Tag Archives: outings

My Athens Bucket List

Nicole Sova

Nicole Sova,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular


Athens, OH 2 November 2015

Amidst the hustle of classes and conferences, it could be easy to forget to step back and enjoy the little things. In order to make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the fun Athens has to offer, my roommate and I made a bucket list for our last fall in Athens, with many of them complete (X).

  • Bike the Hocking Adena Bike Path (X)
  • Enjoy Breakfast at the Catalyst Café (X)
  • Experience the Pawpaw Festival (X)
  • Buy Apples at the Farmer’s Market (X)
  • Walk the Ridges Nature Trails (X)
  • Visit the Kennedy Art Museum (X)
  • Watch One of the Performing Art Series Concerts (X)
  • Cheer on the Hockey Team (X)
  • Watch the Sunset from Bong Hill
  • Hike Radar Hill
  • Sing along to the Marching 110 (X)
  • Go to a Football Game (X)
  • Watch the Homecoming Parade
  • Eat the Local Cuisine on Court Street (X)
  • Go Bowling at the Rollerbowl
  • Take a Sunday Drive through Town (X)
  • Enjoy the Colors of Fall on College Green (X)
  • Watch a Movie at the Fun Barn
  • Dress up with Friends and Enjoy the Halloween Block Party (X)

While I’m still working on crossing a few of these things off of the list, so many memories accompany each of these bullet points. One of my favorite memories on the list is singing and dancing along with the Marching 110 at the football game halftime shows. Their spirit and energy are infectious! This video is of one of the songs they played during this year’s parents’ weekend game, but nothing beats watching them live.

Being from New York, I had never heard of a pawpaw (a sweet, slightly mushy, but delicious fruit). My freshman year I was happy to discover this interesting fruit and the festival that celebrates it. This year I was more than excited to introduce my freshman sister to it all. We listened to local bands, ate pawpaw-flavored foods, browsed the local crafts, and sported some stylish balloon hats. Below is a picture of me (far left), my roommates, and my sister (far right) at the Pawpaw Festival.

Pawpaw Festival

Another Athens Fall favorite is the HallOUween Block Party. It is always so much fun to see all of the interesting costumes and this year I thought we might have had a chance at winning the costume contest. Unfortunately, we lost to the Sanderson sisters. Below is a picture of my friends and me (the Mad Hatter, second from the right) as the cast of Alice in Wonderland.


Athens has so much to offer and so many incredible people to experience it all with. I’m so glad I chose a school with so much character and friends to remind me to slow down and enjoy all that Athens has to offer.

Rediscovering Soccer

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 October 2015

This was the first year since I was 4 years old that soccer was not a consistent part of my life and to say I miss it would be an understatement. However, I’ve been finding ways to keep the game I love a part of my life. This weekend I finally made it up to a Columbus Crew SC game, which is something I have wanted to do all year.

It was “Ohio University” night at the game, so students got discounted tickets. One of my friends and I drove up to Columbus for the game and my brother and some of his friends were in the same section as us! We hadn’t planned it so it was a nice surprise to spend some time with him as well.

Crew Game

Another thing I’ve been trying to do more this year is read books. My brother gave me a book called Finding the Game by Gwendolyn Oxenham, which I finished at the same time I was starting to play intramural soccer. I mention these together because the book is a personal account of a girl who traveled the world with her boyfriend and two friends looking for pickup soccer games in 29 different countries. Playing with my team makes me feel like I am living that book, but instead of traveling thousands of miles, I just go to the other side of campus.

The majority of the people on my team are engineers, but of different disciplines and cultures. We have kids from Oman, Angola, Spain, China and the United States and although everyone speaks English, most default to their first language when we play. At first I thought it would be difficult to play because of this, but we communicate through the universal language of soccer with passes, claps and high fives. We have won both our games so far (5-1 and 12-1) and I am looking forward to the rest of our games.

Soccer’s ability to break barriers is one of the things I admire most about the sport. There are kids I’ve had many classes with, but had never talked to until we started playing soccer together. This connection not only has affected our social interactions and cultural understanding, but it has enhanced our collaborations as engineers which, to me, is invaluable.

Winter Break Ski Trip

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 January 2015

This Winter Break 10 other engineers and I were able to take a Ski trip to Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, New York. One of the my classmates was able to rent a small condo through a family friend and we all carpooled over to New York.

The weather was perfect for three full days of skiing and fun! The first day we got to the resort it was a demo day. All of the different brands of skis and snowboards had tents filled with gear that people could try out for a couple of hours. I learned how to snowboard from a friend in middle school and had never tried skiing. So this trip I was able to demo skis and have my friends teach me!

Ski Trip

It was very different and definitely more difficult for me to pick up. Everyone was a good sport about it and waited for me as I went slowly down the runs. The other people on the trip were much more experienced than me even when I was back on my snowboard but it was fun to hear about how everyone had picked up skiing or snowboarding. Back at the condo we all made meals together and had an awesome time relaxing and playing lots of euchre.

Ski Trip

Water Treatment Field Trip

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 30 October 2014

Throughout the semester in my water and waste water management class, we have been in the process of designing a water treatment plant. During class we have learned all types of treatment processes and how to remove contaminants to provide quality drinking water to the public. We learned how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the water quality standards and from the standards civil engineers are free to design the water treatment plant however they would like as long as they meet the standards.

There comes a time when learning theory in class does not teach you everything you need to know about water treatment. During our own design project, there were multiple times when we were doing calculations to determine tank size we questioned ourselves if our numbers made sense. Most of the time we were unable not comprehend how massive water treatment plants are.

As a part of the class and a teaching tool our professor organized a field trip to a water treatment plant in Lancaster, Ohio and a waste water treatment plant in Columbus, Ohio. Being able to see these plants in person helped us understand on how massive these plants are actually and help us realize that our calculations of our own design are acceptable.

Pictures provided show both the water treatment plant and waste water treatment plant.

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Leading the Scuba Diving Class Trip

Julie Stenger

Julie Stenger,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2014

This past weekend I traveled to Williston, Florida for the scuba diving class checkout trip. As the teaching assistant for the class, I spent a lot of hours planning and scheduling this trip and felt exhausted by the time 5:15 A.M. Thursday morning rolled around when it time to board the bus for the trip down. We got to Devil’s Den Spring in Florida at midnight Thursday and spent Friday morning diving in the spring, which is on a private farm and has crystal clear waters.

Scuba Trip

We had nothing planned for the rest of the day and instead of spending time hanging out by ourselves, a few of the students decided to ask our instructors if we could travel to Universal Studios theme park. Much to my surprise they said yes so we loaded up the van and traveled an hour and a half to Orlando. We got to spend 4 jam packed hours exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, riding the Incredible Hulk multiple times, and eating a delicious, and expensive, meal at the Hard Rock Café.

Scuba Trip

We dived in the den again on Saturday morning and spent the afternoon snorkeling down Rainbow River. That night we had a bonfire and even wound up crashing a wedding next door!

This weekend was the perfect mid-semester break from classes despite how hectic it was. Scuba diving at Ohio University has opened me up to a lot of opportunities in the past two years that I will forever be grateful for. Not only have I been able to get good at an incredible activity that I will be able to participate in for the rest of my life, but I have met countless amazing people throughout my time and made memories to last forever.

Scuba Trip

I encourage everyone to take a class in something they love doing. It makes school a lot more fun and breaks up the regular routine. Ohio University has numerous programs available and scuba diving is just one potentially life changing class! Get involved!

Enjoying a Fall Getaway

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2014

A question I wrestled with when choosing to major in engineering was “If I study engineering, will I have a life outside of homework and exams?” After spending two-and-a-half years in Civil Engineering, I can confidently answer that question with, “Yes it is possible to have a life outside of engineering work.”

This past weekend was a clear example of leaving the real world of work and just enjoying life. Saturday I went to the Circleville Pumpkin show with a group of friends. The pumpkin show is an annual gathering of pumpkin fanatics in a festival-like atmosphere about an hour from Athens. There are rides, food, games, and tons of pumpkin goodness. That includes the World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie, 6 feet in diameter.

World's Largest Pumpkin Pie

Anything you can think of, they’ve made it pumpkin-flavored and I had the opportunity to taste some of it! After sampling through pumpkin chili, elephant ears, coffee, pie, funnel cake, ice cream, and fudge I decided my favorite pumpkin-flavored food was the pumpkin donut from a local bakery named Lindsey’s. The donuts were one-of-a-kind and truly satisfied my taste buds.

After the pumpkin show we camped out at the house of one of my friends. this camping out involved marshmallows, hot dogs, guitar playing, and an overall good time. To top off the night, we all slept in hammocks.

Hammock Camping

After weekends like these, I appreciate the ability to have some free time to get away from engineering and just enjoy the opportunities going to school in this area offers

Caving Trip

Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 9 April 2014 – I’m sure many people wouldn’t typically associate the terms “engineer” and “outdoorsman” with one another. And in my case, many people would be spot on with that assumption; I am an engineer, but by no means am I an outdoorsman. Sure, I love being outside on a nice day or playing a little sand volleyball in the summer months, but you certainly won’t find me running a 5k or hiking up a mountainside.

As my career at Ohio University is winding down, I thought that I needed to go outside of my comfort zone a little bit. One of my roommates is an outdoor recreation major and at the end of last semester he suggested that I enroll in a caving class for the current spring semester. He had gone on one of the trips before and said that it was quite an experience, so I decided to pull the trigger and sign up.

After a quick two weeks of classes in late February to early March, myself, eight other students (my roommate included), our teaching assistant (TA) Hunter, and our professor Matt (a super cool PhD student) were in a van driving to Radford, Virginia to face a weekend worth of camping and caving. After setting up camp and spending the night on Friday, we woke up early Saturday morning and drove to our first cave, Starnes.

Starnes is a cave deep in a hillside that is located on a farmer’s property just outside of Radford. We hiked about a half-mile through the farmer’s property and then rappelled down into the cave (after first obtaining the farmer’s permission, of course). The moment I entered the cave and got out of the sunlight, I could feel the presence of the cave’s immense darkness set in. Once you get a few hundred feet into the cave, climbing over rocks and through crevices, there is absolutely zero light and only darkness.

We all wore headlamps and carried two forms of backup light as a precaution, along with lunch, water, extra batteries, extra clothes, and empty bottles in case a bathroom transaction needed to be made (you can’t just go anywhere in a cave).

The experience of climbing through these caves with this group of students I barely knew was exciting and truly enjoyable. The instructor Matt did a great job making sure that we were all comfortable and led the group so that we not only were able to explore the caves ourselves and make our own decisions about where to explore, but also so we were able to get to know one another along the way and trust one another to have each other’s backs when we needed help.

The caves were extremely wet and the terrain was a constant struggle. You had to be very conscious of every step you took. Also, there were some areas, called “squeezes,” which were extremely narrow areas where you had to crawl army-style to get to the next open area (talk about claustrophobia). There was one particular squeeze that was so tight that you had to put one arm in front of you and one arm to your side and essentially nudge your way inch-by-inch through a 15-foot passageway into the next room. If I learned anything about myself on this trip, it was that I am not claustrophobic like I thought I was!

Caving truly was an incredible experience and I am glad I was able to take on the challenge with my roommate and other students from Ohio University. I will always remember that weekend in Radford, Virginia.