Tag Archives: russ college orgs

Hearing from Experts in Industry

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2016

As a student in engineering, I feel it is sometimes hard to see how everything we are learning is applied to the world around us. Luckily there are always plenty of opportunities to hear talks from experts in industry and research about how engineers are moving the world forward.

Just last week, the local chapter of IEEE hosted Jim Watson, an IEEE National Speaker, for a talk at their weekly meeting. Jim gave insight on what an engineering degree allows you to do after graduation, and what you can do during school to better prepare yourself for the future. In addition, he touched on the ways we as students can transition the skills we have learned in a university setting to challenges we will face on the job site.

Another talk I got the opportunity to attend recently was by Dr. Zak M. Kassas from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Kassas runs the ASPIN Lab (Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, & Navigation Laboratory) and focuses his research on collaborative and opportunistic navigation and optimal information gathering in stochastic environments. His talk went into great detail about his research in ways to complement, or completely replace, GPS biased navigation with the radio waves that are constantly being projected in the world around us.

The final of the talks I heard in November was by Dr. Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research assistant professor at West Virginia University. Dr. Thiruvengadam is probably best known for being one of the researchers who broke the recent news about the Volkswagen emissions tests. In his talk, Dr. Thiruvengadam went into depth about the research areas and future engine technologies that could lead to lower emissions and higher operating efficiencies.

Chili Cook-Off

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 11 November 2016

For three years now, every Dad’s Weekend my dad and I go to OU’s Women in Aviation annual Chili Cook-off. My Freshman and Sophomore year, my mom would make a pineapple chili and my dad would bring it down and we would enter it in the non-traditional category. This year I have my own apartment, so my dad and I made the pineapple chili. To be honest we just threw everything in the crockpot then looked at the recipe that we didn’t even follow.

Throughout the night the chili cooked and we went and entered it into the cook-off on Saturday. Since, we have made this chili for two years and never won I didn’t think that we actually would win this year too.

Chili Cook-Off Prize

When the results came back, the pineapple chili I made with my dad won first place for the non-traditional chili category. I couldn’t believe it–for the past two years, this chili was never close to winning and when we don’t follow the recipe it won. Now my dad and I hold something over my mom: the fact the year we made the chili and we won. I think that was the best the highlight of the weekend besides my dad coming down to visit.

Theta Tau: Professional Engineering Fraternity

Quintin Fettes

Quintin Fettes,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 6 November 2016

My tie was 3 inches too short, I noticed as I looked down to re-button my shirt. I rushed into the front of the room and sat down with 3 other candidates for our group interview for Theta Tau: The Co-ed Professional Engineering fraternity. That was nearly 2 years ago, and today my continued involvement with the group has impacted my undergraduate career more than I ever could’ve hoped.

This semester, I’m serving my last term as an executive member of Theta Tau; as a result, the nostalgia of my journey with my fellow engineers has set in.

From day 1, I knew that I had joined a special group. I wasn’t suffering over long homework assignments alone in my dorm anymore, I was suffering with my friends. I wasn’t wasting all of my free time, sitting around and complaining of boredom, I was organizing and participating in community service, fundraisers, professional development, and social events. The whole time, I was making lifelong friends.

Theta Tau

As my love for the group grew, I chose to help by taking leadership positions. Believe me, there is no group more difficult to lead than your friends. None of them will be afraid to tell you that the idea you pitched was terrible; on the other hand, no group will ever be more enthusiastic, and willing to take risks on good ideas.

Considering every triumph and every headache of leadership, if I could go back I wouldn’t change a single thing; the experience was priceless. It was in this group that I began to realize the rewards of being involved, and improving myself within student organizations on campus. Any Engineer looking for a home on campus would benefit by checking Theta Tau first.

Women in Aviation

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 27 October 2016

I have been apart of OU’s Chapter of Women in Aviation International for 3 years now. My best friend is the president and I am the Vice President and one of the most rewarding feelings we get is when we introduce other girls to aviation. One of my most favorite activities is Girls in Aviation day, which is hosted by OU’s Chapter of Women in Aviation. Girls from all over the Athens area come out to the OU airport for the day and learn about flight.

The girls range from kindergarten to high school but their reactions are the best. Four short years ago I was in their shoes and was just learning about aviation. So much information was thrown my way and I fell in love with how amazing flight is. I also enjoyed how the female pilots added a little feminine flare in a prominently male field with their pink lanyards, lip-gloss and airplane inspired shoes.

This year a female helicopter pilot from the National Guard flew in with her crew from Charleston. I don’t know who was in more awe the parents, the girls or us college kids. My favorite questions one of the little girls asked was why she had so many pockets on her uniform. The Lieutenant then explains she keeps her phone in one pocket, her credits cards in another and then she keeps her lip-gloss in another pocket.

The best part of the day was the end because I saw how each one of the girls left amazed. The girls left thinking that they can be anything their little hearts desire and I know that I helped to achieve that.