Tag Archives: engineering education

Thank You Video Project

Allie Gabbard

Allie Gabbard,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 27 April 2020

As you are aware things have really switched gears due to the novel coronavirus. Within a blink of an eye, life as a college student quickly changed. Announcements were released and within a week of spring break we transitioned online. Many events have been canceled or postponed until further notice.

As an ambassador, one of our favorite events to attend is the awards ceremony for the faculty and staff. Unfortunately, like many other events, this one has been postponed. Attention shifted to the students in attempt to give them the best education possible as well as give the graduating students a sense of normalcy.

Classes moved online, exams are wrapping up, and hundreds of students are about to graduate. This was only possible due to the drive and passion of the faculty and staff of the Russ College and Ohio University as a whole. In trying times like these it is vital to work as a team, and they did just that. We wanted to take a moment to recognize the people that made all of this possible.

Dr. Masel and I worked together to organize a video that included nearly all the
ambassadors. With enthusiasm and excitement, each member participated in a line in the script below and we all had the opportunity to say thank you to the ones that made everything possible.

I encourage you to read through the transcript below to understand how thankful we are for the faculty and staff as well as watch the video! We would love for you to continue to share the video as we are very thankful and want to give them the recognition they deserve. Thank you all for all of your hard work!


“It’s been a really unusual semester for everyone in the Russ College as faculty and students have worked together to make a huge transition. A lot of attention has been given to the students, but today we would like to give a shout out to all of the faculty and staff for their hard work and perseverance. We know it hasn’t been easy for anyone during this time. Students found out we wouldn’t be returning to class. You found out that you only had a few days to re-plan half of a semester. You all have made it work.

We would like to take some time to express our appreciation of all our faculty and staff. You have made a full commitment to ensure that we still get the higher education we set out to achieve. You all made a sudden transition to move to remote classes. We understand that being at home for you can be just as big of a challenge. Instead of talking in front of a class, you now talk into a camera. While attempting to pre-record lectures, we understand children and dogs may be running around in the background. Perhaps you have re-recorded a lecture 2 or 3 times because it didn’t sound right. As engineering professors, some of you have had even bigger challenges. How in the world am I going to give my students the hands-on lab assignment we do on a weekly basis?

Where there’s a will, there’s a way and you all proved that. Advising week approached and without hesitation advising sessions were held virtually so we could see each other and take a minute to catch up with our advisors. Our faculty and staff are the ingredients to the recipe of success the Russ College had when transitioning to the online classes. Despite the pandemic, you all are about to graduate hundreds of Russ College Undergrads. On behalf of the Engineering Ambassadors and the entire Russ College student body, THANK YOU!

False Dichotomies of Numbers and Art

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 9 February 2017

There seems to be a very hurtful division in education. We’ve heard it in so many different forms that we don’t even notice it anymore. “Numbers” people vs. “Art” people. Left-brained vs. right-brained. Logic vs. emotion.

When I was young, I convinced myself that I would never understand artistic people, that I’d never understand those who put emotion before fact. When I was in high school, I hated my “soft” classes like English and History because I felt that engineers don’t need to know about literature or the humanities. I thought that to be successful, an engineer just needed to spend their time buried in Excel spreadsheets and complex equations (not that I’ve ever been particularly adept with either of those, but that’s a story for another day). I’d convinced myself that once I was surrounded by only engineers, no one would care about Macbeth or Boo Radley or the mad emperors of ancient Rome. As a result, I never really cultivated any hobbies or non-academic outlets to widen my worldview. Numbers were everything.

Recently, I was told by one of my bosses that I “don’t write like an engineer.” The implication being that engineers have a difficult time communicating and telling a proper narrative that makes readers want to hear what’s being said. However, I feel that that mindset refers to the stereotypical engineers of the past—the engineers that my high-school self idolized.

Today’s engineers are realizing that to truly function and make a difference in the world, we need to be well-rounded. We need to see more viewpoints than just our own. I never really thought much about how greatly the humanities affect engineering, but once I made friends with psychologists and anthropologists, and they encouraged me to start doing my own research, a whole new world opened up.

I started seeing that the average person (you know, the people whose lives we aim to improve) doesn’t want to read a report filled with data presented in Times New Roman font. If that’s the way all engineering reports are being written, we may as well give up now because no one will be reading them.

People want to read something with a hook, they respond well to stories. I found that it is in fact possible to report logistic information in a way that doesn’t put people to sleep—crazy, right? I guess that’s why I “don’t write like an engineer.”

Now, in my first sentence I brought in that this is a division in education. I haven’t talked much about it yet, but I hope that you as a reader can tell where I’m going with this. I didn’t learn any of this in class. Not in high school, not even in college. I learned this through my interactions with other people outside of the engineering world. I learned this by reading those books that I groaned about in high school.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but engineers need that exposure to literature to learn to write like real people, not computers. We need to learn our life lessons from fictional characters and their authors. We need to learn how to tell our story, even if that story is all data.

EECS Advisory Board Retreat

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 18 November 2016

Recently, I had the honor to attend the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board Retreat. This is where the faculty from these departments meet with a selected advisory board to go over the objectives and motives of the departments.

The day started with the chair of the department, Dr. Juedes, presenting an overview of the Russ College and how it expanded to where it is today. Throughout the day there would be different discussions with groups of students and faculty about what is going well within classes and the college overall and what improvements could be made.

My favorite part of the retreat was getting the chance to communicate feedback from my classmates to the professors. This was a chance where students could convey the development of classes and how to keep improving them for a better future. The professors cared so much about what everyone had to say, which is a big reason in why it was such a distinct experience.

Students don’t usually see what is happening behind the scenes and the decisions that are made about the program. Sometimes we think that changes can happen overnight, but in reality there are major steps that have to happen in order for that change to occur. I loved going to the retreat and having the chance to portray the feedback from my peers!

Learning from Group Assignments

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 September 2014

Everyone has had to do it…and not everyone prefers it…but group work is one of the most important things that our professors can teach us before we graduate. Right from the start of this semester, we were placed into groups in all of our senior classes. Lab groups, homework groups, and project groups are all components of our classes’ curricula.

They can range from 2 people to 10, but regardless of size, you’re forced to work with others. All of us know it’s sometimes a pain to schedule times to meet and coordinate with others who may not be your roommates or your friends. But the entire process of group work is just as important to learn as what the actual lectures teach us.

No matter what field of engineering you pursue or what you chose to do after graduating, you will need to be able to work with others to succeed in your goals. The abilities to communicate with others, articulate your own ideas, and to appreciate others ideas are all intrinsic to being successful.

Although being forced to work in groups is occasionally bothersome, all of the successes and difficulties of working in a group you will be able to use in real world applications, whether that be with a team of engineers, marketers, fellow students or colleagues. The lessons taught by our classmates in groups senior year will be just as useful as the lectures and notes from our professors.

Reflecting on Becoming an Engineer

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 6 September 2014

Ah! At last, it’s finally here. I’m a senior, and what a trip it’s been.

As I look back on the last few years I can’t believe how much I’ve grown in every aspect of my life. If you’re an incoming freshman or thinking about coming to Ohio University and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology you’ve probably heard a lot recently about the cost of college tuition, which degrees will get you jobs, or perhaps even that college isn’t really worth it.

But most of those people miss the point of coming to study at college. It’s not just about the degree you get, but also about how you grow as a young person. College is an opportunity for you to explore your interests, or become part of a community, but live an independent life too.

Besides “getting a piece of paper”, being an engineering student teaches you a few things about yourself. You learn that there are a lot of people just as smart or smarter than you; you learn that you’re not invincible and that you will make mistakes. For me personally, the most important thing I learned was that despite how difficult engineering is, if you want badly enough to be an engineer you can do it.

This experience has helped me build a strong foundation for my future, not necessarily a job, or money, but to be a good person and one that can help leave the world a better place than I found it. I’m excited to be getting my last year of college underway, and I know that my learning experience here has given me a strong platform from which to begin my professional career.