Tag Archives: engineering ambassadors

How OU has Changed Me

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 April 2016

With graduation only days away, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on how the last four years I’ve spent at Ohio University have affected me as a person.

Coming into Ohio University, I was very timid and soft-spoken. I had a difficult time putting myself out there because I generally kept to myself. I remember taking an introduction to ethics course and the final for the class being to present your beliefs on ethics to the class. (I actually had considered dropping the class, that’s how badly I disliked speaking in front of people.)

Back then, presenting in front of a classroom was the end of the world for me. Not only because of my anxiety of public speaking, but also due to my belief that what I had to say didn’t always seem that important.

The following years I spent at Ohio University changed my opinion on personal voice and, also my life, for the better. I went on to join Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity on campus. Through this, I gained friendships that I know will last me a lifetime.

I focused heavily on putting myself into situations that were out of my comfort zone, which gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual. I made sure to put everything I had into my studies, which lead me to obtain a Co-Op at L-3 Communications in Cincinnati, Ohio. I took the experience from there and brought it back to school with me, and applied it to classes.

But, the most important aspect of my college career comes from the opportunity of participating in Engineering Ambassadors. I was nominated for the position at the end of my sophomore year and performed the duties during my junior and senior years.

The position requires strong speaking skills, which as I discussed earlier weren’t as developed back then. I remember that during my interview for the position, I expressed that while my speaking skills may not be as impressive as the fellow applicants, my overall passion to better those skills was immeasurable.

The opportunity to speak with prospective students and parents strengthened my interpersonal skills in unimaginable ways and just the ability to lead students into a direction that will ensure success is extraordinary.

My voice was given purpose and pushed me to pursue opportunities that otherwise would have been unobtainable, and for that I can thank Ohio University.

Developing Leadership Skills

Nicole Sova

Nicole Sova,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 10 September 2015

This semester I joined the Robe Leadership Institute and Engineering Ambassadors. With both of these organizations I have had the opportunity to get to know some incredible people (although sometimes through some unconventional methods).

Below is a picture of the Robe Leadership Institute’s class of 2016 all standing on a small tarp; you can see me in bright yellow about to attempt to move the tarp. The goal of the exercise was to flip the tarp around (so that the top of it faced the ground) without ever stepping off of it.

Magic Carpet

Looking at the helping hands, close proximity, and smiles, I would never have guessed that this photo was taken within minutes of memorizing each other’s names. The “magic carpet” (as the activity was called) tested our communication skills, logistics, and personal space, but most of all it broke down barriers and built a foundation for trust and friendship.

Engineering ambassadors decided to take the team building off of solid ground and up onto a high ropes course. We climbed our way across eight different rope obstacles and then ziplined back down to awaiting doughnuts. Below is a photo of a few of the ambassadors climbing towards the central tower; you can see me standing below the top of the tower watching a friend climb.

High Ropes

As an engineer, I work on group projects all of the time. Leadership and team building strategies are at the foundation of engineering curriculum. What really helps make those group collaborations worthwhile are the fun and adventurous activities that complement them outside of the classroom.

2015 National Future City Competition

Emily Blaha

Emily Blaha,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 February 2015

Last week, Pat Hanlon and I attended the 2015 National Future City Competition in Washington, D.C. to represent the Russ College. At the competition, middle school students from around the country displayed their vision of the future.

This year’s theme was Urban Agriculture, so each design needed to incorporate ideas about how to supply food for the population of their city. There were a lot of interesting and creative solutions to this problem, including aquaponics, vertical farming, and urban gardens. It was neat to see the students work together to produce a city that incorporated so many things that are vital for their residents.

Future City Award Presentation

Presenting the award for honorable mention [Picture from the Russ College Article]

The students’ enthusiasm for engineering and the well being of their city residents makes me extremely hopeful for our future engineers. In my opinion, Future City is a great competition, which is helping to develop extremely creative and conscientious students. Future City is a great event for Ohio University to sponsor and support!

Future City After Party

Students enjoying the after-party

The Future City event organizers did a great job congratulating all of the students participating at the national competition. Many students received awards and the celebration party was a lot of fun!

Breakfast with Charles and Marilyn Stuckey

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2014

Charles R. Stuckey Jr. graduated from Ohio University with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1966 and then began a career in Information Technology as a systems engineer with IBM.

Most recently, he served as president and chief executive officer of RSA Security until 2006. During that time RSA grew from 19 employees to 1,500 employees and was ranked in the top 100 security software companies in the world.

Last week, some of the Engineering Ambassadors had the opportunity to share a breakfast with Mr. Stuckey and his wife at the OU Inn. This was a great chance for all of the students to have a conversation with a former Russ College student about his experience and journey after graduation.

Mr. Stuckey spoke about how it wasn’t necessarily the knowledge he gained during classes that helped him have so much success. Instead he spoke on how the development of skills like problem solving and how their application is what supported his achievements. This is something all of us were able to relate to, as we’re all starting from the same position he had. We all have large opportunities in front of us and are beginning our own journeys of success.

Mr. and Mrs. Stuckey both answered questions and talked about how their relationship was impacted by his work and all of their family moves. It was great to hear how they both thrived through those stressful times by supporting each other and being supported by caring family. The breakfast was an awesome time and a great way for us to learn from an accomplished Russ College alumni.

Being an Engineering Ambassador

Connor Mitchell

Connor Mitchell,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 24 September 2013 – Last spring I was nominated and then selected to become an engineering ambassador. Looking back to last spring, it would have certainly been a mistake if I had chosen not to accept the engineering ambassador position. Throughout the years, I have found myself to be a helpful person. I enjoy aiding others and the satisfaction that comes with that.

The aspect of helping others is the majority of what engineering ambassadors are all about. The organization focuses primarily on future students. If a prospective engineering student comes to visit the Russ College, an ambassador is responsible for giving the student a tour of the engineering facilities and explaining what the university has to offer. Ambassadors also aid incoming freshmen on opening weekend by explaining the basics about the university, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, student organizations, and the life as a college student.

I enjoy talking about and helping prospective students and underclassmen about these issues. Entering college I didn’t know what to expect. I was always asking questions of upperclassmen for advice and how they reacted to certain situations that a typical student would encounter at some point in his or her college career.

From a student’s prospective, the ambassadors are the voice of the college. If there is a problem within the college, the faculty can hear it from us and then turn around quickly to resolve the issue. Community service is always important and the ambassadors feel it is important to give back to our surrounding community.

On the other hand, the engineering ambassadors do have fun as well. We participate in socials, dinners, and team building exercises. Recently, we successfully completed a high ropes course. From all of these activities comes reward. I have learned a lot about the different engineering majors and what activities they are involved in. I cannot say enough about the group of students I am with. As an ambassador, I am surrounded by some of the best students in the college. I am really glad I chose to become an engineering ambassador based on the friendships I have made with the other ambassadors.

Ambassador Corporate Trip

Lingchong Mai

Lingchong Mai, Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 30 April 2012 – During April 19-20, several of the Engineering Ambassadors had a wonderful corporate trip. The trip was to visit several manufacturing plants including Kenworth Truck, GE Lighting, and GE Aviation.
On Thursday morning we first visited Kenworth in Chillicothe. It is a large semi-truck assembly plant that assembles semi-truck to order. Now its capability is around 150 trucks per day, with more than a thousand employees working in the plant. There are more than 10 assembly groups with more than 50 assembly lines in the plant. It makes highly personalized semi-trucks according to customers’ requirements.

That afternoon, we went to GE Lighting in Circleville. That is one of the biggest GE lighting plant in the US. They make more than 30,000 of every kind of light bulbs per day. The production lines are highly automated, so the employees in the plant are mostly engineers and technicians. They work to monitor the machines and the products’ qualities, as well as some R&D stuff.

At night, we went to Cincinnati and had a wonderful dinner at Buca di Beppo.
On Friday, we had breakfast with Catherine Anbil, a very nice woman who set up her own business on system and software. She introduced her experience on her business and with her partner, and her early life.

After the enjoyable breakfast, we continued our trip to the last destination: GE Aviation. This was a long tour. We visited 4 different locations. Generally, we visited the labs that test the materials in different plane engines and we also got a chance to see how an engine was assembled, and how an engine works on a plane.

This trip was really an enjoyable trip that expands my horizon and lets me get to know more about the manufacturing in the US.

The Truth About Professors

Jessica Borer

Jessica Borer,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 March 2012

Every time a student fills out a course evaluation for a Russ College professor, they have the chance of nominating them for the award of Outstanding Professor. The Engineering Ambassadors get the privilege of interviewing the nominees from each program. Not only did this give me a chance to meet professors from other majors but I learned quite a bit about the different roles a professor has.

Obviously professors have to make lesson plans and grade our homework and exams but they also need to do research in their specializations. Many of them are also involved with numerous other activities: they have administrative roles within the college, are advisors for university groups, and on top of all this they all have a group of students that they are advisors to personally. They’re just as busy as we are.

One of the questions in the interview process was how they balance all their different roles. The amazing thing about Ohio University is that every single professor we asked said that teaching is their number one priority and all their other responsibilities come after that. This is apparent in almost every class I’ve taken here. Every professor tries to make sure that every student knows they are more than welcome to come to their office any time and ask questions they have about the class or anything else they may be wondering about.

OU Professors try their hardest to make sure the students get everything they need to succeed not only in their class but in college. They are a big part of what makes Ohio University so great for undergraduate students.