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National Science Foundation Grant Awarded to Suffolk to Increase STEM Degrees for Underrepresented Minority Students
Suffolk County Community College will be awarded $100,000 of a $4 million grant as a partner institution in the SUNY Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program. The program is a collaboration of 14 SUNY schools who are partnering in the new five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among underrepresented minority student populations.
“The strength and success of Suffolk’s STEM scholars and the vital role of community colleges, particularly Suffolk, remain crucial entry points and valued partners in this LSAMP alliance within SUNY. This results in long ranging benefits for our diverse students, enabling them to bridge from the community college to the baccalaureate level, on to graduate school and into the STEM workforce-the next generation of STEM scholars,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay.
Dr. Candice Foley, Suffolk County Community College will serve as a SUNY LSAMP Associate Director for the alliance; responsible for community college activities, successful 2-4 year transfers, and as a liaison to National Science Foundation (NSF) programs. The five-year award includes funds for stipends to Suffolk STEM students to engage in authentic research experiences – a known high impact practice for increasing participation and completion by underrepresented populations in STEM. Stony Brook and the other SUNY schools will look to expand the alliance and create additional STEM curriculum opportunities for students.
Over the next five years, the three leading goals of the project will be to:
- meet the continuing challenge of preparing under represented students for a successful transition into STEM majors;
- provide experimental activities that lead to socialization into science; and
- promote systemic change by broadening participation in research.
Since 1996, SUNY LSAMP has been an instrumental in shaping STEM education and forging new opportunities for UREP students to pursue and succeed in STEM programs and degrees in New York State and has garnered an 11-fold increase in STEM enrollment for minority students in the last 20 years in New York State. The program has also helped increase STEM bachelor’s degrees by almost 300 percent. During the past five years, the program has been a catalyst to helping to nearly double community college students transferring to four-year STEM undergraduate programs.
Suffolk County Community College is building a two-story, 33,792- square-foot Renewable Energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Center on the Michael J. Grant, Brentwood campus that will be the first of its kind in the state community college system.
Source: Suffolk County Community College
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Professor of Astrophysics Dr. Michael Inglis and Sean Tvelia, associate professor of physical science recently captured two stunning, out-of-this-world images — a photo of the Moon, another of the Ring Nebula that is some 2,300 light years away and the Andromeda Galaxy — from Suffolk County Community College’s state-of-the-art observatory. A light year is equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is nearly six trillion miles (that’s a six with 12 zeros)!
The College’s Observatory sits atop the Smithtown Sciences Building on the Ammerman Campus in Selden and is housed under a 20 ½ foot rotating dome. The observatory is equipped with networked computer controls allowing partial operation from remote locations. Full networking and remote operation are planned in the near future. Suffolk County Community College now has one of only five observatories in our county − Stony Brook University, Custer in Southold, The Vanderbilt Museum and Montauk are the other four – and Suffolk Community’s is among the largest.
The instrument can also be operated via electronic hand controls and is equipped with software that accesses a catalog of coordinates for 145,000 celestial objects that make viewing and moving from one object to another easier. The telescope’s primary mirror also has ultra-high transmission coatings to help increase light transmission by 20 percent, making objects brighter, and is mounted to a 12-foot-tall cylindrical metal pier that is filled with sand to dampen vibrations. There is an additional vibration dampening system on top of the pier that was designed and installed by Suffolk County Community College Science Department faculty, consisting of metal plates with rubber spacers.
Astronomers using the new telescope can also record what they are seeing through the college’s CCD Camera equipped with filters that meet astronomical research standards.
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The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has awarded Suffolk County Community College Meteorology Professor Scott Mandia the AGU Ambassador Award, given annually to honorees for their contributions to the Earth science community. Additionally, Mandia was honored as a Union Fellow for “attained acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences.”
The awards, according to the AGU, recognize achievements in advancing Earth and space science.
Carol Finn, AGU president and Judith Ann McKenzie, Chair of the Honors and Recognition Committee wrote in announcing the 2014 awardees:
“We honor these individuals, whose passion for scientific excellence and outstanding achievements in advancing and communicating science significantly contribute to a better future for us all. Their work truly embodies AGU’s vision to “advance and communicate science and its power to ensure a sustainable future.”
“The entire College community joins me in congratulating Professor Mandia,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay.
“Scott’s commitment to our College, outstanding performance and high academic standards are an inspiration to each of our students, faculty and staff,” McKay said, adding “this award is well deserved.”
“I am honored that the American Geophysical Union has recognized me for this prestigious award and am pleased that the AGU recognizes the work of community college faculty in promoting science education. There are numerous people who have helped me with my climate outreach efforts and they share this award with me,” Professor Mandia of Miller Place said.
Mandia helped found the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, which matches journalists with scientists to enable the media to better explain climate change and meteorological phenomenon to the public and co-founded the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, to assist scientists when they face legal scrutiny of their work, including demands for their personal correspondence.
In 2011 Mandia was called upon by The White House to present research about the impact of large-scale climate change on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes after a EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22 of that year. The tornado killed 158, injured 1,150 and caused $2.8 billion in damages – the costliest single tornado in US history.
In addition to climate change, Mandia has written about Long Island hurricanes including the New England Hurricane of 1938, known locally as the “Long Island Express” and the future vulnerability of Long Island to hurricanes. He co-authored a book with Hunt Janin titled: Rising Sea Levels that was released before Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island and warned about the devastating effects of such a storm on New York.
Mandia is often called upon as an expert by journalists and news organizations to explain meteorological phenomena.
Professor Mandia appears throughout the program below, including a segment at approximately 42:50 with the Suffolk County Community College Men’s Basketball Team explaining storm surge.
Mars and the Summer Constellations Family Astronomy Program and Planetarium Show
*** with Night Sky Observations ***
Friday June 27th, 2014 – 7:30PM
Suffolk County Community College
Mathematics and Science Dept
121 Speonk Riverhead Road Riverhead, NY 11901
Program to take place in the Shinnecock Building Room 111
Hosted by Charles Cardona and Janet Tierney
Lyra the harp
Cygnus the swan
Aquila the eagle
Scorpio the scorpion
The Big Dipper
Sagittarius the archer
Posted on 23 May 2014
A two-story, 33,792- square-foot Renewable Energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center on the Suffolk County Community College Michael J. Grant, Brentwood campus—the first of its kind in the state community college system—moved closer to reality when the Suffolk County legislature appropriated funding for design and planning of the new facility on May 13. Fifty percent of the $19.5 million center’s funding comes from New York State.
The new facility will house laboratories and classrooms to teach installation, maintenance and repair of solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and other green power technologies, according to Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay who said plans call for the building to be solar-powered with geothermal heating and would contain a prototype solar house on rails that could be used indoors or rolled outside to test various renewable energy materials.
“Importantly, “McKay explained, “the second floor of the facility will serve as an incubator in conjunction with Stony Brook University, as well as space for cybersecurity educational and development opportunities.”
McKay said the new building will be sited next to the College’s Workforce and Development Center on the Michael J. Grant Campus.
Suffolk County Community College Nears Completion on State-Of-The-Art Observatory on the Ammerman Campus
Selden, NY – Suffolk County Community College has recently installed a state-of-the-art observatory on the roof of the Smithtown Science Building on the Ammerman Campus in Selden. Once commissioned, the College will have one of the largest observatory facilities on Long Island and will be among the largest in New York State.
The new Observatory will serve as a teaching tool for students, a research tool for faculty, and a resource for the local community.
Dr. Mike Inglis, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics on the Ammerman Campus, said, “Once the observatory is networked, and telescopes are installed and commissioned, we will be able to offer an amazing facility that will allow us to show the wonders of the universe to Suffolk County Community College faculty, students and local county residents, as well.”
“This observatory, along with several other collaborations with four-year colleges and other astronomy initiatives, is an indication of the commitment to teaching, research and public outreach that the astronomy faculty and the College have to offer,” said Dr. Shaun L. McKay, President of the College.
Completion of the observatory project is expected later this semester.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Mary M. Feder, Director of College Relations
Suffolk County Community College