Category Archives: Engineering Ambassadors

The Ambassadors Take on Roller Bowl

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 1 February 2018

Although it was cold and dreary on the outside, the action could be nothing but hot inside Roller Bowl Lanes in uptown Athens. February 1st was the date of the first annual Russ College Engineering Ambassadors Bowlathon. It was bound to be a great one.

By the time 7:10 pm struck, the teams were set, the smelly 90s-era bowling shoes were laced, and the participants selected their 10 to 16 pound spherical weapons of choice. The match was destined for glory as Team Randy Savage (featuring Andrew “Randy” Videmsek, Sean Neef, Matthew McKenzie, and Emily Morello) set off to face Team Gutter Balls (featuring Joe Meyer, Jordan Osman, and Mollie Whitacre).

Team Randy Savage started off the first game on fire with strong performances by the captain Randy Videmsek and veteran bowler Sean Neef. Role player Matt McKenzie also played an outstanding hand in the first game, finding the game’s first strike and hitting a double in the later frames.

Bowling

Team Gutter Balls sputtered to a slow start due to some rust in the throwing arms and some early missed spares. Yet, the team was anchored by star player Mollie Whitacre, who finished the game with a strong 156 and only 3 open frames. Overall though, Team Savage took a commanding lead early and didn’t give up, finishing the game with a total team score of 403.

Early in the second game, the pressure started to mount on both sides. Spares and strikes were flying left and right as it became a shoot-out between the two star-studded teams. The crowd of Athens locals roared as fan favorite Jordan Osman showed off his amazing trick shot skills, laying down incredible backwards between the leg throws.

Bowling

Joe Meyer also got the crowd on their feet as he hurled his fiery orange ball down the lane at incredible speeds. For Team Savage, Randy Videmsek and Matt McKenzie showed pinpoint accuracy and power on their straight down the middle strike shots.

Towards the end, it was an incredible dual between Mollie Whitacre and Sean Neef, as both players traded strikes and spares. It was clear that Mollie Whitacre was a force to be reckoned with, as shown by her great 160 score and consistent spare making ability. Sean Neef struggled to pick up the 10 pin spare, as his spare ball took a while to dial in. In the end though, Team Savage took game 2 due to solid performances team-wide.

In the third and final game, Team Savage made a late addition, adding rookie bowler Emily Morello to the active lineup. Although the power was not yet there in her shot, Morello’s accuracy made up for it, consistently hitting 8 and 9 pin first throws. For Team Gutter Balls, Mollie Whitacre continued to dominate the individual performance rankings, completely overshadowing the rest of the field. She scored an incredible 189 game with multiple doubles and only two open frames. Yet in the end, her performance was not enough to match the team consistency of Team Savage. Although Team Gutter Balls took home the final game, the match win went to Team Savage for overall pin count.

It was an amazing spectacle to observe on a cold February night in beautiful uptown Athens. The locals can’t wait for the next match to take place. Jersey sales for Whitacre and Osman are already through the roof, and fanfare is alive in the hills of southeast Ohio. Even though there were winners and losers on the lanes tonight, the real winners were all of the Ambassadors. They enjoyed cold drinks, great atmosphere, and best of all… great friendship. Reporting from Roller Bowl Lanes on Palmer Street, this is Civil Engineering senior Sean Neef signing out.

Future City Regional Competition

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 29 January 2018

The Future City competition inspires middle-school students to come up with feasible, yet imaginative, ways to make the world a better place. They develop skills such as engineering problem-solving, public speaking, time management and many more. This year, students, along with both a teacher and an engineering mentor, designed an age-friendly city of the future. The students had to write an essay, build their city on Sim City and then present a diorama of their city to a panel of judges. The Engineering Ambassadors had the immense privilege of judging the preliminary and special awards rounds of the Future Cities Ohio competition. The ambassadors in attendance were Mollie Whitacre, Illona Hartman, Veroncia Ammer, and Matthew McKenzie.

The dioramas had to be to scale, demonstrate at least three different sectors of the city (industrial, residential, recreational, etc.), and have at least one moving part among many other qualifications. While presenting their dioramas, students prepared a skit to show off their city. One team had special guest Santa Claus looking for a new location for his fabled toy shop. For another presentation, Marty McFly and Doc Brown drove into the future where they were met by a real-estate agent who gave them a grand tour of her city of the future.

The competitors had to demonstrate the ways that their city would help an aging population thrive. Some teams focused on accessibility to healthcare and doctors while other teams included mountain getaway retreats in their cities complete with maglev transportation. To get perspectives from their elders, one team had a few visits with a senior center in their home town. They included a group portrait of themselves and their new senior friends in their presentation to the judges.

The Future Cities Competition seemed like an incredible experience for the middle schoolers. They had the chance to find an innovative solution to a problem and creatively design feasible technology of the future. Their communication skills were enhanced through their essay and their presentation of their inventive towns. Overall, the Future Cities Competition ignited an interest and passion that could inspire the next generation of Russ College “Create for Good” engineers.

Etiquette Dinner 2017

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 10 December 2017

The Ambassadors took on fancy eating practices and proper tableside manner in this year’s professional etiquette dinner. Participants were given a crash course in professional dinner-table etiquette to prepare them for dining events with employers, prospective clients, or other situations requiring professional behavior.

Rather than scarfing down one’s food in the first five minutes, the first lesson given to the Engineering Ambassadors by the presenter was to pace oneself so that you’re not left with an empty plate while everyone else at the table has a considerable amount of food left to eat. This is something I found particularly helpful as someone who regularly inhales his food.

Etiquette Dinner

Food was served in three courses, consisting of a soup and salad, an entrée, and a plate of dessert (all delicious). A surprising lesson regarding soup and other liquids consumed using a spoon is that it is proper to spoon away from yourself to scoop up the bowl’s contents, not the typical towards yourself motion most of us are used to.

Other fast tips included laying your napkin on your lap before while eating, keeping your bread plate on the left and keeping your drink on the right, and not reaching across the table for a dish or condiment but instead asking for it to be passed to you by others at your table. The atmosphere was relaxed and fun, with Joe Meyer winning the class clown award as always (followed closely by Dr. Masel). Those in attendance left the event happy, well-fed, and knowledgeable in the practice of professional dining etiquette.

2017 Corporate Trip, Day 2

Landon Rehmar

Landon Rehmar,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2017

Tuesday, September 19th was the Engineering Ambassadors last day of their corporate trip to Pittsburgh. The day was packed full of meetings with Russ College Alumni with company visits to Covestro, Mascaro, and Heinz Field.

To begin the second day of the corporate trip, the Ambassadors started the day with a visit to Covestro’s North American Headquarters. Covestro is a German-based company that is the world-leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials. The tour was led by Dr. Jack Reese, an OU Chemical Engineering alumnus.

Covestro

Jack is the Director of Process Research at Covestro and gave the Ambassadors a great tour of the Polyurethane Technical Center. This facility houses a variety of laboratories and processing machinery, where Ambassadors learned how Covestro turns Polyurethane into things like insulation boards, flexible foam, and insulative foam. Next, the Ambassadors visited the Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties Technical Center where they saw a demonstration of the application of Covestro’s paint and coatings.

To finish off the tour the Ambassadors received some career development advise and then ended with a presentation from Mark Christman, a Process Engineer at Covestro and Chemical Engineering OU Alumni.

The Ambassadors then traveled downtown to
Mascaro Construction Company
. After meeting OU Civil Engineering Alumnus John Mascaro, President and CEO of Mascaro Construction, at the headquarters. We
headed to Heinz field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers.

Mascaro Construction was the construction manager for the building of Heinz Field, and set up a once-in-a-lifetime tour for the Ambassadors. Here, we were shown everything that happens behind the scenes to make Heinz Field run.

Heinz Field

Before heading back to Athens, the Ambassadors ended their incredible corporate trip with a stop in the Steelers Locker room where they received an inspirational speech from their President.

Corporate Trip, Day 1–Part II

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2017

Monday, September 18th was the first day of the 2017 Engineering Ambassador Corporate trip in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The group started the second half of the day off at FedEx ground in Zelienople, Pennsylvania where we were shown around the facility by former Engineering Ambassador Kevin White.

FedEx

While there, the ambassadors learned about the entire process a package goes through from the second it enters the Zelienople facility until it exits. Kevin and his co-workers took the group around the facility showing them the inner workings of the automated sorting machine, inside a semi-truck trailer, and into the control room that oversees the operation of the building. When the tour came to an end, Kevin quizzed the group on their FedEx knowledge, and they moved onto the next part of their day.

Following the event at FedEx, the Ambassadors spent the rest of the evening in downtown Pittsburgh watching the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Milwaukee Brewers. The game ended in a loss for the Pirates, but ended up being a great bonding experience for the Ambassadors.

During the game, the group caught three balls thrown to them from Brewers players. Two balls came from center fielder, number 33, Brett “Maverick” Phillips, while the other came from bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel.

Baseball

Throughout the game, the group enjoyed spending time together, cheering on players, and experiencing downtown Pittsburgh. When the game came to an end, the group was able to get one of the ball signed by Brett Philips.

2017 Corporate Trip, Dinner and Day 1

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 September 2017

It was such a pleasure attending the Engineering Ambassador corporate trip for the second year in a row. This year the trip was held in Pittsburgh, PA and took place Sunday, September 17 to Tuesday, September 19.

All the ambassadors rode in two large Ohio University vans, which allowed us to bond for the 3.5 hour ride. We left at 9 am and arrived at our hotel around 12:30 pm. We had a few hours to kill until our first scheduled event, dinner with alumni, so some students decided to do homework and others went shopping.

Dinner at the Bahama Breeze started at 6 pm with three guest alumni: Bryson Powers, BSCHE ’10; Jack Reese, BSCHE ’91; and Kevin White, BSISE ’17. The food was delicious and we all had a great time socializing with the alumni.

After dinner, some ambassadors went bowling near the hotel.

Bowling

On the second day of the trip, we visited CSD Engineers and had a tour of the Duquesne Incline.

CSD is a provider of multi-discipline engineering and management services for heavy industrial sectors throughout the United States. Amanda Langsdorf, BSEE ‘05 and former Ambassador welcomed us to the building.

CSD

First, we listened to a company overview and then Amanda gave us a tour of the building. She introduced us to senior employees and had one of the engineers show us a pipeline model.

The Duquesne Incline was a cool part of the trip. We rode up the incline and then had a tour of the engine room. It was interesting learning about all the engineering components that went into making the incline. The tour guide assured it was safe, so we all built up enough courage to travel back down and enjoy the gorgeous view of downtown Pittsburgh the entire ride.

First-Year Student Welcome Dinner

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 September 2017

On August 28th, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology hosted a welcome dinner for first-year students. The event started in the ARC Atrium and then continued in the Baker Center Ballroom.

The Russ College Engineering Ambassadors were part of the event by leading the students to the different parts of the event. The night started off by looking at demonstrations from student projects and organizations. The presentations and demonstrations were set up in the ARC Atrium, Stocker Center labs, and in the outside surrounding area of the ARC.

After the groups of students completed touring the presentations, we all walked over to the Baker Center. The students sat with Ambassadors and professors from within their major.

While at the dinner, students had the chance to ask professors or upperclassmen questions or for advice on the upcoming school year. After dinner was served, each table came up with three questions for the Dean Irwin to answer. Concluding the night was the raffle for an iPad. Each student received an entry just by coming to the event.

The Russ College of Engineering and Technology Ambassadors role with this event was to guide students through the presentations and answer any questions they had for the upcoming school year. There were also learning community leaders there that had similar tasks.

Attending and assisting in this event helped show the Ambassadors’ and the Russ College’s commitment to helping the students be the most successful they can be in the upcoming school year. In addition, the students got to have a first glimpse at some of the professors in their major, which can make it easier for them to go talk to later.