Today was our first college tour in Project SEED. We went to Washington and Jefferson University and I have to say that before going there it wasn’t somewhere I would consider going. My first impression when I stepped on campus was that it had a good feel to it. Michael Leonard, the Associate Professor of Chemistry, greeted us when we got there. He gave us a tour of their new science building. It had really nice facilities and as we walked through a few students who were working talked to us about some of their research. One of the girls was working on a project with identifying the amounts of cocaine on dollar bills with gas chromatography. The building had three floors, with a small coffee shop on the first, and labs, classrooms and offices on the other two.
After that we went to the admissions office where Danielle Rohland spoke to us about all Washington and Jefferson had to offer, and she really did cover everything; from the admission process to financial aid, clubs, sports, academics and programs. One thing I heard over and over again throughout the day was the Magellan Project. The Magellan Project allows students to pursue research opportunities or projects anywhere in the world as long as it’s approved by the University President. They told us that one student went to a village in the Dominican Republic one year and set up clinics, then went back the next year and hired doctors to work in them and this year he’s bringing other students from Washington & Jefferson to work there with him. I think it’s a really good program because it’s only limited by what you can think up.
Then a student named Matt Yevins toured us through the rest of the campus. We saw the rest of the buildings on the campus, and the inside of a dorm room. The other buildings looked nice from the outside, since that’s all we got to see, and the dorm rooms felt cramped, but I think that’s just how it is in college. One thing I really hope they improve upon in the following years is installing air conditioning in the rest of their buildings. It wasn’t too bad today, but I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like the rest of the year. I hope there’s at least heating in the winter.
Finally we ended our tour with lunch. I think Dr. Leonard said that there was only one cafeteria to eat in on campus, although I’m sure there are other places to eat. It was all pretty standard, but the food was good and the view from where we sat by the windows was nice, at least.
Overall, I really wish there were engineering schools that had a campus as beautiful as W&J. I guess a few of them do, but it’s just not the same. I think W&J will be somewhere I apply this fall. They don’t have engineering, but they have a 3:2 program where I would spend three years at W&J focusing on math and science courses and then go to another school like Columbia or Case Western for two years to focus on whatever type of engineering I’d like to pursue.
Project SEED group in front of the technology center at W&J