A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation
The Santa Monica College (Calif.) Foundation announced that it has awarded a total of more than $90,000 in grants: two “President’s Circle Awards for Innovation and Progress”; one “Chair of Excellence” grant; and 13 “Margin of Excellence” mini-grants to SMC professors. The two winners of the SMC Foundation’s “President’s Circle Award for Innovation and Progress” were: The Forum for Cultural Diversity in the Sciences, a group of professors in SMC’s Physical Sciences and Life Sciences departments, and the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Initiative, which partnered with the student support programs Adelante and Black Collegians to receive a $15,000 award to build cultural awareness among science faculty. They will create forums where underrepresented minority students can interact closely with science faculty, with the aim of increasing engagement, bridging any existing cultural divides and to encourage more underrepresented students to study and choose careers in the sciences. SMC’s Design Technology Department received $18,000 to train professors to become certified Avid and ProTools instructors and qualify SMC as an “Avid Learning Partner.” Students will be able to take the SMC classes on the industry-standard digitalediting software Avid and the sound-editing software ProTools. As students of an ALP, they will then qualify to take the Avid certification exam. The SMC Foundation also named Physical Sciences Professor James Murphy as the winner of the Northrup Grumman and Marvin Elkin Chair of Excellence Award in Physical Sciences. Murphy will use the $15,000 award over a period of three years to lead independent studies and other extracurricular projects where SMC students will build and characterize hydrogen fuel cells, which have been used in the space program and also in energy-efficient automobiles. The SMC Foundation also awarded 13 Margin of Excellence mini-grants, in varying amounts totaling $43,513.
The winners — from SMC’s Art, Business, Dance, Disabled Students Center, Earth Sciences, History, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences,and Math departments, as well as its library and Career Technical Education division — will use their grants to purchase specialized equipment like screen casting software and smart pens. It will also fund special instructional projects such as a multiyear study on the effect of global warming and a light pollution research project.