UVU Career and Technology Students Rank No. 2 Nationally at SkillsUSA Championships
July 9, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert
Written by: Heather Wrigley
From June 24-28, Utah Valley University students showcased their career and technical skills at the 49th annual SkillsUSA National Championships in Kansas City, Mo., coming away with 12 medals — six gold, five silver and one bronze — and ranking No. 2 among participating U.S. colleges and universities.
Nearly 6,000 students from across the nation competed in 98 different trade, technical and management fields. The UVU students competing at the national level had already taken first place in their respective field of study in the state competition.
They displayed their best practical skills and leadership talents as they worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like mechatronics, carpentry, collision repair, technical computer applications and audio/radio production.
“Year after year our students are proving that they are as good as, and arguably better than, any in Utah at applying their trades and skills under the pressure of real-job situations,” said Darin Taylor, department chair of Engineering Graphics & Design Technology and UVU SkillsUSA director. “To bring this into perspective, there were 41 states that did not earn as many national medals as UVU did as an individual institution. This speaks volumes about the quality of students, faculty and programs we have here at UVU.”
This makes 13 years that UVU has been ranked in the top three of the nation by SkillsUSA. During this most recent competition, UVU contributed more than half of the state’s total 23 medals. Utah earned a ranking of seventh in the nation overall.
Taylor was present at the competition to see UVU claim gold medal wins in architectural drafting (Rutger Hill), computer programming (Jon Holt), power equipment technology (Tyler Christensen), robotics and automation technology (Jason Neely and Trezor Owens), chapter business procedure (Michelle Carbajal, Charles Davenport, Joseph Kitchen, Landon Nilsson, Brendan Scofield and Mark Stoutsenberger) and engineering technology/design (Ryan Fleenor, Valyeon Flygare and Eric Tasso)
Silver medal winners included Jennifer Nakai in the category of criminal justice, Taehwan Lee in culinary arts, Braxton Wilhelmsen in photography, Matthew Cannon in related technical math and Aaron Lott in telecommunications cabling.
Jameson Bangerter, from UVU’s Emergency Services Department, took home the bronze in firefighting.