Racing the Clock By– Scott Costello

     Robotics competitions come in many shapes and sizes, from dangerous, passive, automated, etc. At SIUC first time members joining SIUC Robotics have the opportunity to join a team that doesn’t compete in competitions, rather they build their knowledge of robotics through trial and error. Usually a date for Mary-O-Kart isn’t set. This year was different, Mary-O-Kart is over after this year. What better time to make our projected finish other than Engineering Day. For Robotics, this Engineering Day was huge because we had been working on the Mary-O-Kart all year with the intention of unveiling. To make Engineering Day more special, we had tours of our workshops and several robot demonstrations. I’ve been with Mary-O-Kart since the beginning and have seen many events unfold. My favorite memory, however, would be the excitement of watching our parts box turn into functioning Mary-O-Karts. Continue reading

Blizzard Baja By– Joe Loftus

     Earlier this month, I went on a trip to Northern Michigan with the Saluki Baja team to compete in a snowy off-road race with other college Baja teams. The trip proved not only to help our team measure up our Baja car in comparison with others, but it also allowed us to grow as a team by better getting to know one another.
     The trip started with a twelve-hour drive up North. While en-route, it was important to engage others in meaningful conversation. We stopped in Edwardsville, Illinois, to drop off our Baja car with SIUE’s Baja team. Before the trip, our Baja team made a deal with SIUE’s Baja team–they would drive our Baja in their trailer and we would let them stay the night in the house we rented in Michigan. This deal allowed us to network with mechanical engineering students from another school while also saving us the cost of renting a truck and trailer from SIUC to transport our Baja car.

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A Little Dream Turned to Reality By– Lincoln Kinley

Before I came to SIUC, I knew that I would have to find something else to do besides classes. I needed to be a part of a club that would teach knowledge outside of coursework, to better understand, and develop a deeper appreciation for the engineering process. I came down to the conclusion to join the Robotics Club, primarily because I read about a robot previously built by the club, “The Juggernaut”. The Juggernaut was a tank of a robot, designed to dish out, while still avoiding damage. I thought how amazing of an experience it would be to build a robot that fights other robots. That became one of my dreams; to build a robot for a battlebots competition.

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LDP Social Event: SIUC vs. Bradley By– Gannon Druessel

On Sunday February 11, the LDP had its first social event of the semester. When planning this I thought “in what way could we hang out and support our school?” While watching the SIUC men’s basketball team, I saw that they were on a five game win streak which put them at second place in the Missouri Valley Conference. We were playing Bradley University on the upcoming Sunday, which seemed like a perfect opportunity to get together and cheer on the Dawgs.
At the basketball game, we had about a dozen LDP members put aside their busy schedules to come out and support the Salukis. We all wore our matching yellow LDP t-shirts to display our teamship. Cheering loudly for our team with great friends and de-stressing was an awesome way to start off the semester. I guess we were a good luck charm in the sense that the Salukis had an outstanding 74-57 win over Bradley! Overall, I would say that it was a great way for us to bond together as a team; over a fresh Saluki victory!

The Best and most Difficult part about being in the LDP By– Scott Costello

     Being in the LDP has truly been a life changing experience. There have been good times, and difficult times. Yet at the end of the day whatever needs to be done was finished. When I think of the best and most difficult part of being in the LDP, I think of camaraderie, reward, and things that we learn. While for me, and some others, the most difficult part would be the time.
     My fellow members and I do a myriad of things: school, work, other RSO’s, etc. Some of my fellow members have 19+ credit hours this semester, others are Presidents, Senators, athletes, employees and co-workers. It takes a lot of work, and sometimes juggling, but we all make it work one way or another. LDP members may have a lot on their plate, but with dedication and teamwork, we manage to clean those plates beyond imagination.

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Team Weekend By– Suddarsun Shivakumar

     Every August, the Leadership Development Program (LDP) hosts Team Week. The idea of Team Week is to help the new members bond and come together as a team. As LDP grew larger, we started accepting new members into the team even in the middle of the semester. The LDP can be seen as a stack of Jenga blocks: very closely bonded. When new members join the team, it can be tricky and difficult to get them as closely bonded as the rest of the team. This was a challenge for the senior leadership in the team, and we decided to have a “Mini-Team Week” for this purpose it was called the “Team Weekend” (Read Diogo Seixas’s article here on the purpose of team week).

                                                    Team Weekend Continue reading

Gumdrops By– Gannon Druessel

On January 17th, the Saluki Science Ambassadors (SSA) kicked off the semester by volunteering at a Gumdrops event. Gumdrops is an amazing non-profit charity in Carterville, Illinois. This charity provides at-risk children with backpacks containing a weekend’s worth of food. Their mission is to remove barriers to academic success for the at-risk children by providing them with the food they need, giving them one less thing to worry about. This charity feeds over 1,300 children every week. As a community outreach RSO, the SSA thought this was a perfect place to volunteer.

Helping at Gumdrops wasn’t only a way for us to get back into the swing of things, but also a great way to give back. At SSA, we strive to give back to the community as often as our busy schedules allow us. Another nice perk of the Gumdrops event was that it gave us an opportunity to spend time together as an RSO and get to know each other better. I’m proud of my team for growing closer as an organization while doing something positive, and it’s just another reason why I love SSA.

SSA spending their Wednesday helping kids in need

STEM in the LDP By–Dr. DeRuntz

The LDP achieved a major goal last year when we expanded to include the other STEM colleges: College of Science, College of Applied Science and Arts, and the College of Agriculture. This is an important achievement because of its alignment with our LDP Vision: To become the premier university program that develops global technical leaders. Our goal was just to be inclusive of the other STEM Majors; however, we were pleasantly surprised by the diverse skills and ideas all the new students have contributed.

The first attribute I noticed was the invaluable resource that our pre-med majors bring in the form of first-aid training. They embraced the responsibility of being our group’s medic with passion. Our medical preparedness gets better each semester and with each treatment experience. I have even noticed a sense of confidence and safety from our team members knowing we have trained people in our group in the event that something may go astray.

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Saluki Environmental Educators (SEE) By– Breanna Whitley

While wrapping up the Fall 2017 semester, I was granted the opportunity to become the President of the Saluki Environmental Educators (SEE). My time in SEE was brief prior to my nomination, but I didn’t require much time to realize that SEE was the organization where I wanted to focus my efforts. From the first meeting I knew that SEE’s mission resonated with my passions as an aspiring educator and nature enthusiast, and I recognized the potential for opportunities in which I could grow my leadership skills.

The Saluki Environmental Educators is a professional development Registered Student Organization (RSO) that seeks to promote environmental education, interpretation, public involvement, and volunteerism by partnering with community groups throughout Southern Illinois. We are a small but passionate crew of community-minded individuals with a myriad of interests and areas of study.

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A Weekend of Dreams and Connections By– Diogo Seixas

       For the first time we decided to have a “Team Weekend” before spring classes. The idea was to give the students an amazing way to kick off the semester, full of energy and motivation. But the experience was more than that, it was a weekend full of connections, purpose and dreams.
       It was a time to reflect on all the past members who put effort to making the program what it is; reflect upon the effort we should put forth to make the program even better. Think about the amazing opportunity we have inside the program to not just develop leaders, but be part of something bigger: someone’s life. Each decision you make today is going to impact someone’s life, and that is priceless. Continue reading