The SUNY Fredonia Vision Statement begins, "SUNY Fredonia aspires to be a comprehensive, selective, diverse, residential institution that is above all a community of learners." The hard work and dedication of faculty and staff is demonstrated daily in many ways, large and small. The externally funded programs described here are a testament to the belief in the tenets of our Vision Statement.
It's Not Just the Money
More than a year ago, Ziya Arnavut and Junaid Zubairi, Computer Science, and Joseph Straight and Meral Arnavut, Mathematical Sciences, applied for and were successful in obtaining a National Science Foundation Mathematics and Computer Science (MACS) Scholarship Program. The goal of the National Science Foundation funded MACS Scholarship Program is to increase the number of students who enter, pursue, and complete SUNY Fredonia's rigorous programs in pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and computer science. Students in the SUNY Fredonia Cooperative Engineering program majoring in mathematics or computer science will also be eligible. Funds are available to support 30 scholarships annually, at $3,000 per scholarship. The award additionally will help support internship and research opportunities available to MACS Scholars to better prepare students for competitive graduate programs and professional careers. A 12-person advisory board comprised of SUNY Fredonia faculty and staff members and representatives from the local and national business communities will oversee the project.
The Importance of Mathematics and Science Educators
The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and professionals to become mathematics and science teachers. The program funds institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends, and programs for students who commit to teaching in high need schools. With the funding of a Noyce Scholarship Program on the SUNY Fredonia campus, PI Joseph Straight, Professor in Mathematical Sciences and his Co-PIs (Michael Jabot, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Associate Professor of Science Education; Holly Jon Lawson, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry; and Jamar Pickreign, Associate Professor of Science Education, College of Education) have established a program to increase the number of students who enter and complete the rigorous programs leading to initial certification in Biology/Adolescence Education (grades 7-12), Chemistry/Adolescence Certification, Earth Science/Adolescence Education, Physics/Adolescence Education, Mathematics/Adolescence Education, and Mathematics/Middle Childhood Education (grades 5-9). The funds support a total of 14 scholarships annually, at $7500 per scholarship. The program also seeks to promote greater diversity among and better mentoring for our STEM certification majors, and provide better support and professional development for our STEM certification graduates during the critical first years of in teaching. Increasing the number of highly qualified math and science teachers in high-need schools will have an obvious positive impact on student learning. This impact will be multiplied as students apply their improved math and science skills to earn degrees in technical fields, with some becoming math and science teachers themselves, and perhaps returning home to start technical careers, new businesses, or helping teach the next generation of students.
A Role Model's Inspiration
The US Department of Education's McNair Scholars Program was created in memory of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, a Physicist and NASA Astronaut who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center. The Fredonia McNair Scholars Program supports undergraduate students planning to pursue graduate study leading to a doctorate in Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Secondary Education in Math or the Natural Sciences, Research in Social Sciences, Speech Pathology and Audiology, research in health related fields, and/or a research orientated degree program. Eligibility for the program includes: U.S. Citizen or permanent resident; either a first generation college student from an income eligible family OR a member of a group historically underrepresented in the field of study. The SUNY Fredonia McNair Program works closely with participants through their undergraduate years, encourages their entrance into graduate programs, and tracks their progress to successful completion of advanced degrees. Services provided by the program include: research opportunities for participants who have completed their sophomore year of college, mentoring, seminars and other scholarly activities designed to prepare students for doctoral studies, summer internships, tutoring, academic counseling, assistance in obtaining student financial aid, and assistance in securing admission and financial aid for enrollment in graduate programs. The application was originally written by Dr. Gregory Harper, Professor in the College of Education, and successfully run by Project Director Kimberly Gladden.
Undergraduate Research Opportunity
Michael S. Milligan, Professor of Chemistry, is the supervising faculty member on a new venture for SUNY Fredonia. Undergraduate student Julia Glovack will work under a contract with the Batelle Corporation, a global science and technology enterprise that develops and commercializes technology. Ms. Glovack will work on a project from their Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, an Office of Science laboratory within the U.S. Department of Energy. Working at Fredonia with Dr. Milligan and on site in at the Batelle labs, her project is the synthesis, characterization and testing of nanoporous thiophosphate materials. Investigation results will contribute significantly to fundamental research to design and develop a suite of novel nanoporous materials that can be applied to actual problem sets.
Supporting Science and Technology Careers
A NYS Education Department funded program, C-STEP is designed to provide services to students from underrepresented populations or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are seeking careers in the sciences, mathematics and technological fields, and the licensed professions. The program features strong individualized contact and support, and includes academic monitoring. C-STEP's goal is to produce and retain competent, well-rounded, and developed scholars in science, mathematics, technology, and pre-licensed fields through personalized and intensive experiences. C-STEP was originally designed and authored by Principal Investigator Daniel Dobey, Professor of Science Education in the College of Education, who remains active in the program. C-STEP is directed by Barbara Kennedy, Project Director.