By Marc Ransford, Ball State University Blog

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck northern California, recent Ball State University architecture alumnus Ege Yener turned to the organizational and teambuilding skills he learned in college to assist the area’s healthcare workers and emergency responders.

Armed with only an Excel spreadsheet and an Instagram account, he started a movement to use privately owned 3D printers to create masks and protective gear for first responders and healthcare workers in the San Francisco and Los Angeles area.

The 28-year-old put out a call on an Instagram account, organizing people with 3D printers.  Within days he was delivering newly minted equipment to organizations around the Bay Area.

“One of the best things I learned at Ball State was how to organize and create high functioning teams,” said Yener, ’15, who works at Siegel and Strain Architects in Emeryville, Calif. “Ball State is a huge part of my life. I learned about teamwork, getting people organized, and moving things forward.”

He joined forces with a few close friends to establish a local brand of the 3D Collaborative and creating a website, where they solicit donations to pay for materials and distribution of the masks.

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