Ram Handling and Engineering: A Similar Beast?

We all know CAM the Ram – CSU’s official mascot who is cared for by a group of student volunteers called the Ram Handlers. Ram Handlers participate in CAM’s training and care, transportation to events, sharing CAM’s story with Rams fans of all ages, and traditions such as his sprint across the end zone during home football games.

This year, five of the 17 Ram Handlers are students in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering – Brooke Bennett from Electrical and Computer Engineering, William Long from Civil and Environmental Engineering, and three from Mechanical Engineering: Katie Evans, Walter Jordan, and Logan Litchfield. We sat down with the Mechanical Engineering Ram Handlers to hear more about their experience in the program, and whether they think caring for CAM and engineering have anything in common.

Three photos of CAM the Ram with human handlers
Mechanical Engineering Ram Handlers: Katie Evans, Walter Jordan, and Logan Litchfield

Katie Evans

Katie is a 4th year biomedical and mechanical engineering student with a minor in chemistry. She’s on the pre-vet track and is also part of the university honors program.

“This is my first year as a Ram Handler, which is absolutely fantastic! My favorite events so far are the football games as it’s wonderful to see the student section get so excited for CAM. However, I’m even more excited for the Parade of Lights and the National Stock Show, which CAM will go to this year!

I adore being a Ram Handler because I get to spend time with one of CSU’s oldest traditions and get to educate people about sheep, CAM the Ram, and how being an animal ambassador works. CAM’s favorite treats are lettuce and alfalfa, and he LOVES the golden pom’s pompoms!

I definitely think there is a relationship between being an engineer and being a Ram Handler. As an engineer you are taught how to learn and to always think outside the box as well as on your toes. All of this can be applied to working with CAM! We are constantly having to think of new ways to train CAM and problem solve for crowd control.”

Walter Jordan

Walter is a 3rd year mechanical engineering student. He’s involved with Tau Beta Pi and Aggies Off-Road Racing and Development, and has an internship with Lincoln Electric.

“I enjoy being a Ram Handler because it helps me to feel connected to the university. CAM is a very special tradition and it’s enjoyable for me to be a part of it. I really like training with CAM and sharing his story at events. In addition, I’ve met some awesome people in the program and have formed friendships that extend beyond ram handling. Growing up on a ranch, I’ve had some background with livestock, but working with CAM has boosted my understanding of livestock and the very important role they play in our lives.

Being an engineering major and a Ram Handler, I’ve noticed several similarities between the two. Both require problem solving skills as well as excellent communication skills. The applications might not always look the same, but the fundamentals remain true.

I’d like to encourage any student with interest in being a Ram Handler to apply to join the team! You don’t have to be in a related major or from an agricultural background to enjoy working with CAM. I’ve had a blast so far and would like to share that feeling!”

Logan Litchfield

Logan is a senior mechanical engineering student. He participates in the Agribusiness Club and Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“I think the best part of being a Ram Handler is being on such a great team and meeting so many new people every day. I also really enjoy seeing the joy CAM brings to people when they see him on campus and at events. He really helps bring everyone involved with Colorado State together.

There is more in common between engineering and being a Ram Handler than one might think. The biggest commonality is being able to problem solve. Both positions have unique situations where there isn’t one right answer, but potentially multiple answers. You just need to work through the problem and communicate with others about your ideas and concerns.”