Hello Internet!

  My name is Claire Kincaid, and I'm super excited to be joining the Olin Class of 2019! So far, my gap year has been a huge adventure in flexibility.  My family is USAF active duty and had received orders to Tokyo, Japan.  Needless to say, I thought that by now I'd be traveling through Asia, enjoying the sights and staving off culture shock. 

  But then calamity struck and we had a bit of a family medical emergency, and our orders were cancelled.   So, I was left for about a week with no plans whatsoever, keeping the house spotless and bashing my head against a wall.  But once I dragged myself out of my stupor, I was able to take advantage of some absolutely wonderful opportunities here in Colorado Springs, and I'm now living my gap year dream.


I have two jobs, both of which I love, and I own and operate a small business.  My business, "Claire's Creations" (still working on a better name) is a home based jewelry business where I design and fabricate original pieces using semiprecious stones and sterling silver.  I also cut and classify my own gems, determining their geological identity and retail value, so that I can then incorporate them into one of a kind designs.  

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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.


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.

Gap year stories from Matthew Beaudouin-Lafon

Hello there!

My name is Matthew Beaudouin-Lafon, and as you might have guessed I will be part of the Olin class of 2019. That last name full of vowels gives away that I'm french, and according to statistics I've seen, possibly the first frenchman at Olin! For my gap year, I chose to do the single most exotic thing I could think of before going to college: going to another college. For the academic year of 2014-2015, I have and will infiltrate the NYU Polytechnic school of engineering. So far, my cover has been blown (mostly by my excitement for Olin). I decided to do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I really wanted to go to college, not for the parties (I actually couldn't be more serious), but because I wanted to keep learning math, physics and computer science--I was told I should stay away from engineering classes because everything there would be thrown out the window at Olin. Additionally, I also get to take classes I might not take at Olin, such as "Visual Foundation Studio", in which we "harness the power of visual language in order to convey messages and meaning". Going to college preliminarily has the nice perk that I'll be prepared when I do arrive at Olin, both in knowledge and work ethic. 

I also made my schedule pretty light, so that I can work on some personal projects, sometimes using NYU's plentiful resources -- for instance, I have been looking into Poly's Lunabotics team, which enters a NASA competition to build a miner robot. I'll also get to enjoy and perfect my hobbies, such as card flourishing! 


Sitting on a cannon on Governor's Island.


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. 


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.


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!
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.

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