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Traveling..for school?

I have always been impressed with the number of opportunities I have had in my undergraduate years. This year I plan to take advantage of some of the great travel opportunities. I’ll be traveling to 3 different locations this fall and I’m really excited to go! (I’ve already traveled to Vancouver CAN, Portland OR, and Kansas City MO with UC)

This is my freshman English Class working with Habitat for Humanity

My Freshman English Class with Habitat for Humanity

The first is a trip to Montreal, this is a 4-5 day trip that is tied into an Entrepreneurship class offered through the honors program. This class allows students at UC and in Montreal to work co-operatively on projects. The students will also visit our class later in the fall.

The second trip is to Rutgers for 4-5 days. This trip is paid for by the Engineering Honorary Organization, Tau Beta Pi. I am the President of our campus chapter (OH-Beta). I’m really looking forward to spending time with other students from accross the nation.

The third (and most exciting) trip is to El Salvador. I will be going to El Salvador with a group of UC students from a group called Serve Beyond Cincinnati (SBC). We will be building housing similar to Habitat for Humanity in the U.S.
Who knew I’d have the chance to go all of these places?

There are other classes and groups that are going to India, Germany, Mexico and Kenya. I have friends co-oping in Germany and Japan right now!

If you are into traveling the world, the International Co-op Program at UC is truly the way to go. Even if you don’t join the program, the honors program has so many classes with travel components and often travel grants to go along with them. I’d be a crime if  didn’t mention one of the greatest student organzations on campus, Engineers Without Borders. They do some really great work overseas as well.

Bon Voyage!


Relay for Life!

This weekend was Relay for Life at UC. The event is really incredible and is considered by many to be the biggest party of the year. We raised over $135,000 for the American Cancer Society which makes us one of the top college funraisers in the country. I was a team captain and we have raised just about $2500 making us a nationally recognized Silver Team (once matching gifts are processed). I am really proud of the work that the students put in to make this event so successful. It is really meaningful that the busiest students of the university (engineers) can make time for such a good cause! (image courtesy of the event webpage )

Relay for Life at UC

Relay for Life at UC


To Baltimore!

One thing that I haven’t touched on yet is the ability to go to professional conferences throughout the college experience. For me, the conferences I have gone to are for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I went to my first national conference in my sophmore year when SWE had their yearly meeting in Kansas City. Just a few weeks ago, I came back from yet another SWE national conference. This one was in Baltimore. Here is a picture of me and my other SWE friends at the conference:


So the obvious here, is the ability to travel. Often, the university will help find ways to pay for travel by car/bus, hotel stay and conference regisration. This makes attendance much more affordable. It is really fun to experience a new city with so many great people around you.

However, the true value of these conferences are many fold. I tend to enjoy all the sessions that are offered. These session may discuss leadership, team building, career success, or something as simple as figuring out what you want to do when you graduate. You have the opportunity to meet professionals from all accross the world and network with potential employers. This provides many tools for students as they move throughout their educational career and beyond. 

Baltimore was great. One of the most fun things I learned is how to find little nuggets about yourself that will help define the type of career you need. The women at the seminar asked us simply: “Name 3 things you wanted to be when you grew up as a child.”

For her, these were 

1. Astronaut

2. Veterinarian

3. Ballerina

But she realized that she didn’t actually want to be any of these in reality. So what we can take from it is that she wanted to be a astronaut because they were on the forefront of discovery, a veternarian because of her compassion, and a ballerina because she loves attention. Today, she is an HR manager for a highly technical company. It is a fun exercise for you to try sometime. Of course there was more to the session, but this is a good start!

Hope you enjoyed thanksgiving!


New Job

Hurray! It is almost the end of the quarter and that means I’m almost done with classes. This quarter has been extra busy as I was looking for a new co-op job. I had an interview last Friday and took a job with a company called Atricure. They are a really great medical device company in West Chester, Ohio. They commute won’t be great, but I’ll have lots of great coworkers coming with me from UC.  Co-op is great because it gives you some time to earn money and take a break from the rigors of an engineering schedule. I’d probably be insane by now without it.

Tonight I am holding a meeting with some members of the Society of Women Engineers here at UC to plan a mixer event for incoming freshman women. We have some really great ideas. I can’t wait! That’s the nice thing, Engineering has so many small niches and communities that once you are involved it is hard not to feel welcome. It is nice to have the opportunities of a large school without having to give up the support of a smaller group.

Have you been following the olympics, I have! I have been skipping a bit of sleep just to keep up with all the gymnastics. Crazy! I’ve been to two olympics, Atlanta and Athens. I’ll be honest, nothing beats being there in person and watching them on TV makes me ache to be there. Also, if you haven’t seen them yet, the mascots for this olympics are adorable!



The first week of summer makes the campus feel empty. By the second week however, it is bustling with new students going through orientation. This is always really neat to see, parents and students knowing that this is big step in life.

I’ve found myself reflecting a bit. I can put myself back into those shoes of orientation and moving into the dorms. I feel like I’ve grown so much since that point. I feel like I could tackle most things that life could throw at me. Engineering itself has taught me a method of problem solving that is priceless, but being in the student groups and going through co-op has taught me to be a leader. Seeing this change in myself is remarkable and seeing it in others is inspirational. The university experience is one that is so useful if done correctly.

I’ll admit it, engineering is not for those weak in the mind or heart. It often takes many sacrifices in time, but in the end what you learn by making these sacrifices far outweighs a full schedule of the stereotypical student. Thus, it is worth every drop of time spent.


How undergraduate research shaped my future

My experiences as an undergraduate have taken me to many places and allowed me to do many things. From the foundations of my summer research and on to my co-op job in Portland, Oregon, I have learned so much more than just solving equations from a text book. I have learned professional ethics, corporate culture, and even how to deal with complex workplace issues. I’ve learned how to find my voice in a bustling room of arguing team members and more importantly learned when to be quiet. I know that had it not been for some experiences I’ve had down the road, that I may not have learned these skills until much later.

I often think back to high school, being told “Women don’t go into engineering, that’s typically a man’s field. Why don’t you try nursing?” This lit a fire in me. After this, succeeding in engineering became paramount. But, this isn’t the reason I am still an engineer today. Engineering is now more than just proving someone wrong, it is about discovering the things that engineers can do to improve the world.

My first experience with research was through a program called WISE. While most students went home for summer break, I stayed at UC and was given a stipend to work with a professor to perform research. Before the program started, we were required to walk through labs in order to choose which area suited us best. I went to three different labs. One involved tissue engineering, another involved ultra sonic ablation of tumors, and the last was using nanotube electrode sensors to detect proteins in the body. While the first two were actually within my own department, there was something intriguing about the nano-scale science itself.

I worked with Dr. Mark Schulz in the department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Nuclear Engineering. I mainly did testing of the sensors. I had to learn a lot of new things that didn’t completely make sense, but Dr. Schulz gave me a great deal of freedom to experiment on my own. I worked side by side with another graduate student to assist in the research and compile data. Through this experience, I was submitted as an author on two publications and was able to attend the Nano 2006 conference in downtown Cincinnati.

This experience was so special to me because it showed me how much I loved the exploration and even the frustration of research. One of the things I loved most was showing off our lab to both visiting professors and graduates. I truly enjoyed teaching middle school student about what nano-tubes and bucky balls are. The best part was that many of these student could at least grasp the idea of what we were doing in our lab. I should also mention that this experience has taught me that all nano isn’t equal, be aware that just because it is nano, doesn’t mean it is good! I call this nano-washing.

Summer research propelled me into my current position as a co-op at Nike Inc. working in the research and development of cushioning technologies. At Nike, I work on different airbags and Shox technologies. It has been really interesting to research both in an academic environment and in a corporate one. Graduate school has become the obvious option for me as I am looking forward to choosing a PhD program to further my experiences in research. I just need to decide on the right area of study!


It’s that time of the year?

It is that time of the year quarter. There is so much going on both in my classes and out that I can hardly find time. Last week was one of my favorite weeks of the quarter, Worldfest week. Worldfest is a celebration of diversity and culture where there are many events on campus. On Thursday there was a big set-up of booths on McMicken commons with all the different student groups offering information, dancing, and of course, food. Yesterday was “Taste of India,” a fundraiser with free Indian food which benefits AID (Association for India’s Development). You can see the Worldfest schedule here:

Aside from the out of class activities, my classes have been keeping me busy. I have been working on a report about Photodynamic Therapy. I have actually enjoyed researching this topic because it has some promise in the fields of cancer, AIDS, and macular degeneration. I had exams last week in my Controls and Statistics classes. I’m happy to have those out of the way. I spent so much time studying in the past week that I was very relieved for the weekend.

I feel like the weekend just began but it is already Sunday! I think my studies are calling me…


This blog is operated by Engineering and Applied Science Ambassadors, a student group at the University of Cincinnati. Our purpose is to advance the relationship between the community, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
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