LDP Blog

Aisin Tour


On the 12th of November, the LDP took a tour of Aisin Manufacturing, in Marion, IL. Aisin is an international company which produces various automobile parts, such as sunroofs and sliding doors. We were led around the manufacturing floor by our tour guide, David Albright, who told us about the different processes and innovations that Aisin uses to lead the industry.

He also described how well the company treated its employees, talking about all the bonuses one could earn for working hard and contributing ideas along with how this plant had never laid off an employee in the last ten years. Aisin is originally a Japanese corporation, and David explained the work ethic of the Japanese employees which positively contributes to the spirit of the North American plants. It was an exciting tour for the whole group, and we would like to thank Cheri Romonosky and David Albright for giving us this opportunity.

Tacos and Smoothies


On Sunday, November 8, the LDP held a taco and smoothie social event hosted at Dr. DeRuntz’s house. This event brought the team together as David and Roberto demonstrated their culture by showing their teammates how to make authentic salsa and tacos, along with playing authentic Mexican music. Not only did the team eat well, but they also received proper vitamins and nutrients in Sheldon’s homemade fruit smoothies. Since this is a staple in Sheldon’s lifestyle, it was nice of him to show the rest of the team how to make an easy, delicious, but most importantly, healthy food choice in our lives.

This event wasn’t just about the tacos and smoothies, it’s about the team. To have a great team, you have to have a great connection. To have a great connection, you have to develop a relationship within the team. These social events are an excellent approach in building the relationships needed to have a great team.

LDP Sponsor Dinner

On the night of 23rd October, the LDP hosted a sponsor dinner at the Newell House here in Carbondale, Illinois. The LDP members met with representatives from Spartan Light Metal Products, ATS, Nucor, and Boeing. Over dinner, LDP members had the opportunity to make networking connections and memorable impressions with the visiting representatives. For LDP members who were already familiar with several of the sponsors, the evening provided a wonderful occasion to strengthen relationships. Through this networking opportunity, several of the LDP members were invited to interview with the company’s representatives the next morning before the STEM Career Fair. A common theme throughout these interviews was the sense of enthusiasm expressed by the sponsors about the previously shared evening. With overwhelming positive feedback received from the sponsors, this first time LDP event is sure to become a new tradition.

sponsor dinner

Mentor Match Event

mentor match

In order improve our development we need the help of talented professionals. We look up to those men and women who challenge and guide us in our pursuit of self-improvement. We found those professionals among our sponsors. This event is where a member of the LDP matched up with a professional to have as their mentor. The event took place on September 26th in the College of Engineering as a key part of our tailgate event. Throughout this event the LDP members were able to network and develop their professional communication skills. The goal of this event is to create mentor groups for each LDP team member, so that they have someone to contact when they need help with advice throughout the year.  During the mentor introductions the LDP members absorbed all the details the mentors shared. The LDP members armed with their new impressions were then given the opportunity to mingle with the mentors. The LDP members immediately engaged the mentors and started creating meaningful conversations with the professionals in front of them. Each round was comprised of a mentor and mentee engaging in professional conversation. As the conversations progressed the mentors and mentees adapted to the event environment. As the event ended the LDP members went from unsure of what to say, to new conversation leaders.

LDP 2015 Tailgate

tailgateThe LDP hosted the annual Tailgate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The event was a great way for the LDP members to get together and personally connect with the LDP corporate sponsors. The main event was held in front of the SIU Arena, along with many other events. The welcoming speech given by Dr. Bruce DeRuntz, was a great way to kick off the event and thank everyone who helped make the event a success. After the welcoming speech, many of the LDP members started mingling with the corporate sponsors. Although the event was mostly professional, it was also meant to be fun and exciting. After a bit of conversing with the sponsors we were able to meet with each other’s family and friends. It was a great chance for the LDP members to get to know each other personally and strengthen the brotherhood of the team. One of the main goals of the event was allowing the LDP members networking opportunities with corporate sponsors, who could potentially be their future employers. The LDP Tailgate was a great turn out for everyone who attended. The LDP members gained experience with professional networking conversation skills. A big LDP thank you goes out to all the LDP graduates and corporate sponsors who attended the event, and those sponsors include Spartan Light Metals, Nascote Industries, Nucor Building Systems, and Advanced Technology Services. Last but not least, LDP thanks Dick and Brigette Blaudow for hosting this great event and for personally attending the event to share their amazing success story.

LDP Team builds community pull up bars during Team Week 2015.

The team erected a pull up bar on the first day of the team week. The team started working around 7:30 pm and finished it around 1:30 am. The team separated into two groups but did not assign a leader for each group. This was our first lesson. Always elect a leader. Nevertheless, the team had the work done irrespective of how long it took without giving up!

Here’s the video!