manhattan United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

In addition to her frequent volunteerism, Turpin is an accomplished student. She is a member of the Multicultural Engineering Program and Alpha Epsilon, an engineering honor society reserved for the top 30 percent of engineering students.

LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin, director of the university's Multicultural Engineering Program, says Turpin's success and achievements are tied to her passion for bettering the environment and helping others.

"She is focused, enthusiastic, strategic and has great skills in engaging others in the initiatives that she supports," Bitsie-Baldwin said. "DeeAnn is one to watch as she continues through her engineering career, and that is what makes the New Faces of Engineering Award especially fitting of her achievements."

After graduating from K-State, Turpin plans to earn a master's degree. She hopes to work in industry on renewable energy or on sustainability-based projects.