The iceman cometh

Ryan Priesmeyer, an incoming freshman at Missouri S&T, owns and operates the Tropical Sno on 10th Street in Rolla.            Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Ryan Priesmeyer, an incoming freshman at Missouri S&T, owns and operates the Tropical Sno on 10th Street in Rolla.

On a sweltering summer afternoon, a mother of three pulls in to a parking space parallel to the Tropical Sno stand at the corner of 10th Street and Forum Drive in Rolla. Ryan Priesmeyer is leaning out of the front window to greet her and her children with a smile. A tow-headed boy with red cheeks is crying uncontrollably. A brown-eyed girl with pointy pigtails is tugging at her mother’s shirt and a tall, thin teenaged boy is mostly removed from the situation.

“How can I help you?” Priesmeyer asks, then takes the woman’s order.

Soon, cups piled high with brightly tinted ice shavings are passed through the window. The crying dies down; the tugging stops; and the teenaged boy smiles.

This is a scene that Priesmeyer has repeated time and time again this past summer as manager and owner of Tropical Sno.

The Rolla High School graduate recently bought the stand outright from previous owner Dr. Judd Boehme, a Rolla dentist who moved out of state. Priesmeyer expects it to help pay his tuition at Missouri S&T, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering this fall.

“It’s going to put me through college, which I’m really happy about,” he says.

When Boehme announced that he and his family were moving to Nevada to be closer to family, he gave first dibs on the sale to Priesmeyer, who took over the stand in April — two months shy of high school graduation.

Priesmeyer is confident he can balance college classes and schoolwork with running the stand, which usually stays open through September. “I like to stay busy,” he adds.

2015_priesmeyer_ryan_discover_secondaryPriesmeyer met Boehme through a friend who worked at Tropical Sno. Boehme asked Priesmeyer to manage the shack while he was out of town and was impressed with his work. Their friendship and trust grew from there.

“It was an amazing friendship that we built,” Priesmeyer says.

Boehme showed Priesmeyer how to manage the money for the business, place orders and make snow cones.

“I’d be over at their house late making snow cones,” Priesmeyer says. “I learned how to make the flavors and how to order from Tropical Sno. All the little things you think of behind the scenes.”

Priesmeyer says the transition from managing the stand to owning it was seamless.

“I already knew what I was doing whenever I fully took over,” he says, adding that he feels good about owning a business at such a young age.

“I know that sounds really arrogant, but I’m a business owner.”

He’s also happy to be keeping a Rolla landmark in town.

“I’m glad the shack is staying in Rolla because it’s a Rolla thing,” he says. “This stand has been here most of my life. It’s like a tradition for me.

“As a kid, I never thought I would own it. I went there all the time,” he says. “The fact that I own it now is awesome.”

Story by Greg Katski
Photos by Sam O’Keefe

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

Mr. Fixit

Thanks to Dan Fuhrmann, Missouri S&T students can make bicycle repairs right outside the library.

Thanks to Dan Fuhrmann, Missouri S&T students can make bicycle repairs right outside the library. Photo by Sam O’Keefe.

Cyclist Dan Fuhrmann, owner of Route 66 Bicycles in Rolla and a 1999 mechanical engineering graduate of Missouri S&T, wants to make S&T the model of a bicycle-friendly campus. To help make things easier for campus cyclists, Fuhrmann donated a Dero Fixit stand, an ADA-compliant bicycle-repair station. It was installed outside Curtis Laws Wilson Library last fall. [Read more…]

Where learning meets experience

Andrea Wolfe is putting her education to work this summer as part of Boeing’s Test & Evaluation Team. Photo courtesy of The Boeing Co.

Andrea Wolfe, a senior from Waterloo, Illinois, is spending the summer at Boeing. Photo courtesy of The Boeing Co.

Andrea Wolfe from Waterloo, Illinois, is putting her education to work this summer as part of Boeing’s Test & Evaluation Team. It’s the third opportunity she’s had to gain real-world work experience while she’s still a Missouri S&T student.

[Read more…]

Printing the future

Jonathan Bopp, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Kirkwood, Mo., is a second-year member of the Mars Rover Design Team. Photos by Sam O'Keefe.

Jonathan Bopp, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Kirkwood, Mo., used his 3-D printer to create parts for the Mars Rover’s robotic arm. Photos by Sam O’Keefe.

Jonathan Bopp, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Kirkwood, Mo., is the epitome of a team player. A second-year member of the Mars Rover Design Team, Bopp spends nearly every spare hour he has in the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center working to perfect the next Mars Rover.

[Read more…]

Going the extra mile

Marisa Zelip is a senior in mechanical engineering from Belleville, Ill. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Marisa Zelip is a senior in mechanical engineering from Belleville, Ill. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Marisa Zelip is always willing to head out on a new adventure. Whether she’s taking an out-of-state road trip to see a college football game, or hopping a flight to a place she’s never been to before, Zelip seems to keep her suitcases ready to go.

[Read more…]

Family man

Jon Silberhorn II and his wife Hollie, with children (from left) Hope, Noel, Michael and Jonathan. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Jon Silberhorn II and his wife, Hollie, and their children. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Jon Silberhorn II is usually up before the sun. Every day, he says goodbye to his wife and four young children to be on the Missouri S&T campus early for his 8 a.m. lectures. But he’s not teaching the classes. He is taking them.

[Read more…]

Engineering alpha

From left to right: Zach Vincent, Sebastian Klesing and Kaelyn Lundry drop a marble into a device they designed and built for an Intro to Engineering Design class. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

From left to right: Zach Vincent, Sebastian Klesing and Kaelyn Lundry drop a marble into a device they designed and built for an Intro to Engineering Design class. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Watch the video:

Missouri S&T’s engineering students can change the shape of the local economy. In the fall of 2013, Rolla residents were hard-pressed to find a glass marble for sale within a five-mile radius of S&T. Yes, budding engineers had bought a city out of marbles. The children’s toy was an important component in last semester’s IDE 20 design project.

[Read more…]

Seth Burgett: His buds are for you

Photo of Seth Burgett courtesy of yurbuds.

Photo of Seth Burgett courtesy of yurbuds.

Six-hour workouts can take a toll on the fittest of athletes. But when Seth Burgett, a 1994 mechanical engineering graduate, was training for a triathlon in 2007, it wasn’t his legs or back that caused him the most pain.

[Read more…]

Why not be a rocket scientist?

Graduate student Anan Takroori enjoys teaching kids about science and technology. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Graduate student Anan Takroori enjoys building planes, rockets and satellites. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Anan Takroori appears in a video about S&T’s summer camps:

Seven years ago, Anan Takroori left his home in Palestine with his eyes set on earning an aerospace engineering degree. He landed at St. Louis Community College for a few years before transferring to Missouri S&T in 2010.

[Read more…]

Defying gravity

2013_miners_space_discover_image

Pictured from left: Jon Hilsher, a senior in mechanical engineering from Maryland Heights, Mo., and Peter Carnesciali and Kevin King, who are quoted in the story below. Photo and video courtesy of NASA

Miners in Space team members were flying high this past summer during a weeklong trip to Houston that included flights aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder aircraft, part of the agency’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program.

[Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: