Banquet recognizes engineers academic abilities

By Gabrielle Peearanda

Over 100 mechanical engineering students attended the Mechanical Engineering Banquet at the Diamond Bar Golf Course on Saturday night.

Organized by Cal Poly Pomona’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Phi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, the banquet is an opportunity for students and faculty to mingle and let loose.

The banquet also serves as “recognition of the accomplishments and struggles of the students during the school year,” said Josh Chang, fourth-year mechanical engineering student, as he collected tickets and greeted fellow students.

“It’s a bit more relaxed so students and faculty can bond without the student-teacher structure,” said Chang.

Students were indeed bonding with their classmates and the few faculty members in attendance, most with drinks in hand and smiles on their faces.

Throughout the night, awards were given to students and faculty members. Most accolades were based on a student’s academic success; others were awarded for fun and out of good humor.

Student awards included “Sharpest Tool in the Shed,” “Most Likely to be a CEO” and “Most Likely to Grind Your Gears.”

A lucky faculty member was lauded with the award for “Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Student.”

At the banquet however, with guests dressed dapper, it was difficult to tell student from teacher as everyone chatted during dinner.

Students and their guests were excited for the evening and what was to come with this school year’s end.

Third-year Mechanical Engineering transfer student Don Logsdon brought his wife, Maya, to the banquet to celebrate his last year at CPP.

Logsdon’s greatest accomplishment of the year was his senior project in which he and another student created a lab for a fluid dynamics modeling study. After CPP, Logsdon is going straight into the industry to work as an engineer in failure analysis.

To recognize student success throughout the year, the banquet’s program included a presentation of initiates to Pi Tau Sigma and ASME club officer appreciation.

Following the buffet dinner and award distribution, guests were treated with words of wisdom from the keynote speaker.

The speaker, Eduardo Rabasa, watched the night unfold from a corner of the banquet hall.

“I’m very excited to be here. I wouldn’t have dreamt of being able to be here today,” he said. “I never graduated from Cal Poly.”

Rabasa attended San Diego State University and received his degree in mechanical engineering and minored in aerospace engineering, which he originally intended on studying at Cal Poly Pomona.

He was declined admittance to the program because his international status was not accepted in impacted majors at the time.

After experiencing a series of hardships as a child and a young man, Rabasa’s dream of becoming an aerospace engineer was shattered after the industry collapsed.

Like most young people, Rabasa was conflicted about his future. Stuck between becoming a monk or engineer, Rabasa became an engineer after his encounter with the Dalai Lama convinced Rabasa that monkhood was not the right path.

Rabasa’s speech focused on his life and how the “synchronicity of accidental events” can reveal one’s true path. He encourages students to not only create as engineers, but to constantly create one’s self.

“Build your ego, only to destroy it later,” said Rabasa of himself and his plans that hardly worked out as intended but resulted in his happiness.

“We do everything so that we can be happy,” said Rabasa. “This is a happy event.”

Rabasa condensed his life story to share his struggles and joys with the audience. Though he feared his story was boring, his tales of attacks by rabid monkeys and roommates with crack cocaine addictions entertained guests.

In seriousness, Rabasa’s last bit of advice to students was meant to inspire creativity and ingenuity in their prospective careers: “Enhance humanity and its relationship to the universe.”

Overall, the Mechanical Engineering Banquet was a night of celebration of student’s dedication to innovation.

Banquet recognizes engineers academic abilities

Michael Torres/The Poly Post

Banquet recognizes engineers academic abilities

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