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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2016 February 19 - 10:55 pm

Around Campus

A look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges

A boy whose wish list included something most people take for granted — a hand. Theodore Triplett, program coordinator of engineering design technology at Mountwest Community & Technical College, (W.Va.) and his students presented Cooper, a six-year-old boy born without a left hand, with an artificial one that they developed using a 3D printer. Triplett first heard about Cooper through a coworker at Mountwest who knew Cooper’s uncle. Work on the hand began at the start of the fall semester, and it was created using 3D printing technology within a week. Triplett and his students added functionality and worked to make it effective for a small child. Cooper and his family visited Mountwest two times over the course of the semester for fittings, allowing Triplett and his students to make modifications until the hand was just right. Randy and Barbara, Cooper’s grandparents, said he’s adapted well to only having one hand but this opportunity will open a whole new world for him. They said they were careful to treat him and his twin brother Riley, who was born with both hands, the same. When asked what it meant to him and his family to receive a hand for Cooper, Randy’s eyes filled with tears and e said, “I shouldn’t have to tell you; you can see it in my eyes.”

While women in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as engineering, construction and other technical careers, can face societal hurdles, Community College of Denver (Colo.) students Khadiyja

“DJ” Lynch and Kelci Brady have both decided to break through that social stigma and find the right fit for their education and career goals. Lynch has never been a follower and describes herself as an “artistic renaissance woman.” At one time she considered becoming a fashion designer, but her mother suggested an architecture program instead because it was a more “financially realistic career.” She took her mother’s advice and relocated to Colorado from Georgia and is now enrolled in the program learning how to work with 2D and 3D parametric software and prepare mechanical drawings. She plans to pursue a career as a mechanical drafter and is leaving the possibility open to transfer to a four-year school. Brady has always loved anything mechanical and, after some searching, finally found the right fit in engineering graphics.

It was her father who suggested she use her math and artistic interests to pursue drafting. She enrolled in a more expensive technical college but it didn’t offer the option to transfer the credits she was earning. She was then introduced to CCD and, like Lynch, found herself in Rick Glesner’s engineering graphics and mechanical design program and loving it.

Now in her final semester, she is also working toward her pre-engineering line of studies so she can work as a mechanical engineer doing what she likes best, creating something from nothing using math and science.

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