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.

2016 Corporate Trip, Day 2

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 21 October 2016

From Sunday through Tuesday of this past week, we went on our fall corporate trip to Cincinnati. Last year, I was unable to attend the trip because I had commitments for the Marching 110, but I felt extremely lucky to have been able to make it this time around. On our last day in Cincinnati, we visited two different organizations: ThyssenKrupp Bilstein and GE Aviation.

The OU alumn at Thyssenkrup Bilstein, Jason, is actually married to Shelley Heinen, who was our guide on Monday at 84.51. The two companies could not have been more different: ThyssenKrupp is a heavy-duty manufacturing plant while 84.51 is all about technology and data.

I was excited to get to see both sides because it really showed where engineering can take you. Seeing OU alumni who are so successful in their careers is really inspiring because it puts into perspective where we can go with our degrees.

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein manufactures shocks for the automotive industry, and getting to see what goes into the parts of my car was honestly fascinating.

After we were done at ThyssenKrupp, we headed over to the GE Aviation facility. We weren’t at a manufacturing site—actually, we got to see where a lot of GE’s training goes on. Even as someone who has never really put too much thought into jet engines, I thought this facility was absolutely incredible. Being able to walk around and see the evolution of the engines was inspiring, and I was amazed that one of the jet engines they had there actually isn’t in the sky yet.

Zach, the OU alum at GE, mentioned that he had worked on the heat exchanger around a specific part of the engine which he showed us. Zach said that his favorite class at OU was heat transfer: he actually brought it up in his interview which led to him being placed on a design team which focused on heat transfer.

I think that being able to apply the concepts we learn in the classroom to solve real, complex issues is something that each of us strives for after graduation. This trip was a bright spot during the busiest time of the semester and allowed me to focus again on what my engineering degree will allow me to do: find creative solutions to problems and make the world a better place.

2016 Corporate Trip, Day 1

Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2016

Earlier this week, the Engineering Ambassadors went to Cincinnati for our yearly corporate trip. A total of 15 ambassadors were able to participate in the trip, which included meetings with many Russ College alumni and provided a chance to talk to them about their career paths after graduation.

After the 3 hour drive from Athens, the group arrived in Cincinnati Sunday night and attended a dinner with alumni. At the dinner, we were able to talk to alumni from different majors, and dig into what made them successful engineers.

Monday morning, the group woke up early to visit AECOM, a multinational engineering firm that provides design, consulting, construction, and management services.

After AECOM, the group headed down the street to 84.51˚. 84.51˚ is a data analytics company, with a huge focus on company culture. We were given a tour, which gave us a look into the technology startup culture. A newer company, 84.51˚, mainly focuses on improving shopper experiences at Kroger.

After having lunch in downtown Cincinnati, we traveled to visit Melink, to talk to Sam Rayburn, who graduated from Ohio University in 1999. The group was given a tour of Melink’s Platinum LEED certified facilities. Melink prides themselves in being energy efficient, as told by the image of a wind turbine and many solar arrays around their office building.

It was extremely interesting and also inspiring to see what all of these alumni that had graduated from Ohio University had done with their lives and majors after graduating.