Tag Archives: Ambassador Activities

Regional Future City Competition

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 19 January 2016

This past weekend I had to opportunity to spend time in Columbus, judging students from around the state of Ohio in the Future City competition. The competition requires middle school students to create a virtual city model based upon technologies they believe to be possible in 50 years. Using their virtual model participants then implemented a 3D physical ‘splice’ of their city.

When designing their city, participants have to meet certain requirements, such as zero waste, high recyclability, and clear distinct city zones (Industrial, residential.)

My role at the event was to judge model presentations. The model presentations required each team to prepare a 5-7 minute speech that addressed the year’s theme: “Waste not, want not.” During the speech, participants described what they learned about the engineering design and implementation process.

On top of this, I got to see what these younger children believed the technologies of the future would be like. The most trending technology was pneumatic tubes running from every house which would automatically sort trash when sent through the tubes.

Some of the most interesting innovations were those that leveraged current technology in new ways. Many cities developed vertical farms in residential skyscrapers to conserve space while also creating a group gardening area to foster community.

The future cities competition allowed me to see what younger minds are interested in; the extent to which they’ll dedicate their time and energy to completing something they care about.

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.

Breakfast with Russ Prize Winners

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 February 2015

Two of this year’s recipients of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize are Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer and Erwin Hochmair. Erwin studied electrical engineering at TU Vienna and graduated in 1967. He began research on the cochlear implant in 1975 and was joined by his research assistant, Ingeborg, in 1976. The two continued their research and development for the next year and delivered the first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant in 1977. They were later married, and Ingeborg is currently the CEO and CTO of the company she and her husband cofounded in 1989 called MED-EL.

One of the perks of being an engineering ambassador is having the opportunity to meet distinguished guests who visit the university. Yesterday, the ambassadors and Robe Leadership Institute students were invited to have breakfast with the Hochmair’s at the Ohio University Inn. The atmosphere was inviting, and the buffet-style menu included many options such as bacon, French toast, potatoes, and muffins.

Over breakfast, the students asked questions of the guests and facilitated an open discussion. We discussed topics such as the start-up of their company, research and testing methods, the number of people that have been helped by the technology, and how widespread the technology has become across the world. We also talked about the variety of backgrounds of the employees working for MED-EL. Of the 1,500 employees, many are engineers from disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, biomedical, and chemical. It was interesting and encouraging to hear how many fields of engineering are needed for even a focused technology like the cochlear implant.

Experience Engineering Day

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 13 October 2014

Ahh, the Experience Engineering & Technology Days, I remember five years ago when I was the same shoes as the 40 high school students were today–exploring my college options by taking campus tours. I remember what really drew me to Ohio University was the warm atmosphere created by Athens and definitely interacting with the faculty and students of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. These qualities that drew me in at first are the same that have kept me satisfied with my education and on track for graduation.

Today, the high school students and their parents were able to hear from students directly and see what we engineers do at the Russ College. It provides insight as to what each major delves into and seeing the facilities where they may spend many hours helps in shaping their ultimate college decision.

During the tours of Stocker Center and the Academic and Research Center, parents and students were not only able to see the facilities. They also were also able to see some of the projects that Russ College students are working on; such as: road material testing in a civil engineering lab, interactive circuits in a computer science lab, metal machining in an engineering technology and management lab and senior capstone projects where students interact with companies in a mechanical engineering lab. No matter where one goes within The Russ College of Engineering, students will be learning practical, marketable skills with the use of the latest technology to “Create for Good”.

Lunch with Dean Irwin

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This past Tuesday, the Engineering Ambassadors and several student organization representatives had the honor to attend a luncheon hosted by Dr. Dennis Irwin, the Dean of the Russ College. This was not only my first formal meeting with Dean Irwin, but this was the first for several of the other new ambassadors as well.

The Dean started off the meeting with a variety of stories all emphasizing the purpose of the meeting and of the ambassadors. All of the Ambassadors are students, so we experience all the classroom settings that every student experiences. The Dean emphasized that ambassadors are added eyes and ears for Russ College.

The purpose of the luncheon was to relay the concerns of Russ College students to the Dean. He wants the students to be able to reach out to him and express their ideas for improvements and new technology. It was evident that student ideas and contributions are vital to the success of the Russ College.

Some of the ideas the ambassadors brought to the meeting were improvement of lab equipment, discussions on the atmosphere in classrooms, and the technology available in the computer labs. Even smaller things, such as replacing the erasers in the ARCM/a> were mentioned.

I have already seen some of the suggested improvements appear around the Russ College since the meeting. As a Russ College student, I fully believe that the ambassadors and the Dean have the student body’s best interest at heart.

Ohio University Challenge Course

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2014

Beginning this semester as an Engineering Ambassador has truly been an enjoyable experience. Being surrounded by fellow students who all are involved in a number of engineering-related organizations has opened my eyes to how many diverse groups the Russ College has to offer. With ambassadors representing all of our different engineering and technology disciplines, there were a number of us who were unfamiliar with each other. In order to break the ice, a challenge course activity was scheduled this past weekend at The Ridges at OU.

The Ridges Challenge Course

We participated in a number of fun activities as a group and also had some down time that allowed us to get to know each other a little better.

Challenge Course

The first activity we did once we arrived at the Ridges was a name game where everyone had to state their name along with a motion that starts with the first letter in their name. In addition, there were a couple of timed activities where we had to work collectively as a team to complete the activity while trying to beat the time we set in the previous trial.

Challenge Course Run

There were also a couple of activities where we were split into two teams and competed head to head during the activity, which got pretty intense.

Challenge Course Race

All in all, I feel like our day at the challenge course was a success. We were able to get to know each other a little better and being forced to work in teams to complete an activity enabled us to develop a trust that we can take back and apply to our ambassador tasks during the year.

Casey and Nick Blindfolded

Russ College First-Year Welcome Dinner

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 September 2014

Earlier this evening, freshmen of all engineering and technology disciplines were able to explore some of the very diverse offerings available to them as a student in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. I was able to escort a group of undecided engineering freshmen through several excellently prepared stations to introduce them to engineering majors that they had been interested in as well as some that they may not have considered before.

One stop on our tour brought us to the ASME design project. The students were able to see the robot that the Mechanical engineering students had designed for the previous year’s Battle Bots competition. The group that I led was able to listen to Tyler Lucas as he explained the design process while Dylan Rhodes drove the robot around and answered specific design questions the students came up with.

Finally, we moved to the ballroom in Baker Center. Outside the ballroom, several engineering organizations were there to introduce themselves to the freshmen and welcome them to the college. Inside, we were served a surprisingly good dinner of lasagna and salad which let the students eat and get to know one another better. After dinner, Dean Irwin welcomed all of the new students to the Russ College and congratulated them for their talents and wished them all well with their studies.