A look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges
The College of DuPage (Ill.) Meteorology program will kick off its spring thunderstorm laboratory field trips with the launching of a meteorological weather balloon at the College’s Glen Ellyn campus, “This free event is open to all community members, students, staff, faculty and especially storm chasers,” said Victor Gensini, COD assistant earth science professor. “This is a great opportunity to learn about the science behind weather balloons — why they are used and the data they provide that is essential to weather prediction.” The balloons, which start out measuring about six feet wide before release, expand as they rise to about 20 feet in diameter. An instrument called a radiosonde is attached to the balloon to measure pressure, temperature and relative humidity as it ascends up into the atmosphere. The balloon flights last for around two hours, and they can drift as far as 125 miles away and rise up to over 100,000 feet (about 20 miles) in the atmosphere.
Raritan Valley Community College’s (N.J.) Visual and Performing Arts Department will present DanceWorks, an evening of student and faculty dance performances. The event will be held in the Edward Nash Theatre at the College’s Branchburg campus. The concert is being produced by Loretta Fois, Director of RVCC’s dance program.
The program will feature works created by faculty and students — all performed by RVCC student dancers. Faculty choreography will include the premiere of Clementia pro qua, a group piece choreographed by Professor Loretta Fois.
The piece will be performed by the Raritan Valley Dance Ensemble, which tours local K-12 schools, senior centers and assisted living facilities. It is set to William Byrd’s Ave Verum and will be performed with live music by the RVCC Chorale, under the direction of John Sichel, RVCC Assistant Professor of Music. Present State, a collaborative group dance for seven with music by Rechenzentrum and Robert Lippok, will be premiered by guest artists Randy James and Shawn Brush. James is the Artistic Director of 10 Hairy Legs, an all-male modern dance company based in New Jersey. Eight student pieces were chosen for the concert. The student choreography is the culmination of a semester of classwork as the students created and rehearsed the new works to be performed.
Volunteer State Community College (Tenn.) has been fine-tuning its severe weather response for many years. Now the college has the title of StormReady to add to its list of accomplishments. The National Weather Service presented the recognition recently. The program is a national effort to prepare communities and institutions for all types of severe weather. “It’s not an easy task to be recognized as StormReady,” said Krissy Hurley, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
“Congratulations, you should be very proud. It’s fitting that this recognition comes on the 11th anniversary of the tornado.” The Vol State Gallatin campus was struck by a tornado on April 7, 2006. At the time, the college officials said that safety drills were one of the reasons that there were only minor injuries on campus. In the years since, Vol State Campus Police have worked to upgrade emergency speaker systems, video monitoring and held CERT emergency response training sessions for faculty and staff. The latest upgrades include tornado shelter signs for all storm-safe areas on campus. “Things were already pretty well figured out here,” Hurley said. “My congratulations for great work that was already done.” “It’s not if it happens, but when it happens,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner. “That’s the attitude that our folks have when planning. It’s created a safe environment here on campus.”