Travel Team in India

May 2016

Rushil Bakhshi  

Rushil joined BLUElab in Fall of 2014 and his current role on the team is co-lead of the toilets subteam. For the India trip he is really excited to interact with the villagers and partner families to form long lasting bonds. He is also really looking forward to working with the villagers to help facilitate improvements in the village. One word he would use to describe himself is tactful as he is considerate and perceptive to those around him. A unique fact about Rushil is he can sing well.

Anjali Balani

Anjali joined BLUElab Winter of 2016 and is a member of the Stoves team. Since she grew up in the same region of Gujarat that BLUElab India works in, she’s excited to explore the village and work there. She describes herself as adventurous as she has been bitten, burnt, cut, and bruised far too many times by poking, prodding or running towards the wrong animal or object. One unique fact about her is that she feels much more comfortable around animals than humans, since she has spent most of her childhood alone with her animals (3 dogs, 40 birds, and the occasional neighborhood cats and langurs).

Sai Bolla

Sai joined BLUElab Winter of 2015 his freshman year and is currently one of the project leads. He is excited for everything this summer. He is looking forward to working with everyone at the Setco Foundation and Dolatpura. He describes himself as perseverent as he always tries to find a way to achieve goals. One unique fact about Sai is that he can squeak, pop, and crack his shoulder.

Kaylla Cantilina

Kaylla joined BLUElab Fall of 2013 and her current role is design and media advisor. For the India trip she is most excited to hang out in the village and work with all our partners. Also, she loves Indian food and is excited for some genuine chicken tikka. One word she would use to describe herself is restless, because she is always looking for new experiences, places to go, and things to do. A unique fact about Kaylla is she accidentally caught a shark over spring break and didn’t know what to do with it so a random old man walking on the beach helped her unhook it. He turned out to be a treasure hunting diver and now they are friends.

Natasha Desai

Natasha joined BLUElab in the Fall of 2015 her freshman year. She is currently a member of the toilets sub-team and the funding team. She is most excited to meet the partner community and work with them to implement new designs for toilets. One word she would describe herself is ambitious because she really likes to try new things and not back down from obstacles. One unique fact about her is that she has traveled to Nicaragua and Haiti to build school there.

Sarah Rogers

Sarah joined BLUElab in the Fall of 2014 and she is currently one of the Stove team co-leads. She is most excited to finally meet everyone abroad she’s been working with on the projects. She also hopes to have new adventures as well as experience Indian culture. One word to describe Sarah is that she is earnest because when she takes on a project, she commits to completing it to the best of her ability. A fun fact about Sarah is that she is part of the University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Team, and she had 13 years of ballet experience before she joined.

 

Spring Break 2016

Rushil Bakhshi

Garima Gupta

Rohil Hakim

Shilpen Patel

Rachel Ross

Elena Stefanko

 

Summer 2015

Sai “Feeds his pants” Bolla (Traveled 2015) – One of the BLUElab India Co-Leaders, Sai joined the team in Fall 2014. Born in Bhimavaram, India he moved to Grand Rapids at the early age of three. He is fluent in both Telegu and English. He is deeply saddened by his inability to use his Telegu in Gujarat. Sai is a computer science major. He also has a high tolerance to spicy food due to his South Indian background even though he always manages to get something on his clothes. He is a fierce leader who notices details when things are not obvious, and always considers the input and thoughts of everyone on the team.

Erica “Need some……. Tiiiimmmber?” Dombro (Traveled 2013-15) – One of BLUElab India’s Co-Leaders, Erica has been involved with our project since May 2013. She hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, and is studying to be a mechanical engineer. A proud Italian, Erica is a self-titled connoisseur of both tiramisu and lasagna. She loves running, cross country skiing, and freedom of expression.

Shilpen “Prince of Kenya” Patel (Traveled 2015) is our dynamic and wise stoves co-lead. He is a rising sophomore pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. Shilpen joined BLUElab India in Fall 2014. His ability to speak fluent Gujarati has helped us communicate with our partner families as well as develop a personal relationship with them. Born in Tampa, Florida, Shilpen loves watching soccer, football, and hockey as well as going to Tampa Bay Lightning games. He also has family in England, Africa, and India. Shilpen enjoys eating all kinds of vegetarian food, especially when he can mix all the food together.

Zoha “I love golas more than Toyota” Momin (Traveled 2014-15) was the Co-Lead for Toilet and Septic Tanks, and her concentration was in Economics. Zoha was born in Patan, Gujarat but lived in Mumbai until she was four years old. She lived for a while in Toronto, Canada, and then in the fifth grade moved to Houston, Texas, and lives there now even though she hates country music and cowboy boots. Zoha joined BLUElab because of her passion for economic development; she loves India and wants to use her expertise to promote growth around the world. Zoha speaks Gujarati, Hindi, English, and some Spanish. Zoha has an affinity for fashion, enjoys dressing our fabulous co-leader, Erica, and sometimes throws her dumbells down the guesthouse’s four flight balcony while working out every morning. Zoha also has a superpower-like sense of empathy, and can easily pick up on others moods.

Kaylla “Slap people in her sleep…Rajasthan?” Cantilina (Traveled 2015) is an artsy, Indian fashion-loving, member of the Stoves Team, and Rajasthan obsessed Digital Media and Communications Chair. Kaylla joined BLUElab India her freshman year after getting dragged into ceramics consulting on the initial water filtration, and later falling in love with the project and its multidisciplinary process. Originally from New Jersey, she decided to pursue Pre-Law through a Bachelors of Arts in Design and Bachelors of Science in Political Science. She is currently debating her minor program at the University of Michigan. Her interests are very eclectic: She enjoys photography, traveling to places her mother won’t let her travel alone, and occasionally being violent in her sleep. Her socializing skills allow her to be easily approachable. She is very understanding, and in times of crisis, she is not afraid to speak her thoughts.

Summer 2014

Mike “Burns When It’s Cloudy” McGahren-Clemens (Traveled 2014) is our calm, professional, fearless co-leader. In the fall, he will be immersing himself in chemical engineering for a third year. Mike has many admirable qualities. He handles sarcasm well and has a very subtle sense of humor. Because of his dedicated application of sunscreen, when Mike is fifty, he will have the skin of a baby. In his free time, of which there is very little, Mike enjoys running, browsing the interwebs, and scratching the inside of his left elbow. 

Erica “Need some……. Tiiiimmmber?” Dombro (Traveled 2013-15) – One of BLUElab India’s Co-Leaders, Erica has been involved with our project since May 2013. She hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, and is studying to be a mechanical engineer. A proud Italian, Erica is a self-titled connoisseur of both tiramisu and lasagna. She loves running, cross country skiing, and freedom of expression.

Mitchell “Borchers” Borchers (Traveled 2014), straight out of Grand Haven, Michigan, is our adventurous, well-traveled, Education Co-Lead. He has been a member of the team since September 2013, and brings a spontaneous spirit to the group. A rising senior, he is the sole aerospace engineering representative on the team. A four-time marathoner, Mitch loves trail running, and makes some seriously impressive Gouda-infused scrambled eggs. He has lived or traveled in Mexico, Puerto Rico, (now) India, and soon-to-be France. He even speaks a little Spanish. He is well versed in intercultural communication, having been known to yell “Julab!” in relevant situations.

Zoha “I love golas more than Toyota” Momin (Traveled 2014-15) was the Co-Lead for Toilet and Septic Tanks, and her concentration was in Economics. Zoha was born in Patan, Gujarat but lived in Mumbai until she was four years old. She lived for a while in Toronto, Canada, and then in the fifth grade moved to Houston, Texas, and lives there now even though she hates country music and cowboy boots. Zoha joined BLUElab because of her passion for economic development; she loves India and wants to use her expertise to promote growth around the world. Zoha speaks Gujarati, Hindi, English, and some Spanish. Zoha has an affinity for fashion, enjoys dressing our fabulous co-leader, Erica, and sometimes throws her dumbells down the guesthouse’s four flight balcony while working out every morning. Zoha also has a superpower-like sense of empathy, and can easily pick up on others moods.

Brianna “Biryana” LaBelle-Hahn (Traveled 2014), a material science engineering major at the University of Michigan, enjoys reading and writing on a daily basis. As the secretary and lead for water testing, Brianna joined BLUElab India in 2013 as the lead of the Storage Team. Brianna speaks Hindi and enjoys delicious Indian food. Furthermore, she loves baking and cooking Indian food, especially samosas. Her favorite Indian dish is masala dosa. After she finishes her work in India, she plans to continue her summer abroad in South Korea.