Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 8 April 2014 – By the end of my freshman year, I had close friends I had been in class with all year. Some of them had joined an engineering fraternity and somehow convinced me to try it. Theta Tau turned out to be one of the best things I could have gotten involved in at Ohio University and Russ College.
Theta Tau is a professional engineering co-ed fraternity founded in 1904 with the Ohio University, Rho Beta chapter being established in 1988. All different majors in Russ College can join the organization and it’s a great way for different majors to meet each other and learn about different disciplines. The current exec board is composed of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science majors.
It’s also a great organization to learn from older students and seniors in Russ College. Learning leadership skills and gaining experience in organizing and communicating with others are benefits from involvement in Theta Tau. The professional fraternity is involved in community service in the Athens community, professional development activities on campus and also intramural sports.
I’m currently the chair for community service and this year we have helped at the Pawpaw Festival, supported a Good Works Friday Night Life dinner, and will be participating in the Athens B-day.
- The Pawpaw Festival is a community event held at Lake Snowden in honor of Ohio’s state fruit, the pawpaw. Animals are not allowed to be taken in to the festival so the local Friends of the Dog Shelter dog-sit while their owners are able to walk around. We volunteered as a group, watching over and playing with the dogs.
- Good Works puts on a Friday Night Life dinner sponsored by a different group every week. One week this winter, we cooked a chili dinner for 150 community members at Friday Night Life.
- Athens Beatification Day is a large volunteer event organized by OU’s Student Senate which involves over 2,000 students giving back to the Athens community. Theta Tau has participated as a group the past couple of years.
Joining Theta Tau my sophomore year has given me the chance to become close friends with engineers in other disciplines, to learn from seniors in Chemical Engineering and develop some friendships I’m sure will last much longer than our time here at OU.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH dd Month 2014 – Thinking about graduation is becoming all more frequent and all more real. I can’t believe that it is just a few weeks away. My plan for after graduation is to continue onto graduate school and study Biomedical Engineering. Prior to starting graduate school, I have a summer internship in Maine working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I am very excited about both my internship and attending graduate school. The two fields are very different from one another, but I feel like they will both present me with a unique challenge and keep me very engaged, so I look forward to each of them!
Making a decision between getting a job right after graduating and going straight to graduate school as a very tough decision, and one that took me a very long time to make. I went to a job interview after being accepted to graduate school, and the benefits and stability seemed so enticing. But, after thinking it over and talking with a lot of different people all with conflicting opinions, I realized that what I ultimately want to do with my life is help people. The field of Biomedical Engineering is the best avenue I can think of to do that, and graduate school is the first step in doing so. After finally making this big decision, I am very happy to have the stress of not knowing what I will be doing next year off of my shoulders!
Senior, Computer Science
Athens, OH 30 March 2014 – As summer gets closer and the semester comes to an end, the stress of finals and final projects builds up. At times it can seem overwhelming but by the grace of God I seem to be keeping my head above the immense pile of work I have. One of the things that helps keep me motivated is looking at the bigger picture. If I focus on the amount of work I have and the little time I have to do it I can become discouraged, but if I look past the terror of finals week I start to see the purpose behind my efforts I am much more relaxed and productive. For me, one of the lights at the end of the tunnel is my upcoming co-op.
A co-op is kind of like an internship that focuses more on hands-on experience and training in your field. They are typically longer than an internship and are always paid. This summer I have been blessed with the opportunity to co-op at a company called Ariel Corporation. Ariel is the world’s largest manufacturer of separable reciprocating gas compressors. Although gas compressors are mostly dealt with by mechanical engineers, the nice thing about a computer science degree is that you are needed anywhere and everywhere. Ariel has some web services that I will be working with and possibly other areas as well. I am not entirely sure what all I will be doing, but I know that whatever I end up doing I will gain a lot of great experience and have a lot of fun doing it. (Not to mention getting paid to do it too!)
Athens, OH 25 March 2014 – The Ohio University chapter of Women in Aviation, International (WAI) recently returned from our trip to the annual WAI Conference. This year it was held in Orlando, Florida at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort, which was beautiful! The conference offers the opportunity to connect with professionals in the aviation industry, to attend educational sessions, and to get interviewed by companies such as major airlines and corporate flight departments. Every aviation discipline was represented, from maintenance to flight schools to research to the Federal Aviation Administration. The students who attended this year explored job options after graduation and networked with people who can mentor them and help them further their career. We met many inspiring people!
Personally, the conference offered me the chance to reconnect with pilots and recruiters who I have met at past conferences, and I made many new friends and mentors who gave me great professional advice as I prepare to graduate and begin my career. I also got several job offers through networking and by talking to the right people. We also had the chance to train in a high altitude chamber and feel the true effects of hypoxia, which is valuable training for pilots. The conference was a very rewarding and beneficial experience this year!
Senior, Civil Engineering
Athens, OH 25 March 2014 – This weekend is the Ohio Valley Student Conference, a conference where schools like Ohio State, Youngstown State, Pitt, and Ohio University compete in civil engineering based competitions.
You may have heard of the concrete canoe and steel bridge, but I’m part of a smaller regional environmental competition. Every year teams are challenged to treat a polluted sample of water that is relevant to current environmental policy issues. Competitions have included treating drinking water contaminated with manganese, hydraulic fracturing flow back water contaminated with toxic metals, and simulated storm water runoff with high levels of orthophosphate.
This year, we have been challenged to create a treatment system from materials available at any local hardware store to treat simulated flue gas desulfurization (FGD) water. The water is not actual process water, because high levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide and toxic metals are present. The goal of the treatment process is to reduce the level of calcium present in the water and, if possible, reduce conductivity of the water while maintaining an acceptable pH.
The challenge is difficult, but necessary, as the EPA may begin to impose stricter outfall permits on FGD landfills. These landfills are part of all modern coal-burning power plants and are necessary to reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide released during the combustion of coal. Chances are an environmental engineer working in the Ohio Valley region, known for its coal deposits, will work with FGD in their career. I’m excited to see all the different methods for treating this contaminant.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH 24 March 2014 – As my senior year comes to a close, with only 5 weeks left in the semester, I realize that choosing Ohio University was the best decision I have ever made. I admit, it was one of the hardest, but it was definitely the right one. Leaving home is never as easy as we all pretend it will be, but this school has granted me with so many opportunities to shine and grow into the person I wanted to be; the person I have become. It is where I call home, and now we all are leaving home again.
Not only is it one of the most beautiful places (Just look at that engineering building!), but there is no doubt in my mind that I have met some of the most fantastic people here in Athens.
This includes my roommates, my neighbors, my mechanical engineering friends, coworkers, and even my professors. I have been able to make lifelong friendships and connections here that have truly been astonishing.
As I look back on the memories I have made from freshman year until now, I really can’t believe that I am graduating. There is so much to be thankful for as I look forward to a new adventure in my life. Without the support of my OU family, I would not have been able to accomplish all that I have. I am grateful to all those who have come into my life in the past 4 years.
Crazy to think how such a small town can have such a large impact on an individual’s life. Believe me when I tell you, coming to OU was the best decision I have ever made and I have all the success stories in the world to prove it.
Athens, OH 14 March 2014 – One of my favorite times of the year as a college student is Spring Break. Whenever this time comes around, I can’t wait to go to Breckenridge, Colorado, with my family for some downhill skiing and time together. It takes a little time to get used to the elevation change–9,000 at Breckenridge compared to Ohio’s average of 800 feet, but I usually adjust quickly.
Breckenridge actually reminds me quite a bit of Athens, with its main street lined with small businesses and restaurants. There are also many unique venues to explore while trying to recover after a long day of boarding or skiing. Each year when we visit, we have a family tradition of walking down Main Street after dinner to the small outdoor Crepe A La Cart, where we all get our favorite variety of dessert.
When I began skiing during my junior year of high school, I found that many skiing skills were transferable from my years of playing hockey. It helped me to develop some decent skiing skill on downhill trails. After taking some lessons, I progressed from green trails up to the lower level black diamond courses.
Now, I can take on the steeper, upper altitude bowls and peaks that can range from 10,000 to 13,000 feet. This year, I covered more terrain than I had ever before–skiing from one mountain boundary all the way to the other side, covering 5 different peaks and a variety of runs along the way. Skiing is a great way to enjoy the mountains and to get away from the demands of school.