With school work starting to pick up, it is always nice to have a three-day weekend. However from Wednesday to Saturday, I was actually up in Reno, Nevada for the ASC Student Competition which is a construction management competition that members of CMAA (Construction Management Association of America) attend. There are a number of different divisions within the overall competition like Heavy Civil, Pre-Construction, Commercial, etc, but I personally was on the Design-Build team for USC. The design-build division is one of the most unique ones at the competition because not only do you have budget, schedule, and plan for the construction of a project, but you also have to design the building architecturally! This year the problem was a medical office building and for my team I focused on designing the interior spaces. I’m really proud to say my team got second place overall, which is really exciting! We have been preparing and practicing all year so it is nice to have all our hard work pay off. USC also got second place in Pre-Construction and Virtual Design so overall it was a successful weekend.
Now that I’m a senior in my last semester, it is always bittersweet to look back at my time here. I’m gotten to take some pretty great classes, and I want to highlight a few that I would definitely recommend!
ARCH 205, 305, and 405
As a civil engineering (building science) major, each semester I get to take a studio class in the architecture school. Studio classes are very unique since you get a lot of hands on instruction and the class size is very small. In my year there are only 8 of us so we get a lot of 1-on-1 time with the professor! Each year the class focus is slightly different, however generally we spend the whole semester working on individual and group projects that are applicable to real life. In ARCH 205, one of my favorite projects was getting to design the butterfly pavilion for the Los Angeles Natural History Museum which is just across the street from USC. We went to visit the site multiple times to make sure our pavilion would fit the size, style, and feel of the Museum. Then, in ARCH 305 we spent each semester designing an entire building both structurally and architecturally. In the fall semester my team designed a triangle-shaped Malibu beach house, and in the spring my team designed a community arts center. Working on these projects are extremely rewarding since you could actually take the plans, drawings, and calculations and go build our designs in real life! Now in ARCH 405 we are currently working on designing on a mid-rise mixed use wood complex, which will be entered into a real competition called “Timber in the City”. I’m nervous but excited to see how our design turns out!
As part of the USC curriculum, everyone takes General Education (GE) classes and my favorite GE has been ARLT 100 – Literature of Resistance. Not only is the professor one of the coolest people ever, but the content in the class is actually really interesting. We learned about how art can be used to express resistance, and how different groups of people used their culture to help fight oppression. We read a variety of different novels like Fahrenheit 451 and Handmaid’s Tale, short stories, poems, etc as well as watching movies. Definitely a really engaging class!
Some of my favorite classes I have taken at USC are physical education classes! Since as a student you can take up to 18 units every semester, these 1 unit classes are super easy to fit in each semester especially if you have a couple of extra units. My whole life I have loved playing sports and being competitive so I love that I get to continue that in college, but these classes are also a great way to get a workout and stay active during school. Currently I’m taking Beach Volleyball and Physical Conditioning. Beach Volleyball actually takes place on a real beach, since each week we carpool to Santa Monica to have class. It is so relaxing to end my week at the beach since the class is on Friday morning, and I love getting to play every week! Physical Conditioning, although maybe not as fun, is an extremely great workout and I really feel like I’m getting in shape. Each class is different: some days we run around the track, some days we do circuits, so days we are in the weight room, it really just depends! By the end of the semester I am hoping to improve my time for the mile and a half run, as well as be able to do more pushups. In the past I also took tennis, swimming, and soccer which I would also recommend!
NAUT 001A aka sailing class is a class that all people should take at USC before they graduate! I mean seriously, how many other schools even offering a class about sailing? In the class you learn about all the different aspects about sailing like rigging, knots, and navigation. Then, everything you learn is applied on a overnight voyage where you sail to Catalina and back. I had a blast going on the voyage and getting to help steer, navigate, and set up the boat. We even got to sleep in the boat which was really cool too. I would absolutely recommend this class!
These are just a few classes I’ve taken – and I’m sure there are a bunch of other great ones I don’t even know about!Meet Kelly