Nicole Dierkling: A work ethic that pays dividends

Nicole Dierkling
Nicole Dierkling
photo by Rod Lentz

Walk into the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building on any given day and you will probably find Nicole Dierking, all by herself with a basketball, taking shot after shot after shot. It is a work ethic that paid dividends for the senior guard on the UMR women’s basketball team.
Dierking reached a personal milestone as the 2007 calendar year began. She became the 12th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark – and first UMR player to do so in five years – and recently completed her career as the sixth-leading scorer in school history with 1,169 points.

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Perrin Roller: A volunteer who loves UMR

Whether he says it in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French or Arabic, Perrin Roller, GeoE’80, is ready to tell anyone who will listen why he loves UMR.
“Going to a technically oriented school like UMR is so different than going to a comprehensive university because it is so specialized,” Roller explains. “You’re immersed with people you’re going to work with the rest of your career, you make a lot of life-long friends.”

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Wendy Moore

WendyMoore.jpgThe alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and Wendy Moore, a senior in architectural engineering, is already getting out of bed to start her day with one of two daily practices.
Moore says it’s her teammates that get her going when most other students are sound asleep. “It’s tough to force yourself to get up and run at 6 a.m. However, knowing someone expects you to show up motivates you,” she says.

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Chevron: College graduates are valuable

When it comes to the future of energy production, Chevron Corp. sees college graduates – particularly UMR graduates – as one of its most valuable resources.
This summer, Chevron donated $1.5 million to UMR to establish an educational and research partnership that will help meet the needs of the energy industry.

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Michael Haas: Chasing the wind

Haas.jpgMichael Haas, AE’87, has always understood the importance of hard work and doing the best he can at whatever task he’s involved with. These days that task is chasing the wind.
Haas, who lives in Oakland, Calif., with his wife and three kids, is president and founder of Orion Energy, a wind energy company.

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Ralph Flori: A jack-of-all-trades

Ralph FloriI didn’t go to college expecting to teach,” says Ralph Flori, PetE’79, MS PetE’81 and PhD PetE’87. “I wanted to be an engineer. My passion growing up was working with tools, building and creating things, and taking things apart.” Flori took his interest in how things work, his experience working in his dad’s heating and air conditioning business, and came to UMR. Today he is assistant dean of engineering for pre-college and undergraduate programs for the UMR School of Engineering, providing statewide leadership for Project Lead the Way. He also continues to teach as an associate professor of interdisciplinary engineering.

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Travis Stensby: Lucky to be swimming

Travis Stensby was swimming for the University of Minnesota when he discovered a blood clot in his shoulder three years ago. That medical condition forced him to quit the team, and he thought his collegiate swimming career might be over.

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Tuncay Akbas: It’s a small world after all

In today’s global economy, many companies outsource their service departments to countries where labor is cheap to be more cost-effective.“Since the world is getting smaller with all of the latest high-tech developments in communication technology, it is not hard to have a company work for you a thousand miles away to make you more competitive in the world market,” says entrepreneur Tuncay Akbas, CSci’98.

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Five degrees of Harvest Collier

Harvest Collier

UMR titles:

  1. Vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies
  2. Professor of chemistry
  3. Director of the UMR Institute for Environmental Excellence
  4. Former associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  5. Former chair of chemistry

Unofficial UMR title: Champion of the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences program

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Rodrick McDonald: The thrill of victory, the big plays, the love of the game

Rodrick McDonald

Rodrick McDonald, a senior in mechanical engineering, has loved the thrill of competition since his Deer Park High School days in Pasadena, Texas, where he competed in multiple sports. Returning to Texas for football’s Whataburger Cactus Bowl in January and the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships last spring only managed to increase his competitive fever.

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