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Student Life

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For the June Leader of the Month, the Student Life Office of MSOE has selected Megan Kroll. Megan is from Weston, WI and is a recently graduated mechanical engineer. After her graduation on May 28th, she will begin her career in Rexnord’s Technical Excellence Program as a Mechanical Engineer. In her free time, Megan enjoys playing sports, especially golf and basketball, and spending time with her family. In June, she will be competing in the Ragnar Relay (a running relay from Madison to Chicago) with members of her family. She also enjoys kayaking, canoeing, and hanging out around a campfire.


In her time at MSOE, Megan has participated in and led numerous student organizations, all while captaining the MSOE Women’s Varsity Basketball team during her Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. She has been heavily involved in leading the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, where she has held the positions of president, secretary, involvement coordinator, and the student section enterprise team representative. To recognize her contributions to ASME on a local and national level, Megan was awarded the Sylvia W. Farny scholarship. On top of her many accomplishments within ASME, Megan has been a small group leader for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship organization, the basketball representative to the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, which recognizes exemplary character and distinguished scholarship within the engineering fields. Megan, thank you for your service and leadership here at MSOE!


Every month, MSOE’s Office of Student Life is recognizing an outstanding leader for her/his service to MSOE and the MSOE community. Each chosen leader has been nominated by her/his peers for their leadership qualities and actions. The Student Life Department would like to congratulate and thank each recognized leader for their contributions to the MSOE community, and hope that their actions will serve as an example and inspiration for all MSOE community leaders.


Nominate leaders here:


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Rachael DiGrazia has been nominated and selected as MSOE Student Life's April Leader of the Month. Rachael is from Mokena, Illinois, and is a junior studying Biomedical Engineering at MSOE. Outside of her classes and numerous volunteer activities, Rachael spends time drawing, doing arts and crafts, and spending time with her family and friends. In addition, she enjoys reading and cooking new recipes.


During her time at MSOE, Rachael has been heavily involved with both the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Global Medical Brigades student organizations. Within Global Medical Brigades, she has occupied the leadership roles of treasurer and interim campus chairperson, helping to lead service trips to Honduras and Nicaragua. Through these endeavors, Rachael and her teams have brought desperately needed medical supplies and services to third-world communities. Within SWE, she has held the positions of Fundraising Committee Chair and President. In these roles, she has been instrumental in the advancement of women in the technology fields through recruitment events, networking events, and hosting events for young women considering careers in STEM fields. Her experiences in SWE and Global Medical Brigades have provided her with the leadership skills and experience necessary to continue promoting the causes important to her. Rachael, thank you for your service and leadership at MSOE!


Every month, MSOE’s Student Life Department is recognizing an outstanding leader for their service to MSOE and the MSOE community. Each chosen leader has been nominated by her/his peers for their leadership qualities and actions. The Student Life Department would like to congratulate and thank each recognized leader for their contributions to the MSOE community, and hope that their actions will serve as an example and inspiration for all MSOE community leaders.


Nominate leaders here:

Student Life's Leader of the Month Survey


Michele (Mike) Pancani is a senior computer and electrical engineering student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He was born and raised in Como, Italy, but moved to Appleton, Wisconsin during his junior year of high school to participate in a foreign exchange program. He then moved back to Italy for his senior year, but decided to come back to the great state of Wisconsin and attend MSOE. In his free time, Mike enjoys playing the drums, soccer with his friends, and video editing with special effects. In addition, he spends time skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and sailing and windsurfing in the summer.


While at MSOE, Mike has been involved with many different organizations, on top of his time commitments to academics and his undergraduate research project (which he presented at a national conference). He has been a part of the MSOE Men’s Lacrosse Team for 4 years, been a tutor and test proctor for the Raider Center for Academic Success for 3 years, a campus ambassador for the Admissions Department for 2 years, a Student Government Association (SGA) Senator for a year, a member of Tau Beta Pi honor society for a year, and a member of CRON (Cyber Raider Organization for Networking) for a year. His leadership roles within these organizations include his assistant captain role on the lacrosse team and his senator position in SGA, where he has been instrumental in implementing change and addressing the needs of the student body. Mike, thank you for your leadership and service!


Every month, the Office of Student Life is recognizing an outstanding leader for her/his service to MSOE and the MSOE community. Each chosen leader has been nominated by her/his peers for their leadership qualities and actions. The Office of Student Life would like to congratulate and thank each recognized leader for their contributions to the MSOE community, and hope that their actions will serve as an example and inspiration for all MSOE community leaders.

Want to nominate a leader on MSOE's campus? Nominate them here:




Landon Mara is a senior Industrial Engineering student at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He was born in Virginia, but raised in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, and enjoys watching sports (especially football and basketball), reading, watching Game of Thrones (and yes, he’s read the books), and playing Ultimate Frisbee in his free time.


During Landon’s career at MSOE, he has held many high-profile leadership positions, including his roles as captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Organization, RA of MLH 1 for two years, Senator and Communications Director of the Student Government Association, and his current role as President of Student Government. He has been instrumental in establishing a strong communication line between the student body and the administration of MSOE, which has resulted in numerous changes benefiting the student body and MSOE as a whole. MSOE thanks you for your leadership, Landon!


Every month, the Office of Student Life is recognizing an outstanding leader for her/his service to MSOE and the MSOE community. Each chosen leader has been nominated by her/his peers for their leadership qualities and actions. The Office of Student Life would like to congratulate and thank each recognized leader for their contributions to the MSOE community, and hope that their actions will serve as an example and inspiration for all MSOE community leaders.


Want to nominate a leader on MSOE's campus? Nominate them here:


On October 2 & 3, be a part of designing a weather-focused game that builds resilient communities as they face climate change. Nationally recognized, the winners will head to Washington D.C. to be showcased.  Registration is free.   We would love to see the room filled with MSOE students.  So come alone or bring a team, change the world by being a part of the Great Lakes Great Games Hack-A-Thon.

Spaces are limited so register soon to guarantee your spot is this game-changing event!

This event is hosted at Milwaukee Ward 4, located in the heart of the Global Water Hub.

333 N Plankinton Ave, Milwaukee, WI  53203

I hope you all had a relaxing break and are feeling refreshed and ready for your new classes. Luckily, we’ve been granted some gorgeous weather just in time! It got up to almost 50 degrees yesterday, and today is supposed to be even warmer. Isn’t it heartening to step outside and feel a gentle sunbeam on your face rather than an icy blast of wind?

How I feel every year when Spring comes around.

There are so many events coming up that I would like to encourage you to take part in to get yourself pumped up and ready for spring. MSOE’s annual St. Pat’s Week starts this Friday with the Egg Drop Competition at 12 PM in the Werwath Mall! Next week is also full of fun St. Pat’s-themed events such as a carnival, the “Engineering O’lympics,” a costume contest, and so much more.

I’d also like to encourage you to go outside before, in between, or after your classes one of these days and take a walk. Whether it be with a friend or alone, and whether it be for a mile or simply around the block, there is almost nothing better than getting some fresh spring air after a long, cold winter. Milwaukee is a beautiful city; get out of your room and experience it!

Thank you for reading my post. Have a great first week and enjoy this beautiful weather!

It’s 10th week. You’re probably unbelievably swamped with work as well as studying for finals, and you most likely aren’t going to want to read a long blog post.

Therefore, I simply would like to wish you all the best of luck on your exams next week. Do your best; you are all capable of success and I believe in you!

Also, after finals are over, have a safe and relaxing break. You deserve it.


If you’re a human being, chances are you’ve struggled with procrastination in the past. It’s pretty much the easiest thing in the world to put something off until you have just enough time before it is due to complete it. Or to put tasks such as washing your dishes off until your kitchen sink becomes a smelly, atrocious cesspool. Did that thing that looks like a piece of leftover chicken just move on its own…?

It definitely feels good to procrastinate; there’s no doubt about that. If it didn’t, people wouldn’t struggle with it so often. Putting off work for more pleasurable activities reduces stress for the duration of time the work is able to be ignored. However, when it comes down to it and there’s two hours left until the class in which that 3-page paper you haven’t even started is due, the feelings of stress and anxiety you get aren’t all that great. The costs of procrastination outweigh the temporary benefits, especially because the quality of your work typically suffers due to the decreased amount of time put into the project.

Even Spongebob struggles with procrastination.

We all know procrastination is bad for us. So how do we combat it? Here are a couple suggestions:

-Turn off the wireless adapter on your laptop.

-Work in a public area where people can see your laptop screen, such as a coffee shop. This will remove you from your comfort zone where there are countless distractions such as food, television, or your bed. It also might inspire you to do some work, because who wants people walking by and thinking, “Did this person just bring his laptop to the coffee shop to go on Facebook?”

-Download Cold Turkey. This is a program that will block specified websites such as Facebook and reddit as well as applications such as Steam or Solitaire for any duration of time that you specify. For maximum productivity, set Cold Turkey to unblock your specified programs or websites for 10 minutes in between each hour to give yourself short breaks as you work.

As humans, the here and now counts so much more to our brains than the future. Research has shown that we actually go so far as to consider our future self as a completely separate entity from our current self. The comic below illustrates this concept perfectly.


So, why not reframe this information in a way that helps us combat procrastination? Try to begin imagining your future self as a dear friend or loved one for who you want all the best and that you’re going to see soon. All of your bad habits, including procrastination, counts as your friend doing you a favor. The bigger the impact your habits have on your friend, the bigger the favor he or she is doing you. Try to keep your “friend” in mind as you go about your daily life and start attempting to do “the right thing” instead of leeching off of him or her. Make your future self rather than your current self your first priority.

The temptation to procrastinate unfortunately will never end. However, we can take steps to make that voice in our heads telling us to play another hour of a video game or watch another episode of a show on Netflix be a little quieter. I hope the suggestions I’ve made in this entry have given you some ideas and strategies that will help you improve your ability to combat procrastination.


I’d really love to hear your feedback. What are some helpful tips you use in your everyday life to stop procrastinating and get things done?

Are the bitter cold, biting wind, cloudiness, and dirty slush on the side of the road already getting old? Is simply going outside becoming more and more of a chore with each passing day? Do you just want to give up every time you go out and there’s ANOTHER layer of snow or ice caked on your car?

Most Milwaukeeans can agree that winter is, without a doubt, the most difficult season to get through. The cold forces us to stay inside most of the day, the sun rises later and sets earlier, and it is cloudy more often, reducing our exposure to the fresh air and sunlight and possibly negatively affecting our mood and motivation. However, seasoned survivors of this icy and blustery time of year can also agree that if they are able to keep themselves busy and warm, the season becomes exponentially more enjoyable and goes by a lot quicker than expected.

So, what are some ways you can beat the winter blues? Keep yourself busy with this collection of tips and before you know it, you’ll be drinking a Shamrock Shake and filling out your March Madness bracket!


1. SUB Zero Days

futurama.gifJoin MSOE’s Student Union Board for tons of events they’re hosting from now until January 31st. Tonight at 5 PM a bus is leaving from the CC that will be taking students to go snow tubing. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for that, there are plenty of other events such as a movie night, laser tag, candle making, and the annual “Rave on Ice” coming up! Take an hour or two to treat yourself by going to one of these events and having some fun. And don’t forget that each event you attend earns you a raffle ticket for a 4K TV!

2. Sporting Events

Miss watching our lacrosse, rugby, and soccer teams play on Viets Field? Don’t forget about our winter sports teams! Almost every week there is at least one volleyball, basketball, wrestling, or hockey game going on in the Kern Center. In fact, there’s a hockey game coming up this Thursday at 6:30 PM. Our athletes love to see fellow students in the stands cheering them on, so bring your friends! Check out the event calendar to see when our teams play.

3. Hot Coffee

coffee.gifDid you know that our very own Skylight Marketplace on the 3rd floor of the CC is now selling fresh Colectivo coffee? Now you don’t have to travel miles from campus to get some of Milwaukee’s most famous and delicious java. Stop in and warm up with a cup, and maybe treat yourself to something sweet like a muffin or scone while you’re there.

4. Save a Snowball

With all the snow that just fell, now would be the perfect time to make some snowballs and put them in your freezer. Why? So you can (gently) surprise someone this spring when the snow is all gone!

5. Discover Milwaukee

Even though it’s cold and snowy outside, there are still plenty of things to do in the city!

Take a trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Remember that the first Thursday of every month is Target Free First Thursday, which means that on February 5th you can visit the museum all day free of charge! There is also Yoga @ the Museum, a great way to warm up and get your blood pumping, coming up on January 24th.

Visit the Mitchell Park Conservatory, better known as The Domes. Even just for a little while you can escape Milwaukee’s sometimes unforgiving climate and pretend you’re in a hot desert oasis or a humid tropical rainforest. Remember that you can purchase discounted bus tickets from Student Life in the CC!

Grab a discounted ticket voucher for an Admirals game or a Marcus Theatre movie from Student Life!


There’s always something to do in this city and, thanks to Student Life and all our wonderful student organizations, right here at MSOE. Sometimes, especially in the winter, it just takes a bit of detective work to find something you like. I hope this blog entry is at least a little encouraging and helpful for all you who feel somewhat bogged down by the cold and snow. Even though it really doesn’t seem like it at the moment, remember that it WILL eventually warm up. Meanwhile, spend some time having fun outside of your dorm, apartment, or house; it’s extremely important for your physical, emotional, and mental health!

Welcome to 2015!

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? It’s okay if you don’t. In reality, January 1st is just another day out of the year, and it is significant only because of the meaning we give to it. But for a lot of people, the New Year means a lot.

I mentioned in my previous entry that people get a sense of motivation from the idea of a new beginning. Some make resolutions every December to eat better, be kinder to others, give money to charity, or spend more time with loved ones in the new year. Many make resolutions to work out more. If you visit any workout facility during the month of January, you understand the term “resolution rush.” People flock to the treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes with high hopes of becoming healthier and more fit while looking and feeling better.

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However, as the month of February begins to draw near, less and less people show up to the gym. By March, things are basically back to normal. Why does this happen? Mostly because people tend to lose motivation when they don’t see instant results.

Michael Scott (well, Wayne Gretzky) has the right idea. Did you take a “shot” at making a change in your habits from last quarter? If so, were you successful, or do you feel like you missed?

Think of this blog post as me checking in on the ideas I gave in my last entry. If you haven’t been getting the results you wanted thus far this quarter, it’s not too late to take another shot! Don’t lose motivation. If all those people rushing to the gym this month stuck to their resolutions for all of 2015, there is no doubt that they would see positive results (albeit not as quickly as they would hope, but results all the same).


The good news is that no one is perfect, and there is no use trying to be. But since we aren’t perfect, there are always ample opportunities to improve ourselves. Seize the opportunity the New Year presents, keep trying to form those healthy habits, and make these next 7 weeks count! I know you can do it.

I wish you a very happy and successful 2015!

Welcome to Winter Quarter!

Does it feel like 10th week of Fall Quarter was just yesterday? It definitely does to me as I write this, especially because that is when I posted my last Tim Tuesdays entry!

Maybe you did great last quarter, or maybe you didn’t do as well as you thought you would. Either way, chances are that, in hindsight, there are some habits you could improve upon. Perhaps you didn’t manage your time well enough and your grades suffered as a result. Maybe you spent too much time studying and not enough time caring for yourself by exercising, relaxing, sleeping, and spending time with friends and loved ones.

As you get yourself settled into this new term, keep in mind that every ending is a new beginning; a blank canvas, if you will, on which the possibilities are endless. You can make this quarter look any way you would like. Unlike most other students on semester systems, you get the opportunity to start all over again twice a year instead of just once. Your habits from the previous term don’t matter anymore except as a reminder of what worked for you and what didn’t and can be improved this time around.

Seize this fresh start and make this your best quarter yet! Try to develop habits that you can be proud of. MSOE offers a plethora of resources that can help you do this. For example, the Raider Center for Academic Success (RCAS) offers drop-in tutoring in physics, chemistry, math, and writing every weekday in CC02 from 9 AM to 8 PM and on Sundays from 5 to 9 PM. It also offers individual or group tutoring for specific courses. RCAS even has a blog (like mine!), Make the Grade with RCAS, that weekly shares helpful study strategies, tips, and tools. Stop in to CC02 or take a look at their blog as a start to developing those new habits!

Good luck this quarter; I am rooting for each and every one of you!

The end of the quarter is here.  It always seems so daunting and then in a blink of an eye – we are at the end. Best of all, you made it!  You survived the quarter.  You made it through each and every syllabus that was before you and you figured out how to navigate to get to your end goal.  So what’s next?


For some of you, it is a week break and then you will head right back into the next quarter, where the process will begin again.  For others, you are walking across a stage to share with your family and friends your accomplishment – you are graduating!


When you start your college journey, it is hard to imagine how quickly it will go by.  You hear about it; but you can’t really wrap your head around it.  But then the schedule gets in your hands and you go heads down into the work.  And before you know it, you look up and the years have passed and you are at the end of this particular journey.


As we approach finals and then break week, take the time to celebrate your accomplishments of the last ten weeks.  You have done some amazing things; not only in the classroom but in life.  Enjoy the journey you have been on and whatever the next phase is, move forward with the positive energy that got you to where you are today.


I would like to encourage the graduating seniors to review the Graduation Checklist. The document is designed to make sure you have the information you need to transition from current student to proud alum.


Continued success to you all!


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Marilyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin, gave a speech in September 2014.  The speech was meant to motivate and inspire a roomful of fellows for the year that lies ahead.


I watched the speech recently. I was excited enough by the message, I shared it with the directors who report to me. The message that rang through for me was empowerment.  I realized I was empowered to make the impact I wanted to make.


Shortly thereafter, I found myself getting in the elevator on the third floor of the CC building. Taking the elevator with me, was a student who in his words, felt “midterms were getting to him.”  I felt like he was saying “Is this hard work going to be worth it?”


According to the video, collaboration, prioritization and inspiration are the keys to changing the world we live in.  These all sound like things MSOE students learn and breathe every day – even after graduation.  Let me know what you think because I do see each and every one of you as the catalyst for the future.


I am responsible for various areas on campus: counseling services, enrollment, digital marketing, STEM, TRIO, Raider Center for Academic Success, the ESL department and student life.  These areas are each their own entity with separate goals and tactics to help move MSOE forward but one thing they have in common is a belief.  That belief is simple – The Students are MSOE’s brand.  Your voice, your actions, your outcomes make MSOE what it is today and play a role in helping MSOE to continue to be a positive place for impacting many student’s lives.

It is exciting to me to see student organizations like Student Government Association (SGA), Student Union Board (SUB), Residence Hall Association (RHA and Greek Council are creating a Student Leadership Council to come together to represent the student voice. If you have suggestions, ideas or questions, these are the organizations which provide a vehicle for your thoughts and desires to be expressed. Chances are others may have similar ideas and by working together many great things can take place and be realized on campus.

We are also fortunate to have Hub, where you can ask questions and provide ideas and thoughts about what types of campus activities and programming you would like to see MSOE provide. Hub is also great for cultivating collaboration and community among students, faculty and staff and provides a great way to connect with people on campus you may have never met!


This quarter has been amazing for me.  I love learning more about your interests and what energizes you.  I hope you continue to share your thoughts with me and the rest of the MSOE community.  You are MSOE’s brand and I want to make sure our brand is stronger than ever.


Are you involved in a student organization(s)?  Are they influencing how you would like? Who would you like to see come to campus to be a part of the MSOE speaker series?  Share your thoughts on what your student organization(s) has been talking about and how Student Life might be able to help.

The Maker Faire was in Milwaukee this past weekend.  (If you read my last blog post, you know how much I love this city!) An event to celebrate inventions that is has been recreated around the country, with the World Maker Faire being held in New York a few weekends ago.  But why am I highlighting this?  Because it hits on every single major MSOE offers.  After reading about and watching several videos about the inventions and what inspired the inventors, it made me think.  Where can a background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) take you?  And perhaps more importantly, as an MSOE student, where do YOU want to go?  What have you dreamed of?


The world is vast and full of opportunities, challenges and growth.  As students who have chosen the STEM field for a profession (and you all have), you will have the chance to impact the world like no other generation before you.  The amazing feats you will accomplish have yet to be invented or possibly even thought of. Having your education anchored in STEM provides you with the advantage to be the leaders of tomorrow today.  I know that sounds cliché but yet, it is true.


I understand it can be nerve-racking when you have to choose your major and you aren’t 100% sure this is what you would like to do.  The MSOE campus has resources to help you figure that out.  You can visit Counseling Services in the Kern Center, join a student organization to test things out or simply sit and talk with professors about what they have done to accomplish their goals.  Just know one thing – a STEM education can lead you to a STEM career.  And a STEM career is a much broader net than you may realize.


Yes, you will likely put in more homework and project hours than your counterparts who are focused on something outside of a STEM field.  Yes, it may feel more difficult because what you are working on, perhaps, has not been done before. The work now will pay off later.  Trust me!  There are plenty of reports stating the great salaries you can make. You don’t have to work at a college to be aware of the positive financial impacts that will come your way.


I think the reward is bigger than a fatter wallet.  I think the discoveries you will make, the lives that you will touch, the businesses you will lead are the real reward.  For every Calculus, Physics, Design and Writing course you take, you are changing the world.  You are making it better for us all.  That is the reward and that is where I believe YOU want to go.


I want to hear from you. What interested you to follow a STEM career path? What are you hoping to do with your degree?  How do YOU want to change the world?