Industrial and Systems Engineering Department Chair Robert Judd welcomed about 15 first-year students to the department in the Academic & Research Center on Thursday.
About 100 Russ College industrial systems engineering (ISE) students in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology came together Thursday evening for the department’s inaugural first-year student welcome dinner in the Academic & Research Center Atrium.
Department Chair Robert Judd explained that the event was designed to help students and faculty connect.
“What we’re trying to do with events like this is get more engagement with the students, get incoming students to introduce themselves and know the upper-class students, and announce some of the upcoming events that we have,” he said. “Hopefully, students will feel like they’re more welcomed here at Ohio University.”
Calyssa Bowsher was one of about 15 freshmen to attend the department-wide event.
“I got to network and get to know other ISE majors and graduate students and faculty. It’s good to get to know people in your field,” Bowsher said.
Two department alumni, Michael Giuliano, BSISE ‘00, and Marie Minnich, BSISE ‘11, helped extend the welcome to incoming students.
“I think it was an amazing turnout,” said Minnich, a business process consultant for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. “I’ve never seen so many OHIO industrial engineers in one place before.”
Subhabrata Ghosal, a first-year graduate student, joined the Russ College from West Bengal University of Technology in Kolkata, India, to work with Associate Professor Dusan Sormaz. Ghosal’s dream is to become an entrepreneur in software development.
“The course work and the research I’m going to do here will help me get more experience about not only how to make new products, but how things run in the industry,” he said. “Once I know how things run in the industry, then I can start running my own company,” he added.
Eric May, one of the event organizers and president of the student chapter of the Institute for Industrial Engineers (IIE), said the event brought together students from across the department to create a stronger sense of community.
“I hope that through events like this and through the curriculum, students are really able to go out and start making a difference in the community, the state, the country and then the world,” he said.
Giuliano and Minnich spoke briefly to share their experiences transitioning from the Russ College into their careers.
Giuliano is the founder and chairman of the Board of Northeast Exotherm, which develops, designs and manufactures exothermic and endothermic products.
Minnich works with physicians, administrators and staff on process improvement projects at the hospital. Since it’s her goal to make the hospital the best experience possible for patients and employees, she’s thankful for the practical experiences she had while a student at the Russ College.
“The ability to problem-solve, the communication skills and the confidence that the classes and experiences gave me really helped me prepare,” she said. “Capstone projects are really key to understanding and pulling everything together.”
Events like the welcome dinner are also important opportunities for students to prepare for careers, Minnich said.
“Networking is essential for opening doors in the future,” she said.