Category Archives: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Helping to Combat Recidivism in Columbus

Hope Bowden

Hope Bowden,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 10 April 2020

As a senior in ISE, we must complete a senior capstone project to apply the skills we’ve been learning over the past 4 years to a real life scenario. We have a semester to work with a company to complete an ISE-related problem they have at their company.

My group is working with MCS T.O.U.C.H. in Columbus. They work with former inmates to help them more easily transition back into life outside of prison. Their program helps clients find jobs as well as provides mentoring sessions to help with emotional issues they may be going through.

My project focuses on taking the data they have about their clients, such as race, age, gender, employment status, etc., to find a way to predict their likelihood of returning to jail. It is not what I thought I would be doing for my project when I entered into ISE, but it has been an eye-opening project. It has been interesting finding trends with simple things to see how it impacts someone’s decisions in life after prison.

Some pieces of information we found made sense, such as job loss leading to a higher risk. Other factors, such as zip code, were not expected. Considering the area codes that had high levels of recidivism were marked as relatively crime free areas, it was an interesting trend the group found within the data.

My group also had the chance to sit in on a peer-to-peer mentoring session to better understand the program. It was uplifting to see participants trying to lift each other up and push each other to be better people.

I have loved getting to use my skills to truly Create For Good. This program we are creating will be used to allow for the company to personalize their program and prevent recidivism in Franklin County, where the company focuses their efforts. Overall this was an incredible project to get to work on and I am glad I had a chance to work with a company that wanted to give back to others and help them succeed.

Living the Dorm Life

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 22 March 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020 marked the end of my time living on campus. Due to COVID-19, Ohio University students were required to move out of their residence halls. It is very bittersweet to leave Bromley Hall without saying goodbye to my Resident Assistants, hallmates and the Facilities personnel. For two years, Bromley Hall has been my “home away from home”. Living in Bromley Hall as an upperclassman was a unique experience.

Two years ago, as a sophomore, I was going to follow the trend of moving out of the residence halls and into an apartment. Of course, being young, I had no idea of the additional costs of living off-campus. But, at the time, I was blinded by the allure of independence.

As I was debating my choices, one of my senior peers offered to sell me her lease. I was stunned and interested in her offer, until a mutual friend convinced me to stay in the residence halls. As a voice of reason, she described the pros and cons of living off campus and living in the residence halls. She shared her experience of living off campus and encouraged me to consider the costs (e.g. food, maintenance, renter’s insurance, rent, utilities, etc.) of both options.

Additionally, as a science major, she reminded me of the importance of a consistent study environment. She also reminded me of the rigor I would face in the next two years as an engineering student. Overall, she wanted me to have a better living experience than she did.

Two years later as a senior, Bromley Hall granted me the best of both worlds, so to speak. Since Bromley Hall is located in Downtown Athens, I was in close proximity to my favorite eateries (e.g. Fluff Bakery, Salaam Athens, Bagel Street Deli, Whit’s Frozen Custard, etc.) and classes in Stocker Center and the Academic Research Center.

Were there downsides? Yes. There are downsides to everything (like the late-night fire alarms, thin walls, and the raucous chatter at 2 AM, etc.) However, I enjoyed playing pool in the recreation room, studying long nights in the mezzanine area, and watching the sun set from my third-floor window.

Sunset from Bromley Hall

Overall, I am very pleased with my decision to stay in Bromley Hall for the past two years and I will truly miss it (even the late-night fire alarms.) Moreover, to those who are considering moving off campus, remember that moving off-campus is not a rite of passage. Were there a lot of critics? Yes. Did their opinions matter? No, not at all. Remember to make decisions that match your speed. Don’t rush before you are ready and always seek out additional advice.

So, for those who are considering moving off-campus to gain independence, you can have the best of both worlds: You can maintain your independence and live on campus!

Getting Ready to Work at Boeing

Hope Bowden

Hope Bowden,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 March 2020

Spring semester marks my final semester at Ohio University as a full-time student. This has been a long and crazy adventure, but I could not be more thankful for my time at Ohio. When I first entered the Industrial and Systems program, I believed that I would be on a manufacturing floor for the rest of my life. I quickly learned that is far from the truth. ISEs are found in a wide variety of industries including banking, healthcare, transportation, and of course manufacturing.

I found myself working with real world problems that I never expected to be working on. My favorite project has been my senior design project. My team is working with a company in Columbus, OH that works with former inmates to help them thrive in society after prison.

My project focuses on predicting the likelihood of participants going back to prison. This data would be used to provide specialized classes for those at a higher risk of returning to prison in hopes of preventing their return. It has been amazing to use the skills I learned throughout the past 4 years to create for good. I have enjoyed knowing that my project will help people in the community live a better life.

After graduation I will be moving to Seattle, WA to work for The Boeing Company. I will be at their largest facility working as an entry level industrial engineer. I entered engineering hoping that I would end up in the aerospace industry, and I worked hard to accomplish that goal. These past 4 years have been an unbelievable journey and I am so thankful for Ohio University for helping make my dreams a reality.

Next Steps

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 17 February 2020

It is my last semester here at OHIO! I cannot believe that these four years have flown by. It is bittersweet—I am excited for my next steps, but I will definitely miss Ohio University.

It is early February, so time is ticking towards graduation in May. Currently, I am in the law school application process, and it is exciting to see my next steps unfold before me. However, without the help of God, my parents, professors, and everyone else in my “village”, I would not be able to see my dreams come to fruition.

Four years ago, I would not have ever imagined how special my time here at OHIO would be. Your four years will fly by so maximize them while you are here:


  • Take classes that interest you.

  • Get involved in organizations that may be outside of your major.

  • Share your interests with your fellow professors and classmates, you may be surprised how quickly a conversation can start.

  • Find common threads with others to develop relationships.

  • Dream big and bold, then write them down. So, when you come to OHIO, someone here is willing to listen and help you see it through.

Student Organizations at OU

Hope Bowden

Hope Bowden,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 3 February 2020

My best piece of advice for incoming students is to get involved! During my time at Ohio University, I have been involved in numerous organizations and have found my bobcat family through these orgs.

One club that has helped me greatly is the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering. During my time with this organization, I have had the opportunity to attend two regional conferences.

IISE Conference

Both of these conferences allowed me to network with ISE students from all across Ohio and Michigan. There also were speakers that talked about what they have done with their major post-graduation. Last year the conference focused on additive manufacturing and other jobs that were not necessarily following a traditional ISE path. This gave me a chance to see what is possible for me besides just manufacturing.

Student orgs also give students a chance to take a break from classes and their major and try something new. For example, I am currently learning how to be a coxswain for the Men’s Rowing Crew. This is something I did not picture myself doing during my college career, but I am so excited to try something new. With this club, I also have a group that gets me to the gym most of the week to make sure I stay in shape. I am looking forward to this new organization and I cannot wait to see my progress this season!

Planning for the Future

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 1 December 2019

It is my senior year at OHIO! Like most seniors, my course load is primarily comprised of 4000-level classes like ISE 4120—Inventory & Manufacturing Control I (engineering) and ET 4950—Robe Leadership Institute Seminar (leadership).

However, I also took a 2000-level class—UC 2900—Post-Baccalaureate Preparation—which is required for all Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR) scholarship recipients. The purpose of the class is to prepare scholars for post-graduation through personal development assignments, assigned readings, class discussions, and short presentations.

The class met weekly for eight weeks, and as a result, I learned the importance of planning for the future, whether preparing to enter the workforce or preparing for post-secondary education (e.g. law school, medical school, graduate school, etc.).

Additionally, each assignment helped me map out my dreams and aspirations on paper, instead of keeping them all in my head. Simply put, “if I can see it, then I can achieve it.” For example, one of my assignments was a Spring Plan, which outlined my last two semesters at OHIO and transformed them into action item lists. This is a transferable skill which I will use next semester, next year, and for the rest of my life. Overall, this class helped personally and professionally—I am grateful I took this class!

All the Activities Around Athens

Hope Bowden

Hope Bowden,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2019

Athens, OH may be a small town, but we have so many things to do around campus as well as the surrounding area.

My favorite thing I have done during my time in Athens has been zip lining in Hocking Hills. My roommate worked there for several summers and was able to have me join her one day. I loved being able to see the beauty of the Hocking Hills while also trying something new.

Zip Lining

It was not easy for me to do at first, since I am very afraid of heights, but after I started flying through the trees, it was impossible not to love every second of it. It was so much fun to see the leaves changing colors around me.

Another favorite thing of mine is going hiking. OU is right next to Stroud’s Run State Park which is the perfect place for hiking or a picnic with friends or family. They have plenty of trails so you never can get bored when you go to visit. It is about a 5 minute drive from campus and is the perfect place to go on a sunny day.

Stroud's Run

Athens has plenty of other fun things to do when the weather is not so great. We have concerts as well as some musicals that come to town very often. This semester Jersey Boys will be performed on campus and I cannot wait to see it.

There is something to do here for every interest whether that is going bowling, hiking, kayaking, fishing, seeing interesting movies uptown, or anything else one could think of.