Texas Tech Sigma Epsilon

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas 79409

Charter Date   April 15, 1966,

Chapter No.   78

Advisor   Dr. Darryl James

Chapter Status

Annual Chapter Reports

Texas Tech Sigma Epsilon

In the Spring of 1965, a group of junior and senior mechanical engineering students under the leadership of Dr. Donald J. Helmers, initiated the idea of forming a Pi Tau Sigma Chapter at Texas Technological College. With the help and guidance of Professor James W. Bayne, National Secretary-Treasurer, a petition for membership was circulated among the existing chapters in the Fall of 1965.

The petition was approved and the Texas Tech Sigma Epsilon Chapter was officially installed on April 15, 1966, by Professor E. Kent Springer, National President; Dr. D. R. Haworth, Regional Vice President; and Dr. John W. WiebeIt of Oklahoma State University.


ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS

2021-2022 Nicholas Rye Acosta - President

This year, mostly, signified a return to normal for the Sigma Epsilon chapter. Given that most of our leadership and membership were not members prior to the pandemic, we had to rediscover and reestablish traditions that were once a part of normal proceedings. Nevertheless, we focused most of our efforts on building the momentum for future membership and reengaging with our members whom we have had little physical contact the past two years.

In the Fall, our school experienced a small spike in COVID cases upon the return of our student body. Therefore, we organized mostly outdoor events that would limit the amount of time that our members spent in close proximity. Per semesterly tradition, we assisted our Lubbock Arboretum by planting new flowers, cleaning out flower beds, and trimming overgrown hedges. We also made a new contact with our local GRUB Farm, an organization that utilizes agriculture to instruct teenagers about business practices and ethics. With a large group of members, we managed to clean out all of their flower beds that had fallen into disrepair during the pandemic. We also organized a group to work with Habitat for Humanity who construct housing for low-income families and individuals. Together, they helped construct the internal framework for a house. Other service activities conducted that semester included escorting dogs for a pet adoption service and hosting a food drive for our local food bank.

In the Spring, we decided to provide an ongoing service opportunity for members who might struggle to attend large events that occur on certain weekends. We once again worked with Habitat for Humanity to open a sign-up list where members could choose to work any Saturday morning at their convenience. We also worked with the Lubbock Lions Club at the Annual Pancake Festival. Being the first year that this event returned, the staff required a lot of manpower to help cook food, deliver orders, and take donations. It was rewarding getting to see the positive responses from Lubbock natives who missed this yearly tradition. We also teamed up with a local ICU nurse who was working on her own community outreach project. To assist her, she asked us to collect baby wipes to donate to a local blessing center. Together, our chapter collected three large cardboard boxes worth of baby wipes and delivered them to her throughout the semester. Other service events involved working at the Arboretum, planting trees for our university, and helping the staff at the GRUB Farm.

One thing is certain: Sigma Epsilon had no shortage of social events this year. We heavily benefitted from gathering feedback from both our officers and members in determining the activities that we arranged. The social activities that we arranged included, bowling, roller-skating, game nights, movie nights, 4ore! Golf, etc. We were also able to bring back our yearly Founder’s Day crawfish boil commemorating the establishment of Sigma Epsilon, and we were happy to invite our alumni to partake in this celebration with us.

Figure 1: Fall 2021 Initiates: Front Row (from left): Oscar de Luna, Joseph Salas; Second Row: Emily Fedynich, Ajibek Karatalov, Alex Fanos, Samuel Hoyl; Third Row: Connor Key, Ryan Duong, Justin Blass; Back Row: Mason Kneisley, Nasser Filty, Omar Abdelwahed, Jake Johnson

Figure 1: Fall 2021 Initiates: Front Row (from left): Oscar de Luna, Joseph Salas; Second Row: Emily Fedynich, Ajibek Karatalov, Alex Fanos, Samuel Hoyl; Third Row: Connor Key, Ryan Duong, Justin Blass; Back Row: Mason Kneisley, Nasser Filty, Omar Abdelwahed, Jake Johnson

Figure 2: Spring 2022 Initiates: Front Row (from left): Joseph Francis, Fabian Borunda, Brandon Darby, Daniel Eck; Middle Row: Sholby Reeve, Joseph Pantoya, Abisai Canizales; Back Row: Michael Wales, William McDonald, Kolton Everett, Justin Schwirtlich

Figure 2: Spring 2022 Initiates: Front Row (from left): Joseph Francis, Fabian Borunda, Brandon Darby, Daniel Eck; Middle Row: Sholby Reeve, Joseph Pantoya, Abisai Canizales; Back Row: Michael Wales, William McDonald, Kolton Everett, Justin Schwirtlich

 

2020-2021 Shilah Chhadua - President

This was an interesting year for Sigma Epsilon as we came back from COVID-19 restrictions and progressed back to our normal traditions that several members had not experienced yet.  We spent the year trying to reconnect and build back the Pi Tau community when everyone got back to school after the pandemic.  In addition to our normal every semester events, we became creative and found new service and social opportunities that worked virtually and in-person for many of our members and initiates. This allowed for our members to engage in relationships with our chapter and other students in the engineering key.  

In the fall we were unable to host our large Meet ME event where our members host a group of 75 middle school students from low income middle schools across West Texas to introduce them to what life is like as a mechanical engineer. However, to meet COVID restrictions we planned several outside services events outdoors.  One service event we organized was Park clean-up day at Buddy Holly park in Lubbock Texas.  Our members took trash bags to the park and spent one Friday afternoon picking up trash and keeping the park clean for the Lubbock community to enjoy.  In the end we gathered 10 trash bags full of trash that had been dispersed throughout the lakes and the park.  Although we were unable to host our Meet ME event this year we have kept our communications with the schools constant to bring back the event in the fall.

In the Spring we continued to hold our semester long tradition of helping out at our local Lubbock Arboretum.  This semester we helped the grounds keeper clean the place up, install new piping for irrigation, and plant 4 new trees.  This event is always a great way for our members to spend time in nature, give back to the community and take a break from studying while also socializing with other members.  We also added a few new events to our service opportunities this semester such as volunteering at the Civic Center.  At the Lubbock Civic Center the community was holding free COVID shots and our members volunteered to help host this event.  We had several of our members direct and assist in the transaction process of this event and allow for the event to run smoothly.  

Our chapter always hosts a social event as much as we can to keep our members active and connecting with one another.  Some of the events our members enjoyed this year included: Friendsgiving, Park picnics, World of Beer Trivia and Bowling nights, and a night at the Lubbock Corn Maze. One of our most popular events was our Park Picnic day, where a majority of our members would come out and fly kites, play kickball, ultimate frisbee, or croquet.  This event allowed for members to get away from their textbooks and computers and spend the day at the park playing games and having a picnic outdoors.

 

2019-2020 Sheela Sharma - President

An interesting year for Sigma Epsilon as we graduated two huge classes and inducted classes that were even larger. We spent the year trying to grow the amount of connections that we have both across campus and around the community. In addition to our normal every semester events, we added several new service and social opportunities for many of our members and initiates. This enabled our members to network and hang out with others within our chapter and with other students around the engineering key.

In the fall our members hosted a group of 75 middle school students from low income middle schools across West Texas to introduce them to what life is like as a mechanical engineer. Meet ME is an event that we host every semester and are always super excited about. The students were given the opportunity to tour some of the research labs (like the combustion lab, always a big hit), see our mechanical engineering shop and some of their recent fabrications, and even talk with our Formula One team and sit in their competition car from the previous year. The students wrapped up after lunch with a design competition, this year being their newspaper houses against our industrial sized fans. At the end of the day the students were visibly excited about the prospect of attending college in the future. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled in the Spring as restrictions were set upon both Texas Tech and their middle schools, but communications are ongoing about bringing the event back in the fall.

In the Spring we added a new opportunity for our members, we participated in the Community Engineering Fair hosted by the Texas Tech engineering department. This event was designed to teach young kids in the Lubbock community about what engineering is and what it can do. We set up a booth and had members come in shifts to teach kids about electrical resistance in circuits and centrifugal forces using a paint spinner. The kids were able to adjust the resistance of the circuit to make their paper spin faster or slower and could see how the paint was flung across the page depending on how far from the center the paint was dropped.

Our chapter is never short on social events for our members. Some of the events our members enjoyed this year included: Friendsgiving, Intramural Softball, World of Beer Trivia and Beer-Olympics nights, and a night at the Lubbock Corn Maze. We had planned an epic air hockey tournament that many of our members had shown interest in but unfortunately had to cancel due to circumstances with COVID-19. Our largest social event was getting the Pi Tau Sigma key put up in the Mechanical Engineering courtyard at Texas Tech. This has been in talks for a long time, getting a symbol of recognition for all our chapter has done for the community, and we were proud to get to see it unveiled while we were still students here.

2018-2019  Ashley Jensen - President

Sigma Epsilon has had a fun year and we have been trying to grow our presence in the community. One of our major goals, as an organization is to have many service events available to our members and initiates. This past year we’ve hosted large events like Meet ME where we bring in middle schools from around the county to learn more about Mechanical Engineering. During the event, we have a well-known professor give a speech about what engineering is all about and we take them on a tour of the engineering labs we have. After the tour we feed them some food and have them compete in a design competition. Everyone who participates in this event including teachers, lab assistants, the middle schoolers, and our members seem to really enjoy this event. We plan on continuing this event every semester so we can help inspire middle schoolers to look into a future  career in the STEM field.

Another one of our large events is working to help clean up the Lubbock Arboretum. The Arboretum is a local park that attracts many people which unfortunately causes a large amount of trash to litter the area. At the Arboretum, members help the grounds keeper clean up the park, pick up trash, clean out old flower beds, clear out old stumps, dispose of dead plants, and work on their compost piles. The grounds keepers love having Texas Tech organizations help keep their park beautiful and we will continue to go at least once a semester as long as they let us.

Other events we participate in include Arbor Day, Tech to Town, Tech-or-Treat, food drives, and Robotic Competitions. Arbor day is hosted by Texas Tech each spring semester where organizations sign up for a plot of land on campus to plant flowers to bring vegetation and beauty to the campus. Tech to Town is a community wide event where Texas Tech buses members out to varies locations to help the community for a day. Some of our members have gone to clean up trash along the highway, other have helped at the food bank, and many more are spread amongst the community wherever help is needed. In October, Tech invites families to campus to enjoy a little trick-or-treating. Pi Tau Sigma hosts a booth where kids will play a game to get candy, this year we made catapults out of popsicle sticks and kids had to try and hit a target with marshmallows. Kids of all ages loved the game, but we had to watch out for the marshmallow eaters since we were playing on the ground. We also participate in events that benefit our local food bank by participating in Texas Tech’s food drive as well as hosting our own each semester. For the Robotics competitions we send members to fill any position needed including judges, announcers, and registrars. The competitions are a good way to help branch out to those interested in the STEM field.

 

2017-2018 Jose Gomez - President

Spring of 2018 was another successful term for Texas Tech’s Sigma Epsilon chapter of the Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society. We assisted not only our own members but the entire Mechanical Engineering student body by organizing departmental activities, we continued our tradition of supporting our local community with outreach events, and even began some new projects. Our chapter hosted an event we call “Resumating” for the second semester. The reason we continue to organize Resumating, and the reason we’ll continue to in the future, is because many students are unaware of how to write a resume that can really stand out, and this event lets them get advice from professors and professionals with years of experience in the industry. Our hope is for Resumating to be a massive departmental event sometime in the coming semesters. The Sigma Epsilon chapter also held a professional photography session where students could come dressed in business attire and have their photos taken which will aid their online job search in an outlet such as LinkedIn. Another new event done this semester was our Graduate School Info Session. This event not only allowed us to take advantage of our graduate member’s experience and knowledge, but was also able to enlighten several students on the entire process of graduate school. Our goal was to be able to provide benefits to both students looking to go straight into the workforce and students who wish to pursue academia.

One of the service events we enjoy doing every semester is Meet ME. This is where students from middle schools in Lubbock are given a tour of the labs in our department. The professors in charge of each lab, or someone who works in the lab, will speak to the students about the operations they conduct and what they hope to achieve within their field of research. This is a great way to foster interest in engineering among youthful minds so that hopefully, they will get involved in the practice of engineering early in their lives and come to represent Texas Tech well when they are older. Our chapter also had a volunteer event at the Lubbock Memorial Arboretum in late April. Our members came on their Saturday morning to assist the undersized crew at the Arboretum with upkeep in the entire park. We also had a representative from the Volunteer Center of Lubbock come visit us during one of our officer meetings, and she brought with her pamphlets detailing a plethora of volunteering events that needed participants. They will be a great contact for us to collaborate with to be able to continue our outreach to the Lubbock community.

Our executive officers were hard at work this semester with projects that were done to show appreciation to our members. Our external vice president, Matthew Fletcher, designed and ordered decorative plaques for the Pi Tau Sigma key that is given to graduating seniors. The responses from those who ordered them were fantastic, and the quality of the work on the plaque was exceptional. We hope seniors will continue to show interest in these in later semesters. The other project going on, which has been in the works for quite some time, is the large scale key that is going to be posted outside the Mechanical Engineering building at Texas Tech. The plan is for this project to be completed at some time in fall 2018, and to have a large ceremony with our alumni and active members present. We owe a huge thanks to Matthew Fletcher, and our president of Spring 2018, Jose Gomez. These two gentlemen spearheaded this great idea and spent many hours of their time to launch this project. We are very excited for it, and for what is in store for the Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Epsilon Chapter in the future.