Western Nevada News & Notes: WNC debuting automobile restoration class

Dominic Cerniglia works on a Cadillac engine during a Western Nevada College Automotive Mechanics class.

Dominic Cerniglia works on a Cadillac engine during a Western Nevada College Automotive Mechanics class.

Imagine taking a class where one of the goals is to restore a third-generation classic 1953 Cadillac convertible.

Look no further than Western Nevada College’s Automotive Mechanics program for that unique instruction in the approaching fall semester.

For the first time, WNC is planning an automotive restoration class: Special Topics in Automotive Mechanics (AUTO 198).

“We’re going to involve engine repair, the chassis, brakes, steering, suspension and the body shop classes at night to incorporate the body work through them,” said WNC Automotive Mechanics instructor Jason Spohr.

Local developer Garth Richards provided the classic Cadillac to the college for the restoration class.

Spohr said his Auto Mechanics students restored a 1965 Ford Mustang last year and are currently restoring a 1952 Willys Jeep, including installing a new 350 Chevy engine and Turbo 350 transmission.

Spohr hopes to get at least 10 students for the Tuesday 1 to 4 p.m., 3-unit class this fall. If potential class members have a vehicle they want to restore, Spohr said they’re welcome to bring it to class. Students don’t need any prerequisite courses to take the class.

Among the other cars the class will work on in the fall is a 1969 Camaro with a 396 engine.

“If somebody does have a vehicle to restore, we’ll look at it and see what we can do,” Spohr said. “It’s not out of the question to bring in their own car, but because of space, we’ll focus on cars we have in there now.”

For information about the class, contact Spohr at Jason.Spohr@wnc.edu or 775-445-4270. The class begins Aug. 29.

Southwest Gas Donates Arc Welder to WNC

Western Nevada College’s Welding Technology program recently received a donation that will help welding students become more versed and marketable in the future.

Southwest Gas donated a Lincoln 300 Classic arc welder to the WNC Foundation professor Randy Naylor will be able to use in his welding classes in the Andy Butti Welding Technology Center.

“Southwest Gas was incredibly thoughtful to consider the college for this donation. The welding unit will support student learning in a very real and meaningful way. We’re very appreciative of the contribution and our relationship with Southwest Gas,” said Niki Gladys, director of Institutional Development at Western Nevada College.

The engine-driven, portable welding unit was utilized by Southwest Gas for pipeline welding but can handle any kind of arc welding, according to Brad Harris, vice president for Southwest Gas Northern Nevada Division.

“We look forward to an ongoing partnership with WNC and their students,” Harris said. “Southwest Gas is committed to the communities we serve with a top-notch workforce, and we are always looking for talented individuals to join our natural gas family.”

Southwest Gas Corporation provides safe and reliable natural gas service to more than 1.9 million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Busy Adults Can Change Their Lives through Online Education

Work and personal obligations can prevent some people from earning a higher education.

Western Nevada College, however, has made it easier for busy adults to carve out time in their lives to pursue college training.

Starting with the 2017 fall semester that opens on Aug. 28, students can complete a variety of degrees and certifications online. Students can work online toward Associate of Arts and Associate of Business degrees, as well as Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Accounting, General Business, Criminal Justice, Graphic Communication and Management.

The online enhancements also include Certificate of Achievement opportunities in Business, Bookkeeping, Criminal Justice, Graphic Communication and Network Support Technician. Students can earn a large part of an Associate of Science degree and take courses toward many other degrees online as well.

To learn more about WNC’s online programs, go to www.wnc.edu/online-programs/.

Faculty Spotlight: New Biology Instructor Plans to Involve Students in Research Work

Education made quite a difference in Western Nevada College biology instructor Smriti Bhattarai’s life. Now, she wants the same for her students.

Bhattarai wants to complement WNC’s biology program with her expertise in microbial ecology and molecular environmental biology.

WNC: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Bhattarai: Education has significantly altered the trajectory of my life. I want to help others receive education to change their lives. The satisfaction I get from playing a part in students’ achievement of their personal and professional goals is highly rewarding for me.

WNC: What do you hope to implement and accomplish in your classes at WNC?

Bhattarai: I hope to create a rigorous learning environment composed of multiple, complementary approaches to meet the needs of a diverse group of WNC students. I see an opportunity to enhance the biology program by adding my expertise in a complementary discipline of microbial ecology and molecular environmental biology. One of my goals is to involve students in research projects that will provide them with training opportunities in fieldwork, laboratory techniques, data collection and analysis, and presentation of oral and written reports. I hope to inspire students to pursue knowledge and contribute to making our world a better place.

WNC: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Bhattarai: I like to spend time with my two beautiful kids and a loving husband. I also like to travel and agree with Gustave Flaubert who has said, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

WNC: Are you involved in community service or other philanthropy?

Bhattarai: I have mentored and advised several high school, undergraduate and graduate students. I hope to extend my service to the local community after I join WNC as a faculty member in August.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, a Master of Science degree in Environmental Analysis and Management from Troy University and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University.


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