By ccw  /  
2015 May 13 - 02:44 pm

Faculty Lounge

A Look at Faculty Activities at Various Community Colleges

The new farm manager at Central Carolina Community College’s Chatham County Campus (N.C.) is driven by goals of sustainability, not just for the student farm but for his students themselves. James Fry, who holds post-graduate and graduate degrees in agricultural education and horticultural science, said “sustainable” is a word that is used a lot, but few people really understand what it means.

Fry noted that the CCCC student farm — which ranks among the Top 20 best college farms in America, according to Best College Reviews — seeks to build healthy, fertile, and living soil through cash crops, cover crops and livestock rotation.

This practice breaks up pest and disease cycles, thereby reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. As a certified permaculture designer, Fry has a passion for deliberate ecological design, which integrates human needs with natural systems and cycles. He feels that with careful planning, the land can be productive and functional through the long-term with relatively little human intervention. This can help reduce dependence on purchased products, making basic human needs more readily available at prices fair to the consumer and farmer alike. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from N.C. State, Fry started his own landscape business focusing on earth-friendly design.

He found that one of the most rewarding parts of the job was its educational component. So Fry began teaching horticulture courses as an adjunct at Forsyth Technical Community College. He attended N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University to earn a master of science in agricultural education and professional service.

Kitty Brandal, an adjunct member of the Terra State Community College (Ohio) faculty, will compete in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Speaking in Las Vegas in August. Brandal won club and division levels before competing at the Northeast Ohio Region annual spring conference in Cleveland where she captured first place again. The contest involves a five-toseven-minute inspirational speech. With the district title, she now advances to the semi-final competition for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. She will join 89 other district winners from every corner of the world. Only 10 will be chosen to compete on the grand stage for the title. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

Lauren H. Braun-Strumfels, a history instructor at Raritan Valley Community College (N.J.) has been accepted as one of 16 participants in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, “The Cross Border Connection.” The five-week program is directed by Roger Waldinger, distinguished professor of sociology at UCLA. The seminar will include reading and discussing foundational works of scholarship in migration studies taken from history, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and borderlands studies. Participants also will present their current work on migration studies. Braun-Strumfels will present her book proposal and sample chapter focusing on the little-known Office of Labor Information and Protection for Italians, which operated at Ellis Island in the mid- 1890s. Her scholarly work builds on research conducted while she was an affiliated fellow at the American Academy in Rome.

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