Tag Archives: leadership

Preparing for My Final Semester

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 December 2017

As my senior year is now halfway completed, one place that I am looking to spend a little extra time in my last semester is helping others become better equipped for success. In my time here there has been one organization, the Human Powered Vehicle Team, that has helped me build up my skill set, learn and apply vast amounts of information outside of the classroom, and has given me opportunities I likely would not have otherwise had.

The Human Powered Vehicle team was found at Ohio University when I was a freshman by two graduate students. Following the first year and competition in Florida, myself and another sophomore at the time took leadership of the organization. In the last two-and-a-half years, both of us have grown immensely, but it has come time to pass on the torch again. In order to set up the organization for the best chance of success long term, the team has set up a system in which the new leaders are transitioned in before the previous leaders have left the university. This allows them to act as a mentor and help their successors learn the ropes a little before being thrown into the deep end per se.

With the upcoming semester being the last of my undergraduate career, I am really looking forward to doing my best to build crucial skills in future leaders to make not only this year, but years to come successful for the team.

Spring Break in San Diego with RLI

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 14 March 2017

My last Spring Break as a college student was definitely the best one. This fall, I was a member of the Robe Leadership Institute. This was a course that focused on building leadership skills to a small group Russ College seniors.

To conclude the course, we were fortunate enough to have to opportunity to take a trip out to San Diego, CA to meet with various CEOs while they give us a tour of their companies.

This trip could not have been possible without Russ College alumnus, Dan Squiller. Dan arranged for us to meet with these CEOs throughout the week.

It was so fascinating to hear the CEOs’ stories and career paths. After going a semester learning about leadership, it was so beneficial to see it in action. These CEOs are very successful and they told us their keys to becoming successful.

If you told me at the beginning of my freshman year that I would be spending my Spring Break meeting 6 CEO’s while allowing me to pick their brain, I would have called you crazy. This was honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I would like to think I took full advantage of it.

My favorite company that we saw was HM Electronics Inc. This company designs and manufactures the headsets that you see in fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and Starbucks. They also deal with many other electronic solutions in their market.

RLI in San Diego

Their CEO is Chuck Miyahira. Chuck gave us some great insight on how to succeed both early and later in our careers. Joining Robe Leadership Institute was one of the best decisions of my college career and I will take so much away with me as I begin my full-time job in June.

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.

RLI Trip to San Diego

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 9 March 2014 – I have been offered many great opportunities at Ohio University over the past four years, but none have been sweeter than the trip to San Diego that I took with the Robe Leadership Institute (RLI) class last week for spring break. I’m actually writing this blog from the Houston International Airport on my return trip to Ohio (so excuse me if I’m overly nostalgic; I can still smell the ocean).

The RLI is a class that focuses on leadership development; the class itself took place last semester, but the trip to San Diego was a “special bonus” after having participated in the class in the fall. Not only did the Russ College of Engineering and Technology organize the trip, but they also paid for my airfare, four nights at La Jolla Shores hotel, cab fare, and food. I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity.

Fifteen other students and I traveled to San Diego on Sunday, March 2. The main portion of the trip–Monday to Wednesday–was dedicated to five different company visits that were organized by a San Diego CEO, Dan Squiller, who spoke in our class this past fall semester. Dan is part of a group called “The CEO Roundtable” out in San Diego and several of this group’s members took time out of their busy schedules to give us tours of their companies and talk to us about their leadership style and how it affects the respective company culture.

San Diego

Picture: View of downtown San Diego from the dock at Coronado Island, CA

This was an unbelievable opportunity for several reasons. For one–c’mon–we were in La Jolla, California, about fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego and right on the beach. This was also my first time traveling during spring break and I could not have asked for a better location or a better group of people with which to travel. But the most unique opportunity was that we were able to speak with five people who are real-world leaders. The first we met owns a small start-up business of just five employees. The last gentleman we met is the CEO of an electronics company with over 550 employees. We saw a wide variety of company sizes and cultures and it was very interesting to see how each company took on the characteristics of its leader.

After we met with these five companies and their respective CEOs, our group stayed in downtown San Diego for the next two days just to relax and enjoy the amazing atmosphere and weather in San Diego. The whole trip would not have been possible without the generosity of the Russ College and Ohio University. Opportunities like this constantly reassure me that I wouldn’t want to go to college anywhere else.

Fall Semester Wrap-up

Scott Kostohryz

Scott Kostohryz,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 December 2013 – This fall semester was an exciting one. I learned much about some of the manufacturing processes used in industry, about fluid dynamics, and about the applications of MATLAB in engineering. I also refined my skills as a leader in the Robe Leadership Institute.

While taking Senior Design, my team and I have been challenged but we have enjoyed every second of it. We have begun 3D solid modeling in Autodesk Inventor. Our plan as a team is to have our CAD model finished around the first week of classes in Spring Semester. Below is the top portion of our sheet cleaning mechanism we will be machining for ATCO and delivering to them as well.

ME Senior Design

At the completion of this semester, I had the opportunity to work with the Ohio University Career & Leadership Development Center, participating in the Bobcat Leadership Project. Two groups of 6 students worked with two companies, Exel and TQL, on a leadership case study. Throughout the course of the weekend, these teams worked together to give a presentation at the conclusion of the weekend. The primary focus for our team’s work with Exel was to find a location for a new shipping center, how the new location would be staffed and how a manager would work with a team of 20 individuals. This was a great experience outside of the classroom and Russ College. It was great to work with other students from other disciplines and see how they think. This was very much a small taste of the “real world”, allowing students to work together, make presentations, and refine their skills.