Tag Archives: spring break

Create for Good in Florida

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 31 March 2019

During Spring Break, I had the chance to go down to Florida with Theta Tau, my coed professional engineering fraternity, to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. We were able to stay at the United Methodist Church in Flagler Beach, which was only 3 blocks away from the Atlantic and 20 minutes away from the work site where we volunteered for 4 days.

My friend and little in the fraternity, Sam (ISE senior), and I started our trip down to Florida on the Friday before break. Firstly, we drove 8 hours to Cleveland, Tennessee, to stay the night with Sam’s family and break up the road trip to Florida. The next day, we drove another 6 hours to Savannah, Georgia, where we found a hotel. Here I saw the first palm trees of our trip!

Habitat / Spring Break

For some reason, I get extremely excited about palm trees. These trees are the ultimate sign of vacation in my view. The next day, we had time to spend a couple of hours exploring the city of Savannah! This city had a lot of historical architecture at the riverbank and some crazy structures to visit.

Later that afternoon, we drove to Flagler Beach to meet our other brothers from 6 different chapters around the nation: Texas, Virginia (2x), Rhode Island, Michigan, and Ohio. We had dinner and found out that most of the volunteers were returners from previous years! They were extremely friendly and welcoming towards us, the newbies. After a free dinner from the church and Habitat, we spent some time bonding at the beach.

Habitat / Spring Break

For the next four days, we woke up at 6:30 am to leave the church by 7:30 am. Habitat for Humanity expected us to be on the site by 8:00 am to start the day with a dedication circle. Throughout the day, we performed different tasks such as roofing or siding.

Habitat / Spring Break

I joined the siding group for most of the days, so I was pounding nails in the outside of the house to finish the outdoor walls. I also spent a day or two on hurricane straps. These could be a real pain at times because both sides of a roof frame had to be nailed with 5-6 nails to the strap and wall so the wind could not blow underneath the roof. The angle of nailing and the fact that we had to nail them through metal while standing on a ladder didn’t make the job much easier!

Habitat / Spring Break

By the end of the day, we had a lot of fun and it was extremely rewarding work! On our last day, we finished almost the entire roof and the outdoor walls. We also got to dedicate another, finished house to a family which was a great experience. It was awesome to see how a finished house would look like!

Next year, I hope to come back to volunteer again as it precisely describes what I would like to do after graduation: combining civil engineering with natural hazard mitigation and humanity work in developing communities.

Spring Break Reunion

Haley Nau

Haley Nau,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 March 2019

This past spring break was one that focused on nostalgia. I stayed home for most of the week and reconnected with old friends. With my parents we stayed in most nights and had home cooked meals (which I didn’t have to prepare myself) and watched old movies we’ve already seen a hundred times, but never got old. A few of the mornings (where I didn’t sleep in) I would grab a coffee with whoever was available and hike the familiar trails in my area.

Hiking

To reminisce, I met up with my close-knit group of friends from high school at midnight at our local 24-hour donut shop just like the old days. We talked about how much things have changed since our graduation and how much we hope that continues. (But we still vow to stay in touch.) To celebrate growing old, me and another close friend grabbed breakfast mimosas just to show off our brand new 21 IDs and made plans to vacation with each other in the summer.

In the day I would go on walks with my dog and a few times I went to my local library to check out a new book. It felt good to relax for a week with no pending obligations and do the same things I used to enjoy from high school.

Rest, Reflection, and Robotics

Alvin Chaney

Alvin Chaney,
Junior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 18 March 2019

This Spring Break was a great time to rest …. And reflect. Although the time went by very quickly, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

The highlight of my break was on Saturday. For the past nine years, on a Saturday in March, my parents and I (below) have volunteered at the “Where in the World is Dr. Dunn” Robotics Competition.

Robotics

The event is hosted by the National Technical Association (NTA) and the University of Cincinnati (UC) – College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Robotics

Nearly eleven years ago, I was a middle schooler participating in the National Technical Association’s Math Camp hosted at UC and directed by Dr. Cheryl Dunn. Dr. Dunn asked the camp participants to share ideas for activities. I loved (and still love) Legos™ and had discovered Robotics by using the Mindstorms™ sets. I shared my idea for a Robotics competition by writing a proposal (with the help of my parents to the NTA and Dr. Dunn.)

Robotics

Dr. Dunn and the NTA implemented the idea which initially focused on elementary and middle school students. The first competition was in 2010 and participation has increased over the years and it now includes high school students.

Robotics

Since 2010, the leadership committee has rewarded my contribution by allowing me to present the A.P. Chaney Perseverance Award. This award is given to the team or individual who has found a way to overcome their challenges. This also motivates me to continue to persevere and to do my best.

Robotics

Below are the 2019 A.P. Chaney Perseverance Award Winners.

Robotics

Overall, this was a chance to rest, reflect and enjoy Robotics. I had an opportunity to “create for good” and this was a wonderful way to spend my Spring Break!

“Moving” to Texas

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 10 March 2019

When I left my home state of Pennsylvania and went off to college, I made my parents “empty-nesters.” It was tough in the beginning. My first semester, I cried when my parents dropped me off and again when the they left after a weekend visit halfway through the semester.

When I finally went home for the first time for Thanksgiving, I was so relieved to see that home had stayed the same. We had the same orange couch with the down feathers and the Pittsburgh Penguins playing on the television. I thought that while college was a new experience and I was growing into a new person, home would always be home: constant and unchanging. This has not been the case.

Looking back, it seems silly that I expected life in Pennsylvania wouldn’t move on without me. Amid all the changes, the biggest has been my parents’ relocation to Texas. This spring break, instead of returning to the familiar, I got to adventure to the unknown.

Dallas, Texas

When I landed in Dallas, my parents knew they would need to feed and water their daughter. I expected them to take me to a burger joint or maybe a steakhouse, because, well, it’s Texas. I was pleasantly surprised, albeit a little confused, when they took me to get sushi instead.

Sushi

At this restaurant, the sushi passed by our table on a conveyor belt. I was entirely too amused and ate far too much.

Sushi

Sushi

After dinner, we went to a Japanese supermarket featuring Hello Kitty udon and some tasty free samples. Visiting Texas astonishingly came with a brief tour of Japan.

Afterwards, we went to my parents’ new apartment where we watched the Penguins at Bluejackets game. Overall, my first day in Texas was well spent and I am looking forward to some more new adventures this spring break. Go Pens!

Spring Break is Coming

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 3 March 2019

Spring is finally almost approaching! I can’t believe how fast this semester is flying by. This time of year is one of my favorites and I bet you can guess why. We have spring break of course! I love hearing about everyone’s spring break traditions and thought I would share a little bit about my own.

Every year since I was a senior in high school, I have gone to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my boyfriend’s grandfather. Because he lives so far away, it is a real treat to get to see him this time every year. It’s also great that we know someone who lives in such a warm place, as we are able to go to the beach, the pool, and the outlet malls in March—a month that is typically still freezing here in Athens. We also save money because we don’t have to book a hotel or beach house!

There are so many fun activities to do in the southwest Florida area. Last year, we got the chance to take a riverboat tour of a section of the Everglades. It was so amazing to see the different wildlife—including jaguars, crocodiles, and dolphins!

I am looking forward to heading back to one of my favorite vacation spots in one short week, and to see what new adventures this year will bring. Hopefully we don’t miss our departure flight this year, as it is at 6:00 in the morning.. I’m sure the excitement of vacation will guarantee my getting out of bed at 4:00 am.

I hope everyone has a great spring break—whether you are going on a vacation or just relaxing at home.

Spring Break in Nashville

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 18 March 2018

This past week was our spring break and I got the privilege of visiting my sister in Nashville for a couple days! It is, by far, my favorite city and I would love to live there one day.

When I arrived, we visited Broadway street for the night. Broadway Street is filled with giant bars and plenty of great country music. My favorite thing is walking down the street and listening to loud, live bands every five feet because each and every bar has live country music every night. How can you not love that?

We did some more sight-seeing over the next few days by visiting Centennial Park where the Parthenon is located and visiting the Gaylord Opryland.

Parthenon

The Parthenon is an exact replica of the original Parthenon located in Greece. This thing is massive. We got some cool pictures there looking like ants next to this structure.

The Opryland is a resort and convention center, but mainly a tourist attraction. They have three indoor “rooms” with shops inside them. I say inside with quotes because each room has either a river or pond in it with beautiful scenery everywhere. We loved watching a dancing fountain in one of the areas. My trip was amazing and I can’t wait to visit again!

Spring Break Road Trip

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 17 March 2017

As most people know, when spring semester rolls around every student is thinking of their spring break plans. Students tend to gravitate towards a destination in Florida or somewhere south, with the main stipulation being that the location has to be warm and sunny. Many of these spring break trips are planned far in advance and some not so much.

This was the case for my most recent and final spring break of my college career. Myself and five of my best friends decided on a whim (2 weeks before spring break) that we were going to take a cross country trip in just 8 days with the turnaround point being the West Coast.

Spring Break Trip

We traveled a total of 5,100 miles, passed through 9 states and saw some of the most breath taking sites along the way. We started from Athens, Ohio and made it to the Santa Barbara Boardwalk at the end of the historic Route 66.

Spring Break Trip

Along the way we stopped in Denver, Colorado; Pike’s Peak, Four Corners, The Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. On the way back we saw The Hoover Dam and stopped in Las Vegas for a night.

Spring Break Trip

I got to see things in person on this trip that I’ve only ever seen in pictures and to me that was awesome. We traveled many miles and spent a lot of hours cooped up in a minivan and surprisingly enough, we never got tired of each other’s presence. I’ve been fortunate enough to have met some great people with my time at school and I’m glad that I can take random trips with them.