Engineers make a splash at MSU's Relay for Life
When Bulldog engineers set their minds to something, it’s a safe bet that they’ll not only do it right, but also do it better than anyone had planned. At least that’s what happened with this year’s Mississippi State Relay for Life.
The college’s departments, student groups, faculty and staff set aside their individual interests with the goal of raising $1,000 for the American Cancer Society event. But by the end of the night, the college’s team had raised more than $2,500—the most of any team at the Mississippi State event. The mechanical engineering department’s team raised an additional $840.
The college kicked off its fundraising efforts during E-Week with the Engineering Student Council donating the proceeds from the annual Quarter Wars competition to the cause. The EcoCAR 2 team got into the act by selling raffle tickets for two free oil changes. Other team members, including the electrical and computer engineering department, collected donations for the team.
“The second half of the semester is always a busy time, so it was great to see our people willing to make time for such a worthy cause—even if it meant being put in a dunking booth,” said Dean Sarah Rajala, recalling her participation in the mechanical engineering team’s Dunk the Doctor fundraiser.
One of the biggest hits of the relay event, Dunk the Doctor gave everyone a chance to “vote” for which of the willing volunteers they would most like to see in a relay-night dunking booth. Paper money donations counted as positive votes, while silver coins could be used to subtract from someone’s total. The top five receiving votes took shifts in the dunking booth.
“It was an intense competition,” explained Kimberly Dickey, captain of the mechanical engineering team. “People were keeping an eye on the totals and were making plans on how to keep themselves out or put others into the dunking booth line-up.”
In the end, it was Rajala, assistant professor Oliver Myers, graduate students Haley Brown and Alta Knizley, and Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems director and deputy director Roger King and Zach Rowland who faced the dunking free-for-all. The night of the event, faculty, staff and students lined up for the opportunity to send their colleagues and teachers into the drink.
“ It was cold and wet, but it was worth it,” Myers said. “Relay for Life is such a good cause, why not have some fun while raising money?”
Relay for Life is a 12-hour, community-wide event designed to celebrate those who have survived cancer, remember those whose lives it took, and raise money and awareness to continue to help fight the disease. Teams being raising money prior to the event and create campsites with fundraisers and activities the night of the relay. This year’s event took place on Friday, April 13, with the theme “Join us if you dare to fight the cancer scare.”
The BCoE’s campsite bustled with activity as visitors stopped by to try the Spirit-O-Meter and earn special “Engineering A Cure” pins or enter the Engineering Student Council’s raffle for a chrome cowbell. The EcoCAR 2 team even brought their EcoCAR by for a surprise visit.
The mechanical engineering team’s tent really got into the spirit of the night with a fortune teller, henna tattoo artist and a guillotine prop, which while scary, couldn’t compete with the delightfully frightful sight of Anita Richman, the team’s entrant into the Relay for Life Womanless Beauty Pageant. Surprisingly adept at walking in high heels, Sean Lansdale donned the feminine persona to earn donations and wow the crowd with his dance routine to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”
Check out our photo gallery to see some of the college’s Relay for Life highlights, and don’t miss our video recap of the Dunk the Doctor booth.
The college would like to thank all of our alumni, students, faculty and staff who donated time and money to make our relay teams a success. We would also like to thank the Engineering Student Council, Tau Beta Pi, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and EcoCAR 2 for coming out the night of the event to take turns walking the relay and help make our campsites fun.
Story written by: Susan Lassetter