WPI Tau Tau
Worcester, MA 01609
Charter Date March 8, 1959
Chapter No. 68
Advisor Dr. Sarah Wodin-Schwartz
Troubled with the lack of an honor society for students of Mechanical Engineering, several students and faculty members gathered together in the spring of 1958 and informally founded the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. Under the direction of Professor Leslie C. Wilbur, they petitioned the National Council for a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma. The W.P.I. Tau Tau chapter was formally installed March 8, 1959 by Vice Presidents Joseph W. Bunting and George B. Thom.
The latest project of the society was a professor evaluation. Students at the end of their courses would evaluate the professor in three areas: preparation, knowledge of the subject and ability to convey the subject clearly and concisely. It is hoped that this will benefit both professor and student.
ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORTS
2021-2022, Tessa Lytle, President
Our chapter has returned to campus for in-person events this year! The Fall 2021 initiation was our first in-person initiation since 2019 which was very exciting. Throughout this year we have hosted mostly in-person meetings and events with virtual options remaining. Our chapter has combined the social, tutor, and professional development chair exec positions into one exec position: professional development chair or simply “The Chair”.
A primary focus of our service has been to provide tutoring sessions to assist students in core ME classes on campus. We conducted quarterly tutoring sessions in-person for students taking statics, stress analysis, dynamics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. In addition, our members have continued developing “Crash Course” study guides for distribution during these sessions. These study guides covered the basics of each subject and also included worked examples showing the application of the concepts necessary to understand the subject. Last year, these efforts were focused on creating written study guides, and we have expanded this year to creating crash course videos, as well.
Additional service events that our chapter hosted and participated in include a course scheduling help session and a local trash pick-up event. Our chapter partnered with the WPI American Society of Engineers (ASME) to host a course scheduling help session to prepare students for registration for the 2022-23 academic year. PTS members, especially seniors, volunteered to give underclassmen from ASME advice and assistance with their course scheduling. This was the first time that we have done an event like this since 2019, and it was a great success! This had some of the largest turnout for a PTS event, and the ASME students were very engaged in the activity. We hope to repeat this next year. Additionally, WPI Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership honor society) and WPI fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, hosted a Worcester trash-pick up. We participated in the two hour trash pick-up where we divided into small groups and picked up trash from the streets neighboring WPI campus.
Our key social events of this year included a Kahoot game night, gingerbread house design contest, and honor society social. Our holiday social included a gingerbread house design contest where teams worked together to design, build, and decorate gingerbread houses. Chapter members were very engaged in this activity, making it a fun, successful event. Additionally, the WPI Omicron Delta Kappa chapter (leadership honor society) hosted an honor society social for all of the honor societies on campus (service, greek life, and academic societies). Our chapter was invited to attend. This was a good opportunity to connect and network with other high achieving students on campus.
Fall Initiation: November 4th, 2021:
Spring Initiation: April 25th, 2022:
2020-2021, Michael Gobran, President
Our chapter has been gradually increasing in membership and broadening our impact on campus over the past academic year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and shift to online learning, we made adjustments to our initiation practices in order to accommodate an online application process and initiation ceremony. The info sessions were held remotely via Zoom, and all documents were accepted digitally.
A primary focus of our service has been to provide tutoring sessions to assist students in core ME classes on campus. We have expanded the number of classes and ME professors that we support, which has increased our presence in the ME community. For service, we conducted quarterly tutoring sessions over Zoom for students taking statics, stress analysis, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. In addition, our members began developing “Crash Course” study guides for distribution during these sessions. These study guides covered the basics of each subject and also included worked examples showing the application of the concepts necessary to understand the subject. Our members also began developing scripts to turn these study guides into video lessons, and their work will be continued in the next academic year.
In addition, our chapter has also been focused on developing professional development opportunities for our members, with the addition of the Professional Development Chair executive position added last year, a role that is focused on coordinating company information sessions and other professional development events.
While conducted all our initiations, meetings, and social events virtually this year. We had a good turnout in many of our virtual sessions. Our chapter held several social events to build community through online game and trivia nights. These events helped our members to stay connected despite social distancing and continue to remain active in the ME community.
We also conducted a social around Thanksgiving to write Thank You cards to the mechanical engineering faculty at WPI. In addition, members wrote personalized messages to professors with whom they had classes. The members who participated worked hard to write meaningful notes, and the professors who received the cards were touched by the messages and were especially grateful for personal reflections on the impact they had on students.
In addition, our Professional Development Chair also helped organize an event with engineers from GE Aviation titled “Day in the Life” in which several engineers described their duties and responsibilities in the professional sphere. This event allowed our members a chance to ask thoughtful questions about an engineering career and establish a rapport with several engineers who were WPI alumni. Another event we held was a Resume Review/Swap that gave our members to prepare for the fall career fair. We had a good turnout during the event and received positive feedback that the event was helpful in preparation for seeing different ways to write and format resumes.
Spring 2020 Initiation: September 9th, 2020
Fall Initiation: October 29th, 2020
Spring Initiation: April 25th, 2021
2019-2020, Kalani Picho, President
Our chapter has been gradually increasing in membership and broadening our impact on campus over the past academic year. A main focus of our service has been to provide tutoring sessions to assist students in core ME classes on campus. Our efforts have been expanded with the addition of the Tutoring Chair executive position added last year, a role that is focused on coordinating these sessions. We have expanded the number of classes and ME professors that we support, which has increased our presence in the ME community.
In order to strengthen our executive board, we added a new role this year: Business Manager. This officer is responsible for filling in for other exec board members that are off-campus and temporarily accepting their duties. This will ensure continuity in executive board presence each semester, as many WPI students choose to study abroad during their junior year. This position is also a great way for members to gain experience in different executive positions.
While on-campus in the Fall, our chapter held a social event to restore a PTS landmark. Our campus has a cement monument depicting the PTS Key located outside of our ME department building. The Key had become worn down and was no longer recognizable to students passing by, so we decided to restore the monument by holding a Key painting social. We had good member turnout for the social, and we were proud of the restored monument. It is now more noticeable outside the ME building and provides a better image for PTS on campus.
With the transition to online classes in the middle of the Spring semester, our chapter shifted our activities to an online format. We continued to offer tutoring by shifting our session to Zoom, and held virtual socials including online Pictionary and Trivia games. These events helped our members to stay connected despite social distancing and continue to remain active in the ME community.
The ME department held two online chat sessions in the Spring in order to give prospective students a chance to remotely connect with ME faculty and learn about the ME program. Our chapter assisted ME professors and admissions representatives during these sessions by answering questions and sharing student experiences in the ME program. Our members were happy to help, and we had a strong PTS presence at both sessions. The prospective students at the sessions were engaged and seemed to value the opportunity to talk with current students about academics as well as the culture at WPI. These sessions were a great opportunity to promote WPI’s ME department as well as PTS, and to support our ME department during the challenging shift to online admissions.
Fall Initiation: November 5th, 2019
Spring Initiation: May 4th, 2020
2018-2019 Malachi Nelson, President
In the past few years the WPI Tau Tau chapter has been very exclusive and quiet, and our presence was not noticed much around campus. The chapter therefore voted to reduce the requirement from the top 10% of the mechanical juniors and seniors to the top 12.5% of the junior class and 20% of the senior class to match Tau Beta Pi’s requirements. The more inclusive requirements made for a much larger and more diverse initiate class, and nineteen new initiates entered the club in the spring initiation. This has resulted in more members attending events and service opportunities.
The main service that the WPI Tau Tau chapter has provided to our school is providing tutoring services to peers in some of the core mechanical engineering courses. These include statics, stress analysis, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. During these sessions the members of PTS gather for a few hours and help any students that need additional help in these subjects in an informal, one on one setting.
A new service that we provided this year was a course scheduling help session for underclassmen. WPI offers a very flexible schedule for the mechanical engineering major with many engineering electives in addition to the core classes. Many of our members graduate with a master’s degree in four or five years or with several majors or minors and can help underclassmen navigate the multitude of options to make their education as efficient as possible. This event was a resounding success and even had members from the aerospace and civil departments coming in for help.
This year we also partnered with the mechanical engineering department to provide lab tours and information sessions to accepted students. In the past the mechanical engineering administration staff has provided these tours, but they noticed our increased activity this year and requested that we provide the tours, so the students and parents are more comfortable and get a student’s perspective and stories.
In addition to increasing the membership in the club, we added two new executive positions to our chapter. We added a tutoring chair whose sole responsibility is to plan the tutoring sessions and work with the professors teaching the classes to acquire material to go over with the students. We also added a social chair to plan events and activities so we could have more and better planned events to make the club more fun.
This year our entire graduating class reported receiving a full-time job or acceptance into a graduate education program. 75% of the class took jobs from a variety of companies while 25% are continuing their education. We also have laid plans to start a strong PTS alumni relationship to provide advice and exclusive interview opportunities to try to make being part of the club a benefit as well as a service opportunity.