Tag Archives: robe leadership institute

EcoChallenge

Landon Rehmar

Landon Rehmar,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 November 2017

This semester I had had the amazing opportunity to be selected into the Robe Leadership Institute. RLI is a unique course for graduating seniors in the Russ College. The purpose of the course is to develop engineering students’ leadership skill-set through valuable leadership insight and techniques. The course is led by one of the best professors in the Russ College, Dr. Bayless, a faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

One part of the RLI is a project called the EcoChallenge. The EcoChallenge is a competition to come up with sustainability projects around campus. It is a unique project with teams made of a combination of engineering students from RLI, business students from Select Leaders, and a wide variety of students from the Cutler Scholars Program.

This challenge helped everyone learn how to work in a diverse group and practice leadership skills. The interdisciplinary teams required us to work with students with entirely different backgrounds, mindsets, and problem solving skills.

My team’s project was to retrofit the aquatic center with new high efficiency LEDs. The project was a great learning experience and a huge success: if our recommendations are implemented we projected that the University will save over $14,000 and over 350,000 lbs of CO2 per year.

The competition concluded with presentations to our professors and various stakeholders around campus. My team ended up taking second place and on top of that, our project will most likely be implemented.

EcoChallenge

This course and project have allowed me to learn things about leadership that most students don’t get the opportunity to learn. I really enjoyed working on the EcoChallenge and would highly encourage anyone with the opportunity to take RLI to do so!

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.

Participating in the Robe Leadership Institute

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 29 October 2016

This semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to be selected into the Robe Leadership Institute. The purpose of RLI is to supply a group of selected graduating seniors in the Russ College (all engineering and technology majors) with leadership insight and techniques. Dr. Bayless (Mechanical Engineering Professor) facilitates and teaches this course.

Throughout the semester, we have successful Ohio University grads come in and speak to us about their leadership experiences and career advice. As a student, this is an incredible experience that most students don’t get. I am making sure to take advantage and to ask the speakers every question I can. To hear about a successful person’s career path, accomplishments, and failures and to ask them how they utilized different leadership techniques has been a great experience for me, as I approach graduation in May.

Also, I admire how excited the speakers are to give back to Ohio University Russ College students. An added bonus to this course is a trip to San Diego for Spring Break to further expand our leadership.

At the beginning of the course, our professor had us participate in a Challenge Course at the Ridges.

Challenge Course

The purpose of this event is to have our whole class participate in problem-solving activities. By doing these activities, I found out more about my peers in the class and their leadership techniques. I am excited to see how all of us make a transition as leaders by the end of the semester. I am so excited that I have decided to take this course and transition into a great leader in what ever I do.

Robe Leadership Visits San Diego

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 6 March 2016

This past fall, I was a part of the Robe Leadership Institute (RLI) which is a class that focuses on learning about the characteristics of successful and effective leaders.

Every year, RLI takes a trip to San Diego, California, to meet CEOs of several companies in the area. During our trip, we got to meet the leaders of iTech, Wintress Engineering, Indyme, HM Electronics, and FieldLogix. These CEOs told us about their leadership experience and how they built their companies to be successful.

Robe Leadership on the Beach

We had a great time visiting the companies, but we also had the opportunity to do lots of sightseeing! My favorite part of the trip was visiting La Jolla Cove which was about a mile walk from our hotel.

La Jolla

We hiked along the shoreline and got to see and hang out with sea lions.

Sea Lions

San Diego was a beautiful place to visit and everyone had a blast for the whole week we were there. The trip convinced us that we need to move to San Diego, or at least come back and visit in the near future!

Leadership Biography

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 15 December 2015

This past semester I took a very special class that is offered only to a select group of engineering students: the Robe Leadership Institute. It was based on developing our leadership skills and also to get to know some of our most successful alumni. We had speakers once or twice a week and we would learn from their experiences of being leaders in the professional world.

On top of that, we had projects such as writing a leadership biography of our favorite leader. For this particular project I decided to write about Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of my country, Colombia.

This project consisted of doing in-depth research on this leader and it was broken down into 3 different parts. The first part included an introduction of the project and the leader, and also a historical overview of all the events that were important in our leader’s life.

The second part was dedicated to our leader’s leadership style and special traits that helped him become successful. This part was very important in order to understand the methodology of this person.

Finally, the third part was a connection between us and the leader–how we could apply his traits and styles to our particular situations.

This project required a lot of time, but I learned a lot from it since it made me understand the most important person in my country to a great extent. In addition, I could comprehend some of the most relevant historical events that make our country what it is today. Finally, I would say that this class has been the one that has prepared me the most for the professional world.

Participating in the Robe Leadership Institute

Adam Robertson

Adam Robertson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 September 2015

Well, it’s the beginning of another amazing school year here at Ohio University. It always feels so great coming back to school, especially after a long summer of working. This semester is my first semester as an Engineering Ambassador, so I am really excited for this year.

It is also my first semester being part of the Robe Leadership Institute. The Robe Leadership Institute (RLI) is an awesome class/organization where engineering students participate in lectures with Dr. Bayless and debate the characteristics or roles of a leader. Each student does have to go through an interview process to be able to get in the class. However, I feel it is absolutely worth it.


It’s only been a couple of weeks and the class is already very close with each other. The 17 of us participated in a team-building challenge over at The Ridges the first week of class and it really bonded us together.

Throughout the semester we will get the opportunity to interview many influential people, which include anyone from Professors to CEO’s. I have learned so much on leadership so far and yet we haven’t even interviewed anyone. I would highly recommend this class to every student. Even though this class can be incredibly demanding, the material that I’m learning in this class is not taught in any other class.

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.