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First-year undergraduates flock to Russ College Involvement Fair

Marissa McDaid | Sep 16, 2019
2019 Involvement Fair

First-year undergraduates flock to Russ College Involvement Fair

Marissa McDaid | Sep 16, 2019

Interactive demos, student organization displays, video interviews and steaming pizza were the hot tickets Tuesday at the 2019 Russ College Involvement Fair in Stocker Center and the Academic & Research Center. The event was designed to help first-year students learn how to go beyond the classroom, and to experience innovations designed or built by their fellow students.

“Engaging first-year students with current students early in their academic career provides insight into co-curricular activities, and to opportunities for establishing rapport with fellow students and faculty,” said Deb McAvoy, associate dean for academics.

Several demos gave a glimpse into how to apply engineering and technology skills outside of coursework. The Professional Autonomous Vehicle Engineers student organization’s vehicle zoomed across West Green while out back, other students tried out the Russ College’s Human Powered Vehicle. Inside Stocker Center and the ARC, demos ranging from an aviation simulator to a concrete canoe to unhackable software awaited, along with tables staffed by seasoned student organization members sharing details about engineering and technology themed clubs and groups.

Chris Suitor, mechanical engineering senior and American Society of Mechanical Engineers chapter president, said the event was positive.

“We had about 10 students join overall, and even more learned about us and our projects,” he said. “It’s always awesome to share our creations and network with incoming students!”

Director of Student Success Julie Chiki was there to host a local chapter table for oSTEM, a national professional organization for LGBTQ people in STEM.

“It was great to see so many first-year students eager to connect with student organizations at the fair. Getting involved is so important for a successful start in college,” she said. “I hope that with the wide variety of groups, all students are able to find a place where they feel connected. That’s one of the reasons we’re starting a chapter of oSTE – to provide another avenue for students to feel supported and welcome in our college and university.”

First-year students who visited three or more stops earned a chance at winning an iPad Mini. This year’s prize was awarded to freshman Ryan Kilkenney.

After the Involvement Fair, Ohio University’s student chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers held a mixer in the ARC with snacks and games to help students meet fellow classmates.

Want to get involved? Find the list of Russ College-specific groups and clubs here.

Colleen Carow contributed to this story.