International Service Project - Cambodia

Service Learning - Cambodia

College of Engineering students travel to Cambodia to support development efforts at the Caramanico School, built by Anne and Thomas Caramanico PE, CE ’71, MSCE ’83. This program focuses on the design and implementation of a model school for demonstrating best-practices in education and sustainability. 

Serivce Learning - Cambodia

A Rewarding Experience

In 2012, engineering student Fernando Rabell ’13 CE was seeking to “change the scope” through which he viewed things when he decided to travel to Bang Lung, Cambodia. There, he immersed himself in the culture, identified the area’s needs (among them, a preschool), and worked with the community to determine how he and fellow Villanova engineers might make a difference. Rabell was inspired to follow up on this experience by making the village’s desired preschool the focus of his senior capstone project.

Serivce Learning - Cambodia

Together with classmates Sean Muirhead, Joaquin Iglesias, Patrick McAlpine and James Matzke, Rabell worked closely with the Caramanico Foundation to design a preschool that integrates the need for early education with a commitment to health and hygiene. In December 2013, Iglesias, McAlpine and VESL Director Jordan Ermilio returned to Cambodia to meet with the in-country contractor, zone the site, and break ground.

In 2014, the team’s preschool design took second place in the SEI (Structural Engineering Institute) Student Structural Design Competition. The students generously donated the $500 prize back to the Caramanico Foundation.

The preschool building has since been completed and now provides a safe and healthy learning environment for more than 80 children.

Learn More

For more information or to help support international service projects, contact Director Jordan Ermilio at or 610-519-6859. You can also make a donation through the University website, designating your gift to “Engineering Service Learning.”