For Nicole Galloway, a distinguished spot

Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway studied mathematics and economics at S&T before graduating in 2004. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway studied mathematics and economics at S&T before graduating in 2004. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Portraits of stately men and influential women dating back to the 19th century line the walls of the Missouri State Auditor’s office. Everything looks just as you’d expect in a political office – stately and refined. But right beside the volumes of the revised Missouri State Statutes sits a vintage postcard proudly declaring Rolla, Missouri, as “the home of the Missouri School of Mines.”

For current Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Rolla holds a special place not just on her bookshelf, but also in her memory. Galloway earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and applied mathematics from Missouri S&T in 2004. Last spring, when Gov. Jay Nixon appointed her as state auditor, Galloway became the first S&T graduate to hold executive office in the state of Missouri.

“When I was a student, no matter where I went, I knew someone,” she says. “If I was going to Rayl Cafeteria to eat breakfast on my own, I’d end up starting a conversation; I always had something to talk about with everyone. I loved that I never felt alone.” [Read more…]

Seeing it through and seeing through it

Matt Horst won a spot in the coveted 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship program for his work in developing a 3D real-time wideband microwave camera that can produce images. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Matt Horst won a spot in the coveted 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program for his work in developing a 3-D real-time wideband microwave camera that can produce images. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

At 7 a.m. on a weekday, many college students are still asleep. Others hit the snooze button and struggle to get out of bed for an 8 a.m. class. But not Matt Horst. He is usually already at work in the Applied Microwave Nondestructive Testing Laboratory (AMNTL) at Missouri S&T.

Horst, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at S&T, spends most of his time working in the lab running simulations, fabricating circuit boards or reading literature related to his research.

The winner of a coveted spot in the 2015 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Horst is working to develop a 3-D real-time wideband microwave camera that can produce images. [Read more…]

Something to cheer about

Cheer and dance head coach Erica Long is a 2003 Civil Engineering alumna. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Alumna Erica Long, senior academic advisor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and head coach of the S&T cheerleading squad and Gold Miners dance team, poses with her cheerleaders after practice. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

When former cheerleaders get together, someone always ends up getting thrown in the air. At weddings, social gatherings or even during marriage proposals, former cheerleaders always find a reason to perform stunts. At least that’s what Erica Long says, and she has been working with cheerleaders at Missouri S&T since she first stepped onto campus as a student in 1998.

Today, Long is the head coach of the S&T cheerleading squad and the Gold Miners dance team. For the fifth year in a row, she’s organizing an opportunity for former cheerleaders to throw each other in the air again.

Since 2011, Long has invited former S&T cheerleaders to return and cheer alongside the current squad during the Homecoming football game.

“It started with a couple of alumni begging me to do something like this,” says Long, a 2003 civil engineering graduate. “The first year we did it, seven former cheerleaders came back, including me, and it’s grown every year since then into a tradition.” [Read more…]

Alumnus reminisces about the Arch on its golden anniversary

Jack Wright, a 1961 graduate, helped ensure quality control throughout the Gateway Arch project, which is celebrating its golden anniversary. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Jack Wright, a 1961 graduate, helped ensure quality control throughout the Gateway Arch project, which is celebrating its golden anniversary. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Jack Wright‘s first big job after college was in many ways monumental.

As an engineer for MacDonald Construction, the company that was awarded the contract for construction of the Gateway Arch in March 1962, Wright played an important role in creating the “Gateway to the West,” which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The 630-foot-tall Arch is made up of 142 double-walled triangular sections that are covered in quarter-inch-thick stainless steel. The keystone triangular section that connects the north and south legs was put into place on Oct. 28, 1965. It opened to the public in June 1967. [Read more…]

Working to enjoy the ride

Graduate student Manish Sharma works on his nuclear engineering research in Fulton Hall. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Manish Sharma, a graduate student at Missouri S&T, works on his nuclear engineering research in Fulton Hall.

During high school, Manish Sharma often studied by candlelight. Power outages lasting six to eight hours a day were a fixture of hometown life in Khurja, India. For most of his peers, studying in America was a distant dream. But Sharma never gave up on his goal.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from universities in India, Sharma set his sights on Missouri S&T to complete his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.

“I never gave up because I knew tomorrow would be better,” he says. “I turned my plans into actions and went out of my comfort zone to make things happen.” [Read more…]

Rethinking thinking

Bekah Davis observes students at John F. Hodge High School in St. James, Missouri.

Bekah Davis observes students at John F. Hodge High School in St. James, Missouri. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

For many Missouri S&T freshmen, Chemistry 1310, General Chemistry, is a tough hurdle in their academic careers. Many students struggle with the academically rigorous and demanding course. When the faculty who teach General Chemistry approached Daniel Reardon, assistant professor of English and technical communication at S&T, about testing the effectiveness of the course, he had the perfect student in mind to complete the research.

Reardon chose Bekah Davis, then a senior in English education, to help complete the project. As part of an Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE) project, Davis aligned Chemistry 1310 exam questions with Norman L. Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Levels to study how well S&T students performed on each type of question. Webb’s four knowledge levels range in difficulty from recall and reproduction questions, DOK level 1, to extended thinking questions, DOK level 4.

“After aligning the scores of exams, I looked at the average scores on a problem-by-problem basis,” says Davis. “I discovered a large drop in the average student score when the questions required critical and strategic thinking, DOK level 3, or extended thinking.”

Based on her work, Davis concluded that many of the students in General Chemistry are not equipped to answer level 3 and level 4 questions – and Davis thinks she knows why.

“This problem may be caused in part by standardized testing because those tests do not ask level 3 and 4 questions, so students never learn how to approach them,” she says. “This is an important topic in need of further study to bring about needed and effective changes to education.”

Davis completed her student teaching this past spring before graduating in May. She currently works as an editor at the U.S. Geological Survey.

“I hope that my research will spur my colleagues and peers to continue this research and encourage other scholars to contribute to this discussion on standardized testing,” she says. “I want to continue this research and I’m excited to see where it goes in the coming years.”

By Arielle Bodine

 

Human powered

Lucas Parker poses with the Human Powered Vehicle Competition Team’s current vehicle, named “Leviathan,” which recently won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2015 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge East Coast Competition in Gainesville, Florida.

Lucas Parker poses with the Human Powered Vehicle Competition Team’s current vehicle, named “Leviathan,” which recently won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2015 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge East Coast Competition in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Lucas Parker, a sophomore in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering management at Missouri S&T, is obsessed with fitness. From lifeguarding to coaching a gym class at The Centre, Rolla’s Health and Recreation Complex, Parker spends a lot of time taking care of his body and encouraging others to do the same. And he’s been this way his whole life.

In high school, Parker rode his bike to school every day. So, when he came to S&T and wanted to join a design team, he found the perfect fit in the Human Powered Vehicle Competition Team.

Each year, the team designs, builds and races an aerodynamically fitted recumbent bicycle or tricycle. This year the team earned first place at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2015 Human Powered Vehicle Challenge East Coast Competition in Gainesville, Florida.

“Even though we are serious about performance and begin preparation for the next competition as soon as the last one is done, the atmosphere isn’t stressful,” he says. “It’s a relaxed learning experience. It’s just a bunch of friends building a bike and learning at the same time.”

Parker says the team is more than a learning experience — it’s a life experience.

“As a freshman, I didn’t know anyone, so I would go to the shop every weekend to work on the bike and that’s how I met new friends,” he says. “The team has opened up doors for friendships, networking and travel that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.”

Though he loves being part of the team, Parker says that he enjoys teaching others teamwork just as much. When he coached soccer at Gene Slay’s Boys Club in the Soulard neighborhood in St. Louis, he learned just how much he loved it.

“All of the kids hated soccer because they didn’t understand it,” he says. “I taught them how to pass and how cool it could be if they worked together and slowly it worked. I felt like I had given them a sense of purpose.”

When Parker is not busy encouraging others to stay healthy, he’s focused on keeping himself healthy. In any free time, the Kappa Sigma fraternity member plays sports with friends and lifts weights in order to stay healthy for Air Force ROTC.

Fitness is an important part of his life, sure, but he says it’s not the only thing he’s focused on.

“My motto is to always stay happy,” he says. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do after Missouri S&T, but I do know I’m going to make it a priority to be happy.”

By Arielle Bodine

Trendy tastes

Michael Wuest, Bus’07, MBA’08, is the marketing manager of the University of Missouri-Columbia Campus Dining Services.

Michael Wuest, a Missouri S&T business graduate, is the marketing manager of the University of Missouri-Columbia Campus Dining Services. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Feeding a college student is hard work. Feeding thousands of them every day is even harder. With various allergies, dietary restrictions and personal preferences, college students are arguably among the pickiest of eaters, says Michael Wuest.

Wuest, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business and an MBA from Missouri S&T, is responsible for pleasing the palates of thousands of college students every day. As the marketing manager of the University of Missouri-Columbia Campus Dining Services, he knows how hard it is to find and implement dining options that students will like.

Wuest and his team serve over 4 million meals a year. They accommodate all the needs and preferences of each student through options — lots of them.

“Every restaurant has at least one vegetarian option, and other dining options have gluten-free meals,” says Wuest, who got his start in the food service business as marketing manager for Chartwells on the S&T campus. “Both standard facilities and specific restaurants have those options.”

When choosing new dining options and locales, Wuest takes everything from student feedback and historical data to traffic flow patterns and upcoming construction into account — all while staying innovative and on top of current trends.

“The biggest component of our success is open communication with our primary customers — the students — and providing the options they want when we know it’s a good fit,” he says.

With so many choices, it is hard to ensure quality and consistency and eliminate waste. Wuest says batch cooking solves all three problems.

“We know how many students will come in during a certain time, and we know roughly how much we can make in a certain amount of time,” Wuest says. “During our busiest times, we make 10 to 30 servings of a food item at a time, and when there are only a certain number of servings left, we make more.”

Wuest says that cooking in batches does not involve taking frozen food from a box and putting it in the oven.

“Campus dining is not ‘plop and slop,’” he says. “Dining programs nationwide … are returning to the traditional way of cooking by making the majority of our food in-house from scratch.”

In addition to prioritizing quality, cutting waste and implementing from-scratch cooking, Wuest stays on top of major trends in campus dining systems.

“The big three things on everyone’s radar are regional and ethnic cuisines, sensitivity to special dietary needs and having facilities that allow students to order what they want,” Wuest says. “The all-you-care-to-eat system of the past is going away.”

Wuest and his team are sure they will please the palates of nearly every student.

“People will pay for the food they enjoy,” Wuest says. “So, as long as we have the right quality, service and value, we will accomplish our mission.”

By Arielle Bodine

Adapted from the Spring 2015 issue of Missouri S&T Magazine.

Strategic scaling

Lindsey Carlson, a junior in information science and technology, is a member of Missouri S&T’s Climbing Club, where she learns to climb obstacles both physical and mental.

Lindsey Carlson, a junior in information science and technology, is a member of Missouri S&T’s Climbing Club, where she learns to climb obstacles both physical and mental. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Before each rock-climb, Lindsey Carlson plans out her route to the top. Though it’s not an exact science, having an outline of her route has helped her successfully scale rock formations all over the Midwest.

Carlson does some “bouldering” last week during a spring break trip to Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Carlson does some “bouldering” last week during a spring break trip to Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Contributed photo

As a member of Missouri S&T’s Climbing Club, Carlson has scaled routes with names like “Swamp Rat,” “Green Goblin,” and “Up and At ‘Em.”

“Climbing for me is a departure from team sports; it’s a mental game,” says Carlson, a junior in information science and technology. “But, all the while, I can learn from and have the encouragement of other Climbing Club members.”

The mental challenge manifests itself before each climb and continues until it’s complete.

“I try to never look down during a climb. I’m only focused on my next move and where my foot or hand is going to go next,” Carlson says. “Climbing helps me center myself.”

The combination of mental and physical challenges is not the only draw to the sport for Carlson.

“My favorite thing to do is be outside,” she says. “I love when we go on longer trips and I get to camp out with all the people in Climbing Club.”

Carlson is also a tutor in the Writing Center and works in the Laboratory for Information Technology Evaluation (LITE). Through hands-on experience in the lab, Carlson is beginning the climb toward her ultimate goal: influencing the experience a user has with a website or program by designing the spaces where user interaction and machine meet.

Carlson takes a “selfie” while climbing a route called “Swamp Rat” at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas.

Carlson takes a “selfie” while climbing a route called “Swamp Rat” at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas. Contributed photo

“I’m interested in the design of user interfaces and the way that the user interacts with (websites and programs),” she says. “I want to make beautiful interfaces that are easy and simple to use.”

Just like a climb, Carlson has planned her career path. And she’s not looking down.

By Arielle Bodine

Wearing many hats

Nick McGraw (center), current president of the Student Union Board (SUB), has a laugh  with some fellow students in the SUB office.

Nick McGraw (center), current president of the Student Union Board (SUB), has a laugh with some fellow students in the SUB office. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Nick McGraw, a senior in engineering management, spends nearly all of his free time giving back to the community. While attending Missouri S&T, McGraw has worked on service projects for over 400 hours, doing everything from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, to cleaning city parks and state highways, to working shifts at the Community Partnership.

“I try to take any time I have to give back and those experiences have been very rewarding,” he says. “I plan on continuing to volunteer for the remainder of my time at S&T, as well as in my professional career.”

McGraw takes a break from painting a house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015’s Mississippi team. The team is building houses this week for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

McGraw takes a break from painting a house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015’s Mississippi team. The team is building houses this week for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Contributed photo

McGraw says he’s building a foundation for career excellence through careful attention to his coursework, but also through extracurricular experiences.

“As an S&T student, you have to have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of engineering,” he says. “However, it is the things you do and the time you spend outside of class that makes you a great leader and sets you apart from your peers.”

McGraw is the current president of the Student Union Board (SUB); a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity; a disc jockey at 89.7 KMNR, S&T’s student-run radio station; event planning and fundraising chair for the Solar House Team; secretary of the S&T chapter of Toastmaster’s International; and an undergraduate mentor to another student in the S&T chapter of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).

McGraw says he’s developing important skills by challenging himself to take part in a wide variety of activities.

“By doing so many different things, I’m able to try on many different hats,” he says. “It allows me to do what I’m good at and get better at the things that I’m not.”

After McGraw graduates in December 2015, he intends to keep challenging himself at a job he’s passionate about.

“I always want to enjoy what I’m doing because that creates the right environment to push myself and those around me to improve.”

McGraw is a member of one of five teams participating in this week’s Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015. Learn more about each team and where they are volunteering.

By Arielle Bodine

The essential creative experience

The essential creative experience

Laurie Myers leads students of all majors on a creative journey that combines artistic expression with digital technology in her Exploring Digital Art class. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Each week when Laurie Myers steps into her Castleman Hall classroom to teach Art 3001, she is more than a lecturer. She is a guide for students exploring digital art, problem-solving and professional development. [Read more…]

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