I cannot believe this is my last summer as an undergrad. It feels like just yesterday I was starting my college career. Comparing myself then to now, I definitely see a tremendous change in myself. Before I started college I was obsequious, impetuous, naive, and shy. Over the years I’ve developed or changed numerous techniques, skills, and characteristics that I possess. I may not be audacious like my mother, but I am independent, passionate, frugal, and articulate of what I want in life. I could go on and on about what I’ve encountered at Tech, but I’ll just share the most valuable quote everyone should always keep in mind.
“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible. Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be its conqueror.”
After Tech I would like to attend graduate school, although applications are not due until the beginning of 2015. I think it would be wise and best for me to fill out my applications now, because each semester is jam packed with new material and I will need to give it my undivided attention. All summer long I’ll be studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and trying to figure out what three professors I would like to write me a letter of recommendation decisions…decisions…decisions. I don’t want my senior year to go by incredibly fast, but a part of me actually wants in to zoom by because I get to leave the country again when I graduate. Super excited about that! Enough with my randomness.
Till next time.
Hello there, world! I hope you have been having a fantastic semester, I know I have been!
So since I last wrote, a month or so has passed. My internship with NASA will be coming to an end on May 2 (unfortunately) and I don’t know what I’m doing for the summer yet; I may stay in Houston or I may come back home. I’‘ve gotten some fantastic opportunities here in Houston! I got to listen to a lecture by Gene Kranz, the flight director during the famous Apollo 13 mission. Then I got to watch the movie Apollo 13 in the control room the actual event took place in! That was crazy cool! Gene Kranz was a fantastic person to get to listen to. I’ve also gotten to see the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) where they train astronauts for their space walks. It’s the biggest pool in the world and holds mock ups of pieces of the International Space Station, as well as mock ups for missions that won’t be flown for another couple of years.
I have also just gotten my research for the semester published on a poster that I will be presenting in a couple of weeks. I’ll get to bring the poster back to Tech to show off what I’ve been working on all semester. In addition, I designed the cover to a report that NASA JSC released, called the Annual Sustainability Report FY 2013. I’m also working on some posters that will be used for publicity purposes for a group here at JSC. It’s exciting to see all of my hard work pay off!
If you’re interested in what average day for me is, look out on my twitter (@lindsaymcdowall) for my feature with NASA in a couple weeks—A Day in the Life of a JSC Student!
That’s all, folks!
Did you get the Looney Tunes reference?!
The LAN Party organized by student chapter of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) at WVU Tech was held on April 4th and 5th. The student chapter of ACM is the student organization of Computer Science and Information Systems department. WVU Tech LAN Party is the biggest such event in tri-state area and the students are donating the proceedings from this event to St. Jude Children’s hospital. The following are some pictures from the the LAN Party.
This past weekend I went to a conference at the University of Virginia. It was amazing, besides the car trouble and rainy weather. I learned so much in two days and feel even more inspired to do more and push myself harder than ever. Not only did I learn new things, I also got to network with companies and students from a variety of schools just to name a very: Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel, and John Hopkins. I have over 30 new contacts in my phone, it’s insane how many people I met in such a short timeline. One thing I love about being a chemical engineer major is the AlChE website. Might be thinking, what’s so amazing about this website, right? Not only is it a place for all chemE majors in the world, but the resources this website has is pretty impressive. You can find jobs, internships, community services, endless committees, scholarship opportunities, networking events, competitions, panels, plant tours, etc. I wanted to have a panel or speaker come to WVU Tech and now I know exactly where I can get speakers (should make things a lot easier in the future). Also, some of the sessions at the conference have open my eyes to new possibilities as far as grad school goes. Now, I’m stuck between law school and business school. Your probably wondering, why not engineering? If you attended the sessions I attended at the conference. You would find out that more opportunities exist for engineering majors than you might be aware of. Because of our problem solving skills and just the way we think in general. It really sets you a part from everyone else. Which makes admissions into any type of school just little more easier. For an example, one of the speakers was a professor at UVA (University of Virginia) his name is Doug Muir. Doug Muir was a aerospace engineer and now is entrepreneur and professor. He sold/owns many different types of companies on a global basis (not just in America). He went from being a Captain US airline pilot to owning some many businesses I can’t even count them. I think that’s amazing. I want to be like him when I grow up. Also, I think it would be amazing to become a patent lawyer as well. Interested in the law, would love to see what people are coming up with on a science basis when trying to get things patent. I could go into extreme detail on why I want to go the graduate school in either of those directions, but I’m not. Just going to say, this conference has open my eyes to new possibilities and has completely 360 change my mind about everything. Next spring instead of just taking the FE exam I will most likely be taking the LSAT as well.
Many of you probably recognize that popular line, and it’s one of my favorites! I love everything about rocketry and science, which is no secret to those who know me.
I haven’t been updating this semester because I have been away from Tech! I am, in fact, in Houston, Texas (where it’s warm). Houston is the home to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, more commonly known at the Johnson Space Center of NASA. For those of you who don’t know, this is where Mission Control is. These guys are the ones who communicate with the astronauts in space and keep an eye on every single mission. Ever see Apollo 13? That control room is here in Houston!
Why am I in Houston you may ask? Because I was chosen to intern at the Johnson Space Center this semester. You read that right—I am interning for NASA! I am working in the Crew and Thermal Systems Division. They are the ones that invented the space toilet, and everything else that the astronauts use to live and work in space (thought the space toilet is arguably the accomplishment they are most proud of). I am working on sustainability projects, with a focus on renewable energy for here on Earth and up in space. I love my job! I have always wanted to work for NASA so this is a perfect dream come true.
Thankfully, the education I have received thus far from the Tech Chemical Engineering program has prepared me well for what I am doing. I have used the equations I learned in class and my classes prepared me well for a lot of the speaking I’ve had to do. Engineers have to give presentations and my classes prepared me for that by making me give multiple presentations in front of groups of people.
I am minoring in Professional Writing and Editing and I have made myself stand out as an engineer that way. I’m actually writing reports for the division and other on-site organizations. Engineers are definitely not known for their writing skills, so this is a quality that is like gold among engineers! Although, many definitely think I’m crazy!!
Overall, I definitely miss Tech but I am enjoying the break away from the stresses of classes and exams. Interning this semester is also helping to give me an idea of what I want to do when I graduate. There’s so many different things an engineer can do that it makes it hard to decide, but this experience is helping to narrow it down. It’s also motivating me to finish the home stretch to my degree!
Well that’s all for now! I hope you stay warm, wherever you are! And have a fantastic spring break!!
I truly enjoyed the 13th Annual Student Leadership Conference hosted at University of Charleston a few weeks ago. I believe it was my very first conference, but not very sure. This conference was beneficial for both high school students and college students. The conference was based off of the trio programs and was completely free for me, just had to sign up. The theme of this conference was Mindful Leadership: Reflect, Empower, Engage. I could go on and on about everything I did in 3 days at this conference, but I’ll just tell you about what stuck out in my opinion.
The first day of the conference, we did introductions in small groups (ice breakers) and made tie-knot fleece blankets for the animal shelter. I don’t remember all the games we played, but the one I do remember is called 2 truths, 1 lie. You have to guess who the person is and what lie their telling. I must say my group was really good at identifying who was who (none of us knew each other).
The second day of the conference, everyone received a book from Emily Bennington called “Effective Immediately How to FIT IN, STAND OUT, and MOVE UP at Your First REAL JOB”. Her session was incredible; I never thought my mind could be in a snow globe based of my constant thoughts. I wish I could have stayed for all of her sessions, but Shae and I went back to Tech for classes. My second favorite thing from this day was the Coffee House/Wrap Up for the day, we had two amazing poets from West Virginia Crystal Good and Tuesday Taylor. I haven’t been to many poetry slams, so I loved both of their performances and will definitely be purchasing their books (coffee was provided by Starbucks?..the best coffee company in my opinion). My last favorite thing from that day was the restaurant Kitty Palausky took us for dinner. I think it was called Joe Fazio, it’s an Italian restaurant and definitely one I will continue to go to until I graduate.
The last day of the conference I mainly networked and introduce the speakers for different sessions. Then, WVU Tech participants in the program (including me) delivered the blankets made the first day to the animal shelter. And again we tried another restaurant I’ve never been to, Bluegrass and everything at this restaurant is completely local and organic (which is splendid!)
All in all this conference taught me about myself, how to start my 401K, when to start my 401K,and speak in front of crowds (making sure your connecting with the audience). I had a blast at this leadership conference and can’t wait for my AlChE Conference at the University of Virginia.
Remember in grade school when you were so excited it was a snow day and you didn’t have to go to school? I know I do and I was happy for a moment, and then realized that I had to makeup missed days in the last quarter of school. Which cuts into my summer break, oh no! In college, you don’t have to worry about that, but you do have to worry about additional assignments and playing ketchup of materials. (Not fun at all!) Besides, that major flaw I love seeing snow outside and having a break during the week for classes, wish it could happen every week.
I wanted to share my join on this 28 day vegan challenge. I’ve notice that dairy products might be the reason I get headaches so frequently (no Bueno). It’s extremely hard being a full time student and having limited resources for this vegan lifestyle. I have to prepare meals days in advance, so I’m not late to class or tutoring. Which in some ways may be a good thing, but I don’t like to eat the same thing every day. I’ve made so many different things like tortillas, guacamole, mango smoothies, kale chips, and etc. Down below is a picture of my Doritos looking tortilla. I didn’t say they came out perfectly, but not bad for my first time, although they tasted more like pita bread than corn.
On Tuesday I finally went bowling in West Virginia. On top of bowling for the first time here, it was also the first time I’ve been out with other chemical engineering students. First, we went to Fujiyama which is a Japanese Steak House. I haven’t been there in months and was sad I couldn’t have poultry or fish because of my 28 day vegan challenge, but their vegetables are totally awesome! After that we went bowling and I might have dominated the bowling event. Don’t mean to sound cocky, but some of my relatives are a part of bowling leagues so I must have skills right? Hahaha… The entire time we were bowling I got endless spares; although I prefer strikes (I’ll claim the spares). I wish I remembered to bring my camera, definitely would like to give you a visual effect. Any who, I can’t wait for until next time! We plan to go ice skating! Which so happens to be another thing I’m really good at.
As the year 2014 begins, the only thing I can think about is my Christmas break in New York. I had a wonderful time and kind of wish it wasn’t over. I’ll tell you about the two pictures I decided to share. The first one is raw tuna deconstructed sushi from the Hillstone restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. The actual name of this dish is Osaka Style Pressed Tuna and it was delicious. I never had sushi served to me this way and it was a struggle to actually eat it (too pretty, just didn’t want to cut it). This particular restaurant (chain restaurant) has live jazz, but the jazz players seem to only play for 5-10 minutes and then take extremely long breaks, which I thought was weird.
The second photo is my mother and I near the Rockefeller Center, you would not believe how many photos was taken to get a good shot of the scenery behind us. The entire trip was fun and I can officially say I’ve been to New York too many times and think Times Square is completely overrated.
Back to Tech…..
This is the first full week of class and as the homework starts to pile up, I’m still in a happy cheerful mood, which normally only last for the first day of class. If I think I’m still on break the whole semester, maybe I won’t get stressed out (fingers crossed). Random, but who cares! By the time January is over I will no longer like the site or smell of pizza anymore every meeting I’ve been to so far consisted of pizza. Yuck!
Until next time
Way to go WVU Tech! This school never fails to surprise students. Light up Old Main was magical this year. Your question probably is why was it magical?
That’s right, FIREWORKS! (In case you didn’t know. I refer anything dealing with fireworks as magical.) Now, I have another moment to add to my top 10 list.
Another, great event was the Top of Chef (fall 2013 edition). This is when the faculty, staff, and administrators put on their chef white’s and cook an amazing breakfast at night. There are huge pancakes, waffles, omelets, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and endless toppings for everything. Now, I’m a little hungry. This semester there was also a massage area, where professionals came to give hand massages/masks, back rubs, and something around your head (that I seriously don’t understand). I look forward to this event every year, let’s me know that sunshine is near after a week of finals.
I don’t know if I’m super excited right now or it’s just all the sugar kicking in from all the SWEETARTS I’ve been eating. I finished my last final around noon today. I think I did exceptionally well and can’t wait to see my final grades next week. I just found out that I got a B in chemical engineering thermodynamics!!! I’m happy! Fall 2013 semester is officially over and tomorrow I fly home and sleep in until spring semester starts. Oh Happy Day!
Just out the photos from both of these events from the link below (Titled: Light Up Old Main, Top of Chef Fall 2013):