Author Archives: Darren Ujano, Civil Engineering

About Darren Ujano, Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering and I am employed by UIC Campus Housing as well as Project SYNCERE. Fun fact: I love eating Oreos

Top 3: “Pickup Lines on How to Talk to Anyone” -Confessions of an RA

Hello Chicago!– (4/14/12)

**Random Picture of the Week** 

Drawn from one of JST's Residents and placed in a study lounge =)

The 40th Annual CSSLA Ceremony. Me and my friend Winston at the reception area.

This was my second award win for CSSLA (Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Awards). The first one was for my work with Campus Housing and Undergraduate Student Government. This second one was for creating a new service project to address Chicago’s youth (with the help of the US Army and ROTC) and expand their health and fitness as well as leadership skills with high-risk teens.

So, THE 10 DAY COUNTDOWN BEGINS!!! 10 School days left before finals week. Can you believe that??

Top 3: ” Pickup Lines on How to Talk to Anyone (Literally)” -Confessions of an RA

3.) “I absolutely love your [insert piece of clothing]!! Where did you get it from??
This breaks the ice, especially if you have never met them before. Compliments always open a window of opportunity. From there, you can pickup from their response and carry it on from there.

2.) Starter Subjects: Highs and Lows of their day, Weather, Classes, Pop Culture, etc.
…then ask keeping sincere questions and show genuine interest. This opens up a lot of opportunities and you can follow up next time you talk.

1.) Remember the acronym “S.H.E.”
-Smile like they just changed your world for the better
-Handshake with truth, confidence, and that they are important
-Eyes that will make them feel like a million bucks every time you see them

So next week, talk about upcoming fashion and trends around UIC for summer!!

Stay tuned,

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Fashion Trends on Campus

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Ever had something lucky? (lucky boxers, socks??)

Top 3: Dating Places for UIC Students

Hey, You I See!!!

Let’s start of with “Pics of the Week”:

Molly's Cupcakes, Lincoln Park

Famous "Kimchi Fries" at Del Seoul

 Top 3: Dating Places for UIC Students

3. Comedy Sportz 
Nothing like competitive improv between two teams! I would say it’s definitely a cross between TV shows Who’s Line is it Anyway? and Wild N’ Out. A great place for a first date.

2. Grant & Millennium Park
Events all around the year! Range from Zumba dance lessons to music concerts. A great idea to ice skate around winter as well. Restaurants and museums surround the nearby area.

1. Your own living room
Assuming your roommate is out for the weekend– surprise him/her with an indoor picnic at your place, or a pizza and video game night. It’s here where you can work your magic ;)


**UPDATES: My birthday week is coming up!!! I’m so excited. I actually have no idea where to go and I was hoping you guys can help me. There are a few rules: 1.) Has to be of any age [it would suck if anyone is under 21] 2.) Has to be preferably under $20. And that will be the question of the week =)**


Stay awesome Chicago

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: “How to Talk to Anyone”

SONG OF THE WEEK:  So lately I’ve been in love with this song I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing covered by Allison Iraheta

Top 3: Tips to Get Internships!

Hello Chicago!

Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 3! I’m going to off on a random tangent for a second and say I’ve been playing Mass Effect 3. The story is spectacular as well as multiplayer. (regardless of the highly criticized ending– NO SPOILERS PLEASE). To catch other readers up to speed, please watch this trailer

Can you say GRADUATION YEAR?? I just registered for Fall of 2012:

CME 301- Behavior and Design of Metal Structures
CME 396- Senior Design I
CME 410- Design of Prestressed Concrete Structures
CME 411- Chemistry for Environmental Professionals
CME 434- Finite Element Analysis I
Random Picture of the Week: (by Winston)

Craving Buffalo Wings sooo much!! --(Picture from RJ Grunts near Lincoln Park)

 Top 3: ”Tips to Get an Internship” with UIC Office of Career Services

#1.) Network, Network, Network!
It’s not the what you know, it’s who you know. “Literally place yourself in the crossroads of networks– put yourself out there and when opportunity comes, employers will know who to find

#2.) Never, EVER, wait until the deadline 
There are many other students competing for that same job and employers usually have their candidates/hires lined up by the first week; well before deadline 

#3.) Internship hunting, is A LOT like dating
If there’s a company out there you really like– go ask them out! As every pick up artist says, “the easiest way to win them, is to just call them .” Confidence is attractive to many employers and they want to scope you out before they become committed to any relationship.

That’s all I got! Stay classy Chicago,

TOPIC NEXT WEEK- Top 3: “Dating Places for UIC Students” 

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK- My dream job would be to be a restaurant owner

MUST SEE THIS WEEK- Anchorman II in Production! Return of Ron Burgundy

Super Senior

3.25.12 Hello Summer! (did we skip spring?)

Temperatures are in the 70s and everyone at UIC is looking good. Facilities is rushing to get the air conditioning on as lectures halls heat up across campus. So start kicking with summer fashion in class as I show you a couple of pics of what I did during Spring Break.

Chicago's infamous, The Second City. I saw their show "A Romantic Dot Comedy"


UIC Gymnastics Championship. Also visited my friend who sang the National Anthem at the Meet. Go Flames!!

Second City is one of Chicago’s famous comedic troupe. Alumni to the theater includes comedians such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, Halle Berry, Steve Carell, and much more. There are different shows which can be found on their website:

SUPER SENIOR YEAR PICS (still in progress)—

Never forget those friends you've made in college. The adventures you've had. The picture above was taken right before we kayaked down the Chicago River.


Senior Resident Assistant for JST and I've had the honor to help lead this fantastic group of individuals to one of the greatest years I've seen at JST.

I’ll show more pics from them later in the year, but for now stay tuned in for next week’s topic, “Top 3: Secrets to Getting an Internship ”

Stay classy Chicago,

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: Favorite 90s cartoon character would be Chocolate Boy from Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold.

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Top 3- Secrets to getting Internships



Nice weather we’ve been having. I don’t have much updates this week, other than our SPRING BREAK starts next week!!

So the following pictures are from my Senior Year– The year where I became a full fledged cadet. I’ve been taking summer programs in ROTC since 2008 for my Military Science Level 1 (MS-I), but my senior year, I did ROTC during the school year and had a great experience!

UIC is home to the Army ROTC for all of Chicago-land. The armed forces and veterans of Chicago thank UIC for supporting the program and providing opportunities to students to gain great hands on leadership.

3rd Brigade- Bravo Company, 2nd Platoon (10/24/10)

Marseilles Training Area. Delivering AAR (After Action Review) after an assault on an enemy campsite.

Atterbury Training Area: 4th Squad defending AA (Assembly Area)

ROTC Awards Banquet at the UIC PEB

Zeroing Range. MS-III Cadets must qualify here for Basic Rifle Marksmanship before shipping off to LDAC.

Military Ball at the Holiday Inn at Mart Plaza


That’s all for now. Happy Spring Break to all of UIC!!! Once we get back, it’s a blitz to finals week =)


TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Super Senior Year- The year I became a Senior Staff Member for Campus Housing

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: My plans for spring break may include traveling to Wisconsin for one night with my friends, then a Bulls Game.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Favorite 90′s song when you were a kid??

Junior Year!!– First Year as an RA


So excited, I actually got my first 100% on my engineering exam! Thank you foundations. So on to what’s happening this week, we made concrete in our Civil Engineering class and now we test the strength as shown below:

Concrete made from last week, we placed molten sulfur to create a leveled cap for the compression test


In order to know the strength of the concrete, we place it under compression.

****So below are my pictures from Junior Year at UIC*** 
My junior year at UIC, I accepted the offer to become an RA at Marie Robinson Hall apartments. It was a bittersweet feeling. I missed my friends at JST but I knew that being an RA was its own separate journey. And on that journey, I made so many new friends and discovered more about myself than I could have ever realized.


My first day on duty as an RA. Hanging out with my fellow staff at MRH.


Taking residents to festival in the park with my fellow RA Ajay


Faculty in Residence in Campus Housing. The famous Bill Kohler makes his "Headlines and Hashbrowns" program for residents in the apartments.


Remember the year of "swine flu?" We are training for that. Staff were trained in assessing and handling possible swine flu contaminations.

Stay tuned again next week as I show my Senior Year Pictures =)

Topic Next Week: Senior Year– The year I joined ROTC

Answer From Last Week: My biggest memory in college was actually my duty nights at MRH. I loved my staff and residents.

Question of the Week: Spring break is coming up!!!– What are your plans??

UIC Sophomore YEAR

Hey UIC!

So below are my pictures from sophomore year. Back then, I decided to run for James Stukel Towers Hall Council President. (For those of you who don’t know, I was also Bolingbrook HS Class President). What inspired me to run was my true nature of getting involved on campus.

Personally, I didn’t like any student organizations that required elections– I always thought that it would lead to drama, but I decided to stick with it and run a campaign for old times sake. It definitely was worth it!

Eventually I did win the election by having majority vote against 3 other great candidates. So the following pictures are a tribute to my sophomore year at UIC:

My little secret. When I went to UIC, I didn't tell anyone I was Senior Class President because I didn't like the attention. People from Bolingbrook already had high expectations and I wanted to escape that pressure.

With the help of my friends, we kick started the campaign for JST Hall Council. With a lot of effort placed, we won the election.

JST Hall Council 2008-2009

APRIL FOOLS DAY-- My roommates actually pranked me when I came back from my physics exam sophomore year. They had the room filled up to my chest in balloons.


How I looked sophomore year. I got the Jackie Chan look!

As you grow old, your best friends get married. One of my best friends got married sophomore year to the love of his life. Congratulation to Aiden and Rowaida!!!!


While exploring Chicago, NBC 5 News were interviewing UIC students about campus life. We decided to pose in front of their news van =)


After my sophomore year, I originally decided not to follow through my Mathematics major and wanted to pursue my true passion in Engineering. With the help of UIC’s Liberal Arts and Sciences’s Advisers, they help set me up my junior year for acceptance and transfer into UIC’s College of Engineering.

Also at the end of that year, I was offered a position to become an RA (Resident Assistant) for Marie Robinson Hall Apartments. I got ACCEPTED into the world of UIC Campus Housing!!

Next week, JUNIOR YEAR– First year as an RA,

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Junior Year!!! First year as a UIC Resident Assistant

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: My biology professor said that climate change is not from “global warming” but rather “global cooling”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s your biggest college memory???


Freshman Pics ONLY!!

And start!!! ^_^

My friends and I recently got accepted to UIC for Fall 2007. Here's us posing fun!!


My very first night in my residence hall, PSR. Hanging out with some new residents I just met.


I'm not excited to say this, but this picture was taken while ditching my first college class. We went to Millennium Park.


I joined the intramural volleyball team for PSR. Both my RA back then. We were called Cheese-It


Class reunion!! One of my best friends in middle school, I found him at UIC and we started hanging out.

LAS 110: City Exploration. My ground freshman year where we checked out Lincoln Square.


Hanging out with floormates. We went to see "Phantom of the Opera" at the Cadillac Theater


TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Sophomore (I matured a lot) pictures and update!

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: My most embarrassing moment when I was a freshman was when my roommate locked me out of the room after I took a shower, with no clothes =(

 QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s happened to Chicago weather?

Top 5: UIC Pickup Lines of Love~

Hey UIC– are you ready for love??

The week after Valentine’s Day invites to the campus the most creative pick-up lines I’ve heard. But before we get started I have a few updates; first I’m going to release a small video that I think you guys will like. It’ll be released in a few weeks since it will be recorded next week during JST Open Mic Night. Second, supervising my housing staff has been awesome. RA/PM Selection Letters will be sent out soon. And lastly, I’ll give you guys a sneak peak on next week’s article:


Yes! Next week’s article will be my Freshman Flashback. Nothing but pictures and my freshman 15. So anyways, here’s the long awaited article…

**Top 5: College Pickup Lines- UIC Edition**

1.) “I heard the new section of the library was called the IDEAL Commons” (–No it isn’t, its the IDEA Commons!!) “Well, it becomes IDEAL when I’m with you.”

2.) “Let me take you to the quad– and teach about your four corners”

3.) “Girl, let’s head to BSB and stay lost in this moment”

4.) “Is anyone special sitting here?” (Gestures her to sit– “Not just anyone”…)

5.) Ready for the most romantic date ever?
– First, we’re gonna start out with a little bowling
– Then a five star dinner at Inner. Appetizers by Subway, burger and fries by Wendy’s, then ice cream at Baskin’ Robbins.
– A casual walk after as we shop under the sunlight of the bookstore.
–”Maybe” if we feel lucky, head to the Halsted Street Station for the home run, if you know what I mean.

^All of that is located in one building, Student Center East.

Stay tuned in for next week!

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: The Freshman Flashback (Pictures Everywhere! Yes I’ll even show a couple of the embarrassing ones)

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: ”I’d like to get my basilisk into your chamber of secrets.”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is your most embarrassing moment as a freshman?

Top Secret Discounts for UIC Student


Weather has been amazing– no snow in Chicago. Which makes me wonder if karma is going to hit soon. But anyways, while walking to class I think how we can apply our rainfall simulator lab to actual conditions right now, ironically. This past lab, we’ve been monitoring the ground water flow and discharge rate with respect to the amount of time and volume of rainfall. The results were also affected by the slope of the gradient.

CME 311: Water Resources (Rainfall Simulator)

 Top 5: Secret Discounts for UIC Students

1.) AMC Movie Theater Ticket Discounts
Compared to the usual price of $10. Student Centers sells silver tickets for $6.75 and gold tickets for $7.75. Throughout watching movies in my college years, these dollars add up.

2.) U-Pass/CTA Bus Pass
Especially saves a ton load of money for commuter students, the U-Pass is offered to all full time students and at a slight extra cost for part-time. If you’re looking for a CTA Bus Pass, those are offered at discount for any type.

3.) Restaurant Discounts near Campus
A lot of restaurants around UIC offer Student Discounts, but double check if you have to “eat-in” or “carryout” for it to be applicable. (i.e. Lucky’s, Ichiban, Joy Yee’s, Sarpino).

4.) Free Things (not really a discount)
So if students show their UIC Student ID, they can also get free things around campus. For example they can get a free can of pop with every order at Jim’s, or show up at a UIC Flames Game and get free items (i.e. scarf, snuggie)

5.) Programming Discounts
For residents in Campus Housing, programming can get discounts to ticketed events, such as Second City, Comedy Sportz. Also anything that would involve food can be brought by programming to residents, and it would essentially be “free food.”

Post whatever discounts you know of too!


TOPIC FOR NEXT WEEK: “Top 5: UIC Pickup Lines I’ve Heard on Campus”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s the cheesiest pickup line you’ve heard?

ANSWER FOR LAST WEEK: My favorite restaurant, right now, would be Lucky’s =)


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