UCM Feature Stories
Student, Alumnus Use Internship To Help Complete High-Impact Construction Project
Freddy Allison, McCownGordon Construction general superintendent for The Crossing - South at Holden at the University of Central Missouri, played an important role as the internship facilitator for seven UCM students throughout the duration of the project.
Allison, a UCM Construction Management alum, attributes his career success to his first internship experience. "To take what you've learned in the classroom and apply it in the three-dimensional form gives you that 'aha' moment," says Allison.
Caleb Skaggs, a senior studying Construction Management and one of the UCM McCownGordon interns, used technology equipped with the latest interactive construction management applications on this real-world project. With guidance from Allison, Skaggs was provided an iPad with the PlanGrid app to help him manage the daily punch list, a key construction assignment.
"The importance of an internship experience is huge. Getting the school aspect is definitely important, but you're going to learn more by actually getting out there and getting hands on," says Skaggs.
By coupling future-focused academics with engaged-learning internships, UCM alumni and students are learning to a greater degree.
Honors College Student Gains Business Experience in the Netherlands
As a busy college student and Jennies volleyball player, Mackenzie Harding always knew she wanted to study abroad during the summer. When she learned about "Doing Business in Europe," an Honors College summer abroad program, she decided to take advantage of the opportunity. With support from the UCM Foundation Honors College Fund, including a travel grant of $1,000, Harding left for Hanze University in Groningen, Netherlands in May 2014.
A Nursing major with a minor in Business Administration, Harding felt this program would benefit her career path by giving her the chance to conduct research on the business market and culture of the Netherlands.
One class offered her the opportunity to compete in small groups to pitch a product to Philips, a well-known technology company based in Amsterdam. Philips executives selected her group's product pitch as the winning idea.
During her study tour, Harding not only learned how government, culture and customs are important factors in international business, but she also made long-lasting memories and friendships.
"I had no idea how much I would enjoy the experience of meeting new friends and seeing how other parts of the world live their lives. It was truly amazing," says Harding.
By gaining worldly perspective through a study abroad program offered by The Honors College at UCM, Harding experienced learning to a greater degree.
Department of Aviation Introduces Red-Tailed Cessna as Tribute to Tuskegee Airmen
At a time when African Americans could not serve their country, a group of men overcame adversity to serve in World War II. Known as the Tuskegee Airmen, these brave men became one of the most well-known and respected groups of combat pilots in history.
As a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, who were known for their red-tailed planes, the Department of Aviation at UCM has introduced a Cessna Skyhawk 172S aircraft with its tail painted red.
"These men were my heroes growing up," says Tony Monetti, assistant dean of Aviation. "We want to encourage our students to look at these men as role models."
Aviation faculty often reference the Tuskegee Airmen as an example of character and hard work for students to emulate. UCM Aviation and the Heart of America chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen now hope to work together to inspire students interested in aviation.
"We will continue working to keep the legacy of the Airmen alive," says Ormer Rogers, past president of the Heart of America chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. "We also want to expand our opportunities to encourage young people to enter the field of aviation."
By striving to emulate the character of the Tuskegee Airmen, the students and faculty in the Department of Aviation are learning to a greater degree.
UCM Student Worked with Red Cross Ecuador to Prevent Crises
Tully Douce has always had a desire to help people in developing countries. A senior double majoring in Crisis and Disaster Management and Spanish, Douce followed his passion and returned to Ecuador, where he grew up, to work with the Red Cross.
This summer, Douce helped develop a risk management program with the Red Cross disaster prevention team. This team worked daily to create a plan to prevent national crises.
"I was able to take everything I learned in class and apply it in a country with limited resources," says Douce. "I had to be creative and learn how to problem solve."
Douce used the strategies he and the team developed in several situations, including the Pope's visit to Ecuador, an event that brought more than 2 million people to the area.
"Ecuador's federal government wants to use the team's plans as an example for their entire country," says Terry Butler, director of Missouri Safety Center. "The risk management team will help educate the community on why planning ahead is important."
Douce says his favorite part of the summer was being part of an organization that truly wants to help those in need.
By applying the skills he learned in class to help a developing country, Douce exemplifies learning to a greater degree.
UCM Team Travels to China to Learn About Volleyball and Culture
The Jennies volleyball team visited China with the objectives of making memories of a lifetime, deepening their worldly perspective and, of course, playing volleyball.
The UCM International Center sponsored the 10-day trip in May that allowed the team and coaches to learn how their sport differs in China, discover the Chinese culture, and visit historic sites such as Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall.
Beihang University hosted the Jennies. The two teams played volleyball, shopped and ate together. The players learned about each other's universities and families.
"They couldn't believe how large our families are," says Carly Sojka, a senior Sports Management major.
Mass Communication graduate student Shelby Winkelmann learned the importance of nonverbal communication first-hand. Early in the trip Beihang University hosted a team dinner.
"As the night went on, the players learned to communicate with one another using gestures, facial expressions and body language," says Winkelmann. "Everyone was laughing. It was awesome to see everyone communicate without knowing each other's language."
When the Jennies weren't playing volleyball, they visited elementary and high schools to talk to about the U.S. culture. The team demonstrated volleyball skills and played a few playground games such as four-square.
By engaging in a foreign culture and gaining a worldly perspective, the Jennies volleyball team experienced learning to a greater degree.