Daniel Ott has been selected as our SAE - Kansas Alpha member of the month for the month of September! Please enjoy the following interview with Daniel.
Congrats on being selected as member of the month, Daniel! First off, tell us about yourself and what you are studying in school.
Well I’m a graduating senior studying petroleum engineering. A little bit about myself, I’m the current president of the Honor Society of Petroleum engineers, Im an undergraduate teaching fellow for the university of Kansas chemical and petroleum engineering department, and I conduct research in carbon capture and sequestration. I’ve had a position in Sigma Alpha Epsilon every semester that I’ve been here, since joining in the fall of 2013. As one of my final positions in the chapter, I’ve been elected the Member Educator.
What are your responsibilities as the member educator? What do you think you have brought to the table so far this year that past member educators have not?
I think in the past, member education hasn’t been very effective for promoting growth of our members, and has been geared mainly towards the incoming freshmen. The member educator position is far more than just a new member education position. As member educator, I plan to promote education across all academic levels of our members, from freshmen to seniors. In order to have a successful program, I think it’s important to determine what would add value to certain members. Starting with the freshmen, we start off with a baseline history of Kansas Alpha and Sigma Alpha Epsilon nationally. From there, we teach them life skills that are advantageous in their personal and professional growth; how to tie a tie, how to study for an exam, and how to give a presentation are just a few examples.
For the sophomore and Junior classes, I would like to gear the focus towards leadership and professional development. Part of being a member of sigma alpha epsilon, is joining another organization on campus to be a part of. Cultivating leadership qualities in all of our sophomores and juniors will help them to acquire positions in the organizations that they are apart of, outside of SAE. For the professional development aspect, its important to always be thinking ahead to the future. Some of the plans are to bring in employees from the career services center, and have them conduct resume workshops and networking to better prepare them for getting an internship.
For the seniors, they’ve already learned how to study and build a resume. To add value to their experience, I would like to bring in the career services center to conduct mock interviews, to ensure that our men have every available tool to be successful.
We know that you are very active around the community. What community service events around the Lawrence area are you involved in this year?
Helping others is a core component in striving to be True Gentlemen. There is a large spectrum of events that we have in store this semester to help promote value in our community. We plan to have several events with the boys and girls club of Lawrence, with different holiday themed parties. We are active in a group called “Natural Ties” in which we are paired up with a member of the community that has special needs, and we participate in weekly events with them. We’ve had several projects already this semester where we have volunteered at a local church, and helped create food gardens that are for the local community. Our community service chairman, Warren Sears, has been doing an incredible job at making meaningful projects that our members enjoy.
Lastly, what lasting impact do you hope to have on the Kansas Alpha chapter after you graduate?
Sustainability is one of the main goals that I would like to have upon graduation. We have made great strides in the time I’ve been involved with the chapter, and want to ensure that there’s sustainability for consistent growth. Joining Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been one of the most influential experiences of my college career. The friendships, connections, leadership, and growth I’ve experienced has been one of the largest blessings on my life.