Enjoying a Fall Getaway

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2014

A question I wrestled with when choosing to major in engineering was “If I study engineering, will I have a life outside of homework and exams?” After spending two-and-a-half years in Civil Engineering, I can confidently answer that question with, “Yes it is possible to have a life outside of engineering work.”

This past weekend was a clear example of leaving the real world of work and just enjoying life. Saturday I went to the Circleville Pumpkin show with a group of friends. The pumpkin show is an annual gathering of pumpkin fanatics in a festival-like atmosphere about an hour from Athens. There are rides, food, games, and tons of pumpkin goodness. That includes the World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie, 6 feet in diameter.

World's Largest Pumpkin Pie

Anything you can think of, they’ve made it pumpkin-flavored and I had the opportunity to taste some of it! After sampling through pumpkin chili, elephant ears, coffee, pie, funnel cake, ice cream, and fudge I decided my favorite pumpkin-flavored food was the pumpkin donut from a local bakery named Lindsey’s. The donuts were one-of-a-kind and truly satisfied my taste buds.

After the pumpkin show we camped out at the house of one of my friends. this camping out involved marshmallows, hot dogs, guitar playing, and an overall good time. To top off the night, we all slept in hammocks.

Hammock Camping

After weekends like these, I appreciate the ability to have some free time to get away from engineering and just enjoy the opportunities going to school in this area offers

Finally It’s Fall!

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 19 October 2014

My favorite season of the year seems to finally be here. Fall at Ohio University is a pretty special time. Not only are classes well underway, but also so is college football season.

The last couple of weekends I’ve been able to take a break from my coursework to enjoy some of my favorite fall activities. Last weekend I was able to participate in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology homecoming tailgate. It was a great opportunity to talk with engineering alumni and really get excited for the game. It also doesn’t hurt that students get into the home games for free.

Aside from the beautiful scenery in Southeast Ohio, fall also brings about my favorite holiday of the year: Halloween! Ohio University students really get in the spirit, and every year we have a great celebration with some really unique costumes. Last year I went as Han Solo from Star Wars and met some very interesting people.

I also enjoy carving pumpkins, so this weekend I went to a nearby pumpkin patch with a friend to pick a pumpkin.

Engineer in a Pumpkin Patch

We found an amazing place not too far from Athens, and I think this year I’m going to have an Ohio University or engineering themed carving. I’ve come to find that there are a lot of great places to visit off campus, and as I head into my last year of college I’m really coming to appreciate not just the university, but also what the surrounding area has to offer.

Learning from a Great Advisor

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 2 October 2014

As an incoming freshman, you are paired with a faculty member in your department. It will be your advisor’s duty to help guide you through the process of choosing classes and schedules throughout your time at OU. Sometimes your advisor is the first professor you meet outside a classroom with. You’ll meet your advisor at least one time a semester to go over scheduling classes.

This professor is a huge part of your experience! They become a mentor and are a very important contact to have. If you have questions about changing major, adding minors, adding certificates, adding specific tracks, switching classes, or dropping classes they’re the person to talk to.

My own advisor, Dr. Monica Burdick, has helped me with much more than my classes throughout my four years at OU. Starting my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to work under Dr. Burdick in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department helping with biomedical research experiments. I had a chance to learn about the different options other than classical chemical engineering that you could pursue with my degree.

I was intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the lab and Dr. Burdick’s research. She and her graduate students have helped shape me as an engineer throughout the past couple of years and have also made a huge impact on what I’ve chosen to pursue.

Advisors can be an intimidating first step when coming to OU but these professors are here to help you find out your goals and achieve them! They help and mentor you in many ways throughout the years.

Taking Advantage of Opportunities for Self-Betterment

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 2 October 2014

I was born the youngest child with a brother that always outweighed me by over 80 lbs. As a freshman in high school, I weighed a mere 120 pounds. I figured it was time to do something about it, considering I had been “skinny as a bean pole” if you will, my whole life.

I started with some friends going to work out and lift a few times a week. With an ectomorph body type, adding weight would be nearly impossible without eating everything in sight, in addition to weight training. So, in an effort to actually be effective, that is exactly what I did. I ate everything, and anything high in protein and, well, actually anything. I can say from personal experience there is no better feeling than feeling your body getting stronger. And, of course, seeing your muscles grow is always a plus.

By the time I entered Ohio University I had gained 50 pounds of muscle and had been satisfied with my accomplishments. However, I was not done trying to improve myself–as anyone who lifts can tell you, it can be addicting (in a good way).

With Ohio University having a multi-floor weight room, it was perfect for me to have the space and equipment to allow me to reach peak physical condition. With rooms for different classes such as yoga, jazzercise, and MMA club there are many opportunities for people with all different types of interests to find something that they would enjoy.

There is brand new equipment for the 2014-2015 year including a revamped room with a Crossfit space. It has many squat racks and bars for all the Olympic lifts that you would perform in a Crossfit environment (that I thoroughly enjoy). I also enjoy playing pickup basketball, which occurs during many of the operating hours every single day. With about 4-1/2 full courts, there is usually never a wait for more than 1 game.

There are so many athletic facilities available for students at Ohio University that allow them to improve their health, relieve stress from class, and bond with other students. The ones mentioned above are just a small sample size. There are many other facilities including the Aquatic Center, the golf course, tennis courts, Frisbee golf course, a bike/running path that goes around the entire outer campus, and even Bird Arena, our hockey rink.

The moral of the story is that there is an abundance of fun, self-improving facilities/activities that are available to all students. I have gained ten more pounds of muscle during my time here, achieving my weight goal of 180 pounds. I hope that many others that read this know the great quality of athletic facilities there are here at our school.

My “Brand-New” 1970 GMC K2500

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 30 September 2014

Besides being a college student, one of my hobbies includes restoring antique farm equipment and trucks. This past summer, although I was very busy with my full-time internship, I found time to bring a 1970 GMC K2500 pickup back to life. (I didn’t sleep.) It is 1 of about 6000 made and 1 of few that have survived 44 years of abuse.

1970 GMC K2500

My treasure came from Sisseton, South Dakota, complete with the original dealership decal and 80,000 miles. After contacting the original owner I discovered that it had spent its life as a ranch truck, hauling hogs to market and daughters to school.

After spending countless hours in the shop, all rust was repaired (while maintaining most of the original paint), a completely new suspension and steering system was installed, the complete brake system was upgraded and countless other repairs and upgrades were performed.

1970 GMC K2500

Although the truck has been a large investment of both time and money, it has also been a great source of pride and satisfaction for this engineer-in-training. It seems as though I cannot drive it anywhere without getting a smile on my face or attracting the attention of passers-by.

Dinner with the ChBE Professors

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2014

Last Saturday, the OU Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) held its first “Dinner with the Professors” night of the academic year. Each semester, our organization visits a Chemical Engineering Professor’s house for dinner.

Typically, the first dinner of the year is held at Dr. Ridgway’s house, the advisor of AIChE. The final dinner of the year is the “End of Year Picnic” which is open to all OU Chemical Engineering students.

This year, about 20 ChBEs ranging from freshmen to seniors attended the event in addition to several ChE professors and their spouses. Over the course of the evening, we played cornhole, sat around a warm fire, and spent the evening with friends while listening to music. A couple of pictures from the dinner held at Dr. Ridgway’s are below.

Dinner with ChBE Faculty

Dinner with ChBE Faculty

“Dinner with the Professors” is one of my favorite activities AIChE organizes throughout the year. As a 5th-year senior, I have attended over 10 of these events while at OU. Not only do you have fun with your fellow classmates, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet upperclassmen and bond with your professors outside the classroom. One of my favorite things about OU is the degree we get to know our fellow classmates and faculty because of the smaller class sizes. “Dinner with the Professors” is only one of the many events that provide the opportunity for students to interact with one another as well as with the ChBE faculty.

Battalion Commander of OU’s Army ROTC

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 28 September 2014

This Fall I have the awesome opportunity of being our school’s Army ROTC Battalion Commander, which means I am in charge of the nearly 130 Cadets who are participating in Army ROTC. ROTC stands for the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps and is the largest commissioning source of Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Some of you may have even seen us this past weekend at the football game tailgating at Bicentennial Park!

As a Senior Cadet, I am involved with the planning of all of our training events. Right now, we are planning a weekend Field Training Exercise at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. Some of the events that we have planned include going through an obstacle course, conducting land navigation, and possibly an electronic simulation training which is pretty much a glorified video game, but a great training opportunity nonetheless. We also have the opportunity next month to go to the shooting range and allow our Cadets to qualify with M16 rifles.

The reason why I am enrolled in Army ROTC is due to the fact that I have always desired to serve in the U.S. Army as well as the hope of someday being a helicopter pilot. Being an ETM major and a Cadet has proven to be quite challenging, but just as rewarding as well. I have been able to establish a lot of great friendships in ROTC and within the Russ College that I know will last longer than any job or career I may have ahead of me.

Army ROTC