Tag Archives: summer

Summer Classes

Dillon Mahr

Dillon Mahr,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 September 2019

This summer was very busy for me. I decided to take BIOS 1700 and COMS 1100 in the first summer session at OU. I wasn’t very excited about classes taking up the first part of my summer; however, it ended up being a pretty good deal. The classes were manageable, and they felt like they were over before I knew it.

It feels good to get those classes out of the way and free up more time, especially Bio. I was worried that the lab would cause scheduling conflicts so getting it out of the way is super nice.

Being on campus during the summer also allowed me to do a lot of work with the student org that I am in. I made a lot of progress in our project and it was a little easier scheduling time with the professors who were still on campus.

Athens is a different place in the summer for sure. There are fewer people on campus, and you can do pretty much whatever you want. I have a lot of friends that say they love Athens in the summer. The nightlife is a little different but there is still a solid amount of people, so it doesn’t feel like a ghost town.

Overall, the summer classes ended up being a good decision for me and I will consider them in the future.

Summer Plans

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 5 April 2019

With graduation being less than a month away, I am thinking about summer more and more! There is still plenty to do between now and the end of the semester, but I can’t help but to think of summertime. I am continuing on to graduate school here at OU in the fall and will be spending the better half of the summer in Athens. However, I am also planning on doing a fair amount of traveling throughout.

The largest trip I have planned is a two week long trip to Serbia. I will be going the second half of May, and I can’t wait! I am 100% Serbian; both of my parents are Serbian, as are their parents, and so on. This will be my first time visiting the country, and I am extremely excited to see the country of my ancestors. I am going with my parents and my sister, and we will be travelling all around the country over the span of the trip!

The other trips I have planned for the summer are relatively small in comparison. I will be staying mostly in Athens but will be taking many trips back home to Pittsburgh to visit family and friends. I am also planning a trip back to Nashville with my friend (and former ambassador) Jane! The picture below is from when we went last summer, and both would really like to go back again! My remaining time in Athens this summer will be spent doing research and moving towards my master’s degree! Overall, I am excited for a fun summer.


My First Athens Summer

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2018

Grad school has always been on my radar. Before I even got to college freshman year, I knew I wanted to get my Master’s, and maybe even my PhD someday. But the plan has always been to work for a while before going back for another degree.

For the first two years of school, I was right on track! I was on par with the ME curriculum flowchart to graduate in four years. I had an internship the summer before my Junior year with a company in Pittsburgh, and I was ready to come back to OU for two semesters and then intern somewhere else again. But my junior year really made me question the path I had set for myself!

Starting in spring semester of my sophomore year, I have been working under Dr. Cyders as a research assistant. That spring semester, things were pretty slow. But in the fall of my junior year, they picked up drastically! Throughout my third year, I got more and more involved in research.

Everyone I worked with was a graduate student, and they all went straight through after undergrad here at OU. It made me rethink my perspective! Why did I have my heart set on going into industry right after graduation? Why haven’t I thought about OU as an option for grad school? These are just a couple of the questions I started to think about. I wanted to get a taste of what grad school would be like. So, I decided to spend the summer in Athens and work full time as a research assistant.

After spending four extra months here, and diving head first into research, I could not be more content with my decision to forego another internship. I learned so much about myself, my academic interests, grad school, and much more this summer. I still am not entirely sure where I will be this time next year, whether it be grad school or industry. But I’m okay with that. No matter where I’ll be, I’m excited for what’s to come.

My Niece Leighton

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 15 April 2018


Why does a cute, innocent, little baby have to go through cancer? Why does it have to be the rarest kind of acute myeloid leukemia for children? Why have we found treatments for this rare type of leukemia, which is most commonly found in the elderly and those with Down syndrome, yet it is still not treatable in young kids like our Leighton? Why does every amazing treatment and therapy still seem to give hope and then throw a brick in our faces? Why do families get ripped apart and put in a hospital for over 6 months? Why does this monster called cancer even exist? All questions with no answers. Unanswered questions I have to live with every day. I have to find a place for those and move on. Our work is not done. Maybe, maybe I will ever find an answer, but for now unanswered and rest in peace…


…Even though this happened to my own family, to my beautiful baby cousin and princess Leighton Hailey van Leeuwen when 12 months old, we will never give up. For 6 months, Leighton smiled every day and never ever gave up. She always laughed and fought back. Now that she’s brought to sleep by a magical fairy, it’s up to us, her family and friends, to share her story and keep her alive!


You can help by telling and sharing her story on social media and be part of Team Leighton while this June I step in the life of Forrest Gump to run across America. Although our support could not beat Leighton’s monster, it might help beat that of someone else. This is partly the reason why I decided to run for her when I applied to be a 4K for Cancer runner 5 months ago: supporting my family from overseas while sharing her battle with cancer as a newborn.

Every day for 6 months I talked to the amazingly strong parents—my cousin and his wife—to give them support while they lived in a hospital and the Ronald McDonald house to do everything for their first little baby Leighton. To show her all their love as parents and in an attempt to keep her alive.


Now that she is the brightest star in heaven, I realized how much my support meant for my family… I am so proud of Leighton and the rest of my family! All I can say to all of you now is to please be aware and create awareness. Cancer could happen to everyone.

Please be aware of your surroundings, treat everyone with respect, and please support them when they are going through a rough time. I am proud to be part of my Mom’s “van Leeuwen” family and the family of the Ulman Cancer Fund.


I will always carry that pride with me. Please support me in my mission for Team Leighton and UCF:
         “We envision a world in which no young adult faces cancer alone”

and in which we keep Leighton Hailey van Leeuwen her story alive!

For more information: https://ulman.z2systems.com/illona-hartman

Summer in Athens

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2017

This past summer I was fortunate enough to work as an intern for the City of Athens Water Treatment Plant. While I could go on about the job itself or the amazing people I met at and through the plant, I think the more eye-opening experience was living in Athens for the summer—when the number of students in the city drops dramatically.

Spending a summer in Athens certainly has many perks. Sure, it may seem somewhat empty at times, and not all of your friends from class are there. But this just serves to open many more opportunities to explore everything that the city and surrounding area have to offer.

Over the summer, there are various events held right in the heart of Athens that offer great opportunities to get out and meet people. For example, “Boogie on the Bricks,” “Ohio Brew Week,” and multiple car shows are all held right on Court Street—Athens’ central street. A laid-back summer without classes also left many opportunities to mountain bike on the nearby trails, and to go kayaking at the nearby Stroud’s Run State Park.

All in all, it was a great summer spent right here in Athens, Ohio. However, I cannot say I am upset all the students are back and the semester is in full swing yet again. While the summer was nice, it’s nice to see all the friends I have made over the past three years, and it’s certainly exciting to get my last year of undergrad underway!