Campus Trivia with Russ Schumacher November 2018

Trivia Winner Leorah McGinnis and Russ Schumacher
Leorah McGinnis and Russ Schumacher in front of the atomic sculpture.

OK, last month’s question was a little tricky. Leorah McGinnis, manager of the lab of Associate Professor Kim Hoke in the biology department, knew that the sculpture of an atom is located next to the entrance to the Physics Department in the Engineering Building from the time she spent tutoring in the building.

As for what element the artwork is supposed to represent, submissions ranged from nitrogen to boron. However, Professor Jake Roberts, head of the Department of Physics, said the sculpture, which was installed in May 2017, is a conceptual representation of an atom and not supposed to represent any element in particular. The sculpture contains no information about the composition of the nucleus, so it could be an ion of almost any element. And, although there are five “electrons” visible, “some electrons could be ‘in the wall,’ so the total number could be higher,” he added, in a nod to the quantum-mechanical nature of things.

Leorah has been working in the Hoke lab since before she graduated from CSU with her bachelor’s degree in zoology in 2015. She now supervises undergraduates working on DNA sampling as well as on other projects. She said she doesn’t usually play trivia, but now she has an incentive to enter again.

For having her answer drawn at random from all the correct answers submitted (she guessed boron), Leorah received a $20 gift card to Mugs Coffee Lounge, and the coveted CAM the Ram bobblehead autographed by State Climatologist Russ Schumacher, also the winningest Ram to ever to appear on Jeopardy!

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day – the end of World War I, now celebrated as Veterans Day on Nov. 11 – this month’s question has a military focus.

Q: How long has military science been part of Colorado State?

Email your answer with November Trivia in the subject line to by Nov. 26.