AiChE to host freshmen open house

February 13, 2018

 This Valentine’s Day, the students of the American Institution of Chemical Engineers are hosting a CHE Freshman Open House event entitled My AiChE Breaky Heart.

The event, located in Ernst 310 at 2 p.m., features a valentine exchange, dessert competition with prizes, and games, all as an opportunity for freshman to meet with faculty and experienced students to learn what Chemical Engineering has to offer.

Developing an interest in her chemistry class during her high school, AiChE president senior Deanna Gilliam, gravitated towards Chemical Engineering in college as a field that would compliment her interests, while offering her plenty of potential post-graduation opportunities. Once committing to CHE, Gilliam developed her role in AiChE, networking with other students and faculty, and developing a love for the organization along the way, for the teamwork and friendships that she has enjoyed through her experiences.

“One of the biggest things I’ve come to appreciate is the teamwork of the officer teams over the years. It’s so refreshing to have a group of people that you can trust and work with to get others involved to enjoy the perks that we’ve come to deeply appreciate,” says Gilliam.

She adds of the future of the AiChE, “I have seen this organization grow in the last 3 years, and I don’t want to see it fall due to little interest or a drop in Chemical Eng. students. I plan to leave plenty of information to keep the organization going strong and running smoothly, as well as my contact information in case they need an alumni to speak, or have questions about who to contact and what to do next!”

In addition to the free food, games, dessert competitions, and valentine’s exchanges, the AiChE Breaky Heart event will give students the chance to explore what the program has to offer. The Unit Operations lab will be operational, featuring demonstrations of a distillation column, lab-scale catalytic reaction, filtration tank, lab-scale cooling tower and students are invited to tour the facilities. Gilliam understands that the program can prove intimidating to incoming students, and hopes the AiChE Breaky Heart event can help assuage those concerns.

“A lot of engineering students I talk to in Speed School hear Chemical Engineering and automatically assume they wouldn’t be able to do it, or get through it. The professors are very helpful and encouraging always, which is helpful when those crazy weeks come around where we have seven exams to take, but we’re only taking six classes,” says Gilliam.