Tag Archives: student orgs

Spring Break Trip to Slovenia

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 21 March 2018

In early January, my Spring break plans were the same as every year preceding: I was going home to see my cat. By the third week of the semester, I had a plane ticket to go on a cultural exchange to Ljubljana, Slovenia (the first j is silent and the second j reads like a y).

Slovenia

I’m not sure if it was the beautiful architecture, the fresh, flaky croissants or the unbelievably blue Adriatic Sea, but in just one week I fell whole-heartedly in love with Slovenia.

There were students from both Cru at OU and RealLife at OSU on the cultural exchange. We partnered with an organization called Speak Out Slovenia, which works with high school students to practice English speaking through meaningful, relevant conversation with Americans. A lot of our time was spent in classrooms, giving a short presentation and quiz about school in the US, answering any questions, and learning about Slovene culture.

The quiz tested the Slovene high school students’ knowledge of American high school jargon like senioritis, dance chaperone and senior superlative. The Slovene students taught us (the Americans) about their college entrance exam, the Matura, and flaunted that detention does not exist in Slovenia, among many other things.

During that week, we (the Americans) were divided into groups and met at three different high schools. The school I went to was called Gimnazija Šentvid. One of the major differences between American and Slovene high schools is when it comes to sports. Unlike in America, Slovene sports clubs are not affiliated with a high school or district. However, there are schools like Gimnazija Šentvid that offer classes for student athletes where they can train and condition during their school day.

Another big difference is that in Slovene high school a student stays with the same group of people throughout their day class to class with few exceptions except during senior year. This is very different from how American high schools operate where we have our own individualized schedules.

In addition to speaking with English class students in the schools, we also had after-school activities. On Wednesday, all the teachers in Ljubljana went on strike, so we took a day trip with at least thirty Slovene students to Piran, a coast town on the Adriatic Sea. We were split into groups with both Slovenes and Americans and sent on a photo scavenger hunt to see all the sights the lovely town had to offer.

Slovenia

Piran was my personal favorite. Looking out across the sea, in one direction I saw Italy and in the other Croatia. We climbed to the highest point in the town, where we could look out at the point and snap a picture of the terracotta rooftops and breathtaking horizon.

Our last day in Slovenia was spent at Lake Bled. The lake was nestled majestically in the frosted mountains. From a castle that loomed over the lake to the small island church located in the middle of the lake, it was like something out of a fairy tale.

Slovenia

We hiked higher and higher to take the best pictures and to try to capture the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Lake Bled was also a prized destination thanks to its authentic dessert shop that supposedly has the best kremsnita (cream cake) in Slovenia.

Slovenia

Overall, there was a lot to love about Slovenia. I hope I have the opportunity to go back and visit this beautiful country and the friends I made through Speak Out. This trip had a tremendous impact on me through immersive learning about another culture. Even though it was a break from class, it definitely was not a break from learning. However, when you are gazing across the Adriatic or enjoying a delectable croissant, it’s not so bad.

Bishop Visit: Liturgy & Lunch

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 November 2017

This past Sunday, the Ohio University Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) was blessed to celebrate the Divine Liturgy served by His Grace, Bishop Paul of the Orthodox Church in America, with the St. Ephraim’s chapel community in Athens, OH.

It was an unseasonably warm, bright, and colorful November morning as members of the community formally welcomed His Grace with traditional gifts. The parish community brought forth bread and salt, a symbol of hospitality in eastern Europe, while the youth of the church presented flowers. Although the OCF has not been around long enough to have a “traditional” gift of its own, we brought forth fresh fruit for His Grace as a symbol that the OCF is a fruit of the labors of the church community which also aims to be fruitful in growing the faith of college students.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

As the Divine Liturgy was served, the chapel itself was filled with a special warmth and beauty as community members of all ages and backgrounds came together to joyfully worship our Lord. The incense was especially sweet, the clergy’s vestments shown as with the light of Christ, and the choir offered up beautifully embellished hymns of praise — all to remind us that the Lord is always in our midst.

As college students, it can be so difficult (yet is imperative) to look past the ever-present mountains of school work and social pressures. But it is by doing so that we may be reminded of the Kingdom of God. Only then will we regain our eternal perspective and be renewed in our pursuits to serve our God and our neighbors with love.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Thankfully, our community blessed us with an opportunity to do just that. At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, everyone was invited to a luncheon served in honor of His Grace. This was a time of fellowship and relaxation that could not have been more timely — our second round of midterms just ended! We all left the event closer in friendship and renewed in spirit.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

The OCF is a relatively new student organization on campus that my fiancé and I work closely with and are excited to see growing. The opportunity to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with one of the patriarchs of the Church (who came all the way from Chicago, IL) was a wonderful signal that though we may be a small community, we are always a part of something much larger.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship

Organizations Are a College Game-Changer

Gyasi Calhoun

Gyasi Calhoun,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 18 September 2017

Student Organizations are a game-changer because of the networking benefits and the travel opportunities, and because they force you out of your comfort zone.

When looking back at my college career I can honestly say that having the ability to meet like-minded individuals who are trying to overcome or who overcame similar—if not the same—obstacles, and going along the same academic path can be priceless, and unique. Being in the right student organization can allow you to travel the country if not the world if the opportunity presents itself and trust me, it will.

When I was a freshman I had never been on an airplane before, or to the state of California, but because of NSBE (The National Society of Black Engineers), I was given the opportunity to do both…for free! I attended the annual NSBE National Conference which was held in Orange County California and it was a time I won’t ever forget and will truly cherish.

I was able to meet other students in Computer Science and other engineering fields, interviewed with the CIA, networked with Google and Apple Recruiters, and even ran into someone I knew from high school. Moreover, if I hadn’t gotten out of my comfort zone and been involved with this organization and other organizations around campus, my college perspective, and experience would have been dulled to say the least.

Impact Movement Conference

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 12 April 2017

One of the student organizations I am involved with on campus outside of the Russ College of engineering is Cru. Cru is a Christian ministry that seeks to help college students grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Recently I traveled up to Kent State university with one of my friends who leads a bible study with me for a Cru conference. The purpose of this conference was to train future leaders who will lead with the Impact Movement.

Impact Movement at Kent State

The Impact Movement is a branch of Cru that seeks to reach African American students. This trip was both a time of equipping leaders with necessary tools for leadership and an opportunity to meet college students from different universities. There were students in attendance from Detroit Mercy, Toledo, Central Michigan, Miami Ohio, Ball State and Kent state (our host for the weekend) making a total of about 70 students. In between the training sessions we played games, danced, played cards, had a talent show and learned more about the other universities represented at the conference.

One thing that has been impactful for me since I’ve been in college has been student organizations that present opportunities to meet and network with students from other universities. I’ve learned so much over the past few years from students that I’ve met from other schools and this conference was no exception.

Cru Fall Retreat

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2016

Last weekend I took a break from my industrial engineering studies and spent a few days at the Scioto Hills camp site with CRU. CRU is a college campus ministry that I have been involved with since my freshman year.

Each fall a group of about 200 students who are involved with CRU at Ohio University and a few other small schools in southeastern Ohio, travel about an hour from campus to spend time together learning more about Jesus, deepening our relationships with one another and playing fun games like ultimate pumpkin, shown below. (I’m in the red shirt on the far right.)

Ultimate Pumpkin

Ultimate pumpkin is an annual fall retreat event that is similar to ultimate Frisbee, but played with a greased-down pumpkin. There are three teams composed of students that live on the three main greens or sections of campus, South Green, East Green and West Green (which is also home of the engineering buildings).

Since I lived on South Green my freshman year, I played with the South Green team. In 2015 South Green suffered their first lost since the tournament began in 2009, but I am glad to report that I helped bring the trophy back to South where it rightly belongs.

Saturday night, there is a large bonfire. This is a time for students to reflect on what they have learned and experienced during the retreat. (In the picture below, I am on the far left side in the black T-shirt with the bear.)

Cru Bonfire

I really enjoy CRU and many other student organizations that I have had a chance to check out since I began my time at Ohio University. There is truly an organization tailored to fit every type of student on campus regardless of background and interest.

Summer Approaches

Robert Parker

Robert Parker,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 13 April 2016

Spring in Athens is my favorite time of the year, but it also is the busiest time of the year. It seems that all of your projects, homework assignments and exams all fall on the same due date. With that being said, I find a way to get through it and make it to summertime, and for this summer I cannot wait for it to get here.

This summer I will be working for E.S. Wagner Company as a superintendent. They are a heavy highway, heavy excavation company that works in Ohio, the surrounding states and in South Carolina. I will be working out in the field supervising the different crews on the job site. For my location this summer, I have not heard the finalized decision but I’m still very excited either way.

This opportunity may have never presented itself if I had gotten involved with organizations during my time here at Ohio University. My organizations have broadened my professional network exponentially and I continue to improve my relationships with professionals daily.

For this particular co-op. I have my organization, The Ohio University Estimating Team, to thank for getting me in contact with E.S. Wagner. Without being involved in that organization I would have never talked with the company. Summer is right around the corner and I cannot wait for it to arrive!!

Spring Break in PCB with Cru

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 6 March 2016

Spring break is always a highlight of the spring semester for many students. The past two spring breaks, I have gone on trips with Cru, a Christian ministry and student organization on campus. Each year, a charter bus full of students and staff head off for a weeklong stay in Panama City Beach, Florida! At a luxury resort, we have daily sessions with music, speakers, lessons and of course lots of fun. Our afternoons are spent on the beach having conversations with beach goers about their lives and beliefs on spiritual things and sharing with them about who God is and how to have a relationship with Him. We also got to hang out at the pools, go swimming and play a lot of volleyball.

Volleyball on PCB

One fun activity that happens during the week is called Creative Dates. The idea behind creative dating is to get to know more people by having dinner together and it is a lot of fun! The first night a guys’ condo will cook dinner for and serve a girls’ condo and the next night they switch. It’s always an interesting and often entertaining couple of evenings!

Creative Date

My favorite thing about PCB is the community aspect. Living in a condo with people you may not really know at the beginning of the week, and leaving with five new best friends at the end of the week is one of the best feelings there is.

Spring Break Friends

Building lasting friendships with others who share the same passions you do is just one of the amazing benefits of joining student organizations while in college. I have made some of my best friends through organizations on campus including Cru and Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). OU has over 200 student organizations; there’s something for everyone so they are definitely worth checking out!