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Engineering student helps new Bobcats transition to college life

Published: March 1, 2021 Author: Jordan Schmitt

Two ways that first-year students are initially introduced to Ohio University are through Bobcat Student Orientation and Learning Communities. One junior is passionate about how these experiences shape student careers at OHIO. 

Danielle “Ellie” Klein serves her fellow students as an orientation leader and a learning community leader, and also assists prospective students in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. She enjoys working with these future and new Bobcats, helping them find their place at the University. 

“Danielle is a dedicated student leader who is committed to making a difference in the lives of her peers and improving the experience for everyone in the OHIO campus community. As an orientation leader, not only was she a key factor in the successful transition of incoming students in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, but she also demonstrated collaboration, communication and enthusiasm in our work, setting an example for other orientation leaders to follow. Her impact will not soon be forgotten by the countless students, faculty and staff she has connected with in her student leader positions,” said Vincent Prior, director of undergraduate orientation programs. 

After one year as an orientation leader for Bobcat Student Orientation, Klein was recognized with the Unsung Hero Award. 

“You get to interact with a lot of first-year students, share your experiences and what you’ve learned to help them have a better transition to college. One of my favorite things about being an orientation leader was working with students to talk about their interests and pick their schedules,” Klein said. 

Klein also serves the OHIO community as a learning community leader. During the fall 2020 semester, Klein led aviation and computer science students in the virtual learning environment. 

“Being a learning community leader is similar to being an orientation leader in that you get to interact with students and help them find their place at Ohio University. I’m a firm believer that everyone has a place at Ohio University and there is a community for everyone, but sometimes you just have to work to find it. I wanted to be a learning community leader to help first-year students find whatever it is for them,” Klein said. 

After a semester of organizing, arranging events and listening to the needs of her students, Klein was awarded with the Outstanding Learning Community Leader Award

Danielle Klein
Danielle Klein is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, which is recognized by this statue in front of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology's Stocker Center. Photo by Ben Siegel.

“She is quite a leader, in my opinion. She took the time to learn about a degree program that she is not a part of, just so she could help my students succeed in their first semester at Ohio University. She connected with the new students regularly to make sure they were adjusting well to college life. She was the first person many of my students reached out to with a question,” said Theresa Meyer, chief dispatcher for the Ohio University Department of Aviation. Meyer was the instructor for Klein’s aviation learning community. 

Klein majors in industrial and systems engineering in the Russ of College of Engineering and Technology with a professional concentration in healthcare. The coursework includes a focus on how professionals can seek improvements in the hospital industry for employees, doctors and patients. 

“Through my classes we learn a lot about efficiency and making systems the best they can be and providing the best outcome. … So, we learn how to make those systems better and improve experience of the user,” she said. 

Klein is a Cutler Scholar and a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and also serves as a student ambassador for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. As an ambassador, she meets with prospective engineering students at Ohio University, shows them around and answers questions. The ambassadors also work on various community service projects and hold first-year student welcome sessions. 

“Both organizations also provide programing for Russ College students. Something that I’ve always been interested in is figuring out how I can help other students at Ohio University. Those organizations are a really good way to do that,” Klein said.