CMU students show off skills

Scholars from various departments put knowledge on display

Sean Bizer, right, and Dane Dulaney, right are part of a team of engineering students which built a Kinetic Wave sculpture for the project at the Student Showcase ar Colorado Mesa University.

Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College students showed off nearly 200 class projects and papers across campus Friday afternoon at the fourth-annual Student Showcase.

The showcase is a chance for students from various departments to share what they’ve learned this year. Joseph Shero, a soon-to-be graduate of WCCC’s two-year culinary arts program, showed off a variety of cold food courses. Each dish was prepared over the last two weeks to maximize taste, appearance and durability while on display for hours at a time.

Shero was part of the group of WCCC culinary arts students who won five silver medals at a cold food competition in January. The array of food was his final for a cold foods class.

“I probably spent 25 to 35 hours on this last week,” he said.

Pre-mechanical engineering first-year students Ryan Ashley, Jonathon Stelling, Robert VanRoosendaal and Tyler Woodman and sophomore Christopher Buck spent much of the last three months working on their project, a wheelchair designed for off-road use.

They designed and welded the pieces themselves. The chair has a back wheel to create balance when the user wants to go uphill in the chair and two levers on either side of the front of the chair to give it power on grass, trails and other terrain that can be trickier to maneuver than cement.

“It’s not ready to donate so the engineering department will probably keep it so future students can work on it,” VanRoosendaal said.

Registered nursing students Brandee Forster, Kelli Hawks, Nicole Krauss and Beth Linderborg focused on issues of mental health and suicide prevention in their display. Their project looked into mental health nurse liaisons, who are used in Australia to track people with mental illness from emergency room to hospital to mental health hospital to home after they attempt suicide.

“There’s nothing like this in the U.S.,” Linderborg said. “We’re given some tools but there is no standard of continuity of care.”

Chemistry student Zachary Vincent, a CMU junior, hopes to go into the medical field someday. But at this year’s showcase, he shared a project about beer.

Vincent took local beers from Kannah Creek Brewing Co. and Rockslide Brewery and measured their concentration of iso-alpha acids: tiny, hard-to-measure derivatives of hops that contribute to the bitterness of beer. Vincent said his project may help breweries better predict the bitterness of their beers before a batch is made.

“They (breweries) know the amount of hops that go into a beer and we can tell them the concentration of acids,” he said. “Usually their guess (for acid content) is higher than it really is, so this helps increase efficiency.”


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