Living Learning Communities offer academic, career guidance to students

Living Learning Communities offer academic and career guidance to students
Engineering Center

Isaac Thelander and Rosemarie Calandrino are both freshmen majoring in engineering chemistry. They both live in Hamlin Hall and both are part of Oakland University's newly established Engineering Living Learning Community (LLC). 


Hirotec Tour

Students in OU's Engineering Living Learning Community toured Hirotec America, an auto supplier in Auburn Hills.

Initiated just this fall, the community consists of 38 students, all engineering majors. It is the newest of four academically-focused LLCs on campus, joining pre-nursing, pre-business and the Honors College.


Each LLC has a facilitation team – with an adviser, faculty mentor, resident assistant and academic peer mentor – that provides support, connects students to campus resources and assists with academic coursework.


“It's nice to have a support system,” said Calandrino. “I’m friends with everyone on my floor. We all get along really well.”


Calandrino added that having an academic peer mentor and resident assistant from the School of Engineering and Computer Science has been particularly helpful.


“They've gone through a lot of the same experiences and taken the same courses that we're taking now,” she said. “Whenever I have questions about anything, I can go to them.”


The LLC builds camaraderie through dinners, movie nights and “stress-less events,” designed to help students maintain balance between work and play. In addition, students recently traveled via Bear Bus to Hirotec America, an auto supplier in Auburn Hills. They toured the facility, getting a look at company operations and meeting with executives.


Thelander appreciated hearing perspectives of engineering professionals at a firm located right in Oakland's backyard.


In addition, he and others in the Engineering LLC received help from Career Services preparing resumes and cover letters for the fall career fair at Oakland.


“They even helped me get a research internship lined up for next semester,” Thelander said. The research, in OU’s Department of Chemistry, will explore the dynamics of underwater ecosystems.


Gabe Dumbrille, residence director for Hamlin Hall, added, “We saw a great opportunity to establish this community. When we approached the leaders in the School of Engineering and Computer Science about it, we found out that this was something they had already been thinking about, so they bought into the idea from the start.”


Students can sign up to be in an LLC when they fill out the University Housing application. Space is limited. Interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after March 1.