Tag Archives: summer activities

Running 4000 Miles Across America

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2018

Hey everyone, welcome to the first official 4K update on the engineering ambassador blog. A lot of things have happened over the past year. However, I will try to keep it short and give you a summary on all the events to raise money and awareness for cancer.

In August 2017, I saw an advertisement on social media about a “run across America” to fight cancer. This “4K for cancer” run caught my eye so I started the application process. That summer, one of my coworkers at my Dutch internship was very involved in the cancer community and he introduced me to it. I signed up to be a bone marrow donor in honor of his cousin who was going through treatment for leukemia. My coworker and his son even biked from one side of the Netherlands to the most Southern part to raise money and awareness for cancer. I was so impressed by this fundraising event that I wanted to get involved as well.

Running 4000 Miles Across America

During the application process for the “4K for cancer” in September, I heard the devastating news that my own family faced: my cousin’s baby of 6 months old was diagnosed with a rare kind of myeloid leukemia. Her name is Leighton Hailey van Leeuwen.

After the news, a rollercoaster of events happened in a short amount of time. In the next six months, I got accepted in the 4K for Cancer with “Team Baltimore”, I presented my cause to many organizations, I started online fundraisers (i.e. Yankee Candle, That’s My Pan), I traveled home to finally meet Leighton over winter break, I cut 25cm of my hair as a donation to a wig charity, I raised the minimum fundraising amount of $4500 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in less than three months, and I still organized five big fundraisers in Spring—Dutch Bake Sale, a Bone Marrow drive, Selling Valentine’s flowers, a Dopper Sale, and a T-shirt sale—with the help of many people and organizations at Ohio University. With those last fundraisesrs I raised another $3000.

On top of this, Leighton got a bone marrow transplantation herself (transferring stem cells through blood from a donor) in January 2018 and things finally got better for her. My schoolwork and training for the run on top of three hours of field hockey practices was going well too; I was in the best shape of my life.

Running 4000 Miles Across America

It was in March—I just got back from Spring Break in Orlando—when things started to go downhill. In this six month period, I had daily contact with my cousin and family at home, mostly over “WhatsApp”. Two weeks after Leighton’s first birthday in March 2018, they wanted to video call so I could see Leighton. She was not doing so well and things got worse real quick. Less than 24 hours after we hung up the phone, I got the devastating news that our little princess lost the battle with this terrible monster called cancer.

Running 4000 Miles Across America

In the summer of 2019, I will dedicate every single mile of my 4,000 mile journey across America to our little princess Leighton Hailey. Why not this past summer? That is because of my recent post-concussion syndrome, caused by a collision at field hockey practice in March 2018. This third concussion resulted in a medical disqualification for field hockey as well as the 4K for cancer run. This diagnosis happened within the same week of Leighton’s passing and my flight home to attend her funeral early April.

Running 4000 Miles Across America

This year, you can expect a lot of new fundraisers (e.g., a yoga session and 5K run/walk on campus) to continue the 4K journey. I am very excited to raise more awareness with the help of my Theta Tau brother Sara Barnett who signed up to do the 4K bike ride in opposite direction. She will bike all 4,000 miles in 75 days from Baltimore to San Francisco! Our first two fundraisers are coming up soon:

  • Chipotle Fundraiser, Homecoming Saturday October 20th, 5pm-9pm, “33% of your burrito proceeds go to the Ulman Cancer Fund (UCF)”

  • Pancake Breakfast @Applebee’s, Dad’s Weekend Saturday November 3rd, 8am-10am, “Buy $5 tickets or show up at Athens’ Applebee’s restaurant, all proceeds go to UCF”

Running 4000 Miles Across America

For more information:

Creating for Good on My Coast-to-Coast Run

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2018

While I am studying for my engineering classes and practicing for the field hockey team, I am also running around Athens in preparation for my summer plans. This summer, I am running with a team of college-aged runners from coast to coast: literally from San Francisco to Baltimore.

This 4,000+ mile journey in relay form will take us 49 days, which means I will run 8-12 miles on average a day. During this “4K for Cancer,” we will be raising money and awareness for cancer. The 4K is a program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) and this will be the 17th time UCF is sending young adults across the country.

In addition to the physical aspect of this program it will be a mental challenge as well, as my 10 month old infant cousin is currently battling myeloid leukemia.

4K Run

Studying abroad has been challenging ever since she, Leighton van Leeuwen, got diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6 months (September 2017). However, I found support in running for her and in my family away from home: Ohio University.

4K Run

Last month, the coed professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology helped me set up a fundraiser in the ARC Atrium. For two days, we sold Dutch baked goods for donations and we recruited 25 students to become part of the international bone marrow registry!

4K Run

On top of this, I organized a few other fundraisers such as an online Yankee Candle sale, selling Russ College T-shirts and flowers for Valentine’s Day through Tau Beta Pi, an online sale for engraved baking supplies, a “donate my hair” auction, and a Santa Fest birthday celebration at home before I came back to the States. All of this has contributed to my current donation status of $5,700!

4K Run

4K Run

In order to secure my spot on Team Baltimore, I had to raise a $4,500 minimum goal. Even after achieving this goal, it is not in my nature to stop spreading the word. Therefore, I have some exciting fundraisers planned for the rest of the semester to finish off with a personal goal of $7,000. For instance, Chi Epsilon and I will host a fundraiser at Tavolino, and I am planning on running my first half marathon in Athens this April…

4K Run

Thus, I am extremely thankful of the opportunities given by the Russ College and the ongoing support they have given me. Something I hope everyone to experience!

For more information on my 4K you can visit my personal blog and my fundraising page:https://ulman.z2systems.com/illona-hartman

CS Life

Jordan Osman

Jordan Osman,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 25 September 2017

Over the summer I ended up taking a probability and statistics course and linear
algebra course. It was my second summer at OU, so I was pretty excited to utilize the rock climbing wall since there would never be a wait. I also hiked often and really got to know Athens and places near Athens without the massive influx of people.

Related to engineering, I ended up going through a couple of phone screenings and a technical interview and eventually offered a job when I graduate in 2018.

Other than that I have been enjoying learning more about graphics and hardware performance and have been seeing my professors over the summer if I had any questions.

Something new that I’ve been doing this semester is regularly scheduled activities like basketball, strikers, board games, and other activities with my friends weekly which has been a lot of fun.

Another activity I have been getting involved in is attending the Ohio Women’s soccer games with my friends which has probably been one of my favorite things to ever partake in at OU. My roommate and I also occasionally attend the field hockey games as well which is also a fun time.

Studying in Greece

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 11 September 2017

This past summer was probably the best summer I have ever had. The first month of May consisted of traveling to Greece with my best friend for a study abroad internship. This happened through the OU Global Consulting Program which Dr. Costas Vassiliadis, from the electrical engineering department, supervised.

It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. The program was two weeks long and took place in the city of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is located in the upper peninsula of Greece right on the coast. The city is beautiful!

During the day, all the students met at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) to work on our consulting projects. We were split up into groups of 5-6 students and 2-3 of those students were from the ACT. Each group was pared with a different company to consult.

My team was pared with the Chalkidiki Flour Mills. This company is a global flour mill company that produces specialty flour blends that they ship out to other places. My team had to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program for the company. It was a great learning opportunity.

Other than the project, we had socials, special dinners, and traveled to other cities in the free time. I also loved shopping in the city after class. Another great opportunity was being able to tour monasteries and Mount Olympus on the weekend.

After the two weeks were over, my friend Gabby and I island hopped for an extra week. We visited Ios, Santorini, and Mykonos.

Ios was incredible because it was a mountainous island that a lot of college students liked to travel to. It was cheaper than the other islands, so we stayed for three nights. We did not want to leave. We stayed at a family-owned hotel that had a gorgeous view on top of a cliff. One of our favorite things about Ios was renting ATVs to ride around the island on.

Santorini was our next stop, but we only stayed for one night. Santorini is located on a cliff and it was not what I expected at all! When looking at the city from the water, it looked like little bird nests were located on the peaks of the mountains. As we moved in closer, we were amazed by the beautiful architecture and colors of the buildings. I loved this city, but it was very touristy.

Our last stop was Mykonos before heading to Athens. Mykonos was my favorite island. We met students from the University of Barcelona that hung out with us every day. I think being with a fun group made this island the best. Mykonos is very hilly with a beautiful town located on the shore. I loved all the white
buildings and beautiful beaches. I definitely want to travel back to this island.

Athens was our final destination. Dr. V was our tour guide since he lives near Athens. He showed us the Parthenon, monuments, and the museum.

Studying abroad was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Road Trip to Arizona

Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2017

My friend Matt worked an internship out in California with the AmeriCorps helping with wildlife habitat conservation and reparation. He wanted to take his car all the way from Ohio to California, and wanted someone to go with him. I wasn’t starting work until later in the summer, and I had also not seen many states or landmarks out west.

It was the perfect trip because he had everything planned, all I had to do was follow along for the ride. We made it from Ohio to Missouri, Missouri to Colorado, Colorado to Utah, and then Utah to Arizona. We camped in different National Forests and locations owned by the Bureau of Land Management. We shared Matt’s two-person tent, but with two grown adult men it felt more like a one-person tent.

I was able to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, stand under the Delicate Arch in Utah, and camp on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon

I would recommend to anyone to take a road trip to any location, because it is great time off to relax and enjoy a numerous amount of hours sitting in a car listening to the same 50 songs. Luckily my mom and sister happened to be in Arizona right when I was passing through with Matt, so I was able to fly home with them.