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UCM Feature Stories

ConocoPhillips Turns to UCM for Top Interns, Employees

Interning with ConocoPhillips took Jamie Randall into the Canadian skyline and provided her with valuable experience.

Jamie Randall, an Occupational Safety and Health major, and Cullen Rosine, an Industrial Hygiene graduate student, were two of four UCM students selected by ConocoPhillips for summer internships that provided more than they imagined.

"UCM is one of the top schools ConocoPhillips recruits from," says Stephen de Albuquerque, Corporate Manager of Health and Safety Assurance for ConocoPhillips. "The Safety Science programs rank right up there with Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Montana Tech. The UCM program is special. The students are top-notch."

Rosine spent his internship with ConocoPhillips in Texas and was offered a full-time position as a safety health environment and regulatory specialist.

"At ConocoPhillips you are treated as a full-time employee," Rosine says. "You get hands-on experience in a wide variety of topics helping you gain knowledge on key health, safety and environmental issues."

During Randall's internship, she traveled to Canada to visit the company's biggest project in the Canadian oil sands. "I loved it; it gave me a real sense of what I want to do in the future," says Randall.

De Albuquerque and ConocoPhillips representatives attend UCM's career fairs to recruit interns and new hires. UCM students selected are critical assets for ConocoPhillips.

By engaging in hands-on experience through their internships with ConocoPhillips, UCM students are learning to a greater degree.

UCM Students and Faculty Gain Experience, Give Back with Project Community Connect

UCM Nursing majors administer flu shots to guests at the annual Project Community Connect, which helps prevent illness and gives students hands-on experience.

University of Central Missouri students from several majors gained hands-on experience while giving back at Project Community Connect. Social Work majors served as guides to customers, graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology program provided speech and hearing screenings, and nursing students facilitated the health care aspects of the event.

Project Community Connect served as a "one-stop shop" for individuals and families who are homeless or in need, and featured medical and dental exams, hair cuts, birth certificates and a variety of free wellness screenings.

"As a student greeter, Project Community Connect was a humbling experience," says Shantelle Rockman, a senior Social Work major. "You get the opportunity to give your undivided attention to the guests. Those few minutes may be a life-changing experience for everyone involved."

A significant number of people in Johnson County were impacted by Project Community Connect. There were approximately 530 volunteers and 490 individuals receiving services, including vitamins to last 3,898 months and nearly $10,000 worth of food and household products.

"Many students are not aware of the day-to-day life experiences for individuals living in poverty in Johnson County," says Jean Nuernberger, chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Social Work.

UCM students and faculty volunteers are learning to a greater degree by serving those in need in Johnson County.

UCM Student Creates Sustainability Program, Improves Lives of Incarcerated Populations

UCM Environmental Studies graduate student Hannah Rogers demonstrates the workings of a composting system to inmates.

As an Environmental Studies graduate student at the University of Central Missouri, Hannah Rogers is no stranger to research. When tasked with creating a research project for her master's degree, she proposed a unique project to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

After meetings with the directors, Rogers was granted the ability to administer two 12-week environmental education programs to two groups of 25 incarcerated individuals at a medium-security state correctional center.

"My passion is the care and concern for the natural environment, but my interests lie in the U.S. correctional system, so this was perfect for me," says Rogers.

Rogers provides each inmate who completes her course with a composting certificate from UCM and a letter of support from the Department of Natural Resources. She also helps them construct their résumés and writes each a personal recommendation letter.

"This program is a great outlet for them," says Rogers. "It allows them to take responsibility and care for another living organism."

Rogers' program focuses on planning, constructing and managing composting systems, as well as analyzing the systems' data.

"I absolutely love being there," says Rogers. "Seeing them actively participate in and care about this program is amazing. I am thankful to help make a difference in their lives."

By sharing her interests and making a difference, Rogers is learning to a greater degree.

Wheelchair Race Changes the Viewpoint for Students, Faculty

UCM students and professors learned how challenging maneuvering their way around in a wheelchair can be at the Wheelchair Challenge.

We've all seen the "elevator out of service" emails. What most of us don't realize when we read those emails is that someone unwillingly doesn’t get the opportunity to attend class that day.

The Association of Social Work Students organized the Wheelchair Challenge to raise awareness and funds; $1,610 was raised to support accessibility improvements on campus.

Eighteen able-bodied students and professors learned first-hand how difficult maneuvering in a wheelchair is. They gained this outlook by participating in a series of campus challenges, while remaining in a wheelchair.

"Our ultimate goal was for others to gain perspective of being in a wheelchair and what difficulties students encounter," says Shantelle Rockman, a UCM student and member of ASWS who helped coordinate the challenge.

The University of Central Missouri meets all of the American Disability Act’s Standards for Accessible Design. These standards ensure individuals are able to access public facilities. Still, students learned what a big challenge minor bumps and detours can be.

"My biggest challenge was getting in and out of all of the doors because not all of the doors had the handicap buttons and some of them didn't work well," says Kelly Jameson, a freshman Actuarial Science major.

Students and professors gained a new perspective and experienced learning to a greater degree by putting themselves in someone else's shoes.

Future English as a Second Language Teacher Gains Worldly Perspective

Lucas Woodling was one of 40 Americans chosen to receive a full scholarship and study Chinese language in Taiwan this summer.

Junior Political Science major Lucas Woodling traveled to Taiwan to take part in an eight-week Chinese language study program known as TUSA, the Taiwan-United States Sister Alliance.

Woodling was one of only 40 American students selected for TUSA and received a full scholarship to cover his expenses. Throughout the program, he took Chinese language and culture classes and student taught at an English immersion school.

"I've always wanted to teach English to students in Asia, so this was the perfect opportunity for me," says Woodling.

Informed about the program by Associate Professor of Political Science Darlene Budd, Woodling jumped at the opportunity to immerse himself in the Asian culture and language.

"During my trip, I wanted to expand my knowledge of the Chinese language and experience a culture different than ours," says Woodling.

When not in class or teaching, Woodling participated in weekend tours around the island and experienced historically and culturally important monuments, such as the Fo Guang Shan temple in Kaohsiung.

"Learning a language in class is one thing, but being completely immersed in it is another," Woodling remarks. "I had to learn on the go and adapt my language skills quickly while speaking to others in the community."

By immersing himself in a foreign culture and gaining a worldly perspective, Woodling experienced learning to a greater degree.

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