Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation

Russ College student involvement fair energizes students for beyond-the-classroom success

Elisabeth Weems and Colleen Carow | Sep 18, 2017
Students gather behind the ARC for the Student Involvement Fair

Russ College student involvement fair energizes students for beyond-the-classroom success

Elisabeth Weems and Colleen Carow | Sep 18, 2017

Rain showers subsided just long enough Thursday for engineering and technology students to mix while they munched at the Russ College's first Student Involvement Fair and picnic.

Congregating outdoors behind the Academic & Research Center, students scouted tables of student groups with fellow classmates as well as student organization leaders and faculty while sharing subs, sliders, and chocolate chip cookies.

The fair, presented by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Tau Beta Pi, aimed to connect students with the Russ College community and how to get involved.

The university holds a campus-wide fair in August, but Jelena Mrvos, a junior mechanical engineering major and president of SWE, explained that event can be overwhelming for first-year students -- while the Russ College fair gave students personal access to organizations directly linked to their studies.

"Being involved in an organization that relates to your major is really important," Mrvos said. "You learn a lot that you wouldn't in the classroom."

Mrvos said SWE aims to empower women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"SWE is an opportunity to stimulate and support women in STEM," Mrvos said. "We have a lot of networking events and professional growth opportunities. One of our biggest goals is to be seen as equals."

Other organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the American Academy of Environmental Engineering and Science, and the National Society of Professional Engineers also participated.

Undecided freshman Makenzee Green learned about NSBE by attending the fair. She said the organization could both help her decide upon her academic route and provide her with support.

"You might stumble, but you'll never fall, especially if you have a network and group like NSBE," Green said.

Justin Gillum, a senior mechanical engineering major and co-captain of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' human-powered vehicle team, noted that the fair showed how classroom theory can be applied – to create for good.

"A lot of the experiences that you get in the classroom aren't necessarily hands-on, unless you're doing a co-op or internship, or you're doing your senior design project," Gillum said. "We're able to expose students to these types of hands-on experiences earlier and get them to think about how to actually solve problems in the real world."

Learn more about how to get involved with student organizations on the Russ College's website.