E-Week co-chairs talk events, memories and what's new for 2023

February 07, 2023

Lane Atchison (left) and Kate Sherard (right)
E-Week Chairs Lane Atchison and Kate Sherard are excited to kick off Engineers’ Week 2023: Pat to the Future

Engineers’ Week, or E-Week, is one of the longest-standing traditions at Mizzou, predating the first homecoming. The week commemorates March 17, 1903, when Mizzou Engineers first discovered that St. Patrick was an engineer, and today is a celebration of all-things engineering. This year marks the 120th anniversary of the proclamation.

Throughout E-Week, students, faculty, staff and alumni across the College come together at events, beginning with the Dome Lighting, when the dome of Jesse Hall turns green. From Skits & BBQ to Lab Exhibits and the St. Patrick’s Ball, Mizzou Engineers have their choice of participating in a variety of events.

E-Week is organized by St. Pat’s Board, which is chaired this year by Lane Atchison and Kate Sherard. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves and what the College can expect during 2023 E-Week: Pat to the Future.

Please introduce yourselves

Lane: Hi, I’m Lane Atchison, I’m originally from Jefferson City, Missouri. I’m a senior in mechanical and aerospace engineering. When I first came to Mizzou, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I thought engineering was the right way to go so I stuck with it. I’ve been involved in a lot of different student organizations; St. Pat’s is just one of them. I’m also involved in the AeroTigers and previously ASME.

Kate: I’m Kate Sherard, I’m a junior, also in mechanical and aerospace engineering. I’m from Springfield, Missouri. I’m studying engineering because I’ve always liked math and physics, but not biology, so mechanical engineering was my thing. I’m also involved in a few other student orgs on campus. St. Pat’s Board has been the one that I’ve stuck with certainly the most, but I was a part of Engineers Without Borders for a time, now I’m in SURF, which is the Underwater Robotics Foundation.

What is your favorite Engineers’ Week Memory?

Lane: My fondest E-Week memory is when I was put in charge of the Road Rally Committee. Road Rallies are a scavenger hunt, and on the committee, we put together a pretty exciting route, even with being limited due to social distancing. Seeing that all come together, and have nearly 90 people turn out for it was amazing. I was able to meet a lot of brand new people for the first time and at each individual stop that we had along the way. I have a different memory from every single time, there are different games, different people, all kinds of fun songs and games that we had. And then when we all met up at our ending location, it was good to just have food and kind of socialize with everybody. It goes back to show that you don’t have to know anybody. You can always find a friend somewhere.

Kate: My experience with E-Week has been a lot of jumping in head first. My first E-Week, I was put in charge of Lab Exhibits. It was fine at first, but it became more stressful the closer we got to the event. It hadn’t been done properly in two years, so I was finding out things very late in the game. My favorite thing was even though there were some things that had to be solved day-of, seeing all of it come together, and all these people show up and just get to show off what the College of Engineering can do and have this really big experience and event all come into place, that was really cool for me. And I took the world’s longest nap afterwards.

2023 E-Week logo

What are you most excited about for this year’s E-Week?

Kate: Since I was really busy over last year’s E-Week, I’m excited to attend every single event. It’s not official, but like we’re kind of supposed to at least go to every event we can. So, I’m just very excited to participate in everything I can.

Lane: My personal favorite event is going to be Lab Exhibits this year. That’s something that Kate was very instrumental in the last year and she’s been working with our committee this year. But that is the single largest recruiting opportunity from within the city of Columbia to see what the College of Engineering has to offer. We’re going to need a lot of help from people within E-Week, but also other volunteers. But it’s going to be a great way to show off what we’re able to do as Mizzou Engineers and what pursuing an education and degree here could really mean.

Do you have favorite E-Week Events?

Kate: I’m almost required to say Lab Exhibits.

Lane: While I’m most excited for Lab Exhibits, my favorite is probably Skits & BBQ. You get to have a lot of fun, and last year we had some great movie skits, like a Shrek one that was hilarious.

Kate: I’m excited to see Skits & BBQ. It was the night before Lab Exhibits last year, and I was busy setting up and then went to bed early.

Lane: St. Pat’s Ball is also very popular. The Ball last year was extravagant. We had it at the Broadway Hotel; we had a downstairs venue with food and drinks. And we had the procession come in with St. Patrick, and the crowning of the king and queen. It’s the culmination of the week, right? But it’s also a very good time to get good pictures. And then the dance afterwards is also very nice. It’s something that’s been held—you can go back and look at the archives and see these balls over the years, and all these dances that they’ve held — all the way back in the 1900s.

Kate: Yeah, I have to keep my allegiance to Lab Exhibits, but if I could choose another it’d be St. Pat’s Ball.

Is there anything new for E-Week this year?

Kate: Nothing new, but we are changing up Professor for a Day this year. Previously, Professor for a Day has been very strictly industry professionals coming into classes to give a lecture, usually about what they do and how the class that the students are taking might apply to that industry. It’s been harder to find alumni who can come in since COVID, so we’re adding Professor Swap, where two professors can swap classes.

Lane: Also, the 5k/10k this year will be the 5k/10k Walk, Run, Roll to increase its accessibility, and we’re adding another prize category.

Why should students attend E-Week events this year?

Kate: This is the best way to feel involved in the College of Engineering. Having this whole week dedicated to our majors and the work that we do, is important. Because, you know, we’re celebrating that St. Pat was an engineer, but it’s also just acknowledging that, as well as other majors and colleges, we do very difficult work. And we work hard all year. So, it’s one week to just kind of celebrate what we do, what we’re becoming and the industries we plan to join. It’s also a great way to feel connected and supported. I’ve met like so many friends. I’ve gotten to know so many long-term faculty just through Engineers’ Week.

Lane: It’s sometimes hard to go to a new event when you don’t necessarily know what you’re walking into. The first event that we have is our dome lighting. I would just challenge students to go to the dome lighting and let that be an indicator. I mean, think about the only other times that Jesse turns colors, we have homecoming, and Engineers’ Week. That started out as a stunt back in the day when we lit Jesse Green, but now the College and University sponsors it, as well. And it’s green for that week. And just like Kate said, it’s an opportunity to celebrate not only yourself as an engineer, but a heritage that goes back over 100 years.

Do you have any last messages for students?

Lane: Our job is to celebrate Mizzou Engineers. And the more that we get feedback from the student body, as well as the people who come to these events, we can make improvement. We can learn what went well, what didn’t go well. And the best way to figure that out is if students come to these events. And we want to celebrate engineers in the best way possible, and that’s what our organization has been doing for a long time. So, the probably the biggest messages just come out. Check out just a few of our events, we think you’ll fall in love.

Kate: If I say anything more, I’d sound like a broken record, Lane said it all pretty well. Come to E-Week this year and have fun.

Thanks for speaking with us.

See a full schedule of E-Week events here.