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Student Creates Innovative Water System, Attributes Success to Faith

Evan Leeson

Adam Wilson - published on 12/04/13

A student of the University of St. Thomas recently created a cost-effective water filtration system for underprivileged countries, crediting his innovation to his faith foundation.

University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., says that its Cameron School of Business is educating students to be "leaders of faith and character" by giving them the training needed to act ethically and responsibly in the business world.

As a case in point, UST recently featured on its website an initiative by business student Andres Cuellar to create a cost-effective water filtration system for underprivileged countries.

Cuellar, an MBA candidate, was given an assignment to create a business plan in an emerging market.  Cuellar and his team researched and created an electricity-free water filtration system using only local materials such as clay, sawdust and plastic.  Since starting the project last spring, he has traveled to the Philippines to perform a feasibility study.  A business leader even reached out to offer coaching money and resources to assist the project.

Cuellar described the impact his faith and attending UST have had on his success:

"I think it all comes down to allowing God to work in your life,” Cuellar said. “For me, it is very important to do my best in what I can control and let God influence the other things out of my reach. I had heard a handful of stories in the newspapers about investors promoting and helping students fund a company. It was something that I thought was very far-fetched. I have to pinch myself at times as I reflect on how far this project has gone. I feel truly blessed.”

Cuellar is only one example of how the Cameron School of Business is educating leaders of faith and character and equipping them with the skills necessary to enter the business world as ethical and socially responsible leaders.

“I used to be a believer that education was just a title, a means of acquiring a piece of paper that you needed in order to embark into a full time job,” Cuellar said. “However, in the past two years I have noticed the value of the education at St. Thomas. Not only has it provided me with a technical background, but also with critical and analytical thinking skills, encouraging me to be innovative, creative and to pursue my own interests.”

University of St. Thomas in Houston is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

Originally published by The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily on 3 December 2013.

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