I am one of the advisors for the TAMUK chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society. Tau Beta Pi is an invitation-only national organization that recognizes engineering students who meet high standards of scholastic achievement and character.
Each semester, prospective members are evaluated for election by the student chapter. Prospective members are asked to participate in service activities, etc., to help officers and current members better evaluate their character. One of the events is to polish the statue of the “bent” (the symbol for Tau Beta Pi) located outside the Engineering Complex. A couple potential initiates agreed to let me film them at their work. This event gives officers a chance to interact with prospective members, and it’s a great way to help with upkeep of the statue.
Every fall, new freshmen and transfer students have the opportunity to “ring in to learn” at the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering “Ringing In” ceremony. The idea is that students dedicate themselves to making the most of their time at TAMUK so that they graduate prepared to take on real, technical engineering challenges. Just prior to graduation, they will “ring out to serve” at the College of Engineering senior banquet. Engineers are directly responsible for public health and safety, and the ringing out ceremony reminds our new engineers that they have duties to others.
This fall’s Ringing In ceremony was held October 18th, and we had a packed house. Here is a brief excerpt of some of our new students as they rang in.
I’ve been thinking about some of those “Only in South Texas” moments. Here are two of my favorites:
(1) The pepper section of the salad bar. I remember being floored the first time I saw whole jalepenos and a variety of other hot peppers included in a salad bar. I’ve even seen a fast food restaurant with an entire pepper / chilli bar. No salad. Just peppers!
(2) Temperature fell into the 60s today, and I’ve got kids showing up to class wearing jackets and sweatshirts and shivering. I’m shivering, too. Got to love that warm weather! It spoils you for anything else.
What are some of your favorite South Texas quirks?
This video is the last part of the interview I had with civil engineering graduating seniors last spring. Valerie, Gabe, Aaron, and Leo discuss some of their favorite experiences while at TAMUK.
I should probably add, as a follow up, that all four of these seniors graduated this May and have moved on to good jobs. Valerie is also continuing her education as a master’s student in our civil engineering program.
Thanks again to these students for participating in this interview. I know great things lie ahead for all of you!
Continuing my series from last spring…
I asked a few graduating seniors in civil engineering what advice they’d give to freshmen. Here are their thoughts.
Thought this would be a good way to kick of a new school year!
And here are our graduates in civil engineering. You may recognize some of them from the series I’ve done on senior perspectives (with more of those videos to come once I get them edited).
It was so exciting to me to see all of our graduates with jobs or graduate school acceptances. Hallelujah– we must be doing something right!
I took a short video of the grounds surrounding the Engineering Complex following graduation. You can see the crowd of students flooding towards the building to take photos with friends and the statue of “Doc” Dotterweich.
Our first, all-engineering graduation was held the morning of Friday, May 11th.
Before the commencement ceremony, I had the job of lining up graduates for architectural and chemical engineering. Fortunately, they knew how to alphabetize themselves, and my job was easy.
Once that was done, I took some video of our architectural engineering grads and then moved down the line to visit with the civil engineers (next video).
The two young women in this video were our first double-majors. They earned degrees in both architectural and civil engineering and were able to walk the stage twice at the May, 2012, commencement. Pretty exciting! The young man in the video is the second in his family to earn an AE degree– his older sister graduated from our program a few years back. I remember advising him as a brand new freshman. What a long way our graduates have come!
Wow! It is quiet!
After the chaos of the past few weeks, wrapping up classes, I just can’t get over how quiet the Engineering Complex is this Monday morning of finals week.
My first final exam isn’t until Wednesday, so I am catching up on my grading, prepping my finals, and taking care of some administrative work. There is certainly plenty to keep me busy, but I have to admit that the quiet is a bit distracting. I guess, after awhile, you get used to working with the background hum of people.
Hope all this quiet means many of you are studying hard for your finals!
One piece of advice– You should NEVER underestimate a final exam. I made that mistake once as a freshman and dropped a letter grade! I can’t tell you how many times students have bombed one of my finals because it just seemed so easy in class. When it comes to math, science, and engineering, practice, practice, practice!
Best of luck!
I meant to attach this video to my last entry about the concrete canoe. The students made concrete cylinders as proof-of-concept tests. The cylinders helped verify that their concrete mix would float.
They also died the cement red so that the styrofoam pieces used in lieu of aggregate would show up more clearly.
Btw, concrete cylinders are poured to test the strength of concrete. A small portion of a concrete mix is poured into a cylindrical mold and allowed to cure (i.e., dry and reach strength). The cylinders are then placed in a compression tester (a machine that squeezes them until they break). This machine allows us to calculate the compressive strength of the concrete. Tests are usually performed at 7 days (when the concrete has gained most of its strength) and at 28 days (when concrete is fully cured and at full strength).