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Chico State

’Cat Tales: Racing to the Finish

race car zooms down a track

by Trevor Ryan

By Quinn Western, social media and photography intern

Three Years to the Finish Line

A team of 15 students gathered three years ago with the idea of building a race car. Now those designs and long hours in Plumas Hall have brought them to a near-finished project with a big competition on the horizon—Formula SAE in Lincoln, Nebraska.car1

The competition consists of building an open-wheeled race car, testing its dynamics, and following safety guidelines. This ranges from speed to design to business logistics.

Josh Miranda, a senior mechatronic engineering student, spearheaded the project as lead manufacturer, lead engineer, and a driver.

“This project was my baby,” Miranda said.

The group spent most of the first year designing and the past two years building the car. It has been driveable since November, but the group has recently run into brake and wiring issues.

“We kind of like the challenge of figuring out what’s wrong,” Miranda said.

car2It’s all a part of the hands-on experience.

“You’re not going to get this experience in the classroom,” Miranda said.

Twelve members of the team will drive to Lincoln, Nebraska, in June to compete against 80 other colleges. Some teams from Europe are near Formula One status and are even sponsored by Red Bull, and they will be near the front of the pack. Miranda expects his team to be in the top 40 and be one of the better first-year teams.

“Our main goal is to have fun and learn a lot, and we have already learned a lot so far,” he said.

Anyone with a love of cars can join the building team. Interested students of any major can email Josh Miranda.

Photos by Jason Yu and Trevor Ryan.

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History Students Dominate Regional Conference

Three students won awards at the 2014 Northern California Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta for their excellence in research and writing.

Students from eight universities competed in Northern California and Chico State took home three of the six awards.

  • Rodney Thomson won first prize undergraduate paper for his work titled “Monstrous Opinions: Muggletonians and the Question of Dissent in Restoration London.”
  • Michelle Erstad took home second prize undergraduate paper for “The Greatest Discovery of My Generation: The Disability Rights Movement in 1960s America.” 
  • Sean Painter claimed second prize graduate paper for “Custer Died for Our Entertainment.”

Thomson, a senior history major, wrote his paper about religious dissent in London during the Restoration period from the perspective of Lodowick Muggleton, the leader of the Muggletonians.

“If I had to guess at how much time I have invested in it, between researching, writing, and editing, 120 hours would be a conservative estimate,” he said.

Thomson’s winning piece will be published in this year’s Chico Historian.

Thomson is confident in his writing skills but was still surprised when he heard about the award because he read the other papers submitted and described the other presentations as top notch.

“Not only does participation in academic events such as the Phi Alpha Theta conference give you something positive to add to your curriculum vitae, it also provides a venue for practicing presentation skills—something many dread, but one which turns out to be extremely useful in many professions,” Thomson said. “Plus, conferences are just fun, and a great way to meet others who share similar interests—and what could be negative about that?”

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Hundreds Run and Walk to Raise Money for Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic

Friends, family, and peers of Kristina Chesterman gathered on Sunday, May 4 in Lower Bidwell Park to raise money to build a clinic in her name.ChestermanWalk

Chesterman was a senior nursing student when she was struck and killed while riding her bicycle home from the library by a man arrested for drunken driving.

The money raised from the Live, Laugh, Love… Run! 5K/10K will go toward the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic in Africa, where Chesterman wanted to travel to through Doctors Without Borders.

After the run was over, there were booths set up with information about the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Clinic, which took donations, sold tiles that will be displayed in the lobby of the clinic, and sold Chico Bags with the clinic logo on them, said Kayla Kriech, a senior nursing student who was friends with Chesterman.

Other booths included

  • Janice Walker with Project SAVE had a booth with information about how the organization will fill and ship a 40-foot container full of medical equipment and supplies when the clinic is built
  • Chico Wellness Center had three massage therapists volunteering their time and gave any donations they received to the clinic
  • Bumpnote Factory designed and printed the T-shirts
  • Enloe Medical Center had an information booth and an ambulance for people to explore
  • Lifeline EMS volunteered their time to be the first-aid station
  • The Black Kettle food truck
  • Mike G-ride provided the music and transported Susan Vieira, the woman who received Chesterman’s heart

Donations can be made toward the clinic at Go Fund Me. Read more about how the way Chesterman lived her life has inspired her family, friends, and community in the Inspiring Seniors edition of Inside Chico State.