Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 5 January 2017 –
Just before finals week last semester, I had the privilege of attending the Russ College Board of Visitors Meeting with my fellow ambassador, Rob Parker. The meeting was in sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. It was a welcome change to escape just as Athens was starting to get cold for the winter. Although I mostly had to enjoy Florida from the balcony of my hotel while I studied for finals during breaks from meetings, it was a nice change of scenery!
The Board of Visitors meets in person twice a year—once in Florida, and once in Athens. Rob and I were asked to attend to provide a students’ perspective. Over the course of the few days that I was there, I attended meetings which covered everything from the progress and goals of Ohio University as a whole to the Russ College Strategic Plan Goals.
As a student, it was extremely interesting to gain insight into the future of my college: being a graduating senior, it’s a bit bittersweet knowing that I won’t see some of the changes enacted while I’m still here. That said, I am incredibly excited about the direction in which the Russ College is heading, and the progress that we have made even since I have been here.
The Board of Visitors meeting was a great opportunity for me because it shed light on some of the challenges that the college has identified, allowing me the opportunity to brainstorm and potentially effect real change. There is a position on the Board open for recent Russ College graduates, and I hope that in the future I can be a part of the group in some capacity. I am proud to be a Bobcat, but more than that, I am so proud to be a soon-to-be graduate of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Senior, Computer Science
Athens, OH 29 November 2016 –
Earlier this month, I had the honor of attending the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board Retreat. This is where the faculty EECS meet with a selected advisory board to go over the objectives and plans for the departments.
The day started with the chair of the department, Dr. Juedes, presenting an overview of the college and how it expanded to where it is today. Throughout the day there were different discussions with groups of students and faculty about what is going well within classes and the college overall and what improvements could be made.
My favorite part of the retreat was getting the chance to communicate feedback from my classmates to the professors. This was a chance for students to convey their opinions on the development of classes and how to keep improving them for a better future. The professors cared so much about what everyone had to say which is a big reason why it was such a distinct experience.
Students don’t usually see what is happening behind the scenes and the decisions that are made about the program. Sometimes we think that changes can happen overnight, but in reality there are major steps that have to happen in order for that change to occur. I loved going to the retreat and having the chance to share the feedback from my peers!
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management
Athens, OH 28 August 2015 –
Fall semester is here which officially marks the beginning of the end of my time here in Athens! It’s time to start applying for jobs and preparing for the next chapter. While I’m sure I’ll miss Athens, I was able to spend one last summer here doing some really enjoyable stuff.
Ohio University hosted the International Space University (ISU) summer program here this summer. It’s an event where people who aspire to work in the space industry come from 31 different countries for a fast paced summer degree program to learn various skills, and network.
I helped transport people back and forth to the Columbus airport, which turned out to be a lot more fun than it sounds. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, 3 different astronauts, various distinguished professors and entrepreneurs, and NASA engineers. I loved hearing all of their stories about space and work, and getting different perspectives from those who aren’t from the United States.
As well as helping out with ISU, I did some CAD work for the Innovation Center here in Athens. Using Solidworks, I recreated some old plastic Porsche 944 parts (as well as a few other things) and 3-D printed them out for a client who modifies this particular vehicle. This was especially cool for me since I’m a car enthusiast. I’m hoping to make my final year as enjoyable as this summer was!
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management
Athens, OH 16 February 2014 – First off, I want to give a shout out to my fellow ETM Engineering Ambassador Steven Crane. Congratulations on the job buddy! Steve is one of many ETM students receiving job offers prior to graduation. However, I have yet to find the right job for me so I’ll continue my search and the upcoming career fair will be an awesome tool. Although a few people (peers and professors) tried to get me to the engineering career fairs for the past few years, I didn’t understand the importance. I went to my first career fair last year and now have a new appreciation for this awesome networking tool.
It’s one thing to apply to jobs online but it’s an entirely different experience actually talking to company representatives in person. That’s what the career fair offers. Over twenty booths will be set up in the lobby of Stocker Center and the Academic Research Center, each of which will have two to three company representatives. Unlike the larger career fair that is held in Baker Center, the engineering career fair is catered specifically to engineering and technology majors. A few weeks before the fair begins, each department sends out a memo stating which companies will be attending, and what majors they are looking for. This makes preparation easy because I know what companies to research, and visit at the fair.
Now I’ll be honest, the fair was slightly awkward for me the first time I went. I wasn’t comfortable physically and psychologically. I never dress up so getting dressed up and walking through a crowd drove me a little crazy. Then there’s the psychological aspect. I’m not one to brag, so walking up to a complete stranger and selling my skills and abilities was strange. However, once I got over the initial nervousness it became second nature.
The next career fair is coming up this week so I’ll be a little more prepared this time around. In order to be more comfortable at the career fair I’ve prepared an “elevator speech” and got a little more comfortable in the clothes I’ll be wearing. It really comes down to treating the fair like an interview. These people are coming to Athens to talk to us because they know what we are capable of as engineers. I need to become comfortable with that concept, and represent my major proudly.
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Athens, OH 24 September 2013 – Last spring I was nominated and then selected to become an engineering ambassador. Looking back to last spring, it would have certainly been a mistake if I had chosen not to accept the engineering ambassador position. Throughout the years, I have found myself to be a helpful person. I enjoy aiding others and the satisfaction that comes with that.
The aspect of helping others is the majority of what engineering ambassadors are all about. The organization focuses primarily on future students. If a prospective engineering student comes to visit the Russ College, an ambassador is responsible for giving the student a tour of the engineering facilities and explaining what the university has to offer. Ambassadors also aid incoming freshmen on opening weekend by explaining the basics about the university, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, student organizations, and the life as a college student.
I enjoy talking about and helping prospective students and underclassmen about these issues. Entering college I didn’t know what to expect. I was always asking questions of upperclassmen for advice and how they reacted to certain situations that a typical student would encounter at some point in his or her college career.
From a student’s prospective, the ambassadors are the voice of the college. If there is a problem within the college, the faculty can hear it from us and then turn around quickly to resolve the issue. Community service is always important and the ambassadors feel it is important to give back to our surrounding community.
On the other hand, the engineering ambassadors do have fun as well. We participate in socials, dinners, and team building exercises. Recently, we successfully completed a high ropes course. From all of these activities comes reward. I have learned a lot about the different engineering majors and what activities they are involved in. I cannot say enough about the group of students I am with. As an ambassador, I am surrounded by some of the best students in the college. I am really glad I chose to become an engineering ambassador based on the friendships I have made with the other ambassadors.
Bill Kandel, Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH 14 May 2012 – This past weekend I had the honor to attend the annual engineering student awards. It was nice to see so many fellow students who I know work so hard at what they do receive recognition from their professors and faculty in front of their families and friends. It was a fun night full of good-hearted jokes and witty responses. Their awards ranged widely, a lot of them were academically bases, while others were bases on co-ops, leadership or service to the individual’s respective department.
I was honored to receive a special award for dedication and service to mechanical engineering department. It is really nice to see how much the departments really take notice of students, not only how they look on a piece of paper, the departments really take the time to get to know you as an individual and because of that are able to give out special awards in regard to leadership and service. Yet another reason I am glad to be a Bobcat.
Senior, Computer Science
Athens, OH 3 May 2012 – One of my jobs is as a webmaster for the Cutler Scholars program. That program is one of the most prestigious and rewarding scholarship programs at OU; students are rewarded with tuition and living expenses, and in return are expected to make global impact (through volunteer, business, and education experiences that cover the globe) and exhibit exceptional academic and behavioral performance.
The Cutler Scholars program has suddenly become very relevant to the Russ College of Engineering and Technology; this year, the program is proud to announce a new scholarship designated exclusively for an outstanding student who has already been accepted by the Russ College of Engineering and who intends to pursue an engineering degree. The administration at Russ College has worked closely with those at Cutler Scholars (it’s cool to see my jobs overlap!) to nominate students, collect and filter applicants, select and interview finalists, and then to finally choose the new scholar.
The Robe/Russ Legacy-Cutler Scholarship is named after two incredible families in recognition of their service and support to the college of engineering.
Dick Robe was dean of the engineering college for 16 years, spent more than 40 years in academia, and lists one of his major accomplishments as participating in the education of more than 10,000 students in his time at OU! Robe has been unfailingly dedicated not only to engineering, but also to the education of new engineers. Though he is retired from academia, his support (and that of his wife, Ellie) continues through endowments which fund scholarships like this one.
You probably recognize the name “Russ”, since it’s the name of our college! Dr. Fritz Russ graduated from the College of Engineering in 1942 and with his wife, Dolores, they began their own company, Systems Research Laboratories, which became extremely successful and very influential among research firms. With that success, the Russes contributed more than $124 million to the Russ College–a gift that is the largest donation given to any public college of engineering in the United States.