Tag Archives: non-engineering classes

Online Chemistry Labs

Liz BeHage

Liz BeHage,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2020

When it was announced that the fall 2020 semester was going to be online for phase 1, I was concerned about what my analytical chemistry lab would look like. Usually, labs are performed with a small group of peers in order to understand how the process works. Then, students would complete calculations and answer questions using the data from the procedures they completed. But due to COVID-19, my lab changed into an online course.

My professor, Dr. Barlag (AKA Becky), decided to reimagine how a lab class should work. In her words, we are going to learn “how to do the lab” instead of how to work in the lab. Now, we are more focused on the processes and equations than something like how to properly titrate. We still watch videos of the labs being performed and read lab procedures to know what is going on, but focusing more on the actual chemistry behind it gives us a different perspective.

The first few weeks of the course focused on lab safety, equipment, organization, and chemical hygiene training. Now we are doing the labs by watching videos of some of the procedures to visualize, reading the background and steps, doing the calculations with data given to us, and answering questions relating to how the lab works. We also still write a lab report in a notebook and fill out an Excel sheet like a traditional lab would.

I think Becky and the TA did a great job at transforming the lab from a traditional to an online setting, since I’m learning about the chemistry, but not completely missing out on the fun of in-person labs!

Planning for the Future

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 1 December 2019

It is my senior year at OHIO! Like most seniors, my course load is primarily comprised of 4000-level classes like ISE 4120—Inventory & Manufacturing Control I (engineering) and ET 4950—Robe Leadership Institute Seminar (leadership).

However, I also took a 2000-level class—UC 2900—Post-Baccalaureate Preparation—which is required for all Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR) scholarship recipients. The purpose of the class is to prepare scholars for post-graduation through personal development assignments, assigned readings, class discussions, and short presentations.

The class met weekly for eight weeks, and as a result, I learned the importance of planning for the future, whether preparing to enter the workforce or preparing for post-secondary education (e.g. law school, medical school, graduate school, etc.).

Additionally, each assignment helped me map out my dreams and aspirations on paper, instead of keeping them all in my head. Simply put, “if I can see it, then I can achieve it.” For example, one of my assignments was a Spring Plan, which outlined my last two semesters at OHIO and transformed them into action item lists. This is a transferable skill which I will use next semester, next year, and for the rest of my life. Overall, this class helped personally and professionally—I am grateful I took this class!

Just for Fun Class: Horseback Riding

Reagan Richardson

Reagan Richardson,
Junior, Energy Engineering

Athens, OH 1 October 2019

Last spring I knew I wanted to take a “just for fun class” during fall semester, but I wasn’t sure in what. After browsing the course catalog and figuring what worked out with my schedule, I decided on Western Horseback Riding. I had ridden before when I was younger so it wasn’t completely new territory but it’s definitely been a couple years to say the least.

I was nervous going to my first class as horses can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. It’s very intimidating when you see just how much bigger they are than you and how easy it would be for them to overpower you. The instructor paired us up with our horses and informed me that my horse’s name was Lottie and as the class got started I could feel my tension start to melt away as I brushed and prepared her to ride.

To my surprise, we got our horses completely ready and then had to take all the equipment back off, put it all away, and lead the horses back into their stalls. Our instructor informed us that our first lesson was about learning to take the time to prepare and to not be discouraged when we don’t accomplish everything we initially set out to do.

Deciding to take this extra class has allowed me to have that specific time blocked out to de-stress and enjoy doing something a little different than your traditional engineering curriculum. It has reminded me how important it is to take time for yourself and to explore new things, and in my case revisit something I previously enjoyed. I hope that through this experience I can convince someone else to take that leap and try something out just for fun.

Summer Classes

Dillon Mahr

Dillon Mahr,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 September 2019

This summer was very busy for me. I decided to take BIOS 1700 and COMS 1100 in the first summer session at OU. I wasn’t very excited about classes taking up the first part of my summer; however, it ended up being a pretty good deal. The classes were manageable, and they felt like they were over before I knew it.

It feels good to get those classes out of the way and free up more time, especially Bio. I was worried that the lab would cause scheduling conflicts so getting it out of the way is super nice.

Being on campus during the summer also allowed me to do a lot of work with the student org that I am in. I made a lot of progress in our project and it was a little easier scheduling time with the professors who were still on campus.

Athens is a different place in the summer for sure. There are fewer people on campus, and you can do pretty much whatever you want. I have a lot of friends that say they love Athens in the summer. The nightlife is a little different but there is still a solid amount of people, so it doesn’t feel like a ghost town.

Overall, the summer classes ended up being a good decision for me and I will consider them in the future.

The Philosophical Engineer

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Junior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 25 April 2019

With Spring Semester winding down, it is good to reflect on what has occurred and the growth you experienced because of it – which aligns with the themes of Spring – renewal, rejuvenation, and restoration. Also, it serves as a good time to “discover” new things.

This semester I was blessed with a good set of classes—ranging from Math to Engineering to Philosophy. One class that stands out the most is PHIL 1300, taught by Dr. Lent. This class provides a different way of thinking, highlighting societal shortcomings and moral issues.

You may think “How does Philosophy relate to Engineering?” This is a fair question; however, philosophical concepts do apply to engineering and technology, especially regarding our overall use of technology. The professor and I have discussed the effects of technology on various fields. Also, stemming from our talks, he has suggested books and other material to read (which I will read over the summer).

I am looking forward to learning more things outside of my field of study. When you have the opportunity, take a course that is not necessarily aligned to your major. You may be surprised at what you discover. You will find that there are many ways to align ourselves with our motto, “Create for Good”.