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Graduate Engineering Research Colloquium recruits innovative minds


College of Engineering Dean David Williams discusses the services and resources available in Ohio State
Graduate students in The Ohio State University College of Engineering and Knowlton School of Architecture shared their research and educational experience with prospective students on October 6 at the Graduate Engineering Research Colloquium (GERC).

The colloquium enables prospective students to learn about the 12 different programs in the graduate engineering program at Ohio State. The all-day event included workshops on applying to and receiving funding for graduate school, opportunities to interact with current students and faculty, poster presentations on graduate student research, and tours of labs and departmental facilities.

“It’s an opportunity for Ohio State to recruit talented and competitive students from across the country,” said La’Tonia Stiner-Jones, manager of the College of Engineering’s graduate program. “This event is but one opportunity to recruit the students we want to apply, and it's the only opportunity of this caliber to allow students to visit our college and departments before they apply.”

Fifty-eight prospective students—45 from undergraduate programs outside of Ohio State—attended this year’s colloquium to learn about the program ranked number one in Ohio and among the Top 20 public programs in the nation. 

After hearing from College of Engineering Dean David Williams and several other representatives about services and resources available, prospective students attended a poster session where 89 current engineering graduate students presented their work.

“We have a mix of students presenting from all research areas. It's a way for prospective students to get an idea of the research going on, and then get an even more in-depth idea when they visit the departments later in the day,” Stiner-Jones said.

Alex Avendano, a mechanical engineering PhD student at Ohio State, was on the student panel at this year’s colloquium. Avendano attended GERC as a prospective student just last year and said the experience was central in his decision to apply.

“I was able to identify several faculty of interest based on research areas,” Avendano said. “There were a lot of areas I was interested in, and I knew that if I got accepted I had a major chance of winding up working in a lab I would enjoy.”

The comprehensive exposure to the graduate program and the university as a whole received at the event was the biggest selling point for some prospective students.

“I think it’s not only a great opportunity to see the school and see the campus, but I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to get a feel for the area, given that I’ve never been to Columbus before,” said Daniel Drabiak, a current undergraduate at Purdue University. “It’s also a tremendously valuable opportunity to network with professors.” 

As for what Ohio State is looking for in its future graduate students, an innovative attitude is key.

“We’re looking for students who are innovative, creative thinkers,” said Stiner-Jones. “We want students who are interested in driving innovation and can think locally and globally. We want students who want to use their knowledge to improve lives and the world in which we live.”


Written by Karlie Frank

Categories: CollegeStudents