Hey everyone! Hope you had a great week!

The past two weeks have been really great getting back into school and life in general at USC.  One of my favorite parts about fall semester is the Freshman Academy Class! I took this class as a freshman, and this will be my second year acting as a coach for the class. Essentially, the freshman academy is a time to get acclimated to USC, college life, engineering, and learn skills essential to being successful.  The class has a students from a variety of majors, a professor (ours is Professor Nayak, you can check out our Meet the Faculty video about him!), and two coaches (my cocoach is Brenton, read about his experiences here!).

We’ve already had a chance to do a lot of cool things with our class! After the first week, we planned a scavenger hunt of all sorts of inside places (ex. Ground Zero milkshakes!) on campus.  It was a great way to get beyond the tour all of our students have been on and find some places Brenton and I have found over the years.

In class, we’ve done some really interesting activities too.  We’ve been focusing on skills like time management, and this past week we did a design challenge where students had to build a bridge out of only 5 notecards and 5 paperclips.  Each team got very competitive, and the winning team held over $10 worth of coins!  This past week we also held our annual game of infiltration (very similar to capture the flag, but on an even larger scale).  Every freshman engineer was invited, and obviously my team won!

We’ve already had tons of great activities and projects, and I’m still looking forward to our first all academy lecture, where top speakers from industry come to talk just to the freshman class! I’m also really excited about a beach bonfire trip we are planning for our section coming soon.  The Freshman Academy class has a lot of great aspects, and I’ve loved getting to plan so many exciting activities with my class already!

Lyssa Aruda-2015

Lyssa Aruda-2015

Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology), Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!