Nancy Genova
Rifle, CO Colorado

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September 5, 2012
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Energy abuzz at Colorado Mountain College

A new school year has started, marked by a new burst of energy from students and instructors alike. But there's a different kind of energy bubbling at Colorado Mountain College: integrated energy.

Integrated energy technology has become the flagship program of Colorado Mountain College's campus in Rifle. Under the umbrella of integrated energy, we continue to develop education and training in process technology, instrumentation, solar and biofuels. These fields of study have been developed to prepare our students to enter or to find better jobs in the marketplace of oil and gas and renewable energies.

We've recently hired new faculty and staff to help provide students with a top-quality, high-value education. Here's a look at a few of them:

• Dr. Dennis Zhang is our new associate professor of integrated energy. He brings considerable knowledge, skill and experience to our energy programs. Dr. Zhang earned his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Process Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He won a teaching award in China and has taught at Washington State University, Clarkson University and North Carolina State University. He has served as senior chemical engineer at Solix BioSystems in Fort Collins, with a focus on biofuels and bioproducts. This fall, he is teaching Equipment and Systems for the process technology department.

• Chris Ellis is our new full-time faculty member in solar and instrumentation. For a number of years, he has taught for the college as an adjunct instructor in the solar field. His experience in solar energy benefits students and the community alike, as his classes recently installed solar panels on the new Garfield County Public Library in New Castle. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Colorado State University and an associate degree in renewable energy from San Juan Community College.

• Dr. Shauna Kocman joins us with a rich background in sustainable water and energy infrastructure, including natural gas extraction and operations, renewable energy systems, air quality monitoring, water and wastewater treatment and storm water management. Dr. Kocman has also taught classes in our bachelor's of sustainability studies program. She earned her doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Colorado, Denver.

• Robert Wynn is the new grant coordinator for the Trade Adjustment Assistance effort, which allows us to improve our ability to deliver programs that prepare students for high-skill, high-wage jobs. He has a master's degree in school administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education from CSU.

• Art Scibelli is our new career coach and will coordinate with the Colorado Workforce Center on referrals, internships and job placement; provide career guidance; recruit and screen students; and coordinate students' transitions from developmental studies into energy programs. He has master's degrees in counseling, with an emphasis in career development, and in public administration.

We invite you to stop by and meet our new faculty and staff and encourage you to enroll in integrated energy. Call 625-1871 for an appointment.

Nancy Genova is Colorado Mountain College's vice president at the Rifle campus.

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The Post Independent Updated Sep 5, 2012 06:06PM Published Sep 5, 2012 06:05PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.