Sarah Arscott ME ’09, who worked tirelessly as an undergraduate engineering student to improve the quality of life for people locally, nationally, and in remote regions of the world, is the 2009 winner of Villanova University’s Thomas J. Mentzer Award. This award is presented to a graduating senior who has contributed significantly, through his or her service, to “expanding opportunities for the poor and marginalized.” The award consists of a cash stipend and an inscribed plaque.
In spring 2006, Arscott assumed leadership of the fledgling Villanova student chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Arscott, along with two fellow engineering students, grew the membership from a handful to nearly 100 registrants. By December, they had planned and executed three student trips to Louisiana and had designed and constructed a playground in one of the communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
That fall and the following fall, the chapter built ramps to help athletes access the awards platform at Special Olympics, another organization for which Arscott volunteered. In May 2007 and again in 2008, she organized EWB trips to Thailand, where the students installed a gravity-flow water system to deliver clean drinking water to an orphanage and several villages.
In spring 2008, Arscott went to Nicaragua to assess and evaluate water-supply projects in Waslala. For several years, she helped coordinate the annual Walk for Water, which raises money for the NGO Water for Waslala. She also initiated a partnership between Water for Waslala and EWB so that the latter could provide direct project development to Waslala.
In April, Arscott received the Dean’s Award for Meritorious Service, which is given to seniors who have been involved in extracurricular or service activities with the College of Engineering for a sustained period, especially if they have demonstrated noteworthy leadership. She has accepted a job at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.