Tag Archives: travel

Away from Home for the Holidays

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 30 November 2015

Being an out-of-state student usually doesn’t have much of an influence on my daily life, especially now that as a junior, Athens really feels like my home away from home. That being said, the holidays are a time to be with family. As the fall semester progresses I typically find myself longing more and more for the comfort of home and support of my family. Seeing my classmates head back to their homes for the weekend makes me long for mine even more because it’s a luxury which I will never have.

Lucky for me, coming to OU has also meant that I’ve become a part of the Bobcat family, which is there for me even when my blood relatives are thousands of miles away.

Surprisingly, my biggest issue each year for Thanksgiving has never been deciding what to do by myself on campus, but which person I am going to take up on their offer to spend Thanksgiving with their family. This year, as well as freshman year, I decided to spend the long weekend with my friend Jenn, a fellow Cutler Scholar from Meigs County.

We left on Tuesday to stay with her parents, and then after dinner on Thanksgiving, headed up to Columbus to visit her grandparents. Jenn’s grandmother had recently broken her foot, so we helped set up her Christmas tree for her and played with her four-year-old nephew who was also there for the weekend.

While in Columbus, we went Black Friday shopping at Easton, saw Mockingjay Part 2, and finally headed back to Athens on Saturday.

Not having had enough of Jenn yet, I went over to her apartment on Saturday night for dinner and Christmas cookies and we decorated her apartment for the holidays.

The weekend was a wonderful break before getting back to the grind of the last couple of weeks of school. I am incredibly grateful to Jenn, and to every one of my friends here at OU for making up my “family” thousands of miles away from home.

Tau Beta Pi National Convention

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2015

Last week, I was able to attend the Tau Beta Pi Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. Tau Beta Pi is a National Engineering Honor Society representing the entire engineering profession, and I am President of Ohio University’s chapter, Ohio Delta.

Tau Beta Pi is a great organization to be a part of because it is run by students from all 244 collegiate chapters across the United States! The purpose of the convention is to act as the governing body for the organization. We were separated into committees to focus on topics important to the organization. I was on the Resolutions committee, and one of our jobs was to make a skit for the end of convention to act as comedic relief. Who knew engineers could also act as playwrights!

One of the best parts of convention was meeting other engineering students and professors from all across the country and learning about their diverse experiences.

My second favorite part of convention was exploring the city of Providence. Providence is home to Brown University, and it is always a lot of fun to go and see a place unlike any you have been to before. I am thankful for the opportunity to network with other engineers and explore cities I may never have visited otherwise.

Providence, RI

On the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, RI.

Cutler Scholars Program

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 26 October 2015

I can still remember the moment that I answered the phone call which changed my life. It was spring break of my senior year of high school, and I remember shaking with excitement as I was informed that I had been awarded the
Russ-Legacy Cutler Scholarship
. The incredible generosity of the program was something completely unprecedented in any other scholarship I had heard of—-it included not only room and board for four years, but also stipends for summer enrichment programs like Outward Bound Leadership programs, volunteer trips, study-abroad opportunities, and internships. For me, it made the decision as to whether I should leave my family in Washington behind for college a no-brainer. I have never regretted my choice for a second since I’ve come to OU.

Fast-forward to my junior year and I can hardly believe the places I’ve been as a result of the Cutler Scholars Program. From a sea-kayaking trip in North Carolina, to a sea-turtle conservation project in Ostional, Costa Rica, to an internship with a start-up biotech company right here in Athens: the Cutler Scholars have shaped my life in countless ways.

Below are a couple of pictures from my time in Ostional. The pictures were taken when it was basically pitch dark out, while we were out on patrol.

Ostional, Costa Rica

Ostional, Costa Rica

During the school year, all of the scholars meet up for a weekly discussion session which covers a wide variety of different topics from semester to semester. Colloquium is often my favorite part of the week because it gives me an hour to unwind from the hard math and science of engineering by discussing current events, philosophy, and a myriad of other subjects.

Former OU President Dr. Charles Ping often joins us for these discussions, and one of his nuggets of wisdom which really stuck with me was when he told us, “You are all the products of incredible generosity.” The benefactors for each of our scholarships have made investments in each of us not so that we can travel around the world purely for our enjoyment, but so we can truly make a difference in the lives of others.

I cannot find the words to accurately express everything which the Cutler Scholars Program has meant to me, but I can say without a doubt that without the generosity of the Russ Family, I would not be the person I am today.

Fall Trip to Chicago

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 21 October 2015

I have been an active member of Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity since the spring semester of my sophomore year. I decided to join this organization to improve my professional skills and also because of the great social experience that it provides.

Two weeks ago, we had our annual fall trip which consists of visiting our alumni at one city, in addition to having company visits within the city. This trip is always a great experience because not only do we get to expand our network, but we also get to know about companies and the job opportunities that they have to offer.


This year our trip was to Chicago. We left on a Thursday morning and after 7 long hours on the road we arrived to a nice Marriott in downtown Chicago. Two of our alumni were waiting for us at the lobby, so that we could go to a restaurant near the hotel for dinner, and then experience the city.

On Friday during the day, we had 3 company visits and they were all very interesting and informative. We first visited JP Morgan and they had a panel ready for us on the 58th floor of their building. We were able to learn more about the banking industry from important executives such as the CFO of Commercial Banking.

We then went to Marketing Werks and had a couple panelists that told us about their company and clients. Finally, we visited CDW, a technology sales company where we had a great speaker that told us about the importance of having sales skills.

For the rest of the trip we toured around Chicago and we networked with our alumni. All in all, it was a very fun professional weekend.

Environmental Design Contest

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

From March 29th to April 1st, nine OU ChBE students and two ChBE professors traveled to Las Cruces, NM to compete at the annual Waste-management Education Research Consortium (WERC) Environmental Design Contest organized by New Mexico State University.


This year, our four-person group was tasked with designing a small-scale wastewater treatment facility capable of reducing sulfate concentration in brackish water using electrocoagulation. Over the course of the academic year, our team worked to understand the theory behind electrocoagulation and researched various electrochemical cell designs to maximize sulfate removal.

Besides testing different designs, we also had to prepare an in-depth paper discussing our research, an oral presentation, and a bench-scale demonstration of the technology. The entire research process was a great learning experience, as was being able to discuss with other teams their approaches to solve the same problem.

In addition to competing in the competition, our group also went sightseeing! While in Las Cruces, we spent one evening at White Sands where we watched the sun set. We also jumped off and raced up some of the sand dunes.

Once the competition concluded, our group traveled to Flagstaff, AZ for the remainder of the week. While traveling, we visited the Petrified Forest. A group picture while at the Painted Desert is below.


The trip culminated with hiking the Grand Canyon. Three of us (including myself) hiked from the rim to the river and back in less than 7.5 hours!


The whole trip was a great experience, and if given the chance, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

RLI Trip to San Diego

Emily Blaha

Emily Blaha,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 March 2015

The Robe Leadership Institute is a seminar for Russ College students to be introduced to leadership concepts and develop their own opinions on what characteristics lead to effective leadership. I had the opportunity to participate in the class this past fall. I think the most beneficial thing for me is that I understand more about my own personality and how to work best with others. We also get to hear from many different speakers throughout the semester; most of them are alumni who have held high leadership positions in different organizations.

Over spring break, participants in RLI traveled to San Diego to visit 5 companies in the area: FieldLogix, Outsource Manufacturing, Wintriss Engineering, Vektrex, and Indyme Electronics. While we were there, we met with the CEOs of the companies and discussed leadership with them. It gave us the chance to see all of the leadership concepts that we learned in the seminar in action. Each of the leaders was unique. They all had their own strengths and weaknesses, and it was easy to see that each company needed a different style of leader.

Robe Leadership Institute Members

Today, more and more companies are looking for engineers to be leaders. The way we think about efficiency and problem solving gives us a great foundation to be effective leaders. Here’s a short article about CEOs with engineering backgrounds!

I love RLI

Spring Break Activities

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 12 March 2015

My Spring Break this year was split into two different trips. The first four days of my break was spent snowboarding in Breckenridge, Colorado and the last half of my Spring Break was spent in Dallas for a Women in Aviation Conference. Yes, I know, I’m not a woman but it is a great organization for anyone in the Aviation industry to be involved in!

Since Spring Break was so early this year, my buddies and I decided since it’s going to be cold everywhere, we might as well enjoy it. The mountains in Colorado are majestic and there are no words or pictures that will do them justice. Since the runs were so long and exhausting it was nice to sit down and look out and enjoy the scenery. I don’t always make the best decisions when on the mountain and I try to push my limits by traveling through the woods and going off a few jumps. After a few nasty wipe-outs and bumps and bruises, I was ready to head to Texas for my conference.

The conference had every major airline and company attending including Boeing, Airbus, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, and many more. There were a little over 4,000 people who attended and about 1,000 were collegiate students and the rest were professional pilots or in some way involved in the industry. I was able to listen to many keynote speakers including Colleen Barrett who is the president of Southwest Airlines. It was a great networking experience and I was able to hand out my resume to a variety of companies. It was very rewarding, as I have already received emails to interview for the first officer position on a regional airline as soon as I meet the minimum flight hour requirements.