Between the demands of research, teaching, and family on a faculty member's time, the concept of spare time is often hypothetical. However, it is important for faculty to represent their university as positive role models in their local community while also participating in their intellectual community. Listed below are some of the service projects of which I support with my time to ensure that we will always have future generations of engineers graduating from Lafayette. Through these outreach projects, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will also make a strong, positive impact locally.Fortunately, Chino has volunteered to cover office hours when the time demands are at their greatest. As you can see, Alaskan Malamutes are working dogs. In his spare time, Chino enjoys watching AIChE sporting events and hopes to be invited to the next BBQ.
Our local AIChE chapter has required little advice thanks to the great leadership in recent years. Regardless, as the faculty advisor, I do strive to serve the students with a few words of advice and more words of support during the meetings. My role as AIChE advisor also allows me to support the students in annual events, such as the Engineering Week activities and in visiting local industries, such as the sugar refinery tour. I am also very proud to mention that we have won the LES award for the Most Outstanding Department in the College of Engineering this past year! This would not have been possible without a lot of hard work from all of our students.
The responsibilities of this position are both demanding and rewarding. The responsibilities include recruiting volunteers to host events for the Science Olympiad here at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. (Many thanks to Dr. Song and Dr. Chambers for being gracious and dependable volunteers.) The responsibilities also include hosting events which would not otherwise be covered. While hosting an event is a major time demand which involves constructing experimental equipment for the students, the time spent is very rewarding. It presents the faculty volunteers with a chance to interact with bright middle/high school students and give them a positive experience with engineering activities during an enjoyable visit here at UL, which they will hopefully remember when they choose a university. Interested students will also receive UL recruiting materials during the registration period and during the events to help them with this decision in a few years.
Another opportunity for introducing young minds to the world of science and engineering is through the VBS Science Lab (ages 3-10) Both the kids and the parents in the local community appreciate this effort, which is another great opportunity to give young minds a positive memory and connotation to science and engineering. This event involves providing students with hands-on demonstrations of scientific phenomena at FUMC. Dr. Chirdon is also involved with helping some of the other FUMC service projects such as working with Family Promise.
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