When Steudel (kneeling, right) was interviewed in fall 2021 for an article about her academic achievements, she and Oktay (standing, center left) worked together to build a swing for the photoshoot, using scrap wood and rope. The duo—who had previously taken the Nonviolence: Theory and Practice First-Year Seminar with Katalin Fabian, professor of government and law—soon got to thinking how fun it would be to put up swings across the Lafayette campus. They also were inspired and encouraged by Fabian to continue building swings after the shoot. Thus, their idea to create Why Only Remember the Feeling: Trees Swing in time for Earth Day was born.
Soon after, Oktay—who, like Steudel, has a passion for infusing creativity and innovation into engineering projects, such as the retired school bus he recently converted into a solar-powered RV—became a Creative and Performing Arts (CaPA) Scholar and received funding that would help bring the swing installation to life. Nestor Gil, associate professor of art, and Jim Toia, director of community-based teaching, joined the effort as project advisers.