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…]

Celebrating ‘110010’ years of computer science

Missouri S&T Computer Science Golden JubileeThe first computer on the Missouri S&T campus — a Librascope General Precision, or LGP-30 — was about the size of two desks. Its memory was nonexistent. It retailed for $47,000, or about $400,000 in today’s dollars.

It was worth the price, too. That first computer sowed the seeds of the computer science program at Missouri S&T, the first of its kind in Missouri and a national leader in the field.

To celebrate, Missouri S&T is kicking off a Golden Jubilee celebration marking 50 years (or 110010 years in binary code) of its computer science degree program, says Pam Leitterman, who earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the university in 1975 and is president of the Academy of Computer Science. The celebration will last through the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. [Read more…]

Racing to the sun

Letha Young, a lieutenant with the Missouri S&T police department and advisor to the university’s Solar Car Design Team, poses with the team’s car.

Letha Young, a lieutenant with the Missouri S&T police department and advisor to the Solar Car Design Team, poses with the team’s car. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Missouri S&T’s Solar Car Team will line up on Sunday, July 26, to compete against 16 other teams at the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2015 in Austin, Texas. Letha Young will make sure the students get there safe and sound.

Young, a lieutenant on the police force at S&T, has traveled with the Solar Car Team to competitions since 2008. With a team-made badge designating her “Team Mom/Advisor,” she helps the team stay organized and fed and makes sure members follow all safety procedures.

“In 2008, I was on evening shift and would stop in to the student design area (a metal building that was located on a section of the present-day Havener Center parking lot) and check out how they were doing,” says Young. “The team members asked me to help them out with the competition and I said sure. I have been going ever since, because that is why I am here, for the students.”

Young has a strong dedication to the team and its students. She uses her vacation time from work to travel with the team and frequently checks in with team members. In 2013, she was formally named a staff advisor to the team, which now operates out of the Kummer Student Design Center.

Besides stopping by the design center on her weekend shifts and making sure the team is on track with its build, Young serves in various other roles. First aid, radio operations and driving a scout car in front of the solar car caravan to protect it on long-distance drives are a given, but the job also comes with some unexpected duties.

“One of the duties of the scout car is to clear the road of debris, so whenever there is something in the road or on the shoulder, a student team member in my passenger seat would have to hop out and move it,” says Young. “I had what the team calls the ‘Shovel of Death’ in my family van during one practice drive and along with it comes the smell. They use it to clear roadkill away from the car’s path.”

But there are benefits to being with the team as well. Young says one of her favorite memories with the team was during the American Solar Challenge in 2010. After finishing the 665-mile race, the team ran along with the car as it crossed the line to finish fifth. Young was there with the team crossing as well, but behind them picking up dropped hats and lost flip-flops. “Because I’m the mom,” she says.

“I am excited to go with the team this month and am really looking forward to it,” Young says. “I already have the first dinner planned – I will barbecue.”

By Peter Ehrhard

CACAARR celebrates 30th anniversary

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George Holmes (left), a senior in mechanical engineering, and Marquia Lewis (right), a junior in computer science, student representatives on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention (CACAARR), talk with Shenethia Manuel, vice chancellor of human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri S&T and the chancellor’s liaison to the committee, about the success of CACAARR. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Earlier this month, we sat down with Shenethia Manuel, vice chancellor of human resources, equity and inclusion at Missouri S&T, to talk about the growth, success and future of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on African American Recruitment and Retention (CACAARR) as the committee celebrates its 30th anniversary. Manuel serves on the committee as the chancellor’s liaison.

S&T: CACAARR is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Why was this group formed?

Manuel: This committee was formed when members of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and their key advisors met with the chancellor at the time to express concerns about recruitment and retention programs for African American students at the university.

S&T: Why is it important to have a committee like this?

Manuel: In general, African American students at predominantly white universities have had lower retention rates. When you walk around campus and can’t find others who look like you, who have shared backgrounds, it can be very isolating. It’s important for our university community to do what we can to make our campus a welcoming environment for all individuals.

S&T: What about recruitment, the other “r” in CACAARR?

Manuel: Recruitment and retention go hand in hand. As you increase the number of African American students on campus, retention becomes easier because the culture of the university itself is changing. We’ve been able to make great strides in the number of African American students over the years by stepping up our recruiting in African American communities and establishing articulation or transfer agreements with colleges and universities that have historically attracted African Americans.

S&T: So, it’s been 30 years. Why is it still important to have a committee like this?

Manuel: Because we still have a long way to go! Our goal is for the demographics of this campus to mirror that of our state and nation. Plus, it’s vitally important to focus on diversity and to welcome and support African Americans and other underrepresented minority groups and women, because it’s of the utmost importance to our corporate partners. They expect that we will have diverse students and graduates — diverse in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, where they’re from, what they studied, and so on.

S&T: What is Missouri S&T doing to change those trends?

Manuel: We’re doing lots of things, from adopting diversity and inclusion as a core, shared value of this university to encouraging African American alumni to come back and mentor students today. Over the years, the committee has also provided scholarships for African American students.

S&T: Of the 17 members of the advisory committee, the vast majority — 14 — are alumni. What motivates them to remain engaged with their alma mater?

Manuel: I think it is a love of the institution and the students, and a recognition of the opportunities that opened up to them as a result of the education they received here. It’s a way to give back and pay it forward.

By Liz McCune

See a full list of Black History Month events at Missouri S&T.

Top 10 things you missed this summer

The new Ph.D. in explosives engineering wasn’t the only new offering to explode onto the Missouri S&T campus over the summer. The campus erupted with young students in summer camps, teachers came for Project Lead The Way instruction, and a new walkway is being constructed next to the Havener Center. Here are a few of the things you missed over the summer:

Turf installation

Artificial turf at Missouri S&T
Construction crews installed the artificial turf at Allgood-Bailey Stadium the first week of August. The Miners play their first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 20. Crews also began installing turf on the intramural field this summer. The fields are striped for both soccer and football. [Read more…]

Intramurals: it’s everybody’s game

Nick White (right) and Justin Raymer run Missouri S&T’s intramurals program. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Nick White (right) and Justin Raymer run Missouri S&T’s intramurals program. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Missouri S&T’s intramurals program offers a wide array of competitive sports, including (okay, take a deep breath) badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling, cross country, darts, disc golf, dodge ball, flag football, golf, inner tube water polo, kickball, Madden Xbox, racquetball (time for another breath), soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, track and field, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, washers and weightlifting.

[Read more…]

40 years of public radio history

Wayne Bledsoe, longtime host of “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night” and general manager of KMST, is helping the station celebrate 40 years on the air waves. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Wayne Bledsoe, longtime host of “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night” and general manager of KMST, is helping the station celebrate 40 years on the air waves. Photo by B.A. Rupert

On Aug. 1, 1973, “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night” introduced area radio listeners to what would become an institution in public radio. Since then, KMST has broadcast an eclectic mix of music and NPR news and garnered a worldwide following.

  • KMST, then known as KUMR, celebrated its first decade on the air in the 1980s. Pictured above on the back row are Scott Dowd, Jim Sigler, Wayne Bledsoe, Lee Buhr and Norm Movitz. Pictured on the front row are Chuck Knapp, Kelly Hughe and Joyce Jella. Three of these staffers – Bledsoe, Movitz and Knapp – still work at the station.

    KMST, then known as KUMR, celebrated its first decade on the air in the 1980s. Pictured above on the back row are Scott Dowd, Jim Sigler, Wayne Bledsoe, Lee Buhr and Norm Movitz. Pictured on the front row are Chuck Knapp, Kelly Hughes and Joyce Jella. Three of these staffers – Bledsoe, Movitz and Knapp – still work at the station.

  • During membership drives, on-air staff work to raise money for the station and build the station’s membership – and they have fun doing it, as Wayne Bledsoe (at the microphone) and Lee Buhr demonstrate.

    During membership drives, on-air staff work to raise money for the station and build the station’s membership – and they have fun doing it, as Wayne Bledsoe (at the microphone) and Lee Buhr demonstrate.

[Read more…]

Fireworks safety

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Paul Worsey instructs campers on fireworks safety. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Watch the video: 


Paul Worsey is an explosives expert. He’s been known to blow up watermelons and other objects for fun, but, as a professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T, he also teaches students about the science behind creating various explosions.
[Read more…]

Tonya Huskey: ‘A perfect fit’

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Tonya Huskey recently completed her MBA at S&T. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Tonya Huskey has always been interested in lifelong learning, so working in continuing education at Missouri S&T was a great career fit. The opportunity to pursue her MBA from S&T, however, was “the perfect fit for me,” she says.

[Read more…]

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