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A message to future CIVE students...

To the future Civil students of Oklahoma State University, Greetings!


Congratulations on choosing an incredibly rewarding path. Civil engineering truly seeks to improve the society that we live in while protecting the environment. The Oklahoma State University Civil and Environmental Engineering department holds some of the most caring and brilliant people I know, and I am extremely grateful to be a part of it. While the process can be challenging at times, here are a few things that helped me, and I hope will help you.

Josephine Lee headshot

First and foremost, be kind to everyone including yourself. Try not to hold yourself to impossibly high standards or get weighed down by the day-to-day defeats. Instead, remember all the wonderful and amazing parts that make you who you are and have led you to where you are now.


Next, challenge yourself. The college experience is all about finding your identity and perfecting your strengths. What better way to figure out what those are than by testing your boundaries and trying new things? Take risks and utilize the multitude of opportunities offered on campus. It’s always better to give something a shot and know it’s not for you than to regret not jumping at the chance to try.


Finally, be bold. Speak out when you don’t understand something and stand up for yourself. Seek opportunities to broaden your network and make meaningful and intentional connections. Always take a chance and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you in class because all best friends were once strangers. I treasure the friends and memories that I made here at OSU more than any other achievement.


I wish you all the best on your journey. Good luck and go pokes!


Josephine Lee


Sidney Shellhammer with President Shrum

Choosing to attend Oklahoma State University is a great decision and choosing to explore Civil Engineering is an even better one. The opportunities for those with a civil engineering degree are truly limitless, and the OSU program provides its CIVE students with all the skills and knowledge necessary to have an accomplished career.

You should know that the journey to a degree in civil engineering, or any engineering field, is not an easy one. You will be challenged in your classes and held to a higher standard of learning than you ever have before. But, if you stick with it, your mind will be reshaped into an effective and efficient problem solver, and you will come out of college knowing you have grown both academically and personally. And even for an engineering student, there is also lots of fun to be had throughout your OSU journey. Through joining clubs or attending fun events, you will meet lifelong friends because you are surrounded by like-minded people.


If I could offer any advice to incoming students, it would be this:


  1. Do Not Be Afraid to Do Things Differently

New discoveries are never made by those who do things the exact same way as those before them. Always keep your mind open to new possibilities and remember that questioning is a good thing.


  1. You Get Out What You Put In

The CIVE program at OSU has a lot to offer their students, but it is up to you to take advantage of it. If you put in the time and effort it takes to succeed in your classes, get to know your classmates, and truly dive into your learning, you will undoubtedly reap the rewards.


  1. Get Involved

College is not only about the classes. Getting involved on campus, whether it is through a club, a competition team, or some other organization, allows you to meet new friends, see new perspectives, and get the most out of your college experience.


“The road to success is always under construction.”

 - Lily Tomlin


Remember that college is the time to learn about your major, but it is also the time to learn about yourself. Don’t be afraid to take chances on yourself.


As always, GO POKES!

Sidney Shellhammer


Wanying Zheng

Choosing to be an engineer can be a bold and brave decision, but choosing Civil—a super broad field with endless possibilities—is an even bigger challenge. I am happy that you have found a path you enjoy, and here are my two cents that may or may not help your journey down that path: take opportunities that come your way and take care of your health.

Always cherish your time at university to the fullest, and never let any opportunity slip away. Second chances are sometimes hard to come by, and you never know where any detours may take you. Take the opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow as a person. Take the opportunity to talk to your professors, your peers, and the people that happen to cross your path. Learn some life stories and make some connections. Take the opportunity to join organizations, study abroad, and conduct research. I promise everyone at the Civil department want you to succeed, and a simple outreach can get you very far. Broaden your horizons, as they say it is always better to look back and think, “I can’t believe I did that.” than to think, “Oh, I wish I would have done that.”

Your mental and physical health are so important. The most brilliant minds can be limited by fatigue, so listen to your body and brain from time to time. Being a university student can be overwhelming—trust me, we have all been there—but taking some time to yourself can make a big difference. Talk to people around you and see how they cope with their stress. Pursue things that make you happy, and do things that benefit your future self. Don’t let youth be too wasted on the young.

I hope you have a great time here at OSU. Stay true to yourself and help the people around you.

Best of luck to everyone,
and Gooooooooooooooo Pokes (:

Wanying Zheng

My name is Jasmyn Lee

Jasmyn Lee

I had the honor of being selected as an Outstanding Senior for the Class of 2019, representing both CEAT and the Civil Department of OSU.

If I would give any advice to those coming behind me, I would simply put it in 3 L’s: Learn, Live, and Lead.

  • Learn

    That’s why we’re here right? Make sure you go to classes and not just sit there, but really grasp what is being taught to you, and if you’re having trouble with that seek outside help. Go talk to your teacher, meet with the TA, and form study groups. Also, take advantage of free tutoring services here on campus such as those at CEAT Endeavor, LASSO Center, and the Mathematics Learning Success Center (MLSC). Also, if you are a kinesthetic learner, take advantage of research opportunities within the Civil department. Not only will you have the opportunity to acquire knowledge in the lab, but also at research conferences as well. So definitely, don’t forget the most important reason you’re coming here, to learn.

  • Live

    You only get to experience college for a limited time in life. Take advantage of it and live. Support your fellow Cowboys by attending major sporting events such as basketball and football. Perhaps sports is not your thing, go see a play on campus, participate in the Homecoming walk around and harvest carnival, and go see the Fanfare of Lights before fall pre-finals week starts. Nonetheless, college is tough and sometimes, you deserve a short break and outlet from classes. So I encourage you, don’t forget to stop and live.

  • Lead

    You are not just any engineering students, you are civil engineering students. You will either choose an academia or professional route or perhaps both. But one thing is for sure, you will be held responsible in whatever position you are in. Responsible for meeting the design criteria and standards for buildings, bridges, roads, water treatment plants, etc. or responsible for teaching students the right information they need to succeed as an engineer. So the best way to prepare yourself, in my opinion, is to become an active leader on campus. Don’t just join CEAT Student Council, Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge, and other campus clubs, but obtain leadership skills during your time here at OSU. It may be stressful at times, but in the long run, you won’t regret it. It will help shape you and sharpen you for your career.

Well wishes in everything you do, and as always, Go Pokes!

Jasmyn Lee

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