Category Archives: Engineering Ambassadors

A Little Community Service

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 11 April 2017

Similar to the Adopt-a-Highway program around the United States, the City of Athens has an “Adopt-a-Street” program. As a community service, the Engineering Ambassadors have adopted Franklin Avenue near uptown Athens.


A few times a year, we gather on Franklin Avenue and do a trash pick-up. It’s a time for us to get together, have some fun, enjoy each other’s company, and do something good for the community. Though the street is never too dirty, we try and schedule a clean-up directly following a big weekend when there has been a larger-than-usual crowd in town.

This semester we did the clean-up twice. It never takes too long—about 30 minutes—and none of us mind doing it. Franklin Avenue is far enough off campus that it has a mixture of both students and full-time Athens residents, so I’m sure the full-time residents appreciate the street being cleaned.

It’s easy for us to get lost in our busy schedules and kind of put community service to the side. I know that I’m guilty of doing that from time to time. But then I’m reminded of how good I feel after participating in bettering the community that I live in. So to all of the Engineering Ambassadors that helped myself and the community this year by participating in the Franklin Avenue clean-up, I commend you and I’m excited for this tradition to continue.

Volunteering at the Community Dinner

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 31 March 2017

One important role of an engineering ambassador is to give back to the community. Earlier this month, some of us volunteered at the Church of Christ’s community dinner. Every Tuesday they host an open and free meal, to the public.

For an event like this, they have a lot of roles to fill, and that’s where we came in! Some ambassadors worked earlier on in the day prepping the food, but I got to work the later shift where we got to serve the food and get to know some of the community members.

Serving Food

When I first arrived we were greeted by all of the members of the church. We were then shown around the kitchen, and were assigned positions along the serving table.

The menu that night consisted of breakfast burritos, along with all of the traditional breakfast sides and a choice of dessert. Some of us were assigned to the meats. Some were assigned to the burrito toppings. Since it was Pi Day, there was peach pie for dessert. I got to pass out the hash browns and French fries.

When the dinner started, we got to talk with all of the community members as they walked through the line. After everyone was served, we were able to join them. I heard different life stories and connected with some of the people in just the short amount of time I was there.

It was such a rewarding experience because we got to know and give back to the community. All of the church volunteers were so kind and welcoming, which is why I think the whole event was such a success!

Etiquette Dinner

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 30 January 2017

Last Wednesday, a group of Engineering Ambassadors gathered in Baker University Center along with other engineering students for dinner of professional etiquette training. As many students in the Russ College will have multiple opportunities to attend professional dinners, it is important to know how to conduct oneself.

There were about forty students in attendance, dressed in business professional attire. A three-course meal of soup and salad; chicken and pasta; and dessert was served.

During the dinner, a representative from the Career and Leadership Development Center helped students understand how to properly conduct themselves during each stage of the meal. As each course was served, she discussed some important things that should be kept in when dining under professional circumstances.

One of the things that was emphasized from the beginning of the night was the importance of continuing to converse with those at the table. Also, being sure to take cues from the host of the meal was another point of emphasis. Something that is often overlooked is the fact that certain foods can be particularly difficult to eat in a professional manner. Though these may be tempting to order, students were advised to stay away from ordering these foods when trying to make a good impression.

This event not only provided a nice three-course meal but also gave students an opportunity to learn important professional skills. Having a professional meal can often be intimidating. This event allowed Russ College students to gain confidence in their ability to stay professional in an environment where food is being served.

Regional Future City Competition

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 January 2017

Last Saturday, five Russ College of Engineering and Technology Ambassadors traveled to Columbus to assist in the Ohio Region Future City Competition hosted at Columbus State University. The Future Cities Competition is a project-based competition where students are asked to design, model, document, and present what they believe the cities of the future may look like. It challenges 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to innovate and improve upon modern technologies, and imagine their own technologies to create a more sustainable and ecofriendly city.

Future City

The Engineering Ambassadors’ role in this event was to assist in the judging of both the specific awards, such as use of transportation, public spaces, utilities, and zoning, as well as assisting in judging the students’ overall presentation. The judging done by the Ambassadors in this regional competition was used to help select the group of students who will represent Ohio in the final competition in Washington, DC.

Attending and assisting in this event helped show the Ambassadors’ and the Russ College’s commitment to helping the community and showing support for the future generations of engineers. In addition, it helped the schools networking efforts by connecting with other alumni, parents, corporations, and foundations. It also introduced Ohio University and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology to some of the brightest young students who may one day be looking for an engineering school to attend.

Meet the Ambassadors Event

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 11 November 2016

On Wednesday, November 9th, the Russ College Engineering Ambassadors hosted a “Meet the Ambassadors” event. The goal of this event was to receive feedback and concerns from the current students for different things around the Russ College such as facilities, courses, and extracurricular organizations. The students gave their feedback by writing the feedback on a Post-It note and putting it on the white board in the room.

Pizza and beverages were provided at the event in exchange for the feedback. This was a great and unique way for the ambassadors to find out about some issues around the Russ College from different students’ perspectives in all majors. This was also a great opportunity to explain to students who the Ambassadors are and what we do.

Meet the Ambassadors

Another added benefit to this event was that the Ambassadors now have great feedback to relay to Dean Irwin when we have lunch with him. Usually the feedback we give come from the Ambassadors’ perspectives but now we have suggestions from a lot of different students. Improving the Russ College experience for students is very important to the Ambassadors and this event was one step forward by receiving input from many students.

Freshman Welcome Dinner

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 2 September 2016

With the start of every new school year, all of the new faces within engineering are welcomed by the engineering community and this year was no different. The freshman welcome event held by the Russ College of Engineering is a fun and great way for the freshman to get to know one another and their professors.

This event allows for the hundreds of new engineering students to interact with upperclassmen who show off their current projects, competition teams, student organizations and so on. These student organizations and project teams at the event this year consisted of anything from concrete canoe to the rocket club to the human powered car. It just goes to show how much there is to do outside of the classroom and everyone can find something that interests them.

Rocket Club

Human-Powered Vehicle

Along with seeing how one can get involved outside the classroom, the event provided a tour of both Stocker Center and the Academic Research Center to the new students. It’s rather cool to me to have the opportunity to be one of the first interactions that a new student has with the engineering community at OU.

After the tour and interaction with the current students, we headed to Baker University Center to have dinner. At the dinner the tables were arranged by major and at every table sat an engineering ambassador and a faculty member from the major.

Dr. McAvoy

At this point, we (as engineering ambassadors) really got to bond and build relationships with the freshman and for most of us, this is the best part of the night. After dinner, the associate dean of academics Dr. McAvoy gave a presentation on what to expect in the next four to five years here at the Russ College of Engineering. The event is something unique to experience and I hope that everyone that attends feels the same way.

Engineering Ambassador Corporate Trip

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 22 October 2015

The Russ College provides a corporate trip for the Engineering Ambassadors each year. This year, we traveled to Charlotte, NC. The purpose of the trip is to enlighten the ambassadors about the opportunities available after college, develop professional connections, and reconnect with alumni.

On the second day of our trip, we toured a power plant. After taking several pictures of the plant, we made time to absorb the vast side of the factory and bond as a group. It was amazing to witness the energy being developed and then be told how much they actually produced for North Carolina.

For lunch, we visited with an alumnus that currently leads a large department in Home Depot. He presented on his career after Ohio University. He advised us to take positions in your career that nobody wanted; it shows management you’re up for the challenge. It could be the position that gets you to the position you desire. If you succeed, great, but if you fail, it still shows management your ambition to try.

He also advised us not to settle into a career; keep working for your dream career. Also, when it comes to salary discussions, have one. Do not just take the first offer. If the company is going to hire you, you are a valuable asset to their company. Ask for a small amount more, most likely you will get it. Since he is a manager and designates salaries quite often, we all took his advice seriously.

After lunch, we traveled to a company that creates manufacturing parts. A human resource manager gave us advice on understanding YOUR company culture.

  • Do you prefer a creative environment or more private and independent?
  • Do you prefer to be pushed at full capacity or a more relaxed setting?

This is important in understanding where you will fit. Your interests and the company’s must align if you are going to be satisfied in your job.

All in all, the knowledge I gained from these speakers will continue with me through my career. I will always research a company’s culture before I go to apply and if I am ever offered a position, I will be confident when discussing my salary.