Interim Director of the Collaboratory
Interim Director of the Collaboratorydflemmens@messiah.edu 717.796.1800 ex. 6810
Engineering Projects Manager of the Collaboratory
Engineering Projects Manager of the Collaboratorydplante@messiah.edu 717.796.1800 ex. 3004
Dereck Plante has recently joined the Collaboratory as Engineering Projects Manager. A Massachusetts native, he has lived in the Worcester, Cape Cod, and Boston areas. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Eastern Nazarene College and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He also holds a certificate in Biblical Studies from University of the Nations. His career has been divided between industry, academia, and missions work. After first having spent a month working with abandoned children in Romania as a college student, his worldview was changed forever. Post-graduation, he returned to Romania with his wife, Lea, to serve with Veritas Romania in both a technical role and in direct support to abandoned and disabled children in the Transylvania region. More recently, Dereck, Lea, and their two children have studied and served with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Hawai’i and Cambodia.
Administrative Assistant and Logistics Advisor to the Collaboratory
Administrative Assistant and Logistics Advisor to the Collaboratoryswalker@messiah.edu 717.796.1800 ex. 5216
Shannon joined the Collaboratory team in 2013. In addition to serving as the Administrative Assistant to the Collaboratory office, she also works as the Collaboratory logistics advisor where she oversees the coordination and fundraising efforts of Collaboratory site team trips. Shannon perpetuates a life of service at the Collaboratory. Ministering as a music evangelist with her husband Kris for 15 years in the U.S. and abroad, the Walkers partnered with Worldserve International drilling wells in Africa, raising awareness of water deprivation, and encouraging churches to assist with well-drilling. They also assisted African communities through building projects, such as churches and health facilities.
Student Director of the Collaboratory
Student Director of the Collaboratorycollaboratory@messiah.edu 717.796.1800 ex. 7226
Damaris is a Senior Engineering student, concentrating in Mechanical Engineering. She joined the Collaboratory in the fall of 2013 and began working with the Garden Water Access Project (now the Mechanized Percussion Well Drilling project). Damaris is from Barto, Pennsylvania and enjoys spending time with family, running, and the outdoors. Some of her favorite Collab memories include: well drilling with her Collaboratory team, mornings in the LOFT for Prayer Breakfasts, and running through the rain with Elizabeth (Bashore) Davis ’16 and Rodney Green (former Program Manager).
Assistant Student Director of the Collaboratory
Assistant Student Director of the Collaboratorycollabad@messiah.edu 717.796.1800 ex. 7226
Jessica is a junior electrical and computer engineering major from Delmont, Pennsylvania. In June 2011 she had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico.
It was here that her eyes were opened for the first time to the reality of poverty and she began to be interested in mission and development work. When a return trip was diverted at the last minute, she ended up meeting a missionary serving on an Apache reservation in Arizona, who gave her the unforgettable advice that “people can be your passion”. This idea was the catalyst to her pursuit of a major where she could help those in need, and God eventually led her into engineering. With her heart set on helping people and a brain wired towards problem solving, the Collaboratory’s vision became hard to pass up. She therefore found herself at Messiah College, where she joined the Solar PV project September of her freshman year. Through this project, she was given the opportunity to go on a site team trip in May 2015 and help the team implement a solar panel system at the Theological College of Zimbabwe. Since, she has continued to be inspired by the Collaboratory and feels blessed to have the opportunity to join in the work God is doing through it. When she is not doing Collaboratory work, she enjoys doing various art projects (especially drawing), reading, working with kids at her church, and beating her brothers in board games.