Like many of our students in the Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE), senior Construction Systems Management (CSM) major Dante Spieker did not start his undergrad career in the department. Once he found his home in FABE however, he made the most of his experience and left an unforgettable footprint on the major.
"I spent my first year in engineering, and I realized for as much effort as this takes, I don't have a passion for it," said Dante. "I finally happened upon the CSM major, had a call with one of the head advisors, and they got me set up with brand new classes the following fall and I've been here ever since."
Perhaps Dante's most formative experience during his time at the department was his involvement with the CSM Club. He started with the club as the secretary during his junior year, just as the COVID restrictions were slowing down and club advisor Jeff Suchy wanted to get the club going again.
"During my time as the secretary, I realized a lack of club organization and put a ton of work into the organizational structure of the club," said Dante. "I did anything and everything I could to improve the club and was eventually chosen as president."
Through CSM Club, both during his time as secretary and president, some of his favorite experiences were social events, community service events, and company meetings.
"It was quite an experience," said Dante jokingly. "I am extremely happy with the amount of work I've put in and I feel confident with how we've set up the future officers."
Besides the CSM Club, Dante participated in Buck-I-SERV trips to Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Mississippi, was an R-LEAD peer mentor, and served as a teaching assistant for Jeff Suchy for two years.
"Being a teaching assistant was an amazing opportunity and I've learned a lot from it, it's led me to a lot of other opportunities within the major," said Dante. "I might have gotten more involved on my own, but the connections I made really inspired me to take action."
Outside of the classroom, while he jokes that most of his time is spent on his major, he enjoys hanging out with family and friends, watching movies, playing video games, and building things when he gets the chance.
His advice to underclassmen is inspired by his own experiences, and he encourages students to get involved on campus.
"Get out there and talk to people, start making those connections," says Dante. "I don't often consciously think about how the opportunities I've had have come from people in the major and with faculty, but looking back at it, so much of what I have done and how involved I have felt within the CSM program is because of the connections I have made."
After graduation, Dante plans to travel for a little while before starting with Whiting-Turner Construction for a three-year project based in Columbus, based on a successful internship last summer.
Congratulations to Dante for all of his success as a student and we wish you luck in your career!