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SIIHR: Building a Strong Student Community at IIHR

Posted on March 27th, 2013
Current SIIHR officers (l to r): Will Klingner, treasurer; Chad Drake, vice president; Daniel Horna Munoz, web designer; and Nick Thomas, president.

Current SIIHR officers (l to r): Will Klingner, treasurer; Chad Drake, vice president; Daniel Horna Munoz, web designer; and Nick Thomas, president.

What is SIIHR, you might ask? It has nothing to do with the crinkly summer fabric known as seersucker, nor is it some kind of fortune teller. SIIHR stands for Students of IIHR, a student-led group for students affiliated with IIHR (undergraduate as well as graduate students), organized to bring people together for fun and educational activities.

SIIHR President Nick Thomas says it’s easy to be a little overwhelmed by the sheer size of the student body at a Big Ten university. The pressures and workload facing the average engineering student can also be overwhelming. With this in mind, Thomas hopes SIIHR can create a sense of community for the students at IIHR by offering meaningful events and activities that provide a little fun and stress-relief too.

“We want to establish a healthy blend of educational and social activities, so what we are doing is worthwhile for the institute as a whole, and is something students look forward to,” Thomas explains. Thomas and the other SIIHR officers (Chad Drake, vice president; Will Klingner, treasurer; and Daniel Horna Munoz, web designer) are planning activities for the coming year that include a canoeing and camping trip, a visit to the Keokuk Dam (once the largest hydroelectric dam in the world), movie nights, and social get-togethers at local restaurants.

Thomas says no matter how busy you are or how pressing your work, it’s valuable to take time out for to socialize and be a part of the community. “When I look back on this time in my life, I don’t want to think of it as just more schooling,” he says. “I would like to think of the fun, memories, and good times I had for my fellow students.”

As for excuses, Thomas has heard them all. “Graduate school is a challenging endeavor, but it should be a fun and rewarding experience too,” he says. “We’re looking forward to having a fantastic time this year with a great group of people, and I hope each student has an opportunity to be one of them. ¼ Why not give it a shot?”

To get involved with SIIHR, watch your email for upcoming events, or contact any one of the SIIHR officers.

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