8 May

Recent WVU Tech graduates Rami Shamout, Megan Chestnut, Raul Martin Valencia and Rachel Facemire got a chance to showcase their civil engineering knowledge on Friday, May 2 as they presented their final project for the Integrated Civil Engineering Design course.

The group focused on the “rebuild” in WVU Tech’s mission to recruit, retain and rebuild. To accommodate an increase in freshman students – Fall 2013 saw the biggest freshman enrollment increase at WVU Tech in a decade – they designed a new residence hall for their senior project. They named the building in their project Keely Hall, after Montgomery Preparatory School’s first principal, Josiah Keely.

“We’re proud to be golden bears,” said Martin Valencia. “We had a lot of options for projects, but we wanted to work on something that would benefit WVU Tech, something we could give back in return for what WVU Tech has given to us.”

Greg Bailey, the course’s instructor and acting State Highway Engineer at the West Virginia Division of Highways, said the class is an opportunity for students to build a project from the ground up. Students work as a team and every course assignment and technical paper is a part of the overall design project.

“The course challenges students to see a conceptual design project through from start to finish,” he said. “It provides practical experience and allows them to interact with actual clients and professionals in the industry.”

In order to create a comprehensive plan for Keely Hall, the group had to consider factors such as site placement, slope integrity, water runoff and even how the proposed construction would impact soil pressure. Group members tackled these issues individually, conducting land surveys, measuring soil distribution curves and seepage factors, designing a low-impact foundation for the building and mapping the flow of water to and from the site.

The data was earned in long hours and muddy boots.

“We learned that the idea that engineers just sit in an office crunching numbers all day is a myth,” said Facemire.

The group worked closely with WVU Tech facilities to go over blueprints and schematics of current infrastructure in the area. To find out which amenities students would prefer in a new residence hall, they conducted a student survey.

Using their hard-won research and feedback from students, the group created a 3D model and blueprints of the proposed facility. The 261-foot long, 69-foot wide building would house 188 students and include a fitness area, resident director’s apartment, study and conference rooms, student storage and activity rooms where students could play games and hang out.

The group is hopeful that their project is a good starting point as WVU Tech expands.

“These students have put together something they can use as they go out into the workforce,” said Bailey. “It’s really impressive work, something on par with what you would expect to see from a team of professional engineers.”

[Photo: WVU Tech graduates (from left to right) Rami Shamout, Megan Chestnut, Rachel Facemire and Raul Martin Valencia gather after the 115th WVU Tech commencement ceremony on May 3, 2014.]

5 May

On Saturday, May 3, 2014, WVU Tech honored nearly 200 graduates at the 115th commencement ceremony at the Neal D. Baisi Athletic Center.

During the ceremony, graduates heard from a variety of speakers including WVU President E. Gordon Gee and WVU Tech President Carolyn Long, who offered presidential remarks.

“I know the words ‘infinite possibilities’ mean something special on this campus. Those words are especially fitting today because every commencement ceremony is a celebration of infinite possibilities,” said President Gee.

President Long encouraged graduates to become lifelong learners and shared, “You are WVU Tech’s bright and shining stars. You will be a representative of this great institution wherever you go.”

Student Government Association President Amy Haddix addressed the graduates, “You are composed of many different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. Yet, one thing unites you – WVU Tech – the school many of you have called home for years. WVU Tech has prepared you with the knowledge to go out and face the world, to not just challenge it, but to improve it.”

“With the right amount of hard work and a lot of luck, it is not an overstatement to say that you have the potential to change the world,” said commencement speaker Mr. James Estep, President and Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium.

Graduates Shae Shamblen and Daniel Eisenberg were recognized with Presidential Leadership Awards – the university’s most prestigious academic honor – while the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Major of the Year Award went to graduate Shaina Galinsky.

More than 500 guests attended the ceremony, including Golden Alumni from the class of 1964.

Check out the WVU Tech YouTube channel to see video of Saturday’s Commencement Ceremony or WVU Tech’s Flickr page for photos from the day’s event.

1 May

On Tuesday, April 29, hundreds of WVU Tech students took a break from studying for the last few days of final exams to stop by the Bears Den for this semester’s Top Chefs of Tech late-night breakfast.

Visitors enjoyed made-to-order omelets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit and other breakfast staples prepared by WVU tech staff, faculty and administration, including WVU Tech President Carolyn Long.

“This is my favorite event of the year,” said David Templeton of WVU Tech Dining Services. “The student response was outstanding and everyone had a great time.”

All told, nearly 300 students dropped in for the meal, which ran from 9-11 p.m.

Check out WVU Tech’s Flickr page to see more photos.

28 Apr

Tech's Got Talent, and It Shows

Zachary | April 28th, 2014

On Thursday, April 24, WVU Tech students, faculty and staff gathered in the Conley Hall Theater to watch student acts share their love for the performing arts at Tech’s Got Talent.

Organized by WVU Tech resident assistants Haley Pauley and Dan Eisenberg, the contest featured 12 acts including instrumental and vocal performances, salsa dancing, inspirational poetry and a cover of an Epic Rap Battle of History, a popular YouTube video series pitting famous figures against one another in rap battles.

“I’m proud that Dan and I were able to help make this show happen. It’s a fun event for students, faculty and staff to come out and enjoy,” said Pauley.

WVU Tech President Carolyn Long, Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli, and Associate Dean of Students Dr. Amy Cotner-Klingler served on the panel of judges for the show.

“It’s no secret that our students are talented – they showcase their academic talents in the classroom every day,” said President Long. “The talent show was an excellent opportunity to see our students share more of their gifts.”

Jackie Galloway took top honors of the night for his saxophone rendition of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Jaymee Hannan came in second with her cover of “A Drop in the Ocean” by Ron Pope while Scotty Stone and Cameron Waterbury’s guitar cover of Lorde’s “Royals” rounded out the top three.

“We had 12 great acts and a high audience turnout,” said Eisenberg. “Thanks to President Long, Dean Carpinelli and Associate Dean Cotner-Klingler for serving as our judges and being a part of a successful, talent-filled night.”

Head over to Flickr to see more photos from Tech’s Got Talent.

28 Apr

Since 1998, the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences has recognized those students who excel both in and out of the classroom at the annual STEM Awards banquet. Now in its 17th year, the ceremony honored more than 30 dedicated students on Thursday, April 24 in the Tech Center Ballroom.

During the banquet, students from each of the college’s nine departments are recognized for their outstanding academic performance or their active participation in students groups and other activities.

“Every year I look forward to the awards banquet. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the exceptional work of students in their studies and in their service to the institution,” said Dr. Paul Steranka, associate dean and professor at the college.

In addition to the student awards, three Hazelton/Mellow Endowed Scholarships were awarded to WVU Tech students Wesley Cunningham, Jordan Lewis and Harrison Martin.

Check out photos from the banquet on the WVU Tech Flickr page.

WVU Tech would like to congratulate this year’s honorees:

Ashley Westfall – Outstanding Information Systems Student
Joshua Sizemore – Outstanding Information Systems Student

Joshua Keiffer – Outstanding Computer Science Student
Kiarash Tirandazi – Outstanding Computer Science Student

Lauren Caldwell – Outstanding Senior Math Student
Branden Frazier – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Dustin Sauriol – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Kyle Diem – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Loren Jackson Fox – Outstanding Freshman Math Student

Juan Suarez Trujillo – Outstanding Academic Achievement
Branden Frazier – Outstanding Academic Achievement
Kaylah Bovard – Outstanding Academic Performance and Her Contribution to the Mini Baja Buggy Project
Derek Burdette – Outstanding Academic Achievement and His Leadership role in the Pi Tau Sigma, Mechanical Engineering Honorary Society
Thy Dinh – For his Dedication to NASA SPACE CLUB Activities and Outreach
Walter Engels – For his Achievement in Publishing/Presenting His Paper at the ASEE Conference & Receiving Third Place for Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award

Shae Shamblen – AIChE Outstanding Senior

Daniel Hull – Outstanding Civil Engineering Technology Student
James Ferrell – Outstanding Electronics Engineering Technology Student
Bradley Ponchak – Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Technology Student
Jorge Zapata – Outstanding Industrial Technology Student

Jacob Riggins – Academic Achievement Award in Chemistry

Michala Dean – Academic Excellence Award in Biology
Brittini Lilly – Outstanding Service Award in Biology
Jonathan Eske – Senior Academic Excellence Award in Biology

Brandon Cole – Outstanding Computer Engineering Student Award
Dustin Sauriol – Outstanding Computer Engineering Student Award

Drew Fields – Outstanding Electrical Engineering Student Award
Amber Toney – Outstanding Service Award

Jacob Harper – Bryan Bills Award
Kyle Diem – Outstanding Civil Engineering Junior Award
Rachel Facemire – Outstanding Civil Engineering Senior Award
James Ramsey – Outstanding Civil Engineering Sophomore

24 Apr

In early April, WVU Tech students made the trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to compete at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2014 Virginias Student Conference.

The WVU Tech steel bridge team finished third overall and placed first in the lightness category. The 6-member team constructed their bridge in 22 minutes and 48 seconds and WVU Tech’s entry was one of only three bridges to pass the post-construction load test. The team plans to set up the winning bridge in the engineering building.

“Everybody worked hard and proved that we are able to compete with bigger schools. It’s a good feeling to be able to compete at that level and know that your work stands for itself,” said WVU Tech’s steel bridge team captain, Jacob Harper.

WVU Tech’s survey team placed second in the surveying competition, competing against six other schools. Armed only with a surveying rod, total station, calculator and paper and pencil, the team conducted a timed survey off a single given point. Judges determined winners based on measurement accuracy.

“Placing in this competition shows how WVU Tech’s Civil Engineering program is preparing its students for future careers,” said WVU Tech survey team member, Rachel Facemire. “I would also encourage any student, no matter what their major, to join the ASCE program.”

For more information, check out Golden Bears Set to Compete in the ASCE 2014 Virginias Conference.

23 Apr

WVU Tech NSLS Welcomes New Leaders

Zachary | April 23rd, 2014

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) operates with the motto, “We build leaders who make a better world.” On Monday, April 21, the organization got a new set of building blocks as 17 WVU Tech student leaders were inducted into the society.

Founded in 2001, NSLS maintains more than 350,000 members in 417 colleges across the nation. The society promotes student leadership with a focus on team-building, community involvement, goal attainment and effective communications skills. The new induction brings the WVU Tech chapter, established in 2012, to 184 members.

WVU Tech NSLS members are active on the campus, hosting trivia nights, mixers, campus movie marathons and bake sales. Society members have read to seniors in a local nursing program and spent time with special needs children at a local elementary school.

“We are dedicated to community service and academic integrity and we’re excited to welcome new students who want to be a part of that,” said Dr. Martha Maus, WVU Tech’s NSLS Campus Advisor.

Simply becoming a NSLS member is part of the society’s leadership training. In addition to maintaining a 3.0 GPA, new members are required to fulfill eight tasks before induction into the society, including orientation, a leadership training day, three success networking team sessions and three live speaker broadcasts.

The process provides students with a look at what to expect from membership and asks them to identify their passions and goals. The live speaker broadcasts offer students a chance to hear from successful leaders such as Mad Money’s Jim Cramer or Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes.

The success networking team sessions put students in small groups as they identify specific goals and create a plan to achieve those goals. Team members provide support to one another as they strive for anything from getting a better grade on an exam to doing well at an upcoming interview.

Monday’s induction ceremony was the culmination of that work for 17 dedicated Golden Bears, and WVU Tech congratulates them on their commitment to success.

For more information about the NSLS, visit www.societyleadership.org, and check out the WVU Tech NSLS Facebook and Twitter pages.

23 Apr

On Tuesday, April 22, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) soccer players teamed up with the YMCA of Southern West Virginia recreational soccer league for a one-day soccer mini-camp at the Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex in Beckley, West Virginia.

In all, 18 WVU Tech student-athletes worked with more than 250 YMCA players between the ages of 8 and 12 as they ran drills and played games on six of the complex’s eight full-size fields. The WVU Tech soccer players also provided helpful tips to the league’s volunteer coaches.

The YMCA’s recreational soccer season kicked off in early April and runs until mid-June, giving young players a chance to play in a friendly and cooperative environment.

“It’s an instructional league designed to teach kids the basics of the game. It provides a strong foundation to build on,” said Jason Logan, Assistant Program Director at the YMCA of Southern West Virginia.

WVU Tech’s soccer players saw the event as a valuable chance to share their passion with the community.

“Being able to coach young players was a great opportunity. Practicing with them and seeing how much fun they have makes me remember how much fun I have playing soccer and why I love it so much,” said WVU Tech women’s soccer player, Sydney Schaeffer.

“Our players look forward to getting out on the field and sharing the skills they have worked so hard to perfect,” said WVU Tech women’s soccer coach, Stephanie Kot. “It’s a great way to connect with the fundamentals that got them excited about the sport in the first place.”

For the YMCA of Southern West Virginia, the event is about getting the public involved.

“We’re very excited to partner with WVU Tech,” said Logan. “We’re always looking for ways to incorporate the community in our activities and this is one way to do that. The kids love these events and will remember it for the rest of their lives.”

23 Apr

WVU Tech Nursing Alumna Lt. Erica Hanshew was featured in a top story for military news outlet U.S. Air Forces Central Command regarding her work with the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. The article shares how the Squadron is critical for the service members and Coalition forces around Afghanistan. Read the full story from the U.S. Air Forces Central Command below.

US Air Force 1st Lt Erica Hanshew

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Erica Hanshew, Lt. Col. Barb Marshall and Tech. Sgt. Troy Baker of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, look at the medical info for a patient about to be loaded at Herat, Afghanistan, April 3, 2014. The three are part of a team deployed to Bagram from the West Virginia Air National Guard.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn/Released)

Air Evac mission critical for patients in Afghanistan
by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn

4/13/2014 – BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —When Service members and Coalition forces around Afghanistan get injured or fall ill, they sometimes require air transport to a higher level of medical care than is available at their location.

That’s when they rely on the men and women of the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron out of Bagram Airfield to transport them.

“We’re here when they get hurt, we offer a smiling face, we provide them comfort, we get them safely to a higher level of care and ultimately get them home,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Erica Hanshew, an Intensive Care nurse deployed from the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at the 130th Airlift Wing. Hanshew began her military career as an Army medic before becoming a nurse and transferring to the Air Force.

A typical AE team consists of five personnel: two nurses and three medical technicians. The medical technicians are certified to provide care up to an intensive Care level. The nurses assess vitals and consult with the medical personnel that provided initial care, establishing baselines while on the ground, and then monitor for changes during the flight, adjusting care and administering medications as needed for routine, urgent and priority patients that need to be transported in a certain amount of time.

Oftentimes this means that missions are changed at the last minute to divert to a patient needing more immediate transport.

“Sometimes the mission doesn’t go the way we originally expected, so we make adjustments and do what we need to do to take care of our patients,” said Maj. Jacob Lin, a Critical Care Air Transport Team physician deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

To transport the patients, the team loads airworthy medical equipment and configures a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. They outfit it with a system to support patient litters, and then load frequency converters, oxygen, respirators, monitors, medications, bandages and patient comfort items allowing them to perform a wide range of critical intervention in-flight.

“Basically, if you can ask ‘What if?’, we bring something to cover it so that we can interdict that problem in flight,” said Capt. Jason Melvin, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The CCATT works in concert with the Aeromedical Evacuation team, supporting the more critically injured patients. Many times those patients are intubated or on respirators, requiring the skills of a specialized respiratory therapist, who manages the respirator and monitors blood gas levels. The CCATT team members undergo rigorous training, followed by a training period at the University of Cincinnati hospital where they undergo intensive and simulated scenarios to validate their skills and are judged by their peers. They also undergo recertification every two years or before every deployment.

“They ultimately decide if you’re good enough to go out on missions and treat our heroes,” said Melvin.

Lt. Col. Barb Marshall is a flight nurse who heads an AE team. She came into the Air Force as a nurse, and then returned to school to become a nurse practitioner. She is currently working at the Veterans Administration hospital in Huntington, W. Va., when not actively engaged with the West Virginia Air Guard.

“Taking care of the ill and wounded warriors is priority #1 here. These guys and gals are so concerned about their buddies; they don’t want to give up the fight. It’s all about perspective; they’re out in the battles together,” said Marshall.

The teams spend a lot of time preparing and training, knowing that every mission can be critical to saving lives. If the AE team can get to a patient and transport them back to Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram, those patients have a 99.5% survival rate.

“When you’re sick or hurt, all you want to do is get home. The men and women on the ground know that we can get them out, and that helps a lot,” said Tech. Sgt. Troy Baker, a medical technician from the 167th AES on his fourth deployment.

In addition to service members, the AE teams are sometimes called upon to provide transport to others as well. They recently evacuated a media reporter in Afghanistan to cover their national elections who was shot by an Afghan police officer. They were able to return her to a higher level care hospital, then ultimately to Germany where she was able to be returned to her home country for continuing care.

They also were able to coordinate with the 379th Blood Support Detachment and the 774th EAS for transport to provide emergency blood supplies to Forward Operating Base Shank on Election Day. Shank had exhausted their supply, so called on the AE team to provide relief in the form of a much needed blood supply, which directly resulted in saving the lives of three Afghan civilians who were critically wounded in an attack while voting.

Source: U.S. Air Forces Central Command

23 Apr

WVU Tech alumna Tristan Martin was recognized last week by the CAMC Health System as a DAISY Awardee, an honor for nurses that exemplify clinical skill and compassion.


In the photo: L-R, Ron Moore, CNO; Kristen Bowles, Labor and Delivery, Women and Children’s; Barbara Knapp, 4 South Memorial; Tracy McDonald, 7 South General; and Tristan Martin, STICU General. Winners not pictured: Natalie Goodyear, Labor and Delivery, Women and Children’s; and Sarah Vasquez, 5 West Memorial.

SOURCE: CAMC Health Systems

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