Student Spotlights

Spotlight: Brian Smolnik


“I have had such a great experience in the GOCAT and in my agriculture classes, and I spend most of my time at TRiO.”

Academic Program: AAS Alternative Energy and AAS in Agriculture.

Hometown: West Plains, Mo.

Why did you choose to attend Missouri State-West Plains?

I was looking for an education in Bio-Fuels

How would you describe your experience here?

Outstanding! MSU-West Plains has exceeded all my expectations.

What has been your favorite thing about Missouri State-West Plains?

It is a difficult question to answer. I have had such a great experience in the GOCAT and in my agriculture classes, and I spend most of my time at TRiO.

What has been your favorite course?

That is easy: Bio-Gasification. I’ve learned how to convert wood gas into electrical energy, which was the basis for me entering college in the first place.

How have faculty and staff helped you during your time at Missouri State-West Plains?

All the faculty here who I have contacted have been helpful and supportive in my education at MSU-West Plains.

How did you choose your major?

I am building an aquaponic green house in an experiment for self-sufficiency on my farm. I’m looking to run the project with solar and gasification.

What have you learned from GOCAT and the Agriculture Department that will help you succeed in your education, career or life?

From G.O.C.A.T., I was trained in basic electricity, how to automate my project with programable logic circuits and power the system with solar and wood gas energy. In my agriculture classes, I have learned about green house management, agri-business management horticulture, plant science and aquaponics. All of these classes have been part of the education that I need to help me become successful.

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans are to continue with my aquaponic greenhouse build, which I hope to be the center piece for a self-sufficient farming community.

January 2019 Student Spotlight: Bryan Smolnik

GOCAT’s student spotlight this month is Bryan Smolnik, a Technology Degree student with the Alternative Energy option at Missouri State University, West Plains.

Bryan is currently a landlord, managing several properties in the West Plains area. Bryan has done many things in his life. He has been a welder, worked on the railroad, worked in power plants and mines, water treatment projects, and so much more.

Bryan has always been interested in environmental work; he now has decided to go back to school and pursue Alternative Energy at GOCAT.