Western Nevada College News & Notes: Students get real world training | NevadaAppeal.com

Western Nevada College News & Notes: Students get real world training

Members of the Construction Management Club at WNC. Many of the students participated in this weekend's regional competition.
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A dynamic group of Western Nevada College students is spending the weekend at a local hotel, but they are not on a vacation. Rather, they are on a mission to learn, and to work as a team in an academic competition.

Students in WNC’s Bachelor of Technology program in Construction Management are taking part in a regional competition of colleges and universities from throughout the West, which wraps up today at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks.

Working in an incubator environment, each team spends two days in isolation creating a comprehensive presentation that solves a construction management problem. The exact problem is unknown until the students arrive at the conference.

According to Curtiss Elliott, a member of WNC’s team, competitors must bring all materials with them that might help them prepare for their presentation in front of a judging panel, such as tools and reference books. WNC’s two teams are competing in the categories Heavy Civil, which covers construction such as bridges or water treatment plants, and Commercial, which could include construction of a public building or bank.

Elliott, who also competed on last year’s WNC team, said the students had to collaborate to produce a hypothetical construction contract, work schedule, cost estimate, materials lists and labor estimates as part of their project.

Dr. Jerry Stegeman is the coach of WNC’s teams, but he can’t take any part in the competition. In fact, the students must make no contact with him until they present their problem solution to a panel of experts from the construction industry.

As an added benefit, the students meet representatives of many large construction firms, and enjoy an exhibit hall with big name sponsors such as Granite Construction, Kiewit, Balfour Beatty, Clark Construction, Hansen Phelps Construction Co., and many more.

Community makes a difference for college

Ongoing donations to WNC enhance academic programs and student services. Recently, Joseph McLaughlin of Yerington donated a 1993 Mercury Topaz to the automotive technology program. Patti Nakamoto/Custom Stamping, Inc., of Carson City donated a number of items for the machine tool technology program. They include several pieces of equipment and the cost of truck and crane rental and labor.

Employees support WNC with donations

As the WNC Foundation continues its “family campaign” of philanthropy to make a difference at Western Nevada College, many generous employees are sharing their thoughts about why they donate. Fifty percent of the college’s employees have already participated in the “Choose to Make a Difference” ongoing campaign.

Kathryn Clark-Ross from the Financial Assistance Office said she gives in honor of her father, Dr. William E Clark, to help medical students reach their full potential. Fallon campus psychology/sociology instructor Janet King gives because she feels blessed to live in Nevada, and realizes that it’s important to spend on things that matter. Teri Zutter, director of the Educational Learning and Literacy program, gives because she is proud of what she does and of Western Nevada College, and to recognize the high caliber of students at WNC