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ASU engineering students who designed a mobile dental clinic for humanitarian outreach in nicaragua were honored during tempe sister cities “making a world of difference” gala

The nearly all female team of engineering students, who call themselves Engineering Smiles, raised enough money to design and build the 24-foot trailer frame, which will be delivered to ASU in January  The students are continuing their fundraising through so they can furnish the unit.

TEMPE, Arizona, October 2016 — Engineering Smiles, the nearly all female team of ASU engineering students who, for the past three years, have designed and are building a mobile dental clinic for student teaching and humanitarian outreach in Nicaragua, will receive an award on Thursday from Tempe Sister Cities in recognition of their humanitarian efforts.

“It is such an honor to receive this recognition for our hard work and humanitarian efforts. We are the first student team to ever be recognized during this event,” said Sara Mantlik, the 22-year-old project manager for the Engineering Smiles team, who will receive the award Thursday, Oct. 6, during Tempe Sister Cities’ “Making a World of Difference” gala at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Mantlik worked with half a dozen other engineering students from ASU to design a 24-foot mobile dental clinic for IMAHelps, a Rancho Mirage, Calif.-based non-profit that organizes humanitarian medical missions in Central and South America.

IMAHelps, which will also be honored at Thursday’s Tempe Sister Cities awards gala, plans to first utilize the mobile dental clinic on humanitarian outreach missions in Southern California before shipping the unit to Nicaragua, where it will be used for student training and humanitarian outreach missions. IMAHelps plans to base the unit at UNICA, a private Catholic university in Managua.

Mantlik said the Engineering Smiles team has raised almost $60,000 out of the needed $83,000 to design and build the 24-foot trailer, which will be outfitted with two dental chairs, a generator and other equipment needed for dental humanitarian services.

West Salem, Wis.-based Becker Custom Trailers is building the trailer frame, including all electrical and plumbing connections, and plans to ship it to the Engineering Smiles team in January using funds the students will raise in the upcoming three months.

The Engineering Smiles team is currently fundraising another $9,000 through so that it can ship the trailer to Phoenix, AZ to be outfitted and also fully furnish one of the two operatories, but needs a total of $24,000 to fully complete the two operatory mobile dental clinic.

“We feel very honored and grateful that Arizona State University students have selected IMAHelps as the recipient for the mobile dental clinic,” said Ines Allen, founder and president of IMAHelps.

She said IMAHelps plans to organize dental missions at various locations across the Coachella Valley using the mobile dental clinic before relocating the unit to Nicaragua.

“We are planning to first give back locally, by providing free dental care to people of Coachella Valley who need it most,” Allen said.

Rancho Mirage, Calif.-based IMAHelps is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that organizes medical and dental missions to underserved populations throughout Latin America. During the past 17 years, IMAHelps has provided medical and dental services to nearly 100,000 patients in Ecuador, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru and Mexico.

Thanks to the generous contributions of almost 100 people, the Engineering Smiles team has been able to purchase the trailer frame which will house the mobile dental clinic and almost all needed dental equipment for one operatory. The team needs your help in order to fully outfit the interior of the trailer with the necessary dental equipment and furnishings. Act now to help the Engineering Smiles and IMAHelps teams to bring much needed dental care to the impoverished people of Nicaragua. Please visit to make your donation.

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