Christopher Camphouse

Hands-off learning:

Climbing safety student Isaac Moon puts his feet up as new wind energy instructor Brian Boatright, left, teaches Ben King CPR/AED procedures

Photo by Ike Fredregill

Actor switches roles

New instructor steps onto wind energy stage

An exodus of technical trades’ instructors has left gaps in Laramie County Community College’s renewable energy program but has opened opportunities for a globetrotter seeking to settle down.

LCCC hired Bryan Boatright as interim wind energy instructor after two wind energy instructors “dragged up.” John Lamorie, wind energy program director, and Christian Winger, wind energy instructor, resigned during the 2013 holiday break. Ed Olson, integrated systems program director, resigned shortly after the spring 2014 semester started.

“We anticipated a lot of that happening down there,” Dr. Joe Schaffer, LCCC president, said. “When people are hired under one set of expectations, and some of those things change midstream, it’s natural for them to either become disconnected or just disenchanted.”

Under the gun and working on the changes in the wind energy program, feelers for LCCC came across a “diamond in the rough,” Schaffer said about hiring the new wind energy instructor.

New Wind Energy instuctor blends right in

Melvin Hawkins, dean of the business, agriculture and technical studies school, called Boatright, a military communications specialist turned actor turned wind energy instructor, on a Thursday, and he arrived the following Monday. “I’ve only been here two weeks, and the students have already forgotten there was a change,” Boatright said.

The way the program is planned will alleviate the pressures added by a lack of instructors, Boatright said with confidence. He said increasing enrollment in LCCC’s renewable energy courses and an online focus will be among his priorities.   

“The amount of money LCCC was able to put into the [wind energy] program is part of what lured me here,” Boatright said. LCCC is the envy of the wind energy field among technical colleges across America, he added.

“Another reason I took this job for the long term is I need to do something before I get too old to do it,” Boatright said. “I’m 42 years old, and I’m ready to settle down.”

New instructor presents multiple talents

Boatright is a Gold Cross CPR/AED-certified trainer and certified Occupational Safety and Health Administration 500/510 instructor, who served in Somalia and Cuba with the U.S. Army, and instructed wind energy courses at the Pinnacle Career Institute of Missouri and Kansas as well as at the Michigan Institute of Aviation Technology, reported an LCCC news release.

Boatright has an associate of applied arts degree in film/commercial/industrial/theatre arts from the Kim Dawson Southwest Acting Conservatory and has served as a Star Fleet officer on the Enterprise 1701-D in “Star Trek: The Experience” at the Las Vegas Hilton and starred in an Orange Cellular Israel commercial, according to his online résumé.

“With acting, I’m immortalized forever,” Boatright said. “But, as I tell people, acting doesn’t always pay the bills.”

Boatright entered the renewable energy field because he said he wanted to give back to the global community. “Those wind turbines, those solar panels, those hydrogen fuel cells that are out there right now, I put them up,” Boatright continued. “I wanted to get that ball rolling for the human race.”

Boatright said he started out wiring wind turbines and has since worked on turbines from 20 different manufacturers in Canada and the U.S. during his eight years in the wind energy industry. His subject matter expertise as a wind turbine technician and commissioner allowed him to break into the field of wind energy instruction, Boatright continued, and his acting career lends presentation to his classes, adding to the complete experience he said he hoped to offer the students of LCCC.

“I want LCCC to be my final home, and the last career change I’ll ever make,” Boatright said.

Having traveled the world, Boatright said the climate change from Los Angeles to Cheyenne wasn’t too much trouble. His life on the road, he continued, has kept him well-acclimated to a diverse array of weather patterns. Boatright’s profession has taught him a lot about the science of wind but Wyoming has succeeded in surprising him, he said.

“In the rest of the country, wind only blows during the day,” Boatright noted. “But in Cheyenne, it defies the laws of physics.” 

 

  


LCCC Wind Energy

LCCC hires new Wind Energy instructor