Taking Time Out to Cook

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 January 2016

The start of the new semester is always a very fun and exciting time of the year. It’s a fresh start in classes and it’s nice to see everyone after being gone for about a month because of winter break.

One of my favorite things to do once it starts to get cold and snowy out is to cook. I love to cook all year round, but I absolutely love cooking in the winter because of the vegetables and foods that are in season in the winter. My mom loves to cook as well, so I was lucky to grow up in a household that valued the family time and creativity that always surrounded dinner time. Since being away at school I have tried to continue the same tradition of cooking at my house and sharing meals with friends.

A few of my favorite meals to make in this cold weather are soups, slow cooker meals, and hearty meals that I can keep during the week. Last week I made a very hearty black bean soup and chicken paella. It has been an adjustment figuring out how to fit cooking into my hectic schedule, but one of my favorite pastimes is taking a few hours once or twice a week to make a home cooked meal.

When it comes to cooking I am pretty lucky because in Athens we have an amazing farmers market that runs all year round. It’s on Wednesday and Saturday and definitely a thing to check out. They make it very easy for me to find fresh in-season foods such as root vegetables or locally grown foods.

When I don’t feel like cooking or just don’t have the time I love going uptown to places such as Zoe’s, Sol, or Jackie O’s. These are all amazing places to get great dishes, usually made from locally-grown foods.

Deciding to Go Off to College

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 7 January 2016

When considering what college to attend a question that continued to pop in to my head was, how far away from home do I want to be?

As a senior in high school the thought of living away from home can be very exciting, but also very frightening at the same time. For me, the thought of going away to school was pretty challenging because of how close I am with my family. I love spending time with my little brother and wrestling with my nephews so leaving them was not the first thing I wanted to do.

I am from the great city of Youngstown, Ohio so Ohio University is about a four hour drive, which as a senior in high school I thought was a very long ways away. As a senior in college now, looking back on my decision to attend a school somewhat far from home was one the best decisions I could have made. Though there were some real hard times of being homesick and wanting to spend time with my family, it was very rewarding sticking out those times and staying at school.

I have learned so much about what it looks like to live on your own and be a responsible adult. I’ve learned to budget money and how to pay bills. I have learned to make connections with people and how to make new friends. Being away at school has been the best for preparing for life after college. Plus, it is where I met my fiancée so of course I would choose Ohio University ten times out of ten.

So, my advice to any high school seniors having difficulty choosing between commuting from home and going away and staying on a campus, totally go away for college! It will be the place that you most likely learn to grow up while also having a ton fun! Plus, with technology, it is possible to go home and spend time with your family but I would also suggest not going home too many times your first year because it will keep you from connecting with the people you’re with at school!

Leadership Biography

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 15 December 2015

This past semester I took a very special class that is offered only to a select group of engineering students: the Robe Leadership Institute. It was based on developing our leadership skills and also to get to know some of our most successful alumni. We had speakers once or twice a week and we would learn from their experiences of being leaders in the professional world.

On top of that, we had projects such as writing a leadership biography of our favorite leader. For this particular project I decided to write about Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of my country, Colombia.

This project consisted of doing in-depth research on this leader and it was broken down into 3 different parts. The first part included an introduction of the project and the leader, and also a historical overview of all the events that were important in our leader’s life.

The second part was dedicated to our leader’s leadership style and special traits that helped him become successful. This part was very important in order to understand the methodology of this person.

Finally, the third part was a connection between us and the leader–how we could apply his traits and styles to our particular situations.

This project required a lot of time, but I learned a lot from it since it made me understand the most important person in my country to a great extent. In addition, I could comprehend some of the most relevant historical events that make our country what it is today. Finally, I would say that this class has been the one that has prepared me the most for the professional world.

Health Care and Engineering

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 14 December 2015

As an Industrial Engineer, you can work in a hospital setting doing a variety of things. Everything from inventory control, setting time standards, and developing strategies for patient scheduling can be a part of the job description. I was interested in working in a hospital setting so I made Health Care my PCA (Professional Concentration Area) to specialize my Industrial & Systems Engineering degree.

To date I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the health care classes at Ohio University. I found the classes to be very interesting and relevant to the times. This semester I took HLTH 2170 Health System Organization, Financing, and Delivery, which was very helpful in my PCA.

The class was centered on the U.S. health care system and covered the trends in health care as well as future perspectives against historical background. In addition to trends, we learned about the key components in the health care system: patients, providers, and the stakeholders. This defined health care as a system by recognizing the components and how they relate, which allows me to view and improve the system as an Industrial and Systems Engineer.

The awesome part of this PCA is how relevant it is to the times. Tune into the Presidential debates and you’ll hear plenty of healthcare questions and what direction our country needs/is moving in. Besides health care, the tie-in of insurance and benefit packages are another hot topic within the field.

Knowing that I’m learning and moving towards a field that is so prevalent makes the final semester of college so much more exciting and meaningful.

Ready for Winter Break

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 13 December 2015

The end of fall semester comes with great anticipation for the holidays and time with family. My family has a tradition of driving around my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, to look at the Christmas lights. It began my senior year of high school and has continued to my senior year of college. The tradition started with my immediate family and some of my second cousins, and I was the youngest participant. Who says adults can’t have fun looking at Christmas lights?

Springfield Christmas Lights

Over the years, our group has expanded to include spouses, finances and babies, but we never fail to make a trip to the Christmas tree downtown to take a picture, see the lights at the Clifton Mill or stop for hot chocolate.

Springfield Christmas Lights

There is never a dull moment with my family and after the stress of finals it was just the refresher that I needed. I am looking forward to the rest of our holiday traditions, including a themed Christmas party with my mom’s family, a huge Christmas Eve get together and pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s.

In between all of that I will be heading to an interview in Wisconsin, working on completing graduate school applications, and working on my own projects.

I’m excited for this time off of school to spend time with my family and to prepare myself for my last semester of college and whatever is coming next.

Help from the CLDC

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 11 December 2015

Finals week is complete and now I have seven semesters down, one more to go! As a lot of Bobcats go home this winter break to rest their brains from finals week, I will be spending some more time here in Athens.

A few people asked why am I not going home right away and the thing is I enjoy it here and I also have a lot to do this break. There is one semester left then I will be unleashed to the real world. I want to make sure I am thoroughly prepared before I start interviewing for jobs. I have some studying to do and some interview preparation also. Athens being nice and quiet is perfect.

One very helpful place that helped me tremendously is the Career and Leadership Development Center. They are located in Baker Center and they do a number of things such as mock interviews, reviewing resumes, and holding leadership programs.

I used a couple of their services last semester: the mock interview and resume review. I received some great pointers on my resume. I made some changes and feel a lot more comfortable since it was reviewed by someone that has so much experience with resumes.

My mock interview was a great experience. It was good practice and a confidence booster also. The interviewer makes the experience feel legitimate and they give you genuine feedback to help you succeed. I told the person that interviewed me that they may see me again because I may be doing another mock interview spring semester!

Senior Design Drone Development

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 December 2015

As the semester comes to a close, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been completed on my senior design project.

The final drone design is to be composed of a set of functions that can be visually seen in the picture below.

Drone Project


  1. The drone must be placed into a known environment and checked by the operator to make sure it can safely operate.
  2. After the safety checks have been completed, the drone will take off under manual control and scan the area to calculate its surroundings.
  3. After successful take-off, the operator will switch to semi-autonomous mode of operation (i.e., drone moves by itself under supervision of the operator).
  4. The drone will continue to navigate through the hallway, while checking for heat signatures and avoiding possible collisions.
  5. If the drone detects a non-normal heat signature, an alert will be sent to the user for further investigation.
  6. The user will determine if the heat signature is relevant and decide if the drone should continue searching. Regardless of the decision, an image will be captured and stored for later observation.
  7. The drone will continue to search until the user commands it to return,
  8. or when the batteries run low and the drone must return.

Construction of the drone took place in the middle of the semester. We started with a Blackout 330 frame and mounted all of the basic drone components on (motors, propellers, battery, receiver, etc), as you can see in the picture below.

Drone Project

Test flights were performed using the basic system to ensure functionality. I am excited to return back to Ohio University after break, because next semester we will be working on attaching the lasers for semi-autonomous navigation, as well as the infrared and RBG cameras.