STEM Center opens doors


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The Adams State University STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Center ribbon cutting included a brief thank-you from President David Svaldi. He said he appreciates the dedication and effort by faculty and staff who initiated the idea for the STEM Center and took part in the grant writing process.

The STEM Center was built on the third floor of Porter Hall, as part of the Academic Support component of the Title V STEM Grant. The grant states that the STEM Center will "comprehensively address students' academic support needs across STEM departments."

The STEM Center provides a place for students to receive tutoring in specified STEM courses, as well as a general workspace. There are four small study rooms which are available for individual or small group tutoring, as well as a large study room which will be used for supplemental instruction sessions, and peer-led team learning workshops. The STEM Center will also provide a meeting place for STEM organizations such as Adams Atoms and Women in Science.

According to Cindy Bervig, Title V activity director, with the opening of the STEM Center, STEM faculty from all departments are able to "increase their visibility and accessibility and foster supportive relationships with students" as they hold some of their office hours in the new space, according to the grant.

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Svaldi's acknowledgements included Marcella Garcia, Title V project director; Lillian Gomez, Title V Institutional Grant Project Director; Tawney Becker, grant specialist; Dr. Michael Mumper, senior vice president of Enrollment Management/Program Development; Dr. Matt Nehring, department chair of chemistry, computer science and mathematics; Dr. Benita Brink, department chair of biology and earth science; Uriah Valdez, Title V project specialist; and Bervig.

In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Adams State a $3.6 million grant from the Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) STEM program. The five-year grant will fund several initiatives to help more Hispanic and low-income students earn a STEM degree.

The grant also supported renovations to Adams State's Zacheis Planetarium last summer.