CMU students put innovation on display at annual showcase

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—The Daily Sentinel Nick Teal operates a robotic arm, using it to pick up a rubber cow — the Maverick mascot for the university — during the third annual Student Showcase of work by students at Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College.


Student Showcase results

The winners at the third annual Colorado Mesa University Student Showcase are:


“Small Engine Dual Fuel Conversion (CNG & Gasoline)” by Derek Dodson, Frank Livingston, Greg Pierson.



“Animation: Persistence of Vision” by Melanie Butler, Candys Betsworth, Kendra Meder.



Track 1: “Figures in Sylvia Plath’s Poem ‘Daddy’” by Katrina Adams.

Track 2: “The Shadow of Irma Grese: The SS-Aufseherinnen as a Reflection of Social Memory and the Banality of Evil” by Robert Archer.

Track 3: “Eager for Education: Factors Affecting Academic Performance” by Caitlin Westerson.



Track 1: “Automated Resident Protection System” by Emily Harbert, Cora Charneskey, Eric Wilcox, Marshall Sweatt.

Track 2: “Sperner’s Lemma and the Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem: Real World Applications” by Caitlin Anderegg.

Track 3: “Game Theory” by Brandon Gregg.



Track 1: “Fluid Dispensing Linear Gantry” by Zachary Black, Pace Bates, Aaron Clymer.

Track 2: “Coefficient of Restitution for Golf Equipment” by Jesse Brewer, Tim Johnson.



Track 1: “Pendulum Wave” by Mark Barlow, Kenneth Klein, Benjamin Blandina, Adam Degemann, Vail Hall.

Track 2: “Hydrogen Fuel Cell: Energy of the Future” by Victoria Chavez, Dylan Ashby, Chris Walters, Cody Warfield, Daniel Winegardner.



Track 1A: “The Entertainment Industry: A Financial Overview of the ‘Big’ Players” by Melissa Asay, Amber Harrington, Ashley Wiseman.

Track 1B: “Game Your Way to the Top: A Virtual Experience for Entry Level Position” by Steven Nolan.

Track 1C: “Hedonic Model for House Prices in Montrose, Colorado” by Sydney Jensen.

Track 2A: “Effect of Regularly Scheduled Oral Care on the Occurence of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia in Non-Mechanically Ventilated Adults” by Amanda Haire, Mary Pierik.

Track 2B: “Evidence-Based Practice in the Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers” by Naomi Sikora, Shonda Cook, Tashi Lewis, Rebekah Wilson.

Track 2C: “Obesity and Nursing Safety” by Authumn Ransom, Anna Rehl, Edna Wellman.

Track 3: “Pre-Cooling Effect on Run to Exhaustion” by Kohl Marconnet.



Track 1: “Investigation Into the Mechanism by Which Green Tea Catechins Affect” by April Ilacqua

Track 2: “Proposed Kokopelli Extension of the Riverfront Trail” by Melani Jensen

Track 3: “Laramide-Age Structures of the Northern Colorado National Monument-Fruita Area of the Uncompahgre Plateau, Western Colorado” by Alexander Asay, Michael Dunlop, Jennifer Graham, Benjamin Haveman, Tyrell Kipp, Roderick Maclean, Max Schultz, Aaron Tofsrud, William Walsh.

More than 340 students showed off research papers, projects and posters featuring topics they delved into this semester at the third annual Student Showcase at Colorado Mesa University on Wednesday.

CMU and Western Colorado Community College students presented 141 projects around campus Wednesday afternoon. Local professionals picked favorites in various majors.

Chris Walters, a 26-year-old freshman in the Colorado Mesa/University of Colorado mechanical engineering program, won top place with four teammates in the first-year mechanical engineering design category. He and classmates Victoria Chavez, Dylan Ashby, Cody Warfield and Daniel Winegardner designed and created a hydrogen fuel cell that can launch a rocket, or, as one team member found out using his own vehicle as a test subject, give a Jeep 30 percent better fuel economy.

Walters said the fuel cell consists of a plexiglass reservoir filled with water and metal plates and tubing that help separate hydrogen and oxygen cells and send the hydrogen and oxygen gas through a tube to a rocket launcher. The project gave him inspiration for a career, he said.

“I knew I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, but I didn’t know what kind. This project has taught me maybe alternative energy is the way to go,” Walters said.

Aron Smalec, 24, also said his showcase project inspired him about a career. He worked on a computer-based training and quizzing program for police academy students. Smalec, a senior computer-science major, said he wants to create educational software and continue to fine-tune the quizzing program, called Academy Ace, after he graduates.

“I think this is a foot in the door,” Smalec said. “I want to do some user testing and get some feedback.”

Amber Harrington, a 23-year-old senior finance major, said working on a showcase project with two classmates this semester taught her to value teamwork and time management.

Harrington, Ashley Wiseman and Melissa Asay studied three entertainment industry titans, Disney, Viacom and MGM Grand, and learned about their stocks, profits and other business statistics.

“I want to do what we did here and be a professional financial analyst” after graduation, Harrington said.

A list of winners from the showcase is available online at


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