Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daytona State faculty make connections through College Experience Day

About seven years ago, Richard Tamburro, a longtime professor of mathematics at Daytona State College, and Science Professor Walter Saviuk began visiting Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, connecting with at-risk AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program students there to persuade them that they had what it takes to be successful in college.
Then one day, a Pine Ridge teacher suggested that she bring her students to Daytona State for a visit. “That started College Experience Day, and it just keeps growing every year,” Tamburro said.
Retired longtime Science Professor and former
department chair Al Bonamy is among a number of
past and present Daytona State academics who
volunteer during College Experience Day.
College Experience Day is a component of a cross-discipline committee of faculty called College Connections.  Now comprised of more than 50 participating Daytona State faculty, committee members work directly with middle and high school teachers to bring their classes to Daytona State and get a taste of life as students of higher education.  Since 2005, more than 2,000 Volusia and Flagler County students have participated in a College Experience Day.
 “We work directly with the middle and high school teachers to give the students a college-level academic experience,” Tamburro said. “We send them to class for a day. We give them assignments, worksheets, homework. We do regular classes in just about every subject and scale them to their skill levels, so they can gain a sense of accomplishment and feel like they can be a success when they attend college.”
AVID is a national program designed to help students in the middle prepare for and succeed in colleges and universities. Students in the program commit themselves to improvement and preparation for college. AVID offers a rigorous program of instruction in academic “survival skills” and college-level entry skills. More than 425,000 elementary and secondary school students participate in the program nationwide.
Recently retired Photography Professor and
department chair Patrick Van Dusen speaks on
the finer points of photographic technology.
During a typical College Experience Day, students attend 50-minute classes that involve active learning activities. Usually, two or three classes are offered simultaneously. Students then have lunch with Daytona State career counselors and academic advisors, who help them explore career and degree options.
It’s a passive form of recruitment, Tamburro said, noting, however, that the effort encourages the students to consider pursuing higher education in general, not just attending Daytona State exclusively.
“True; however, the value of the faculty-to-faculty relationship between the college and schools is immeasurable.” said Dr. Tom LoBasso, Daytona State’s senior vice president for student development and institutional effectiveness, whose enrollment division plays a supporting role in some College Experience Days.
Tamburro acknowledged that strengthening the bonds between the college and local schools has always been a goal of his group. But the real focus of the effort is on encouraging students and removing barriers to a college education. “We mainly work with the AVID students, but we also work with honors students. We are open to anyone. We never say no, but the at-risk students are the ones who need the push to come to college.”
Statistically speaking, the math professor added, those at-risk students, if they do enroll in college, are most likely to attend Daytona State for their first two years.
In addition to College Experience Day, the committee also targets Daytona State’s Adult Education students through its “Ed Pass” program, which offers a reward incentive that allows adult high school and GED students to sit in on college-level classes. Its CAPS program helps students with the college admissions application process, assisting them, for example, with writing letters of introduction and honing their interview skills. The committee also is piloting a Meet the Professor program, where Volusia students visit Daytona State on early release days to visit professors and gain insights into various disciplines such as photography, art, music and dance.
In addition, the committee is nearing completion of a new Daytona State College Speakers Bureau, scheduled to launch next fall. Over 30 professors have submitted presentation topics, Tamburro said. Professor Richard Doolin leads a video presentation team that will offer lectures through the online component of the Speakers Bureau.

Daytona State College honors students, employees, alumnus at awards convocation

More than 130 students, faculty, staff and an alumnus were honored recently during Daytona State College's annual awards convocation. The convocation is the prelude to the college's commencement exercises, which will take place on Monday, May 14, at 2 and 6:30 p.m. at the Ocean Center.

John M. Kunzer poses with his award's
namesake Mrs. Margaret Crumley.
The Margaret Crumley Award for Distinguished Achievement in Science was presented to John M. Kunzer. The annual award, first presented in 2001, honors an outstanding alumnus who achieved an associate degree from the College of Science at Daytona State. Mrs. Crumley established this award to honor her son, John, and husband, Thomas. Kunzer came through Daytona State College in the 1990s, earning an associate of arts degree with honors in the spring of 2000, and an Associate of Science in Photographic Technology degree with honors in 2001. He transferred to the University of South Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Botany degree, and is employed as a park ranger at Tomoka State Park, where he directs interpretive programs and has recently launched an ambitious initiative to rid the park of invasive plant species. As a student and a work-study employee for the college’s Science Department, he was vital to the development of its Marine Institute. He curated all of the college’s marine mammal specimens and assembled the only herbarium collection in existence of the maritime plants of Volusia County. Kunzer is the only person ever to be nominated for the Margaret Crumley Award who has contributed materially to the development of new teaching resources for the Science Department and the college. Award recipients are nominated and selected by faculty of the Science Department and must be working in (or retired from) a science-related field, have used scientific knowledge to improve their community, and have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of science.

Students were recognized for their academic, community service and athletic achievements. Among the award winners, 14 were named to the Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges and 14 were inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame – the highest honor the faculty can bestow upon a student for excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship. The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees are: Cheryl Anne, Joan Burnette, Chloe D. Finocchio, Dantrell Johnson, Ingrid Laas, Kimble Medley, Toni Palumbo, Zena Remal Jennifer Sciarrino, Evan Shows, Elizabeth Strople, Lisa Swearingen, Peyton Walsh and Lindsay Workman

Selection to the Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges program is based upon academic excellence as well as contributions to the college and to the community. Students selected for 2012 are: Margaret Brescia, Kimberly J. Burgin, Erika Carlson, Lindsay Eatman, Maika Fernandez, Margaret Haller, Denise Hayes, John Hilton, Kimble Medley, Sharon E. Merwin, Toni Palumbo, Zena Remal, Lisa Swearingen and Michael Taylor.
View a complete listing of award winners on the Daytona State College website.

Student Paralegal Association visits Capitol and Florida Supreme Court

Hearing live oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court, watching the Florida State Legislature in action and meeting First Lady Ann Scott were among the highlights of a recent trip to Tallahassee by the Student Paralegal Association at Daytona State College.

Nine students and attorneys Kim Grippa and Todd Richardson, who teach in the Paralegal Studies Program at Daytona State, were able to see all three branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – during their three-day March trip.

Students from the Student Paralegal Association at Daytona State
College visited all three branches of government on a recent trip to
Tallahassee. From left Sirayto Gantt, Charlie Williams, Paralegal Professor
Todd Richardson, Nikki Harp, Leona Jackson, Glenn Florence, Cherryann
Willis, Paralegal Professor Kim Grippa, Johanna Feore, Jessica Winthrop
and Erika Carlson.  

While visiting the Florida Supreme Court, the group heard live oral arguments on criminal law issues, including an appeal of a death penalty sentence based on improper jury selection. At the Florida Archives, the students were able to see the original Florida Constitution and other historical documents.

At the State Capitol, the students observed from the gallery the state House of Representatives in session. The group was recognized from the floor by local state House representatives Dorothy Hukill, Fred Costello and Dwayne Taylor.

Mrs. Scott was present and answered questions when the students were escorted on a private tour of the governor’s mansion by curator Carol Beck.

“The students always learn so much more from experiential learning,” said Assistant Chairperson Linda Cupick, professor in the college’s Paralegal Studies program. “They come back to the classroom and enrich all of us.”

Daytona State offers a 64-credit Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies degree in the School of Applied Business. There are currently 300 students enrolled in the program conducted in the Education Hall on the Daytona Beach Campus. The facility includes a “mock” courtroom where students can experience applied learning related to the legal process.

Notables. . .

Pat Gingras
Daytona State’s Surf Club closed out the 2011/2012 season with a second-place finish in the final Southeast/North Conference contest held in March at New Smyrna Beach.  Daytona State’s Pat Gingras claimed the College Longboard division title. With beautiful Florida weather, the waves were chest high and fun, providing plenty of quality scoring opportunities for the surfers. The Florida Institute of Technology’s “A” team has been virtually unstoppable all season and captured the 2011/2012 conference title.
Hundreds of Volusia County middle school students gathered at Daytona State College recently for a day of activities that focused on making science, technology, engineering and math relevant to their everyday lives. The goal of Volusia STEM is to foster an appreciation of these disciplines and help students develop critical thinking skills that will benefit them in their future careers. Read more about the day’s events in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Dr. Amy Ringue and Dr. Les Potter from Daytona State’s Bachelor of Science in Education program were among 20 volunteers who traveled to Belle Terre Elementary School in Flagler County this month to work with students and show them through a variety of demonstrations that science can be fun. The weeklong program was spearheaded by the Museum of Arts and Sciences.
Also this month, Dr. Betty Nielsen Green from the College of Education participated as a judge in a session of the Volusia County High School Model United Nations, a chapter of the Florida High School Model United Nations. Students debated how to manage the depleted uranium of ammunition and weapons. Participating schools were Spruce Creek, DeLand and Deltona high schools. Students were required to represent 18 countries during the sessions. The local chapter focuses on teaching high school students the principles of diplomacy, compromise, and confidence in public speaking and leadership. Dr. Green is looking for interested persons who would like to participate as judges when the local chapter starts back up in September.  She also is investigating the possibility of launching  a Daytona State College chapter of the Model United Nations similar to programs already active at Stetson University and Bethune-Cookman University. Anyone interested may contact her at (386) 506-3091,
Daytona State’s Women’s Softball Team will play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8 / Florida College Softball Tournament April 27-29 at Exchange Park in Pensacola. The Lady Falcons, 27 wins and 15 losses overall this season, will square off against Indian River State College at noon on the first day of the tournament. Days two and three of the tournament will be broadcast live on the Internet by Panhandle Sports Broadcasting.