Central Wyoming College to share in funding from National Science Foundation for undergraduate research

The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to a network of community colleges including Central Wyoming College, for the expansion of research opportunities to students.

Austin Chase

Central Wyoming College student Austin Chase studies the impact of climate change while on an interdisciplinary expedition into the Wind River mountains.

The grant was awarded to the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI), a project launched by Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York. FLCC received a $3.35 million grant in 2011 to share its model for teaching science through research with other community colleges across the country.

Over the last four years, FLCC has provided training and support so CWC could launch its own research project. Students are participating in the following projects: Thermophiles in hot springs, and high-altitude landscape development, with Suki Smaglik; the use of capsaicin to reduce obesity, with Steve McAllister; the impact of climate change on Wind River glaciers (ICCE), with Jacki Klancher and Darran Wells, high-altitude archeology (ICCE) with Todd Guenther; and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in Native American women, with Tara Womack.

Jose Gonzalez captures the temperature of a hot spring in Yellowstone on a field trip with Professor Suki Smaglik.

Jose Gonzalez captures the temperature of a hot spring in Yellowstone on a field trip with Professor Suki Smaglik.

“This research effort has helped students better connect with both classroom material and with their instructors; the results serve everyone. Connected students try harder, go farther and do it with enthusiasm. The research these students perform at CWC may well have permanent implications for their academic and professional pursuit of study and work in the sciences,” said Jacki Klancher, Assistant Professor, Environmental Technology and GIS.

CWC will share in the latest four-year $1.5 million grant, along with FLCC and dozens of other schools in the CCURI  network, including Mesa Community College in Arizona, Ivy Technical Community College in Indiana, Oklahoma City Community College, Moreno Valley College in California, and Seminole State College in Florida.

“At FLCC, we believe he best way to teach science is to do science,” said James Hewlett, FLCC professor biology and director of CCURI. “Central Wyoming College has been a great partner in implementing this approach across the country.”

The grant is part of the National Science Foundation’s fund for improving undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). For more information on the grant project, called “Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative, Creating a Culture of Change,” visit www.ccuri.org.

Miller brings home buckle; Kautzman moves up in the region

Colton Miller, senior brought home the buckle for the Central Wyoming College men’s rodeo team this past weekend at the Lamar Community College rodeo. Miller placed first in the saddle bronc riding receiving a score of 74 in the long go-round and came back in the short go-round with a better ride; scoring a 79.

“One of the highlights of the weekend was Colton Miller receiving 180 points in saddle bronc riding,” said Drew Schrock, rodeo coach. “He practiced hard riding four broncs last week which helped him clear his head and he drew well at this last rodeo which moved him to the number four spot in the region.”

Freshman Kassie Kautzman moved up to first place in the region standings after a having good weekend in the breakaway roping. Kautzman placed third overall with a time of 3.5 seconds in the long go-round and 3.7 seconds in the short go-round.

“Kassie had a great weekend and was the other highlight of the weekend. She drew well and moved herself up to the number one spot in the region,” Schrock said. “I’m proud of the way she has been performing; she scored really well and roped two tough calves to put her in third place at this rodeo.”

Also making it in the top ten for the saddle bronc riding was Shawn Butner, junior placing ninth with a score of 71 in the long go-round followed by teammate Tanner Butner, freshman with a score of 65 in the long go-round; both received no scores in the short go-round. The short go-round proved to be tough for many of the participating cowboys in the saddle bronc riding with six cowboys not making the eight second ride.

Currently in the regions standings Tanner Butner is in third, followed by Miller and Shawn Butner in seventh place.

In the tie down roping, freshman Brady Thurston’s time in the long go-round was 12.6 seconds but he received a no time in the short go-round moving him into the number ten spot.

Three cowboys made the top ten in the steer wrestling. Teigen Finnerty, freshman had a time of 5.5 seconds in the long go-round and 16.3 in the final round; placing him seventh overall. Sophomore Danny Huxtable placed eighth with a time of 4.6 in the long go-round and 18.5 in the short go-round. And teammate Kyle Choate, junior placed tenth with a time of 5.6 in the short go-round and a no time in the final round. In the region standings Coltin Hill is in second place, Thurston is in sixth place followed by Huxtable and Dalton Burgener in eighth.

“It was a long weekend but the team did an outstanding job. We had quite a few cowboys do well in their events,” Schrock said. “Our bulldoggers have had a great appearance at all the rodeos this fall and this past weekend having three come back to the final round is quite impressive. Huxtable came back for the fourth time in a row and I’m proud of him and the way he has been working hard; even making it to the finals riding a backup horse. I think it’s great that Teigen and Kyle made it to the final round for the first time this fall and I look forward to watching them grow and improve next season.”

The team will wrap up the fall season in Cheyenne this weekend at the Laramie County Community College rodeo, Oct. 9-11.

Cross country team hosts home meet

Central Wyoming College cross country team hosted a two-way meet Sept. 25. with Gillette College. The course was a 5k, looping through campus twice.

“The team did really well at our home meet and it was nice to see the CWC community support the team,” said Al Lara, cross country coach. “This meet will continue to get better and better each year and having a nationally ranked team come to this meet could help bring other teams join in the future.”

For the men’s division, Clay Johnson freshman placed fourth with a time of 17:13 with teammate Brion Riley freshman right behind with a time of 17:57. The men’s team stayed close together during the race; placing consecutively in rank. Sixth place went to freshman James Asmus followed by Brytan Spoonhunter freshman and Cameron Collamer also a freshman.

Freshman Kate Kling led the Rustler team placing second with a time of 24:09. Teammate Kianna WollowingBull freshman placed fourth with a time of 26:06.

“I was happy with how everyone ran,” Lara said. “They were in good spirits after the race.”

Men Results

  1. Festus Lagat: 15:50-Gillette College
  2. Asher Catterall: 16:49-Gillette College
  3. Tre Riley: 17:04-Gillette College
  4. Clay Jonhson: 17:13-CWC
  5. Brion Riley: 17:57-CWC
  6. James Asmus: 18:58-CWC
  7. Brytan Spoonhunter: 19:16-CWC
  8. Cameron Collamer: 19:24-CWC
  9. Dreyson Nicholas: 19:39-Gillette College
  10. Kyle Blackeleish: 19:53-Gillette College
  11. Daniel Primi: 21:20-CWC

Women Results

  1. Samantha Harmon: 20:51-Gillette College
  2. Kate Kling: 24:09-CWC
  3. Casey England: 24:58-Gillette College
  4. Kianna WallowingBull: 26:06-CWC
  5. Kayly Scheller: 29:46-Gillette College

The next meet is the Montana State University Billings invite Oct. 9.

Golf team will wrap up the season with home tournament

The Rustlers men’s golf team didn’t have the weekend they needed and moved down one spot to number four at the Otero Junior College tournament.

Sophomore Robbie Harding maintains Central Wyoming College’s top shooter. In the first round Harding shot a 72 and also in the second round giving him a total of 144 points. Harding placed fifth; just three points from first place.

Fellow teammate Braxton Schwartzkoph, freshman had a better weekend moving up to the ninth spot. Schwartzkoph shot a 69 in the first round and a 78 in the second round.

Also for the men’s team freshman Jackson Roling had a good first round shooting a 74 but had a tough second day with a score of 84. Ryan Ellis, sophomore shot a 78 in the first round and a 79 in the second round; putting him one point ahead of teammate Roling.

“I was disappointed with the results of our men’s team,” said Pat Rafferty, head coach. “On paper our scores looked good but when compared to the rest of the field they weren’t. The course played easy on Friday, indicated by six players shooting under par with the low score being a six under 64.  We didn’t take advantage of the conditions and a course that played easy.  We have to be able to mentally get past just shooting a number or score and learn how to go as low as possible.”

First place for the men’s team stays with Eastern Wyoming College with a total score of 573; second place went to McCook Community College with a total score of 577 and Otero Junior College in third place with a score of 594. CWC men’s team is in fourth place with 606 points.

Sophomore Kristen Day was the top shooter on the women’s team. Day placed second overall shooting a 79 in round one and 82 in the second round with a combined total of 161.

Freshman Sarah Schroefel was only two points from teammate Day. Schroefel had a combined score of 163. In the first round Schroefel had a score of 80 and an 83 in round two.

“Kristen and Sarah have been battling each other most of the fall season for second place,” Rafferty said. “I’m hopeful that being on our home course they’ll battle each other for first place this week and wrap up the fall season with one of them being medalist.”

The team will wrap up the fall season in Riverton Oct. 4-5.

“Playing at our home course, the Riverton Country Club, this week we should have an advantage but we still have to play; playing at home doesn’t insure anything,” Rafferty said.

Hale brings home buckle from Sheridan rodeo

Central Wyoming College men’s rodeo maintains the fifth spot for the Central Rocky Mountain Region.

This past weekend the team traveled to Sheridan College for their third rodeo of the fall season; with only two rodeos remaining.

Freshman Casey Hale brought home the buckle, placing first in the tie down roping with 11.5 seconds in both the long and short go-round.

“Casey works hard and has great basics. He also has a nice horse which he broke and maintains himself; he scored sharp this weekend and deserved to win it,” said Drew Schrock, rodeo coach.

Sophomore Danny Huxtable had a time of 7.1 seconds in the long go-round and 7.5 seconds in the short go-round in the steer wrestling, placing him in fifth overall.

In the team roping, header Teigen Finnerty and his roping partner from Sheridan College placed sixth with 6.8 seconds in the long go-round and 13 seconds in the short go-round.

Tanner Butner freshman had a good weekend placing second overall in the saddle bronc riding. Butner had a 65 point ride in the long go-round and came back with a better score in the short go-round with a 68 point ride.

“Butner took over the number one spot in the region and Hill kept the number one spot as well for the region,” Schrock said. “Their consistency is the reason they are maintaining those top spots. They are always ready to go and perform well. Butner is a talented rider and will be in the top spots throughout the season; he is a solid leader on the team this year.”

Currently the men’s team is in fifth place with a total of 865 points. Chadron State College is sitting first with 1535 points followed by Eastern Wyoming College with 1147 and Gillette College in third with 1130.

The Rustler women’s team is sitting in seventh place with 105 points. Northeastern Junior College is in first with 903.3 points followed by Gillette College with 853.3 points and Lamar Community College in third place with 778.3 points.

“The team’s performance this weekend wasn’t what was expected however they still are doing well,” Schrock said. “We are not planning on making a lot of changes this week as far as the points team goes; the team still has great basic skills and has a great attitude at practice. They are confident and understand the things that they need to work on.”

The team will travel to Lamar, Colo., Oct. 2-4 for the Lamar Community College rodeo.

Harding keeps second place individually

The Rustlers men’s golf team remains in third place after the Lamar Community College tournament.

In the first round, sophomore Robbie Harding shot a 74 and a 72 in the second round; maintaining his second place individually with a total score of 146.

Fellow teammate Braxton Schwartzkopf, freshman fell down the ranks this past weekend putting him at 14. Schwartzkoph shot an 81 in the first round and improved his score in the second round with a 78.

Also for the men’s team freshman Jackson Roling had a good first round, shooting a 74 but had a tough second day with a score of 90; putting him farther down the board. Shade Frank, freshman shot a 97 in the first round and improved his score with an 88 in the second round.

“Robbie continues to be rock solid and is playing himself into contention every week,” said Pat Rafferty, head coach. “Ryan Ellis has put four straight solid rounds together and I’m confident Brax will bounce back after an off week and Jackson is close. If/when we get everyone playing like we can at the same time we’ll be a legitimate factor.”

First place for the men’s team stays with Eastern Wyoming College with a total score of 612; second place went to McCook Community College with a total score of 615 and CWC is in third place with a score of 622.

“After being only back one shot after the first round it shows what we’re capable of,” Rafferty said. “The second round also shows that we’ve got to be able to put eight rounds together…tournaments are two days/36 holes.”

Freshman Sarah Schroefel stays as the top golfer for CWC, who placed second individually with a combined score of 169; improving by two points from the last tournament. The first round, Schroefel had a score of 87 and an 82 in round two.

Also on the women’s team was sophomore Kristen Day, who had a combined score of 175; scoring 87 on day one and 88 on day two. Day is in third place individually and teammate Ashley Sams shot 100 in the first round and 101 in the second round placing her ninth overall.

“Sarah keeps knocking on the door, she’s gaining confidence every week,” Rafferty said. “I expect her not to just get a win but to shoot the low scores of the season. It was also good to see Kristen get back to playing like she’s capable of and Ashley is learning and getting better every week.”

Otero Community College is still in the lead for the women’s team.

The team will travel to Otero Junior College Sept. 24-25.