Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dream of late Foundation patron Mildred Frank becomes her legacy

Larry Frank stood before more than 120 Daytona State College nursing students on a recent fall afternoon and said his mother would be proud. 

Larry Frank
Though the late Mildred Frank, a longtime Daytona State Foundation patron, was unable to see for much of her life, she never lost her vision of what could be. Keenly aware of how the legally blind must endure misconceptions about their disability, she made it her life’s mission to be an advocate for the visually impaired.

Among her many accomplishments was a training manual she authored for health care workers and caregivers of visually impaired people entitled “The Vision Aide Manual.” Mrs. Frank continued to revise and update the manual with new ideas until the day before she passed away last year at age 92. But on this autumn day in Bergengren Hall on the Daytona Beach Campus, her presence was felt by her son and many of the students who were using the manual as part of a new seminar called Assisting Persons with Limited Vision offered by Daytona State’s College of Nursing and Institute for Health Services.

“Today is a big deal for my mom,” Larry Frank told the students. “I believe her presence is here today to see 120 upcoming professionals have access to the information in her manual. It is also a big deal to the thousands of people whose paths you will cross during your professional careers and have the opportunity to make their lives a little better, and for their lives to have a little more dignity, and for them to have an opportunity to be a little less dependent on others and to do more for themselves.”

Born with low vision which progressed to the point where she was totally blind by adulthood, Mrs. Frank devoted her life to being an advocate for the visually impaired. She testified before state, national and international governmental and health organizations on how to better serve the visually impaired. She also started the first Low Vision Support Group in Daytona Beach, and spearheaded the Vision Aide Program through Home Instead of Senior Care of Volusia County. She wrote a monthly column for an international publication devoted to caring for the visually impaired and authored two books in addition to her vision aide manual – “Seeing with the Brain” and “Blindness Defeated, Nutrition and Coping Skills.”

The seminar conducted this semester was organized by Dr. Jane Rosati, assistant chair of Daytona State’s Associate Degree Nursing program, and Paula Morton, coordinator for the college’s Institute for Health Services. It is offered as a continuing education for health professionals seminar and also is incorporated into the nursing program curriculum.

“The class focuses not only on teaching students the behavioral sensitivities they should practice when working with the visually impaired, it also takes a comprehensive look at how to help people cope with all stages of vision loss,” Morton said. “Mildred’s book offers practical guides for living with limited or no vision and is intended to make everyday tasks less stressful and more productive.”  

Twelve years ago, the Frank family started the Mildred Frank Low Vision Fund through the Daytona State Foundation. Donations are used to support classes for caregivers of visually impaired people who use Mrs. Frank’s book as an instructional guide. For information on how to donate to the fund, please contact the Foundation at 386-506-4506, email Foundation@daytonastate.edu.

The book is available online at Amazon.com.

ROV building lab brings STEM skills into focus

Nathan Omland, left, and Gerrard Minnis get ready to test
their ROV.
Students in Dr. Debra Woodall’s Introduction to Oceanography course (OCE1001) plunged into Daytona State’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies programs recently by designing and building the perfect, well, crab trap.
Woodall’s first remotely operated vehicle building lab is a study in ocean engineering and environmental sampling. It calls for students to design, build and test a small ROV that will collect underwater samples - in this case, objects representing crabs and filter feeders - which were placed at the bottom of pools during labs that took place on the Daytona Beach Campus and at the Edgewater and DeLand YMCAs.
The exercise is Woodall’s attempt to enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) component of her class. 
From left, Sandra Comte, Mandy Ridley, Marquetta Counts
and Latrice Kinsler show off their sub-surface explorer.
“The lab went far beyond anything I could have imagined,” she said. “The students were enthused and engaged beyond my expectations, and they went away surprised at just how successful they were, with many expressing a new sense of accomplishment and excitement.”
Students were first introduced to the fundamentals of underwater ROVs and how they are used to collect and analyze sub-surface species. Then, they were left to their own imaginations to build working models using kit materials provided by the Marine AdvancedTechnology Education Center (MATE) headquartered in Montery, CA.
Woodall said the ROV building lab will become a permanent part of the Introduction to Oceanography course, which is required for a variety of the institute’s degree offerings, including the Associate of Science in Environmental Science Technology degree and associate of arts/university transfer advising tracks in Marine Science and Marine Biology. 
Students enrolled in Daytona State’s Bachelor of Science in Secondary Earth/Space Science Education degree program also are required to take the Introduction to Oceanography course. “The goal here is to encourage these future teachers to engage their students with this method,” Woodall said. “Many students underestimate their abilities. This experience offers those who will become teachers in particular evidence of how providing students such a challenge can help them realize their true capabilities and build their confidence.”
Daytona State has formal articulation agreements with Florida Atlantic University, Stetson University and the University of Central Florida that allow students to seamlessly transfer to upper division programs following completion of a variety of the institute’s university transfer advising tracks.

College looks to sustainable energy future with PRISM grant

Jim Cox
A PRISM grant by the National Science Foundation is helping Daytona State College develop new credit and non-credit curriculum related to renewable energy. It also is funding the development of solar energy systems at the Advanced Technology College that can serve as models for a sustainable energy future.

Through the Renewable Energy Institute established last year at the ATC - the first of the three-year, $115,000-plus grant - the college will offer two four-day courses beginning in January through its Center for Business & Industry.

The first, Introduction to Solar Thermal (Hot-Water) Systems, takes place Jan. 3 – 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by an Introduction to solar PV Installation course Jan. 10 – 13, also from 8: 30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (More information can be found here.)

Ground-mounted solar panel under construction.
“Our primary goal is to create awareness about sustainable energy,” said Jim Cox, who teaches computer science and electronics at the ATC and is helping to build three grant-funded solar energy grids there. “Our non-credit courses are designed for industry professionals who want to learn more about the renewable energy technologies already commercially available. We also will develop a renewable energy component that will feed into our electronics engineering program curriculum.”

The solar energy systems being installed at the ATC will serve as laboratory models. Each consists of 16 ground-mounted solar panels. Two of the systems are being tied to the facility’s utility grid and each will power its own electronics lab. “We will be able to monitor how much energy we actually have and how much of the power for these two labs is actually being supported by the solar systems,” Cox said. “The third power station will be a standalone available to the general public for charging electric vehicles.”
Installation is expected to be completed in January.

Notables. . .

More than two dozen Daytona State College School of Education students recently helped set up and manage Holly Hill School’s Fall Carnival fundraiser.
As part of their coursework, the Bachelor of Science in Education students must visit the K-8 school daily to tutor children in the Holly Hill Extended Day program.  These pre-service teachers were involved in planning and set-up for the fall carnival event, as well as participating in the action with parents, teachers and Holly Hill students. The annual fundraising event is sponsored by the school’s PTA.
The Holly Hill K-8 grade school has been designated a Professional Development School with Daytona State College’s School of Education.  Holly Hill is Volusia County’s first K-8 school, opening in August 2011.  

“This was a great learning experience for our junior and senior education majors," said Daytona State’s Dr. Joy Lewis, the School of Education professor who supervises the student interns. “We will continue working with the local school on professional development, grant writing, readying practicums, tutoring, mentoring, school improvement and reform."

She added, “All the faculty members in our department have worked in middle and elementary schools as teachers and administrators, and have been very helpful already to the school. A great partnership has begun!”

Dr. Michelle Thompson
English faculty Dr. Michelle Thompson, writing under her pen name Michelle Donice, has published her first novel entitled “The Other Side of Through,” published by Plenary Publishing.

The fiction work, according to the author’s website, centers around Jessie Winters, a woman who has it all: the perfect house, a loving husband, an adorable little girl, a career and all of the outer trappings that signify a rich and blessed life. But underneath it all, something she can’t quite identify is missing. A chance encounter leads to an extramarital affair that ultimately forces Jessie to confront her past and find the courage to move beyond her artificial life into a world where she lives on her own terms.The book is available at Amazon.com.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

College sees growth in STEM program participation

“Life is all about collecting keys,” said Kantis Simmons. “There are many doors to opportunity. Your goals should be to collect the keys that will open them.”

Simmons, a leading motivational and academic success strategist, was a keynote speaker during a symposium this month dedicated to highlighting Daytona State’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Community Scholars program. STEM is a five-year National Science Foundation grant-funded initiative geared toward recruiting students, particularly under-represented, first-generation college students, into STEM-related college majors.

Motivational speaker Kantis Simmons inspires students at a
recent STEM Scholars symposium.

Now in the second year of the grant, Daytona State has seen a surge in STEM-related academic program enrollment, just as state and federal government leaders have called for more emphasis on STEM education from K-12 through the college level.

“Our objective is to help students find the right path, earn their two-year, STEM-focused degree and go on to earn a STEM-related four-year degree,” said Karen Peterson, the college’s STEM Community Scholars coordinator. “We try to demystify the STEM-related fields to show students how they can be applied to our everyday lives.”

Daytona State offers both associate of arts and associate of science programs that qualify as STEM majors, including biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, physics and more. Many lead to careers which, according to a recent Georgetown University study, have the lowest rates of unemployment in today’s job market.

In the past year, the STEM Community Scholars ranks have nearly doubled in size to 580 students this fall semester. Once in the program, students are immersed in a continual and intrusive academic environment that includes personal attention and advising, peer mentoring and coaching, and developing strong social ties with classmates through academic opportunities and extracurricular activities similar to this month’s on-campus symposium which featured Simmons, various employability and study skills workshops and a showcase of local STEM businesses such as Raydon Corp., Teledyne Technologies, Hudson Technologies, Tara Technologies and a host of other members of the Volusia Manufacturers Association.

While there is no typical STEM student, Peterson said all share some common traits, including the ability to earn a four-year degree and the drive to do the work necessary to earn one. While STEM Community Scholars receive a small stipend, they must agree to attend classes regularly, complete their assignments and maintain a 2.75 grade point average.

“When we get them in during the first semester, we discuss the bachelor’s degree program and institution each student is ultimately interested in attending, and we reverse engineer their Daytona State College program of study so they have the classes required to improve the likelihood of being admitted to their chosen program,” she said. Transfer institutions Peterson most works with include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and each of Florida’s public universities. STEM students also are eligible to transfer into Daytona State’s three Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology degree concentrations.

As America’s students lag in math and science when compared to peers around the world, President Barack Obama has made improving STEM education one of his priorities, pledging to increase funding to support such programs. The administration has identified three overarching priorities for STEM education, including increasing the ability of students to think critically in science, math, engineering and technology; improving the quality of math and science teaching; and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott also has signaled increased funding for higher education programs focused on the STEM disciplines in the coming legislative session.

Find out more about Daytona State’s STEM Community Scholars program on the Web.

Deltona Mayor John Masiarczyk dubbed the "Boss of Sauce"

Dave Anderson and Gale Lemerand pose wth Chef's Boss of Sauce
winner John Masiarczyk and his wife Barbara.
Deltona Mayor John Masiarczyk, thanks to his wife Barbara, has earned a year of bragging rights that go with being named the “Boss of Sauce” during the inaugural Mayors’ Fun Coast Barbecue Cup hosted this week by the Daytona State College Foundation.

Barbara Masiarczyk's "Smokey John's BBQ Sauce" won the Chef’s Boss of Sauce Award after nearly 300 barbecue lovers from throughout the community rendezvoused at Daytona State’s Mori Hosseini Center to sample the competition among mayors from Daytona Beach, DeLand, Deltona, Holly Hill, Ormond Beach, Ponce Inlet and South Daytona.

The event challenged each mayor to enter his or her own barbecue sauce, or one from a constituent or restaurant from within the city they represent. Sauce samples were served over meats prepared by
Daytona State’s culinary program students and chefs, and the public was invited to vote on their favorites for 50 cents per vote.

Masiarczyk’s recipe was selected tops in tastiness by a panel of judges that included Michael Benedict, a
Florida Bar-B-Que Association certified judge and owner of Benedict Advertising, Daytona Beach; Daytona State Culinary Chef David Weir; Ken Mincer, executive chef of Stonewood Grill and Tavern, Ormond Beach; and honorary judge Chuck Eaton, husband of Daytona State College President Carol Eaton. In addition, event patrons also voted a delectable concoction entered by South Daytona Mayor George Locke called “Kati’s Special Sauce” as winner of the People’s Choice Award. The recipe was prepared by Kati Hall, daughter of South Daytona Police Chief William Hall.
South Daytona Police Chief Bill Hall and his daughter, Kati, took
home the People's Choice Award.
“The Foundation would like to thank all of our contestants and judges for helping to make this a most enjoyable, successful and yummy event,” said Foundation Executive Director Donna Sue Sanders. “We’re already looking forward to next year’s competition.” 
The event was inspired by an L. Gale Lemerand Entrepreneurial Speaker Series activity held the same evening, which featured Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s of America, a national restaurant chain with more than 170 locations. Anderson inspired the audience, which included many students from the college’s business programs, with his story of a humble start as an entrepreneur who experienced many failures along the road to eventually becoming one of the most recognized names in the restaurant industry.

NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to be on display Nov. 21 at Daytona State

The Volusia County Health Department will bring the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to Daytona State College on Monday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  A portion of the quilt, dedicated to those who have succumbed to the AIDS virus, will be on display in the Photography Hall (bldg. 530) atrium located on the Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
The same evening, the Gay-Straight Alliance student organization also will present the Academy Award winning documentary “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt” at 5 p.m. in the Madorsky Theater, located in the Hosseini Center (bldg. 1200). The film describes the creation of the largest ongoing community arts project in the world.
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt is an outgrowth of the original AIDS Memorial Quilt conceived in 1987 in San Francisco to memorialize AIDS victims and create awareness of the deadly virus. The Quilt was first displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., containing 1,920 3X6 panels. As it traveled the US, more panels were added. The Quilt was last displayed in its entirety in 1996 at the nation’s capital, where it covered the entire National Mall and consisted of 44,000 3X6 panels containing nearly 100,000 names (17.5 percent of US AIDS victims at the time). As the AIDS epidemic continues to claim lives, the quilt has continued to grow. Portions of the quilt are on display throughout the country. 

Today, there are NAMES Project chapters across the US and independent Quilt affiliates around the world. The Quilt to be displayed at Daytona State is under the care of the Region 1 NAMES Project Foundation Chapter.  It is a powerful, visible symbol of the AIDS epidemic and provides unique opportunities to engage discussions about HIV/AIDS.
For more information about the display at Daytona State, please call Bruce Cook at (386) 506-4417, email: cookb@daytonastate.edu.
For more information about the Quilt, visit www.aidsquilt.org.

College’s Professional Council launches Operation Care Package

Daytona State’s Professional Council has successfully completed the first phase of Operation Care Package, an initiative that began during fall semester to benefit college employee family members currently on active overseas military duty.
The council recently collected enough donated items to send 20 care packages containing calling cards, sun block, snacks and other items to a squad of 40 troops serving in Kuwait, where Kathryn Williams, the daughter of Operation Care Package organizer and college research analyst Cassandra Wilmore, is serving a six-month tour. Rudy Perez, nephew of ESOL Coordinator Isabelle Perez, who is stationed in Bahiram, also received care packages for his squad during the first phase of the initiative.
“I was so very impressed with the initial response of this effort, it brought tears to my eyes,” Wilmore said. “Personally, it gave me a special bond with my co-workers who also have children in the military. I find it very comforting to be able to communicate with others who are dealing with the same situations.”
Operation Care Package will continue, with collections beginning in January for another shipment slated just prior to Spring Break. At least two active duty family members of college employees will be selected to receive packages, perhaps more depending on the number of donated items received.
More information on how you can support this effort and the types of items being sought as donations can be found on the Professional Council website.

Notables. . .

Will Dunne
Will Dunne, Daytona State College’s dean of health, wellness and intercollegiate athletics, has been inducted into the Florida College System Activities Association Hall of Fame. A 23-year veteran of Daytona State, as well as an alumnus, Dunne throughout the years has consistently guided the college’s varsity sports programs toward high athletic and academic achievement, including several “Academic Team of the Year” awards.
The FCSAA Hall of Fame is comprised of administrators, coaches, advisors, officials, student-athletes and other nominees who have contributed a minimum of 10 years to FCSAA or one of its member institutions. Inductees are selected by their FCSAA peers.
The college Planning Council  is seeking ways that will help Daytona State College conduct its daily business more efficiently. The council’s Operational Effectiveness and Accountability Committee this week emailed a survey to all college faculty and staff, seeking input on areas where costs savings can be had, where energy usage can be reduced and where services might be enhanced through the use of volunteers. Faculty and staff are asked to provide their ideas and suggestions and complete the survey by Nov. 30. The survey results will be considered as Planning Council proposals are developed in preparation for the next budget year.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Daytona State awarded scholarship grant from Mexican government

Alberto Fierro of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando presents an IME
scholarship grant check to Daytona State College President
Carol Eaton.
The Mexican government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded $16,600 to Daytona State College to provide scholarships and financial assistance to Mexican-Americans and international students from Mexico enrolled in its college credit and adult education programs.
Sponsored by the ministry’s Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), the scholarship program will help up to 150 students enrolled in GED, ESOL and other adult education programs pay for classes and expenses such as testing fees, educational supplies and textbooks. In addition, the program calls for up to eight low-income students enrolled in college-level courses to receive as much as $1,000 each in scholarships.
The Sister Cities Association of Volusia County also has earmarked $2,500 for the Daytona State College Foundation to supplement the grant.
“This represents a great partnership and couldn’t come at a better time,” said Daytona State President Carol Eaton, citing recent legislative changes which require the college to charge fees for historically free adult education programs. She noted that the fees which were instituted this past fall semester have placed a hardship on a student population that can least afford them, resulting in a significant drop in adult education enrollment. “This partnership,” she said, “will help ensure that our doors stay open to anyone who chooses to pursue a better life for themselves and their families through education.”
This week, Eaton and Alberto Fierro of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando formalized the scholarship agreement during a gathering of consulate, Sister Cities and college officials, and students attending ESOL classes at First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs. A majority of IME scholarship-eligible students reside and attend classes on the west side of Volusia County, many of them at community based locations.
Dixie Blake, president of the Sister Cities Association, introduced Maria Velasquez, a Taylor High School graduate who was awarded a scholarship by the association to begin classes at Daytona State. “She is now a senior in the nursing program there,” Blake said. “We did this in partnership with the Daytona State College Foundation because we feel that scholarships are important and it is part of our mission to help young people. We are very pleased to have been able to help Maria and we look forward to helping others.”
Established in 2003, the IME BECAS Scholarship Program is designed to raise the education levels of the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States. Grants are provided to educational institutions and non-profit social organizations across the US to train Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans interested in continuing their education and jobs skills development.  The program’s ultimate goal is to help Mexican communities living abroad to better assimilate into their extended societies by opening doors of economic opportunity through education and workforce training.
The Sister Cities Association of Volusia County is a non-profit organization which promotes international exchanges between cities and people. The organization is twinned with Campeche, Mexico, and Bayonne, France, to establish mutually beneficial cultural, educational and business opportunities.
Last year, more than 500 students of Mexican origin attended Daytona State, including international students from Mexico and Mexican-American citizens. The vast majority enrolled in the college’s School of Adult Education. All US citizens of Mexican descent and international students from Mexico are eligible for the IME scholarship.
For more information about the IME, please visit http://www.ime.gob.mx.

QEP survey distributed online to college faculty and staff

A new component of Daytona State’s Quality Enhancement Plan topic selection process has been initiated in the form of a survey distributed this week to all college faculty and staff, seeking their opinions on what they feel might be the top three topics out of a field of 10 remaining possibilities.
I am excited to see how much interest and support have been given thus far at all levels of the college community during the first phase of the QEP topic selection process, and I look forward to your survey response and continued participation,” said college President Carol Eaton in a campus-wide email sent this week.

The QEP will take Daytona State College into the future with a plan of action designed to enhance teaching and student learning. It is a required part of the reaffirmation process for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its topic development requires broad-based participation by the entire college community. The final topic and its resulting plan of action must meet specific SACS criteria, be research-based, measurable and fiscally feasible.
More than 200 faculty and staff participated in workshops during Fall Planning 2011 to rank an extensive list of potential topics developed during brainstorming sessions held this past spring, as well as from requests for pre-proposals sent out to key constituents in the Volusia and Flagler communities.  The result was a list of nearly two dozen potential topics which have since been merged or refined down to 10. The possibilities as they appear on the survey and what they might include are:
Enhancing Student Retention
  • Reduce or eliminate barriers to student learning
  • Identify student needs in order to line up support services with demand
  • Strengthen student motivation through career advising and intrusive academic advising
  • Increase student engagement through co-curricular activities tied to student learning outcomes
Increasing Student Motivation
  • Create opportunities for students to clarify learning goals
  • Increase career planning for all students
  • Introduce job readiness skills across all programs of study to include honesty, teamwork, and professionalism
  • Increase student motivation through active learning
Fostering Student Engagement
  • Develop a college-wide first-year experience initiative to engage students in activities to enhance learning both in and out of classes
  • Develop real-world applied learning through service learning
  • Encourage civic engagement through leadership development
Increasing Critical Thinking Skills
  • Incorporate critical thinking skills into the academic and career advising goal-setting processes
  • Add critical thinking skills to co-curricular learning activities
  • Apply critical thinking skills to any subject, content or problem to help students with effective communication, creativity, reflection and problem-solving abilities
Enhancing Character Development
  • Infuse ethics, honor and responsibility in a civil society across the curriculum
  • Develop an Honor Code with appropriate sanctions that focus on developing responsible citizenship
  • Implement service learning opportunities to foster empathy toward community and responsible stewardship
  • Infuse character development and leadership through co-curricular learning activities
Developing Technology and Information Literacies
  • Develop information literacy standards to improve retrieval and analysis of information
  • Develop training in instructional design to integrate technology and information literacy skills broadly into the curriculum
  • Develop a college-wide training program to assist students and faculty in mastering technology
  • Use technology to motivate students to achieve higher levels of success
Engaging Students in the Community
  • Create opportunities for internships and jobs
  • Foster empathy toward society through service learning
  • Develop real-world, applied learning experiences
  • Increase communication, partnerships and collaboration with the community
Improving Reading Competence
  • Improve students' ability to read material in all content areas
  • Provide professional development for faculty to foster reading in content areas
  • Encourage faculty to require meaningful reading
  • Engage students in a book club
Improving Writing Competence
  • Set standards across the curriculum for student writing, including research writing
  • Revise the English composition sequence to provide adequate instruction in college-level writing
  • Develop opportunities for life application of writing skills
  • Use writing skills in career planning to include resume and cover letter
Developing Global Awareness
  • Increase knowledge of other cultures across the curriculum
  • Revise the curriculum for the General Education core to strengthen global awareness
  • Develop service learning opportunities in other countries
  • Maximize opportunities for students to experience travel to other countries
  • Maximize opportunities for students to learn foreign languages
Staff and faculty are encouraged to complete and submit the survey promptly. A final topic will be selected during spring 2012. The QEP will be submitted to SACS for approval during summer 2013.