Student organization spotlight


Real Experience Makes Dreams Real
Investment Club

Experience is essential for college students; learning firsthand, industry-specific strategies will jumpstart students’ full-time careers. Finance is no different, as knowing how to properly manage large sums of money and make informed decisions based on current markets and data is imperative. UA’s Investment Club does exactly this, allowing members to manage and make decisions with a $100,000 portfolio.

“We discuss the overall economic standing of markets and how news, data and company findings affect our $100k actively managed portfolio,” said Nick Maricocchi, a senior majoring in finance and president of the Investment Club.

But the Investment Club does more than just prepare its members, it gives them the chance to demonstrate what they have learned to employers and industry professionals.

“We host workshops for resume building, internship searches and networking. While we like to focus on finance, we also give our members the best chance of finding their dream careers whether that be finance or another related field,” said Maricocchi.

A New Start Brings New Art
Akron’s Coalition of Student Sculptors

Layla Davis-Branner, a third-year sculpting major, was a freshman when she noticed something needed to be added to campus: a club for sculpting majors. With this idea in mind, Davis-Branner was driven to create an organization fueled by art, community and inclusion. Davis-Branner’s hard work and determination led to UA’s newest student organization: Akron Coalition of Student Sculptors (ACSS).

“I hope ACSS will be a haven for those who work in 3D art,” said Davis-Branner. There are very few of us. ACSS will be a way to bring us all together, but also provide more opportunities to show our work and gain experience in our field.”

Despite ACSS just beginning, the organization has already held events, such as workshops, gift exchanges and juried exhibitions.

Beyond the Mat
UA’s Wrestling Club

Wrestling is one of the oldest and most physically demanding sports. To be successful on the mat, you need to work hard, be accountable and have discipline. UA’s Wrestling Club provides no better example. The team has weekly practices and has attended more than 10 tournaments throughout the year, while hosting their own tournament in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

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Their hard work makes them no stranger to success. Seven members recently qualified for the Club Wrestling National Championship and member Derrick Andolesk took eighth place nationally.

“Wrestling is more than a sport,” said Anthony Janowski, a second-year biomedical engineering student and president of the Wrestling Club. “It is a time to get away from the stress of school, focus on your physical health and be around others who share the same passion for wrestling.”

Steady Growth 
Geo-Challenge Design Team

Success doesn’t usually follow a smooth path; it’s full of twists and turns. Challenges pop up along the way and can shake up your progress. However, for the UA Geo-Challenge Design Team, success has been remarkably steady.


Each week during the spring semester, the Geo-Challenge Design Team meets to prepare for the national design competition at Geo-Congress. Each competition is held in different states, such as North Carolina and California. The goal of the competition is to assemble your team’s Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall with the lightest amount of reinforcement within a designated time frame.

“Each year, the team has gotten better,” said Jesse Pennington, senior civil engineering major with a minor in geology and president of the Geo-Challenge Design Team. In 2022 and 2023, the team won third place in the Geo-Wall student competition. This year, the team won second place in the Geo-Wall competition, second place in the Geo-Video competition, where teams develop short videos
explaining various engineering concepts that could be used in classrooms at various levels, and first place in the Geo-Shirt competition, where teams design a T-shirt for students participating in the Geo-Challenge competitions.

Giving Back with Give 
GIVE (Global Initiative for Volunteer Efforts)


One of the most eye-opening experiences is giving back to others. The activity allows a glimpse into others’ lives and cultures, building lasting memories for years to come. GIVE, a global organization dedicated to immersing its members in local communities and cultures while giving back to those communities, has made its impact on the Akron community.

This is the exact reason why Gracyl Collins, a second-year Spanish major, minoring in sociology and dance, and current president of GIVE, joined the club her freshman year.

“GIVE focuses on looking after our local community, as well as communities around the world. It also offers various travel abroad programs,” said Collins. “That’s why I joined GIVE — because I am extremely interested in traveling abroad. I stayed in the club because I enjoyed the community service aspect.”

The group has hosted events and gatherings dedicated to helping the Akron community, such as donating holiday cards to Akron Children’s Hospital, holding blanket-making gatherings and organizing trash pick-ups.

Find Our Voice 

Publishing one’s writing is often an intimidating task, especially if it’s a student’s first time. The fear of putting their works and voice on display may deter them from publishing, in addition to the fees that often accompany the submission process. However, AshBelt — a student-run literary journal that exclusively features UA undergraduates’ creative literary work — does the opposite.

The official AshBelt journal is published annually during the spring semester. Each year’s journal offers a diverse array of creative expressions, such as fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scriptwriting. AshBelt’s acceptance of different creative literary works allows students to articulate their voices with authenticity and style. Moreover, unlike many journals, there are no submission fees, ensuring accessibility to all aspiring contributors.

“I always want people to feel encouraged to submit their work,” said Emily Price, a fourth-year English major and president of Ashbelt. “It’s wonderful to have such a variety of student voices in one published volume.”

Story by Beau Balizet