There was a sense of community—empathy that the professors shared with students.
Daniel and Rebecca Gatt Engineering lab Daniel and Rebecca Gatt Downtown Grand Junction CMU Campus Scenic view of western slope mountains

We’ve seen that collaboration brings about new opportunities and possibilities that can deeply impact communities and individual lives. We worked with Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction to develop the CMU/CU Boulder Mechanical Engineering Partnership Program. From this partnership, we met CMU students Daniel and Rebecca Gatt, who each decided to join the program.

Raised in Montrose, the couple developed an affinity for their hometown. Although their main goal was to receive a reputable degree in mechanical engineering, they also wanted to stay close to home and to their family in Montrose. And with a baby on the way, Daniel and Rebecca thought they were at a crossroads between their life goals.

However, because of the collaborative project between CMU and CU Boulder, Daniel and Rebecca were able to fulfill both of their dreams. The couple traveled to CMU in Grand Junction each day and took turns taking care of their daughter, Emma, in between classes—sometimes even bringing her into the classroom with them. One of Daniel’s favorite parts of the program was the overall support from both colleagues and professors: “The professors were always delighted to see her, and that sense of community made it a lot easier to focus on our studies—not having to worry about people being upset that we had our couple-month-old child with us in school.”

Daniel and Rebecca have graduated and are working at Gordon Composites in Montrose, where they are able to apply their mechanical engineering education in their beloved hometown. As for their daughter, Emma, who is now a toddler, some say that—spending much of her early life in the classroom—she already has an engineering degree.