Updated Fri, Jan 24, 2014 4:41 pm
Invoking American leaders from George Washington to Ronald Reagan, Representative Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, spoke to Ohio University students last night about leadership and their potential.
The students were all part of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and were part of the Robe Leadership Institute Seminar and Engineering ambassadors.
The congressman, who sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, shared his Energy 2020 initiative with the students, something they could soon be a part of.
The initiative, launched in July 2013, calls for energy independence and security by the year 2020.
"You can't name another industry that we have right now today that has the potential to get our economic engine going and restore the hope and promise of our American dream and return us to the values of American exceptionalism like an energy vision could," Johnson told the students.
Johnson also asked students for their ideas and input about leadership and policy.
Several students asked about partisian dysfucntion in Washington. One student even admitted to not voting in the last election because he "didn't find anything he could support on either side."
Johnson told the student "sitting on the sidelines and not voting for the here and now" was a disservice and silencing his own voice.
Several students stayed after the seminar to thank the congressman and share what they took away from the discussion.
"I though he was very passionate and very informative in what he came to talk about," said Josh Frash, a senior chemical engineering major, "His intentionallity to come talk to us as 21, 22-year old engineers about how we could play a part in changing the shape of the country and future was really cool."
Marissa Singley, also a senior chemical engineering student, agreed.
"Thinking about all the examples that he gave us, Americans are capable of doing many things. We have the education and knowledge to be and do something great."