Engineering Tech Students test Skills in State Competition

Published: March 30, 2010 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University’s engineering technology students brought home one gold, three silver and three bronze medals from last week’s SkillsUSA state competition in Salt Lake City. Each year thousands of Utah high school and college students compete against each other in technical and skilled areas in hopes of going on to Nationals, which will be held the fourth week in June this year in Kansas City, Missouri.

Chris McGahan, computer science major, placed first in Computer Programming; Blake Plumb, information systems major, took second in Computer Programming; Shane Christensen and Ammon Losee, engineering technology majors, placed second in Mechatronics (a team competition); Trenton Dopp, engineering technology major, placed second in Electronics Technology; Richard Sherwood, engineering technology major, took third in Electronics Technology; Dirk Hooley, construction management major, placed third in Carpentry; and Jialiang Zhou, engineering technology major, took third in Industrial Motor Control.

As the first ever SUU student to advance in the computer programming event, Chris McGahan will go on to compete at nationals, held June 23-24.

“I think winning gold at state and being able to compete on a national level is a reflection of a great program and great students,” said Richard Cozzens, Professional in Residence for Integrated Engineering and Technology.

“Winning the SkillsUSA State Competition is a great achievement; placing in SkillsUSA Nationals is a lifetime achievement,” said Dave Ward, Associate Professor of Electronics and Technology and Director of Career and Technology Education. “SUU has garnered over thirty medals at the national level over the years in all areas of technology, with eight being in electronics alone.”

According to SkillsUSA’s Web site, SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, high school students, and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

More information about SUU’s College of Computer, Integrated Engineering, and Technology programs and their SkillsUSA program is available online.

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