Staying Present for Senior Year

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 November 2018

“Time flies,” is a phrase everyone has not only heard, but experienced firsthand. I don’t know if time is “flying” faster as I get older, but it sure seems like it. It is coming up on the close of fall semester, and I still can’t even believe I am a
senior! Where did the past three years go?

In order to make the most of my remaining time here in Athens, I am on a mission to stay present. Practicing mindfulness is a habit that I believe everyone should partake in, especially my fellow seniors. It is so easy to get caught up in homework, projects, research, etc., and before you know it it’s mid-November! However, by practicing mindfulness, I have been able to slow down the endless ticking of the clock. (Or at least feel like I have!)

I am intentionally looking around the buildings I walk through every day, and noticing different things each time. I am enjoying being constantly surrounded by friends and peers, because I know getting together with them is going to be exponentially harder this time next year. I am taking advantage of having brilliant professors at my fingertips, and am soaking up as much of their knowledge and wisdom as possible. I am allowing the nostalgia to creep in! Hopefully May graduation takes its time coming around the corner.

Take a step back and “zoom out” on your routine. You just might see things in a new light!

ME Senior Capstone: Popping Amaranth Seeds

Tanner Wick

Tanner Wick,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 November 2018

For my mechanical engineering senior capstone project, our team is looking at ways to commercially pop amaranth seeds! This “pseudocereal” pops like popcorn but is much smaller in size. Amaranth is grown around the Athens region and throughout South America. The reasons why amaranth is exciting is because it has high nutritional content and a resistance to drought.

We are following the engineering design process throughout the project. Our team has met with a customer and developed a list of specifications the popper needs to meet.

Next, we have created “rapid prototypes” of design ideas. After many successful (and unsuccessful) tests, the team has now moved onto an advanced prototype. This prototype is a tall metal tube with a hot air stream blowing through it. Seeds are dropped into the tube, heated, popped, and then pushed out the top of the system by the air. We then collect the popped amaranth to weigh (and taste!).

Before determining the final project design, the team is testing all variables to determine the optimal pop settings. Variables include air temperature, air flow rate, amaranth input rate, and tube length.

Before winter break, the team is going to present a detailed design report and budget to the engineering faculty and our customer. Next semester will be spent manufacturing, testing, and delivering the product!

My trip to Maryland to See a Band Called “The Maine”

Maggie Allen

Maggie Allen,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 November 2018

Aside from being an engineering student, I frequently attend concerts, many of which are for a band called The Maine.

I started listening to The Maine in 7th grade and have been following them ever since, from concerts on the East Coast to a cactus-framed festival in the southwestern desert.

Last month, my sister and I traveled to Silver Spring, Maryland for a ‘funeral’ concert which was a farewell to their latest album, ‘Lovely Little Lonely’.

Lovely Little Lonely

My sister and I made a trip out of the weekend and explored the city of Silver Spring as well as the University of Maryland (where my sister is planning on conducting her post-doc research after she finishes her PhD).

n Saturday night, we got dressed up in our red attire (since the album’s theme was red, the show was a ‘red out’) and made our way to the venue. Lined up outside the venue were hundreds of people all dressed in red, many of whom had traveled across the country and even a few who traveled from all over the world! Like a funeral procession, we entered the venue, leaving roses to pay our respects to the end of an era.

Lovely Little Lonely

By the time The Maine came on, the sold-out venue was packed full of 2000 fans from around the world. The band played 19 songs spanning their entire discography with the crowd singing along to every word.

Lovely Little Lonely

After the show, I talked with members of the band and met with friends who I knew from years of these shows. Even after 23 shows over 8 years, the feeling I get at these shows never changes. The way my heart leaps when they come on stage, the happiness I feel when I see a familiar face, and the feeling of home no matter where I am; it makes the sleep deprivation, midnight project sessions, and all the school stress that come after completely worth it.

Autumn Hikes around Athens

Julia Nebbia

Julia Nebbia,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 5 November 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Bobcats! Autumn is upon us! Athens is glowing with endless colorful hills and the weather is just right for early morning walks to class.

Autumn in Athens

Fall has always been my favorite season for several reasons: my November birthday, the trees, spooky Halloween activities, the endless outfit options, and so much more. One of my most beloved fall activities is going for hikes around campus. As a former cross-country runner, the bike path along the Hocking River became my best friend freshman year.

Autumn in Athens

The hocking river has been my escape from stress and anxious Sundays for the past five years. Every so often I even find myself running through the brick roads of the ridges while the red and orange leaves fall upon my path. While some find the Ridges to be creepy and eery, I have always found peace in the quiet roads and old buildings.

Autumn in Athens

Recently I’ve been taking short walks around Emeritti Park to sit and reflect on the week ahead and sometimes walk through my old stomping grounds of South Green to reminisce. The fresh air is therapeutic before sitting down to finish up any last minute homework before Monday rolls around. After our long fall weekends, (Homecoming, HallOUween, and dad’s weekend) a Sunday hike is the only thing that can clear my head and make me appreciate this beautiful campus before I have to say my goodbyes in May.

My advice to any Bobcat is to get out there and explore! This campus has plenty of beauty to offer and the fall season brings out the best of it.

Fall in Athens

Jason Wherry

Jason Wherry,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 4 November 2018

Fall Semester is my favorite time to be in Athens for endless reasons. To name a few in particular, Homecoming weekend and Halloween weekend have always been memorable. Alumni trek back to their old stomping ground for the parade and the football game during Homecoming weekend. Similarly, people flood the streets of Athens for Halloween weekend as the city population triples for two days.

Located in the Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau, Athens does not disappoint when it comes to the beauty of changing seasons. Vibrant leaves fill the sky with color before they participate in their annual autumn leaf drop.

As these natural changes take place, it reminds me of another phenomenon of the Fall semester; the growth, intellectually and socially, of the first-semester Freshmen. Starting with Welcome weekend in late August, I observe the first-year students develop a sense of who they are and what they want to accomplish as they embark on their journey at Ohio University.

For most college students, this is the biggest lifestyle transition they have ever experienced. Furthermore, living on your own and being responsible for making all of your decisions shows one’s true colors. Personally, Athens has been a great environment for me to learn, grow, and explore as a student.

ME Senior Capstone

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 2 November 2018

This year, I am taking the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design course, which is more commonly referred to as Senior Design. It is the finale of the mechanical engineering curriculum.

The class is centered around a project that is supposed to mimic a real-world engineering project. This means it goes through all stages of project development, including proposal, feasibility analysis, prototype design, and multiple design/budget reviews. This process culminates in Demo Day, where the final products are presented to the clients and professors.

I am a part of a five-person team tasked with developing a uninhabited aerial system (UAS) capable of taking temperature and pressure measurements in a pre-tornadic storm. This project is sponsored by Dr. Jana Houser, a meteorology professor at Ohio University.

The overarching goal is to further understand the development of tornadoes by studying the composition of the rear flank downdraft, a region within storms that have the potential to turn into tornadoes. If successful, this will help improve early warning systems.

From gaining a working meteorological knowledge to reading through countless FAA
regulations, this project has not been without challenge. However, this is not a complaint—this class is designed to be a fundamental part of the process of becoming a real engineer. I have high hopes that this lofty goal will become a reality. On top of this, I have had a great deal of fun working with my team through the first quarter of this project.


Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 1 November 2018

In my last blog post, I talked about my passion for health and fitness and how I found my fit here at Ohio University through CHAARG (Changing Health Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls).

During this time of year, I usually focus more on another fitness aspect in my
routine in addition to CHAARG—yoga. Fall is my favorite season (with November being my favorite month) and during this time of change I really try and reflect on my year and mypersonal growth through the practice of yoga.

Yoga has been a favorite of mine since I first tried it with my mom in sixth grade. As I grew older, it turned into something I wanted to be doing every day. My yoga studio at home, Chagrin Yoga, became like a second home to me. Yoga has always offered me a space and practice where I can unwind, focus, and free my mind for a while (not to mention the great health benefits that have been proven to come from it!)

There are many different forms of yoga, each with a different style of practice. Some of my personal favorites include Power Vinyasa, Barre, Buti, and Yin Yoga.

When I came to Ohio University I feared that I wouldn’t find a place that offered yoga. I was pleased to find out that the group fitness classes at Ping Recreation Center offer a variety of different yoga classes that are free to students. In addition to these, there are also several yoga studios around the Athens area, such as Athens Yoga and Inhale Yoga Studio. There are also
classes offered every Wednesday at the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

Yoga is a practice that anyone can participate in, and I encourage anyone who is interested to try it out! Who knows, maybe you will become as passionate as I am about it.