Campus Connections, Top Stories, Nov. 23

Leadership calling

Looking to develop leadership skills that will serve you well through college and life? SMCC’s semester-long Emerging Leaders Program may be the ticket.

The Emerging Leaders Program helps students find their leadership strengths and learn valuable leadership skills with engaged, like-minded students.

The program was launched at SMCC last year and was such a success that it was offered again this year. People can apply online for the Spring Semester class at Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an Emerging Leaders sweatshirt.

About 40 students have taken part in the program since it was first offered. One of them, Dierdree Glassford, says the class taught her things such as time management, prioritization, diversity and how to delegate.

“Taking the class helped me figure out where my strengths and weaknesses are and to work on them in a positive way,” she said. “It was awesome.”

The class meets every Wednesday from 10-11:30 a.m. for 10 weeks.

Science students collaborate with BYU

Students in this fall’s Genome Research class have been collaborating with a science class at Brigham Young University about marine viruses that have likely never been seen before.

SMCC students in Brian Tarbox’s class have isolated three viruses (known as bacteriophage) that infect marine bacteria. They’ve sent the DNA from the viruses to BYU for sequencing.

SMCC and BYU students will collaborate next semester to identify the genes in the viral DNA. Their findings will be presented on posters at the 2016 national bacteriophage genomics workshop at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia in June.

Tarbox says these are most likely novel viruses that nobody has seen before. Students in his class include Lauren Hayden, Cristopher Kiester, Alexis Kresch and Guy Seavey.

STEM Summer Institute explored

SMCC and educators from area school districts are exploring the possibility of establishing a STEM Summer Institute at SMCC for high school instructors.

School administrators from Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Gorham, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and South Portland met with SMCC staff on Nov. 18 to discuss ways in which SMCC could help facilitate and enhance those districts’ education initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The aim is to help schools collaboratively build or enhance their STEM programs and to develop partnerships between SMCC and the schools.

If there is enough interest, high school science and mathematics teachers from Cumberland and York counties would attend a four-day STEM Summer Institute at SMCC to learn more about developing STEM curriculum in their schools. Curriculum support and planning would be provided by SMCC faculty and other educational specialists in the STEM field.