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Kevin Do
Getting His Degree Was All Fun and Games...Almost

Date: June 7, 2001
Story and photo by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Archive: Profiles Archive

Come commencement, graduates and their families celebrate the achievement that comes from hard work. Mechanical engineering technology (MET) senior Kevin Do of Mt. Healthy will do likewise. In addition, he'll also celebrate the achievement that comes from, quite literally, fun and games.

Kevin Do

Do, 23, a 1996 graduate of Roger Bacon High School, was chosen to serve as a College of Applied Science (CAS) marshal because of his outstanding academic achievement and school spirit. But his nearly perfect 3.94 grade point average doesn't come close to telling the whole story.

Do not only excelled in the classroom. He also excelled at the work site in jobs most of us might kill for. As part of his six cooperative education quarters, Do worked four quarters at Hasbro Toy Group. (Cooperative education, which was founded at UC in 1906, refers to the practice of alternating academic quarters with paid, professional work.)

Do's job? "I worked on the Nerf team," he states. In other words, Do worked under the supervision of a professional engineer to test and "debug" current or possible products. So, work was, quite literally, all play. Do remembers one of his first assignments: testing to see how Nerf guns and balls might stand up after long-term use. He was told to take 20 Nerf balls and shoot each 1,000 times to test if the balls become softer or maintained their firmness after repeated use. He was also to ascertain how the gun held up. "It was fun for about the first five hours. I did it for a whole week. I found the Nerf balls didn't soften after that much use. I also found that the gun shot better after continued use."

Another "test" case had Do running for his life. An industrial designer wanted to test a conceptual "assassination game" using Nerf guns. The assassins and targets changed as the game progressed, leading to some interesting workplace challenges. "We had to follow the rules. You couldn't be shot in your office, but you were fair game in the bathroom or getting coffee. I knew who was after me cause he'd tried once and missed me. Whenever I would see him, I would run. Then, he got killed, and I didn't know who was after me because I didn't know who had 'assassinated' him." Do reports that the game was never marketed, but he did get some good exercise out of the assignment.

His employers at Hasbro probably didn't know it, but Do was the perfect co-op student for testing toys. He'd started at a very young age to dismantle his own toys and reassemble them, all in an effort to understand how they worked. "I was always tinkering as a kid, taking apart my bike and putting it back together when I was 7. I'd try to fix broken toys and break more in the process."

Do reports he eventually moved onward and upward and began fixing things around the house: cabinets, shelves, plumbing, until he finally began working on car engines. His pride and joy is his 1961 Ford Falcon, a long-term project in which he's repaired and replaced many engine parts. "Now that I'm graduating, my Mom has a whole list of things for me to fix. The list just keeps getting longer and longer. She always begins, "I just have a couple of things...'"

It was his love of hands-on work that led Do to the College of Applied Science after he was accepted to and began his UC career in the College of Engineering. "I was 18 and without direction. I didn't really know what I wanted. I came to UC as a Darwin Turner Scholar. I quickly decided that the hands-on approach was where I wanted to improve so I went to Applied Science." While there, Do has been named the MET student of the year (1999-2000). He also worked in the CAS library and volunteered with various college groups and events in addition to leading a holiday canned food drive and organizing an MET career day at his former high school (Roger Bacon).

Do plans to work for a year before coming back for graduate school. He eventually hopes to teach on the college level. "I love learning. I always will. I'll take all I can in knowledge and wisdom....It's great to be able to say, 'Now, I'm an engineer.'"

To find out about other graduates, go to this commencement page.

To find out about other members of the UC community, go to UC's profiles archive.

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