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MacEng Reignites event unites staff, students and facultySeptember 17, 2021

The two-week event boasted exciting in-person activities such as a Cootes Paradise hike, free meals from food trucks, ice-dyeing t-shirts and tons of MacEng swag.

This September, McMaster Engineering's community celebrated the gradual return to campus with a packed week of events for new and returning students, staff and faculty members.

From Sept. 7 to 16, nearly 2,000 attendees visited the community tent outside the John Hodgins Engineering building, the central hub of McMaster Engineering's Welcome Week events.

“MacEng Reignites was created for all of our students, many who are just coming back on campus for hybrid learning after a long period of virtual learning due to the pandemic. It’s really exciting to be back. It’s nice to see all the students, people are walking around and people are excited,” said Heather Sheardown, the Faculty of Engineering’s acting dean.

“I’m incredibly biased but I think we are the best faculty in McMaster. We have such great staff, such great instructors and people care. I love the fireball family idea because we really are a family.”

Heather Sheardown

Safety of students and staff were ensured through the new MacCheck platform which requires those on campus to be fully vaccinated or tested. Faculty of Engineering staff also handed out custom-made masks by Hamilton-based Niko Apparel, supporting local businesses and McMaster’s masking policy on campus.

Sheardown also shares her goals regarding the academic year:

“First and foremost is to make sure that we get people back to McMaster, back to the classroom, back in the lab and that everybody is safe. We want to keep moving things forward. There is some great initiative around innovation within the Faculty that we hope to get undergraduate and graduate students involved in.”

Olukemi Odujinrin, a second-year electrical engineering student, attended the event and proudly posed with a large-scale neon fireball display she designed and built with three other students. The display served as a photobooth backdrop for attendees.

“I’m excited to meet people on campus, and the people that I've met all seem great," said Odujinrin. "Being on campus feels like you’re at home and you’re just ready to learn. The funniest thing is when I see someone, I always have an idea of how tall they are but then it’s just the complete opposite so that just makes me laugh a little bit."

Another student, Jwalit Miniwala, in his first year of computer science, said he loved getting free MacEng swag, including branded stickers, masks, microfibre cloths, and the coveted MacEng bucket hat.

maceng reignites swag

Here are some highlights from MacEng Reignites.

Cootes Paradise Hike

Cootes paradise hike with students

Students and staff enjoyed an hour-long morning walk touring one of Hamilton’s breathtaking sites just outside McMaster University. Cootes Paradise is a scenic Royal Botanical Gardens sanctuary with 27 kilometres of trail, a beautiful lake and shoreline, historical burial grounds, and native Indigenous greenery. Students learned more about the Hamilton community from a local tour guide and got a chance to bond outdoors!

See a photo album from the hike here.

Ice-Dyed T-Shirts For A Cause

ice dyeing shirts

ice dyed shirts outside

ice dyed shirt donations

Trish Petozzi, recruitment and promotions coordinator, led an effort to raise more than $1,500 to support the Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services by selling 200 MacEng Reignites shirts, which she ice-dyed herself. Ice-dye is a spin off of the tie-dye trend, a perfect outdoor activity for sunny days.

Students and staff also had the chance to make their own ice-dyed shirts, which were left to stain throughout the morning and ready to take home by the afternoon. 

Neon Fireball

Kemi Odujinrin neon fireball

The neon fireball outside JHE, a creative take on the classic McMaster Engineering symbol, was spearheaded by Olukemi Odujinrin, a second-year electrical engineering student. She designed and built the display with fellow students, Parisha Nizam, Vedashri Pandya and Nina Tran in the Hatch Centre Workshops, a space for engineering undergraduate students to participate in experiential learning through extra-curricular activities.

“The neon sign is inspired from a drawing that I did. Last year, I applied and submitted an art design for a Fireball Recreation contest and they really liked it. And this year, they were asking me if I would actually like to make it,” she said.

The neon sign hung proudly in a photobooth in the community tent while students eagerly lined up to get a photo with it. 


“Hope” Art Mural

Hope mural at MacEng Reignites

McMaster students also contributed to an art mural as they stopped by the tent. The art canvas and easel were supplied by local businesses @artaggregate and @mccormacktimber for students to convey the theme of “hope”.


Taste of the City

Pappas greek food truck

To wrap up the first week of MacEng Reignites, students and faculty members were able to enjoy culinary delights from two local food trucks: stuffed and Pappas Greek. The food trucks selling perogies and gyros were completely sold out, feeding over 500 hungry minds.