The MCEER Student Leadership Counsel (SLC) held its fourth annual retreat on September 5-7, 2003. The retreat was hosted by Cornell University. Twelve members of the MCEER SLC attended the retreat representing the University at Buffalo, Cornell University, Rice University, University of Nevada Reno, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Florida A&M University.
The retreat began on Friday with a short walk through the campus and an icebreaker dinner at a restaurant nearby. Cornell proved to be a perfect environment to casually acquaint oneself with the new members as well as familiar faces.
The business side of the retreat began Saturday morning with opening remarks made by the SLC president Jeff Berman. Jeff’s introduction was followed by ten-minute presentations by SLC members. Questions and discussion were encouraged and resulted in constructive communication between students. Presentations were followed by lunch and a discussion of the SLC agenda for the following year. Issues such as the involvement of incoming graduate students and the SLC web site were discussed, as well as the call for papers for the Student Research Accomplishments (SRA), which proved to be a great success in 2002. Saturday’s meeting concluded with a guest presentation from Dr. Thomas O’Rourke of Cornell University entitled “Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Water Supply Lifelines.”
After the meeting, the group took a short hike through Taughannock Falls State Park followed by a picnic and a friendly game of soccer. This retreat was a huge success. Many thanks go out to Cagdas Kafali and Jeff Berman for organizing a weekend that was both fun and constructive.
--Mike Astrella, University at Buffalo