Madison Haley

madison healy

Madison Haley remembers her visit to GW as a high school student. She remembers seeing the nearby Peace Corps headquarters and saying to her mom, “What if I could work at the Peace Corps in college?” During that visit, she also remembers saying, “What if I joined Engineers Without Borders?” As it turns out, she did both—and more.

Madison tutored at School Without Walls, a secondary school adjacent to GW’s Foggy Bottom campus, during her first three semesters at SEAS and then studied abroad in South Korea during the spring semester of her sophomore year. During her junior year she worked as a research assistant in Dr. Samer Hamdar’s Transportation Engineering Laboratory, and last fall, she served as a teaching assistant (TA) in a civil engineering course taught by Dr. Sameh Badie.

“Being a TA was one of the most rewarding experiences, because I was given a lot of responsibility. I wanted to make the professor proud and make sure the students succeeded,” Madison says. “Professor Badie was really incredible in that he challenged me to work hard, but he was very supportive, too.”

Madison rounded out these experiences with a range of other activities that all relate to her primary interest, engineering and public health. First among them has been Engineers Without Borders (EWB). She’s been involved with it throughout her four years, and in January, she participated in a project assessment trip to India, which she and junior Sophia Ertel co-led.

Most of Madison’s other college activities contributed to her work on the EWB team by giving her supporting knowledge and experiences. From a summer internship with a county department of health office and a job working for a water resources engineering firm, to an alternative break trip to Puerto Rico to learn about sustainable agriculture, Madison built on her understanding of public health and the impact engineers can have on it.

Reflecting on what she’s been able to accomplish during these four years, she notes, “I came to GW; I worked at Peace Corps for a year; and I led a group of students to a brand new EWB project in India. I never thought that would all be possible coming into college.”