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Cal U topped the medals count at competitions involving technology education students from across the country.

Twenty-nine Cal U students traveled to Long Beach, Calif., last month for the Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA) International Conference.

The conference is held annually in conjunction with the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) conference, the largest technology conference in the world.

Cal U’s delegation represented the Technology Education Association of California (TEAC), a professional organization for students majoring in technology education. 

The group was one of 49 teams from 14 universities competing in seven events. 

Despite competing against mostly larger schools, TEAC came home with second-place awards in the Problem Solving and Transportation contests, and third-place finishes in the Communication, Manufacturing, Robotics and Tech Challenge contests.  

Cal U’s six medals were the most won by any single school.

For the eighth time in nine years, TEAC was honored with the Outstanding Chapter Award, presented to an institution that displays exemplary activity in chapter service, professional activities and activities that promote technology education.

“It says a lot about the program we have here, and the fact that we made the conversion early on to technology education from industrial arts,” said Dr. Mark Nowak, a professor in the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology.

“There are still a lot of programs out there that are fairly traditional industrial arts programs, so we really have a distinct advantage when we compete against those schools.”

Nowak supervised the student delegation at the conference. Dr. Laura Hummel assisted with their pre-conference preparation.

“We also attract a strong class of students here, and many professors from other universities commented to me on what a very respectful, professional group of students we have,” Nowak added.

Competing at the conference were Marissa Averell, Christopher Avvampato, Gregory Arabia, Adam Benson, Cody Buterbaugh, Zachary Cowher, Nicholas Green, Jesse Heubel, Samuel Karas, Anthony Mannarino, Andrew Marra, Aaron Miles, Kelly O'Neil, Jacob Palo, Todd Pesavento, Jacob Pistner, Matthew Plummer, David Poore, Brandon Ruby, Brent Ruby, Adam Rudderow, Richard Smocheck, Megan Smosna, Scott Somerville, Greg Sovek, Carly Swank, Robert Thomas, Zachary Wood and Aaron Zimmerman. 

In other TECA and conference news:

  • Junior Andrew Marra completed his term as recorder of the overall TECA organization and was installed TECA vice president for next year.
  • Brian Pesavento, TEAC vice president, was awarded the national TECA Outstanding Chapter Service Award. The second-highest award given by TECA, it is presented for dedication to academic achievement, involvement of significant merit in ITEEA/TECA affairs, and professional development at the chapter level.
  • Nowak gave a presentation at the conference titled “Bio-Related Technology:  Activities to Reach the Standards.”
  • During the conference a display table highlighted cal U’s graduate and undergraduate technology education programs. In all, students manning the tables received more than 100 job offers from school administrators in Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio and California.
  • “Our students saw firsthand that there are certainly jobs available, and these schools are looking specifically for Cal U graduates,” Nowak said.