Tag Archives: spring break

Spring Break Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains

Logan Veley

Logan Veley,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 March 2020

I really enjoy any chance to get can’t wait to get outdoors. Over spring break, I was lucky to spend my week exploring the Great Smoky Mountains. It was my first time being able to hike in the mountains, and I loved each and every view.

Great Smoky Mountains

My girlfriend and I trekked off to multiple waterfalls that cut into the remote mountainsides. Every time we hiked or drove past one of the rivers, the clarity of the water blew my mind. You could always see the bottom of the river even when it was around six feet deep. Someday, I would love to return to trout fish in the rivers and brooks.

Great Smoky Mountains

The pictures show two of the highlights of the trip. Our hike along the Appalachian Trail provided scenic mountain overlooks, and Spruce Flats Falls was at full effect from the recent rain. I had so much fun exploring a new part of the country, and I can’t wait for my next trip to mountains.

Spring Break Cruise Plans

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 28 February 2020

Senior year truly is flying by. I know I say it every blog post, but I can’t believe that it is almost March already!

With that being said, that means Spring Break (my last one ever!) is officially on the horizon. Only one more week of classes and then it is finally here! My friends and I wanted to do something bigger this year since it is our very last one.

We decided back in November that we were going to book a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas and Grand Cayman Islands! Our cruise leaves out of Miami on Monday, March 9th! It is a five-day cruise and there are 10 of us going together. I am rooming with two of my best friends, Lauren and Kelsey.

I can’t wait to spend some much needed time in the sun with my best friends. I am also excited for all the food that the cruise will offer! There is a buffet open 24/7 on every deck and we are also served a three course meal for dinner every night. There is also a casino, dance club, swimming pool and slide, as well as workout equipment on board!

It’s safe to say that we are going to go out with a bang. Spring Break can not get here soon enough!

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.


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.


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


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.)


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.


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.


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


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!