2021 Guinness World Records Includes CCC Grad and Intern

December 21, 2021

Woman in a mushroom canoe.A Central Community College alumna and intern have earned a spot in the 2021 Guinness World Records.

Katy Ayers (pictured), a 2021 graduate of the Columbus Campus, and Nebraska Mushroom LLC owner William “Ash” Gordon hold the record for creating the world’s longest fungal mycelium boat. The 7 ft. 6 in. mushroom boat was constructed by Ayers and Gordon in 2019. To see the Guinness World Records entry online, please click here.

“Being named as Guinness World Record holder is a forgotten dream-come-true for me,” said Ayers. “I used to try and fail to break Guinness World Records as a child, and I cannot begin to express the elation of earning one as an adult.”

Gordon, who serves as an intern in the CCC environmental sustainability office, is also listed as a record holder for his role in the mycelium boat’s creation.

"Being recognized for our accomplishment by an iconic publication like Guinness is super exciting,” said Gordon. “I hope that people from across the world will read about us and find inspiration for their own passion in life. Working with Katy to create the mycelium canoe was an extremely enjoyable experience that inspired me to continue experimenting with mycelium composites and to research new ways to utilize the power of fungi.”

After graduating from CCC in May, Ayers transferred to Washington State University (WSU) which is one of the foremost institutions in mycology research. According to the plant pathology web page on the Washington State University website, three-quarters of the faculty have research projects involving fungi.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had at CCC which enabled me to transfer to a much larger university with confidence,” said Ayers. “I feel lucky to have had such caring instructors and advisors who helped me follow my passion. In this case, it led me toward a world record.”

During the fall 2021 semester, Ayers served as a chemistry teaching assistant and a technical research assistant for the WSU department of crop and soil sciences.