evOLutIoN

A few days ago, Olin hosted its annual Alumni Reunion weekend. This was the 5th year anniversary for the class of 2009, a dozen or so of whom I met in my first year here while they were finishing up their 'super-senior' semester/s. It was so much fun to see them and many other recently graduated friends, and to meet some of the more established alumni over the course of the weekend! We reminisced about Olin as it once was and discussed the new initiatives we're working on now. As a recent grad, I was able to bridge the gap between current students and alumni. On top of that, I've spent the past few weeks interacting with prospective students and gappies, so I feel like I have quite a range of experience of Oliners in different, very distinct stages of their lives. This got me thinking. I started thinking about Pokemon.

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Recognize these creatures?

 

What? I'm a 90s kid, and nothing says 'growth' like Pokemon evolution. I saw the differences this weekend, and I went through a similar transformation myself over the past number of years, so it's a thing. Watch.

Introducing Emma Dumont, Class of 2019

We're proud to share the first in a sequence of gap year blog posts from a few students who will be joining the class of 2019!

Hello! My name is Emma Dumont and I'm extremely proud and excited to say that I will be joining the Olin College of Engineering class of 2019!  During my gap year, I will be will be working, traveling for work, mentoring my FIRST Robotics FRC team and advocating for STEM education whenever and wherever I can. 

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First, let me tell you about FRC Robotics Team 980 - the Thunderbots.  Robotics has been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years.  I was team lead for fabrication, team captain, robot driver, national award finalist (Dean's list) and now mentor.  Summer is the off season for my robotics team, but we've been keeping busy none the less.  Recently there have been a lot of new students joining the team, including one of my cousins! When new students come to the team, we like to catch them up as soon as possible.  We are a small team so every student gets cross-trained and I've been teaching the new students how to use different tools and machines in our work room.  The goal is to have all students up to speed by January which is the beginning of the build and competition season. Along with mentoring fabrication, my goals for this upcoming year are to increase my skills in SolidWorks(CAD) and to assist the controls team with C++ programming.

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I couldn't stay away!

Hello everyone!
I'm so excited to be the new Assistant Director of Admissions at Olin! I'm Graham Hooton, and I graduated from Olin College as part of the class of 2014. Yep, that's right. Just a few months ago, I was a student here! Over the summer, this position opened up, and the team here already knew they liked me... and I was in the middle of my job search, so I gladly accepted. It's good to be back!
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I'm the one in the middle

At this point, I've taken part in the admissions process in one way or another since all the way back in 2009. Initially, as a candidate, I was intrigued by the essays, wowed by the publications, and utterly sold on the culture and community. Then, as a student I joined and eventually ran the team that invents the Candidate's Weekend Design Challenge, the team-building exercise that helps make CWs so memorable. But even though I stepped behind the curtain then to see how everything worked, I never expected I'd later step behind the even larger, more official curtain, to join the staff here at Olin College! However, in my time as a student here, I did realize that ultimately, my passion was education, not engineering. One day I plan to teach high school science and technology.

So sure, maybe it's a little peculiar to be a recent grad in this kind of position. But I compare myself to Bruce Willis's character in Armageddon, a professional miner who gets astronaut training in order to lead a team to blow up an asteroid. Would it have been easier to train an astronaut to be a miner? Maybe. But then you don't have a movie. Anyways, in my case, I have all of my years of Olin knowledge and a little astronaut training under my belt.

bruce-willis-armageddon.jpg Come at me, prospective students!

I'm so excited to be working at Olin with this team, these students, and all of you amazing applicants (who seem to get more impressive every year!) You can reach me at Graham.Hooton@olin.edu781-292-2212, or in Milas Hall 111.

A Fond Farewell

Hello OLINformer fans -

This is a bit of a bittersweet post for me, as we head into August of what has been an awesome and exciting summer. I'll be leaving Olin College after August 8th for a new position at Phillips Academy Andover at their Institute for Recruitment of Teachers. It's an awesome opportunity to do more of the things I love (recruiting, admissions, talking, talking, talking) but I will miss what I have come to think of as my Olin family dearly.

martha-doctor-goodbye-hug-o.gifMartha and the Doctor. All the feels.

These past years have been a whirlwind. Olin College is truly the most unique place I've ever worked, and what kept me excited and amped up (especially through the 16-hour-days of Candidates' Weekend) was all of you. Your personalities, your unique skills, your humor, and yes, the firm and irrevocable belief that you will change the world one day.... that's what keeps me going. It's been a privilege and a delight to be part of such a phenomenal institute of higher learning, and to get to know you all.

applause gif.gifYou guys are the best.

Thanks for all that you've done and all that you do. I will miss you all. And of course, feel free to send baked goods ANYTIME to Kate Caulfield, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, Phillips Academy Andover, 180 Main Street, Andover MA.

Guest Post - The Final Quarter

We're pleased to bring you a bonus summer guest post from rising senior Kai Austin, 2015:

Well, my junior semester just ended. I have almost 20 literary agent rejection letters for my novel, so I decided to start straight up querying actual publishing companies. I had my first legitimate fever in over 8 years after finals. I just launched the beta for my startup, Wriget (www.wriget.com), an organizational tool designed for writers to keep track of characters and their relationships. I am about to begin my summer internship down at eduCanon. And in the fall I will be starting SCOPE , self-publishing a book of poems/short stories, and teaching my second class at Olin on Mobile Development.

But right now there is only one thing on my mind. Watching graduation, it hit me - next year I will be a senior. A senior! I have still not even accepted the fact that I am a legal adult, and now I am in the final quarter of my undergrad life, about to be thrust out into the vast wide world? It's terrifying!

Part of me is looking back on my time at Olin in regret. All the things I did not do. I could have gotten more involved here. I could have been a better teammate there. Why did I not start that homework earlier? Why did I not wake up when I had the chance? Should have, could have, why, why not, and the whole dance of self-loathing memories can bring along. Then it is all comforted by the fact that hey, I'm not the biggest social butterfly out there. Health reasons, I've had to prioritize sleep. But between classes, clubs, random events of awesome, and my own world of writing, it sums down to one simple question: Am I doing enough?

Am I doing enough for Olin?

When I first found Olin existed, I was dead set on coming here. And it is not to say I do not know what other college types are like. I spent a year at a university with 27,000 students, almost every major you can imagine, a fast track to a graduate program, and an average class size of 250 students. It was honestly a great school! But Olin was the different I was looking for. Small school, check. Awesome people, check. Great scenery, check. Non-standard academics, check. Freedom and opportunity to pursue interests check. All round total epicness - that was not even on my list because I never thought a college like Olin could exist - check. Candidates Weekend, I wanted to tie myself to the columns outside the AC. Olin was the love of my life, my future, my every dream come true.

And now here I am, the summer before my senior year. Being all "adult-like" and hoping I sound like I understand what I am doing. That future is burning away into past memories. Memories I want more than anything to be worth it. Like a ticking clock, I am only becoming more frantic that my time here is running out.

 I do not know where this next year will take me. I do not know where I am going to end up after. I don't know if anyone will ever by my books, or if anyone will ever think my startup is worth it. I still am not entirely sure what I want to do with my life. And that scares me. Olin is my family. Olin is my home. It will always be my family and home. There is only one thing I know:

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