Nick Toole ’16, Director of PR & Marketing
March’s Monday Monthly Meetup (what a mouthful) was a huge success. The night kicked off with a presentation about the local CAT busses, an initiative partly funded by Dickinson’s Student Senate. Will Kochtitzky ‘16 and Tyce Herrman, of the Center for Sustainability Education, stressed the importance of the busses as both an affordable mode of transportation (trips around Carlisle are free for Dickinson students) and as a way to engage in and promote sustainability. The routes are accessible, and the bus uses a flag system that allows riders hop on the bus anywhere along its route. It seems like an exceptional idea, and both CSE and the Idea Fund hope to see more students riding the bus in the future.
Justin McCarty ‘15 was up next with an in-depth look at the process behind his solar-charging station project, titled Sol. Justin worked endless hours (and wrote over 50,000 words worth of proposals and emails) in order to bring his project to life. Driven by a passion for sustainability, and a knack for hands-on work, Justin planned, designed, and helped construct a set of solar panels on Britton Plaza that provide renewable energy to three outlets around the plaza. The solar panels also put energy back into the grid when the outlets are not in use, helping the school save energy and money. Justin’s presentation was particularly interesting, as he focused not just on his success with the project, but also on the pitfalls, and where he felt he could have done a better job. We love to see this sort of thing at our Monday Monthly Meetups, as they act as learning opportunities for other students.
Justin and Sol were followed up Aurora Wetherill ‘15 and Jam Space. Jam Space, known formally as Red House, is an area for students, by students, where musical artists of any kind can go to jam out. Started in 2012 by Graham Stevenson ‘14, Jam Space has recently been revamped in order to better serve the budding music scene at Dickinson. Jam Space has a full set of drums, a bass amp, a PA system, and plenty of room for guitarists, bassists, singers, violinists, etc. Aurora, along with next year’s president Kyle Klose ‘15, are also looking into getting a keyboard for the space. Access to the space will be granted to any student that attends an informational session, or otherwise contacts a senior member of Jam Space to schedule a meeting. The first info session will be Sunday April 5th at 1:00pm (location TBA), so put that in your calendars!
Up next was Alex Torelli ‘15, who introduced the audience to the ins and outs of data visualization. He emphasized why data visualization is an important tool for understanding our world, from business analytics to social phenomena. He was quick to note that there is a marked difference between a visualization and an infographic. Why do we use data visualization? Torelli emphasized that it boils down to our nature as visual beings who learn from images. On top of that, big data is becoming an increasingly important aspect of life for many universities, businesses, and governments, and the need to visualize that data is important. A lot of this data is indigestible without a way to visualize it. Along with that, it seems that human attention spans are shrinking, and we need to visualize things quickly in order to understand information.
Ken Shultes (Associate VP for Sustainability and Facilities Planning) continued on the data path by introducing the audience to Lucid, a data analytics platform that analyzes energy usage in all of Dickinson’s buildings. He touched on how it functions, and how it displays the information is collects (data visualization!) so that campus groups and students can make more informed decisions regarding energy usage and sustainable practices. In the near future, the expansion of lucid will give us immediate information when buildings have issues, by showing irregularities in energy usage. This will help Dickinson cut costs, avoid damages, and remain sustainable!
MC Brady Hummel wrapped up the night with his passion presentation on the power of simple moments. Brady’s grandfather was a banker in a small Pennsylvania coal town, who unfortunately had to move his family to Hershey when economic issues bogged down the town. A few years ago Brady took a trip back to that town with his grandfather, and was moved when a family stopped them on the street to thank his grandfather for lending them money to buy a house. From this experience Brady realized that he, too, wanted to help others in need just as his grandfather had, and from that grew his idea for a non-profit. Now Brady splits his time between schoolwork, CSE, and his plans for his non-profit: a community lending institution.
That about wraps up March’s Monday Monthly Meetup. It was an exciting night, with much to learn. We hope that you join us on April 23rd at 7:30pm in Stafford Auditorium for our next meetup.