Abi Ivemeyer, former Ramblin’ Reck Driver

Abigail (Abi) Ivemeyer is a dual degree Masters student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. She started at Georgia Tech pursuing her undergrad in Electrical Engineering in 2017, and she has had many impactful positions in her time on campus, notably the 2020 Ramblin’ Reck Driver.

For Abi, a love of Georgia Tech is a family affair. Abi comes from a family of Tech fans and alumni, so it only seemed right that she attended Georgia Tech herself. She followed in her father’s footsteps in an electrical engineering career at Tech and even cheered on her brother, Bailey, on the football field. Having been surrounded by Georgia Tech spirit and tradition from a young age, Abi wanted to help other students learn about and appreciate Georgia Tech so she got involved in many ways to give back to campus. She joined Ramblin Reck Club in her first year, served as a Wreck Camp counselor, became a Grand Challenges student ambassador, and participated in For the Kids Georgia Tech. 

Ramblin’ Reck Club is the student organization responsible for the protection, maintenance, and care of the Ramblin’ Reck as well as primary upholders of campus traditions. With Reck Club, Abi has had many opportunities to spread spirit and traditions, specifically serving as Football Chair and the Reck Driver. There is only one Reck Driver per year, and they are elected within the Reck Club. The Driver is responsible for the primary care of the 1930 Model A, for the management of the over 200 event requests for the Reck, and they act as the most public facing ambassador for Georgia Tech. Abi was honored with the responsibility of Driver, however, her tenure as driver in 2020 looked a little different from previous drivers’ experiences.

In spring 2020, Tech students were sent away from campus due to the increasing severity COVID-19 pandemic. Abi, among those students, had to return home to northern Georgia, but she brought the Reck along with her. Making the best out of an unprecedented situation, Abi spread Georgia Tech spirit at a distance, driving the Reck around her home community and attending as many events as safely possible. One her favorite appearances included leading a parade for a car-loving, little boy’s birthday. Abi found ways to spread joy even in the height of the pandemic.

Abi found ways to spread joy even in the height of the pandemic, and when returning to campus in the fall, she continued to prioritize Georgia Tech tradition and spirit. Specifically, she wrote a letter to the ACC leadership to argue the continuation and importance of the Reck riding out on the football field, a tradition since 1961 that was almost compromised due to the pandemic. Reck Club also modified traditions to reflect the times, and Abi helped lead the modifications valuing both safety and tradition.

Abi also persevered as a student during the height of the pandemic. She had virtual classes and distanced conversations with friends. Through the pandemic, Abi learned to be more fluid in planning and to prioritize connecting with friends and reaching out. Like many of us, she found new ways to connect and has found more self-awareness in her mental state and physical state. 

Connecting to the purpose of this interview project, Abi shared advice for the “COVID freshman” in her interview. Even without the pandemic, she had a tough first year on campus in adjusting to a new environment with a new history, leaving behind your high school connections. She hopes first years (and second years) can get “comfortable with the uncomfortable” by talking with people in their residence hall and joining campus organizations that they may know nothing about. She stressed that first years need to work to create a new network of connections by reaching out and taking advantage of all opportunities.

Hear more of Abi’s advice and about her story in this Empathy Bytes interview.

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