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2018 November 6 - 10:37 am

Around Campus

A Look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges

Higher education just became more accessible for a group of students in Liberia. The computer lab at Nimba County Community College now has 21 new computers, including 14 Dell laptops that once belonged to Mid- Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska. The computers were purchased by members of the Atlanta, Ga. based Union for Nimba Development and Progress, a nonpolitical, not for profit organization created by Nimba County immigrants living in the U.S. The rest of the computers in the lab were also provided by UNNIDEP members and donor partners. UNNIDEP members strive to orchestrate positive change in the living, working and educational conditions of their families back home. Liberia is emerging from a brutal civil war that reduced the country’s infrastructures and institutions to nothing. Although, the war has since ended, its lingering effects continue to take a toll on the many Liberians still living there today. Many lack access to basic health care services, which translates to high infant mortality rates, increased mental illness, childhood malnutrition and deaths. One of the ways UNNIDEP is trying to change that is by providing the resources students need to receive a quality education. “Education is the only tool we can use to empower and impact our people in the most significant way,” said Karneh Tour, UNNIDEP executive director. “When empowered, they can in turn use those sets of skills and knowledge to impact their communities, Nimba County and Liberia in a positive manner.” UNNIDEP’s connection to Mid-Plains is through MPCC information technology instructor and Liberian native Emmanuel Luke. Luke picked up the laptops for UNNIDEP at a surplus equipment auction MPCC hosted a year ago. Not only do they enhance the accessibility of technology to students at the Nimba County college, previously the computer to student ratio was about 45 to 2,000, but the equipment also provides a valuable upgrade. The last time the lab had new computers was 2005, and most were in need of repair. According to Matthew Gongbee, project manager, the computer lab now provides an integrated computer and research experience for the students and faculty at the Nimba County Community College that they didn’t have before.

The 2018-2019 Vol State President’s Ambassadors from left to right. Back row: Cole Harper, Mt. Juliet; Katelynn Roberts, Cross Plains; Rachel Keyes. Nashville; Kaylen Whisnant, Cookeville; Samantha Lang, Tampa, FL; and Alix Stone, Mt. Juliet. Front Row: Melody Montgomery, Livingston; Amber Kittrell, Smyrna; Callie Swallows, Livingston; Robert Kirby, Cookeville; Brianna Hogan, Centerville; Anedra Moore, Nashville; and Megen Roberts, Lebanon.

Volunteer State Community College (Tennessee) has a new group of President’s Ambassadors for 2018-2019. The Ambassadors represent the college at events, conduct campus tours and help with public relations. Students selected for the President’s Ambassadors scholarship program go through a rigorous vetting and interview process. Successful candidates are selected from over two thousand eligible students. To be eligible for the program students must have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and have completed at least 12 college-level credit hours at Vol State. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees at the instate rate, as well as a $300 per semester book stipend. Students selected serve a one-year term.

Northampton Community College (Pennsylvania) is pleased to welcome new international students on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State's Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program's Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program. Joining the Northampton Community College family are Bahaeddine, Safa, Sahar, and Seddik. The Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program builds the workforce and leadership skills of a diverse group of young technical institute students from across Tunisia. Through U.S.-based training, practical professional experience, community engagement and service learning, Tunisian youth gain the skills needed to contribute to economic and social development in Tunisia. Through a yearlong program of study in the United States, TCCSP participants develop academic knowledge and skills in their field of study. By interacting with Americans in the classroom, in the community and through service-learning activities, TCCSP participants develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values, become citizen ambassadors, and create links between Tunisians and Americans to increase crosscultural understanding. In order to gain practical hands-on experience in their fields of study, TCCSP participants engage in career preparation activities in the fall term and undertake professional internships in the community during the spring term. They return to Tunisia with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be leaders and innovators in their fields and contribute positively to Tunisia's development. The Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S Government and administered by IREX.

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