Tag Archives: non-engineering classes

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.


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.

Enjoying My Golf Class

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 March 2015

This semester, because I am graduating, I decided to take a few classes that are more relaxing rather than doing more engineering work. One of my classes is Fundamentals of Golf.

As it turns out, going to the driving range three times a week for an hour is a very relaxing pastime. We go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and use Ohio’s great driving range for an hour and as many golf balls as you can hit (or at least as many as I have been able to get through). To make matters better, I have some other friends in the same class so we are able to relax and get a break from engineering.

Thinking back, I wish I would have scheduled more of these classes as they are instructed very well and so far, my swing has improved. Unfortunately for my game, it would be impossible to get any worse at this sport, but as soon as the weather warms up I’m sure I will be able to go out and enjoy 9 holes on Ohio University’s course.

Calculus Class and Multi-Engine Flying

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 February 2015

I’ve been planning out my senior year class schedule since freshman year. My plan was to take the harder classes before my senior year to make my last year here a breeze. One thing I didn’t quite plan out was that all of those harder classes were going to be compiled all to this year.

One of the classes I have been putting off till this semester is calculus. The thing about calculus is I haven’t taken anything math-related since high school. Going into this semester I was pretty nervous and for some reason the word “derivative” scared me. As it turns out, the class isn’t all that bad and the worry and stress I gave myself dreading over this was for nothing. One of the big things that is helping me though the class is the Student Connect software (the access code that comes with textbook that no one enjoys buying). It gives step-by-step instructions on how to do everything we learn in class and I would look over it the day before. This gave me a lot of confidence and I ended up scoring one of the highest on the first exam!

My favorite course by far this semester is the Multi-Engine Airplane certification course which is my last flight course I will take before graduation. The plane we use for this class is a Baron 55. Comparably, other flight schools usually train in a Piper Seminole that only puts out 180 hp on a side. The Barron 55 is a monster and it puts out 300 hp each engine for a total of 600 hp! This plane actually puts you back in your seat on takeoff and it is a blast. I regularly break 200 mph and like I always say, the faster the better! This is definitely the capstone class for me and I can’t wait to jump back in it for next time.

A Scary Experience in Junior Composition

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2014

When I signed up for junior composition for this fall semester, I had no idea I was in for such a “terrifying” experience. Of course, to any engineer, an English course doesn’t sound as appetizing as our math and science based curriculum, but in any case, it is a refreshing change.

A week before my classes started, I got an email from my soon-to-be English professor informing me of the required literature. To my shock, I found the movie “Carrie” by Stephen King, “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, and “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin just to name a few. I had signed up for a section of the class that was focused on “Women in Horror”. I have always avoided anything with terror, blood, etc. so I didn’t think I would be able to survive the course. My first reaction was to drop it, but after a few classes, I decided to give it a shot.

Recently, I’ve just completed one of my more interesting projects for the course: I live-tweeted my experiences while watching the movie “Carrie” (1976). Hopefully, nightmares won’t come and my followers on Twitter won’t think I have the most random tweets in the world, but this was a great change from the usual calculations my engineering courses require. So far, I’m very happy with my decision to try something bizarre and completely different from my engineering courses.

Project Management, Facilities, Econ, and Bio

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 3 November 2013 – As my college career is culminating into my final year, each semester of classes is more interesting than the one before. One of my favorite aspects of my class schedule is its diversity. I am currently enrolled in three of my ‘major’ classes and three electives required by my degree.

My project management class gives me the chance to work in teams with new people to develop and present a potential project idea. It’s fun to witness the range of ideas that appear, from building a new bar uptown to building an island. Still it’s amazing to see the similarities in the decision-making process for the different scopes of projects.

My favorite class is about designing layouts for various facilities. We have to come up with the most effective arrangement of various departments in a given building considering a variety of factors. Even in designing the skeleton of the building itself, a number of systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) need to come together to create an optimal work environment.

I also get to stretch my legs and go across campus to study economics and human biology. Econ is a neat class, especially because taking a federal macroeconomics gives me a flip-side perspective to the small-scale microeconomics class I took freshman year. I like having the chance to see how society works, not just my personal engineering projects.

I am so excited to be able to finally take a biology class though, especially an anatomy class. Perhaps it’s the systems engineer in me, but I love seeing how the different systems in the body interact to create such a complex organism (my molecular biology roommate also likes that I now understand more than 40% of what she says). The class has also motivated me to want to work on designing harder and more complex systems that take into consideration a number of factors.

As I’m scheduling next semester, my classes are all in the engineering building, but I’ll be sure to schedule an extra, just to give me some perspective.