Chemical engineering freshmen find friends in free food at welcome picnic
First-year chemical engineering students at Ohio University’s Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology got a start on connecting for good Thursday when the student American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) chapter held its ever first fall welcome picnic in their honor.
“It was a good way to meet people like faculty and older students in chemical engineering,” said freshman chemical and biomolecular engineering major Sara Kelly. “I’m hoping they will help me find opportunities and find my niche where I can create for good.”
About 50 freshmen enjoyed barbecue-style grub, mingled and played frisbee and cornhole at the gathering.
“It was the students’ idea to have an event to welcome the new freshmen into our program,” said Darin Ridgeway, group advisor and associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “They did all the work, and I thought they did a great job. I expect it to be another good year for the organization, as we have an active group of students.”
These kinds of networking opportunities are important to be a successful student and engineering, said Mitchell Banning, also a first-year student.
“You’ve got to stay connected on campus and get to know people,” Banning said.
Senior Rebecca Curry, AIChE president and lead organizer of the event, aims for the picnic to become a tradition. Otheractivities planned for year include a chemical plant tour, dinners with faculty, and a chemical engineering graduate student panel presentation.
“AIChe is really helpful for freshman to get to know upperclassmen,” she said. “One of the reasons I got involved in research and chem-e-car was from advice from them. I’m hoping that the freshmen will do more on campus and enrich their college experience.”