Tag Archives: non-engineering classes

Globalization and the Developing World

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 November 2016

This semester, I am taking a non-engineering class called “Globalization and the Developing World”. (GEOG 1310) The class was recommended to me by a friend because of the passionate and knowledgeable professor and interesting content.

It’s a class taught by the geography department, and it’s similar to a human geography class I took my sophomore year. As the name suggests, this class looks at the effects of globalization on the developing parts of the world. This is especially interesting to me as an engineer who would love to “Create for Good” somewhere in a developing part of the world.

This class has been interesting and challenging. It’s not challenging in the way that my conceptually difficult classes are, but it forces my eyes open to the incredibly awful things that happen in the world. We had a section on child labor, where we learned that children are often paid incredibly small amounts for working day in and day out in unhealthy working positions and conditions.

We are currently learning about the unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This poses an interesting moral conflict, where all of electronics that we are using and designing as engineers contain a mineral that almost solely comes from this area. The mineral is fought for and genocidal wars are waged because of it. This all goes back to globalization when we realize that everything here is so interconnected. How can I currently be typing on a computer that is full of this mineral that caused so many unfair deaths? How should I feel about this? It makes me feel sick, but what am I to do?

These things, and many more injustices in the world, make my soul crave for justice to come. When or how that will happen isn’t in my hands, but I do want to do whatever I can to help. In my everyday life, I can buy products that are certified fairly traded. In my engineering future, what if I could design an inexpensive rug weaving loom that allowed children to sit in ways that don’t deform their growing bodies? Those are just small examples, but I’m thankful for this class opening up my eyes.

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.

Health Care and Engineering

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 14 December 2015

As an Industrial Engineer, you can work in a hospital setting doing a variety of things. Everything from inventory control, setting time standards, and developing strategies for patient scheduling can be a part of the job description. I was interested in working in a hospital setting so I made Health Care my PCA (Professional Concentration Area) to specialize my Industrial & Systems Engineering degree.

To date I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the health care classes at Ohio University. I found the classes to be very interesting and relevant to the times. This semester I took HLTH 2170 Health System Organization, Financing, and Delivery, which was very helpful in my PCA.

The class was centered on the U.S. health care system and covered the trends in health care as well as future perspectives against historical background. In addition to trends, we learned about the key components in the health care system: patients, providers, and the stakeholders. This defined health care as a system by recognizing the components and how they relate, which allows me to view and improve the system as an Industrial and Systems Engineer.

The awesome part of this PCA is how relevant it is to the times. Tune into the Presidential debates and you’ll hear plenty of healthcare questions and what direction our country needs/is moving in. Besides health care, the tie-in of insurance and benefit packages are another hot topic within the field.

Knowing that I’m learning and moving towards a field that is so prevalent makes the final semester of college so much more exciting and meaningful.

Cross-Cultural Leadership

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 November 2015

Senior year has many perks, but my favorite is that (typically) your course load lightens. While scheduling for fall semester, I found that I only had nine credit hours of classes I had to take in order to graduate on time. I needed to fill another three credit hours in order to remain a full time student, so I had the opportunity to explore classes outside of the engineering domain.

Due to my interest in international business, I decided to take a course called “Cross-Cultural Leadership and Management”. In this course, we analyzed the similarities and differences in leadership and management systems, processes, and styles, as well as evaluated the changes and the resulting impact across countries and regions of the world.

Learning how national culture influences management practices and organizational members’ behaviors has impacted the way I’ve dealt with interactions in my engineering senior design group. In the group, there is a Brazilian exchange student who utilizes a different management style than that of students from the US. Taking this course allowed me to become aware of the contextual differences between the two cultures and taught me how to interact effectively across the different cultural contexts.

Entrepreneurship Class

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2015
Last semester, I decided to pursue an Entrepreneurship Certificate. This certificate is offered through the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship.

Currently, in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class (MGT 3700), we are doing a group project where we create our own start-up company or social enterprise. My group and I choose to do a social enterprise. Our company is called Paddle Home. Last summer, one of our group members started this company on his own and we are continuing to build onto his original idea.

Paddle Home

Paddle Home is a non-profit social enterprise that empowers young adults to raise money and awareness for affordable housing through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and participating in a cross-country kayaking adventure journey down the Mississippi River.

Kayak

Since this is just a class project, we are starting small and not trying to overshoot with our idea. If we had more time and resources we would hope to expand Paddle Home to be more than just a summer trip down the Mississippi. We would do community outreach activities about outdoor education for all age levels. We also had an idea to install solar panel charging systems along the Mississippi at campgrounds to make camping and kayaking more accessible.

In this class we are taught about revenue models, markets, key partners, cost structure and other business model aspects.

As of right now I am not sure what I want to do with my certificate. I hope to pursue an MBA in the near future but I’m not entirely sure if I want to start my own company. Regardless of whether or not I want to be an entrepreneur, the certificate has taught me so much about the business side of a company, and it made me realize I really love the people aspect of it.

This has been a great experience and has opened my eyes to the many opportunities engineers have in the business world.

Kayaking Class

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 26 October 2015

This semester I have a course load that consists of solely engineering classes, but I find it important to always include something fun in my schedule. This semester the solution was an introduction to kayaking class.

I didn’t have any expectations going into the experience other than learning some basic paddle strokes. This past week, the course has been drastically more difficult than I had originally expected–in a good way.

This past week we were introduced to a rescue maneuver called the “T-Rescue.” The T-Rescue is a way to flip back upright upon capsizing. To do so, you run your hands along the side of your kayak and wait until another kayaker bumps into the side of your kayak. At that point you grab the tip of their kayak with both of your hands and throw your kayak back under yourself. If executed properly, you will return to the upright position above water.

I have found the rescue to be most challenging because of the reliance you have upon another kayaker to reach the side of your boat quickly. The entire time you’re underwater you have to wonder if someone will make it to you before your lungs run out of air. Prior to the class I had never known any of the individuals I had been kayaking with. These rescue techniques required us to quickly grow to trust one another. I found the experience to be mentally challenging; it has also helped me forge new meaningful relationships.

Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

Something I have learned to truly appreciate at Ohio University is the wide variety of classes available outside of the Russ College. Every semester I make a conscious effort to add something I both have a personal interest in and is outside of my major into my class schedule.

One of the most enjoyable classes I have taken was on the fundamentals of rock climbing. The class covered basic climbing techniques, safety, and general practices. We learned how to tie key climbing knots and set up tethers for varying situations one might encounter at different climbing locations. One thing I really valued about the class was the truly hands on element it offered.

After four in-class meetings learning about the proper techniques and knots used on climb sites we had three days dedicated to applying what we learned. Our instructor took us to two different climbing locations and one nifty bouldering location in areas surrounding Athens. We had the opportunity to climb natural rocks using equipment we set up as a class. Additionally, we were responsible for each other’s safety as we each took turns belaying while other classmates climbed.

I enjoy exploring Athens and taking advantage of the many recreational activities the surrounding area has to offer. The rock-climbing course enabled me to do this and more. I continue to search for recreational classes as I find them to be a great way to just relax and enjoy myself.