Tag Archives: athens

Rock Climbing

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2019

There is a large rock-climbing community in Athens/Ohio University. Since my freshman year, I have been a casual member of said community but this past semester I have greatly increased the frequency of my climbing.

To do this, I joined Climb Athens, a local non-profit that runs two climbing gyms in the vicinity of campus. Although technically accurate, the previous sentence makes this organization seem slightly more official than it actually is; one gym is housed in a garage while the other is in an attic. BetaFish, the garage-gym, is shown in the picture below.

BetaFish

Despite, or possibly due to, the homemade feel, these gyms are wonderful and chock full of challenging routes.

Joining Climb Athens has been a wonderful experience that has helped me greatly improve as a climber. This is improvement is mostly due to the fact that both gyms are full of many excellent climbers willing to offer advice and encouragement. Some of these climbers are OHIO students while other are Athens community members.

I highly recommend that other OHIO students get involved in a hobby, especially one that introduces you to the Athens community. It is extremely beneficial to take a break from school and clear your head; it is also nice to see that there is more to Athens than the OHIO campus.

As a bonus, I included a picture of myself after winning a free bag of climbing chalk at BetaFish!

Free Chalk

Why OU is one of the prettiest campuses in the US

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 February 2019

Welcome back everyone, I hope your semester or quarter is going well so far and that you enjoy our posts on the ambassador blog. Get ready for a virtual tour through the most beautiful campus of the United States of America. You will see that there is a connection between most of the buildings and roads by the famous red brick culture. Throughout this tour, you will also understand why I believe a lot of the American culture more than the Dutch comes down to networking.

Halls
Firstly, I would like to talk about different academic buildings on campus. On West Green, the part where I lived for my freshman and sophomore year, we have a couple of halls but mainly dormitories. The bigger halls are called Stocker Center (engineering), the Academic and Research Center (engineering and health sciences), and Irvine Hall (health sciences).

As shown below, the most remarkable thing about the buildings is the similarity with the European architecture such as classicism. For example, most halls have Doric columns at the entrance or a tympanon on top—the triangular shape of a temple.

Ohio University

Ohio University

Irvine Hall (top) and Stocker Center (bottom)

Another interesting building is by no doubt Baker Center, shown on the picture below and situated at the border of West Green and College Green.

Ohio University

This building contains a lot of offices plus a theater, dining court, restaurant and coffee shop. The most remarkable about this building is the foundation and structure, since it is built along a steep hill! The picture shows the top of Baker Center, 5 floors above the base of the hill.

Furthermore, almost all academic halls have a concrete or steel structure from the inside and a brick wall from the outside. Some of them might be based on masonry bricks only, like the Dutch “schijvenbouw” (= disc construction / traditional unreinforced masonry design), since the university was founded in 1804. This makes it the oldest university in the state of Ohio.

College Green, our next stop, is the oldest part of the campus with the historical gateway shown below.
Ohio University
This gateway is located at the edge of the campus which continues in Court Street, a shopping and bar. At the beginning, Court Street made me think of those typical streets shown in Western cowboy movies, haha. Probably because of some of the facades and green parking meters.

Our tour will continue to South Green and East Green where you will mainly find on-campus housing and dining halls. Notice the arty details here and there:

Ohio University

Ohio University

Dormitories
Secondly, most residential buildings are constructed with timber structures on the inside (HSB in Dutch). The floor plan of my dorm was designed in a way that two rooms are separated by a massive, load-bearing wall on one side and closets and drawers on the other side. This latter wall does not have any acoustic value, so when the air conditioning is switched off, you hear every single word of what your neighbors say, haha.

Luckily, air-conditioning is turned on 24/7 since it gets hot and humid during summer, but also during winter when they switch on the heaters. On the picture below you can see West Green with the typical crossed paths in the center and my old dorm on the left. Notice that you can also see the previously described Stocker Center and Irvine Hall in the background.

Ohio University

Dining Halls
Finally, we will end the virtual tour with the dining halls. Two of them, Nelson Hall and Shively, are located on South Green, but the most delicious dining hall is definitely Boyd Hall on West Green.

Ohio University

These dining halls serve different kinds of food every single day which usually repeats every other week. Most dining halls also have a market, coffee shop, or smoothie bar to get your meal of the day bought by meals on the so called “swipes” or Bobcat ID. By the way, the Bobcat is the mascot of our school.

Most students either have a flex-14 or traditional-20 meal plan. The number stands for the meals per week and flex means that you can use your fourteen meals whenever you want (breakfast, lunch, dinner). The maximum meals a week is twenty because the dining hall does not serve breakfast on Sundays.

Hope you liked our tour and we hope to see you soon at our beautiful campus!

Beauty of Athens

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Junior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 21 November 2018

During the fall, the city of Athens beautifully transforms into the ideal autumn setting. Everywhere I go, I can see God’s beauty in every tree. The crimson and gold leaves wrap around the trees as they glow in the sunlight. I have always loved the fall months in Athens, especially when I was on East Green. During my first two years on campus, I lived in the Read-Johnson complex where I would observe the trees change from a sea of green to a canvas of red and yellow. I took pictures of the trees once they changed each year.

Autumn in Athens

East Green Corridor; Photographed by A. Chaney, 2016

Autumn in Athens

Shot from Washington Arch; Photographed by A. Chaney, 2017

This year, I live in Bromley Hall, which sits in downtown Athens. Instead of a sea of green, it is a sea of red bricks, black asphalt and gray concrete. As the months passed by, I wondered if I would see the beauty of Athens again. However, on my way to class, I saw the picturesque landscape of Athens again, a tree near Baker, and the sunlight captured it perfectly. The trees outside Alden Library, College Green, and near Bentley Hall have been wonderful sources of pictures.

Autumn in Athens

Tree at Baker University Center; Photographed by A. Chaney, 2018

I would say that taking pictures during the fall is a nice pastime for me as it gives my mind reprieve. I strongly encourage my fellow students to “slow down, breathe in, then look around”. There is beauty all around us—we just need to take the time to find it and appreciate it.

Autumn in Athens

Bentley’s Treel; Photographed by A. Chaney, 2018

Pawpaw Festival

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2018

This weekend I got to take a trip over to Snowden Lake for the 20th annual Pawpaw Festival. This event is centered around the pawpaw, a.k.a the hillbilly papaya, with presentations and activities focusing on the history and use of the pawpaw, including how to grow it, cook with it, and even use it for medicinal purposes!

As I walked around, I was able to visit booths set up by local food and art vendors. We were able to watch a show showcasing a band from Columbus called the Randys. My friend and I grabbed some pawpaw flavored eats and drinks and posted up on a haybales in front of the main stage of the festival to listen to them. After getting some grub, we walked on to the art booths where we saw many beautiful pieces, ranging from leather belts, to glass jewelry, to pawpaw themed paper hats. I’m a sucker for handmade jewelry, so of course I ended up buying a pair of earrings!

This was the first time in my four years here at Ohio University attending the PawPaw Festival, and I regret not going sooner. It’s easy to get stuck in a bubble on campus, only focusing on school, so I’m glad I was able to get out and enjoy what the local community has to offer.

Athens Farmers Market

Landon Rehmar

Landon Rehmar,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2017

Fall is finally here and the Athens Farmers Market in its prime. Since the beginning of college, I have made a point to get up early every Saturday morning to go. It is one of my favorite things to do in Athens and something every student should take advantage of.

The Athens Farmers Market began many years ago as a handful of farmers selling local produce. It is now one of the largest farmers markets in the state and showcases farmers, orchardists, specialty food producers, bakers, horticulturalists, cheese makers and a variety of other local products.

I always go Saturday mornings, it is open from 9AM-12PM. It is also open Wednesdays from 9AM – 1PM, which is usually difficult for me to make because of classes. It is located on East State St. which is an easy 5-minute drive from campus.

I try to get majority of my food from the Farmers Market. Everything is fresh, locally grown, and reasonably priced. It’s a great way to experience Athens and support the local economy. I usually try and get something new every time.

Most recently, pawpaws were in season, which is a fruit native to Appalachia. For the past three years I have always wanted to try a pawpaw but have never gotten the chance. Luckily, I got to try one a few weeks ago, and it was amazing! It tastes like a cross between a mango and banana, which sounds strange but is something everyone should try.

I have a few staple foods that I buy every week that usually consist of some produce, frozen meet, and salsa. As far as produce goes, I’m always switching things up, but I usually get kale, squash, potatoes, or apples. The local meats are always a difficult decision to choose between; however, it frequently comes down to ground lamb or beef. One of the last things I get before leaving the market is usually salsa, I would recommend the raspberry chipotle, but they are all great.

Really you cant go wrong with anything you get at the Farmers Market. It is one of my favorite things to do and something I know I will miss next
year when I leave Athens.

Fall in Athens

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2017

Some say the fall leaves in Boston are the sight to see. Yet even though I’m biased, I tend to disagree (rhyme intended).

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, the weekend exploration in Athens gets even more exciting. One of my favorite parts of going to school here
at Ohio University is the amazing history and scenery of southeast Ohio. The beautiful array of color that covers the hills is something that always stops me on my walks to Stocker Center or the ARC. By the time the weekend rolls around, my itch to explore southeast takes me away from the books and onto the backroads.

One of my favorite places to visit and hike is in Zaleski State Forest just west of Athens in Vinton, County. Zaleski State Forest is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ohio and has a lot of interesting historical places. One of the most frequented places is the Moonville Tunnel, which is an old railroad tunnel that is reportedly home to numerous ghosts. Although I never have seen any ghosts on my trips there, the civil engineer inside of me enjoys examining the
structure of the old tunnel and all of the engineering work that took place for its construction.

Fall semester at OU is also the semester of senior design projects for most civil engineering seniors. For my senior design project, my team and I are designing a complete residential subdivision with roadways, sewers, and lots for homes. The design also includes surveying the topography of a land parcel in Alexandria Township.

Even though senior design takes a lot of my time, the activities and adventure in Athens makes the journey worth it. Just a few hours spent in the wilderness of southeast Ohio takes me away to a time where cars weren’t self-driving and cell phones weren’t the center of our lives. Yet, coming back to school just motivates me even more to create and think outside the box in life!

Summer in Athens

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2017

This past summer I was fortunate enough to work as an intern for the City of Athens Water Treatment Plant. While I could go on about the job itself or the amazing people I met at and through the plant, I think the more eye-opening experience was living in Athens for the summer—when the number of students in the city drops dramatically.

Spending a summer in Athens certainly has many perks. Sure, it may seem somewhat empty at times, and not all of your friends from class are there. But this just serves to open many more opportunities to explore everything that the city and surrounding area have to offer.

Over the summer, there are various events held right in the heart of Athens that offer great opportunities to get out and meet people. For example, “Boogie on the Bricks,” “Ohio Brew Week,” and multiple car shows are all held right on Court Street—Athens’ central street. A laid-back summer without classes also left many opportunities to mountain bike on the nearby trails, and to go kayaking at the nearby Stroud’s Run State Park.

All in all, it was a great summer spent right here in Athens, Ohio. However, I cannot say I am upset all the students are back and the semester is in full swing yet again. While the summer was nice, it’s nice to see all the friends I have made over the past three years, and it’s certainly exciting to get my last year of undergrad underway!