Creating "One Small Voice"


My name is Rhonda Haan and I write the blog “One Small Voice” for GEPP.

I came up with the idea in 2019, after going on a field trip with our Learning Community to FermiLab outside of Chicago (check out this cool video).  Before that trip, I just thought a particle accelerator was something out of a comic book.  I was blown away by all the new information I learned.  I immediately emailed my boss and said, I have to write a blog about what I’m doing in GEPP!  I cannot contain my excitement for this new world that I’m being introduced to!! 

Here are some things you need to know about me.

First, I do not have a degree in engineering.  I have a degree in sociology.  So, everything I get to do in our department (travel on engineering focused study abroad trips, visit engineering companies, listen to amazing speakers) is all new to me.  I do a lot of work in GEPP, but these are the things I want to write about.

Second, I didn’t know how awesome engineering was.  Nobody told me that!  I didn’t know about the Grand Challenges for Engineering.  I didn’t know that food security, water safety, air quality, health, energy, and environment could all be encapsulated under engineering.  And to me, these are all categories that make life better and, in some instances, save lives.

And last, I basically have the soul of a Golden Retriever.  I get sooooooo excited about life and about people.  I see and feel the struggles of our world, but I also SEE and FEEL the beauty of our world.  On the outside, I might look tense and uptight, but on the inside, I am vibrating with excitement that I can’t contain.  I get to be involved in programs where faculty and students are working on solutions to real-life problems.  And to me, they are heroes.  I am proud of them and I am proud of the work that we get to do to help and support them!

So that’s why I started the blog.  I wanted to give a shout-out to all the amazing things I was learning and the people I was getting to work with.  I didn’t start the blog until the pandemic had hit, so most of my posts so far have been about mental health.  That’s an extremely important topic, obviously, especially to the harried, over-worked, college student.  But I’m eager to start writing about programs and projects.  I can’t wait to share with the world how amazing our engineers are!!