Midlands Technical College
Following is a summarization
of the progress the team has made so far and a brief synopsis of how the
team is progressing.
So far, we have:
1) Met with department chairs Dianne Luce and Nancy Kreml.
2) Selected a second team member, Curtis Derrick, who will serve
as our liaison with the English faculty on both campuses. I envision
Curtis identifying essays and stories in the current ENG 101 and 102 texts,
as well as finding additional materials, that evoke thought and further
student interest in environmental issues.
3) Assigned acting students a project in which they write and act
in a 30 to 60 second public service announcement based on environmental
4) Produced, directed and edited 4 PSAs, plan to direct 2 more.
5) Planned an evening program for the end of April in which the Public
Service Announcements will be shown to an invited audience, where an award
will be given.
6) Planned an informal Earth month jam session for students
and faculty in April. Dr. Tom Reeves, biologist and guitarist, will
7) Scheduled released time for summer 2001 when planning for
the fall curriculum will take place.
8) Contacted Keith Higginbotham, editor of MTC's annual student
publication and discussed an essay, poetry and art contest specifically
for "Green projects."
9) Contacted art instructor Colin Dodd, who has begun
assigning art projects related to environmental issues in his Spring drawing
and painting classes. These projects will be showcased at our April
I believe Travis Gordon
would complement our team perfectly. Linda and I have already discussed
the need for an Internet savvy teammate, and Travis is that person.
He teaches on the Internet, and has worked extensively as an editor. Travis
is excited about joining the group and already has some great ideas.
We also need to select
a team to judge our PSA's. There are one or two that I believe are
worthy of air time.
Fall will be the semester
when English and Speech faculty will become more involved. I've spoken
to the other speech instructors, and they agree a fall speech contest focused
only on environmental issues, would be a wonderful opportunity for students.
Francis Marion University
I received funding for
designing a new course at Francis Marion University on Social Action. The
course was taught during the Fall 2001 semester in the Honors Program in
a first-year honors seminar entitled: Honors 101: Social Action Practicum.
The class was capped at 15 students. Three students dropped the course
during add/drop. One student stopped attending the course in October (he
may have left the university). Eleven students completed the course.
I had originally envisioned
the course to be an upper-level rather than a freshman course. Some of
the materials may have been a bit too advanced for first-year students.
To attract qualified students, the FMU Honors Program sent flyers describing
courses available for them to take. I do not know if any of the students
who enrolled (with the exception of one) read the flyer that described
the course prior to the first day of class. When I asked students
if they knew what racism, sexism, Anti-Semitism, heterosexism, and environmental
concerns were, many could only answer (briefly) about racism and sexism
(and somewhat on environmental concerns such as recycling and pollution).
Most had little to no knowledge of Anti-Semitism (largely because few admitted
to knowing any Jewish people–never considering the fact that Anti-Semitism
covers more than just hatred of Jews). The heterosexism topic made many
students uncomfortable (as I had expected), but with the help of my T.A.,
Patrick Rabin, an FMU junior in the Honors program who founded Cross-Roads,
the Gay-Straight Alliance, and wished to take the course for its inclusion
of Heterosexism and other Social Action topics, students became more at
ease with the idea that not all people are heterosexual. Patrick was given
special permission to take the course (as he had already completed his
Honors 101 requirement) and helped teach various sections (especially in
the Heterosexism unit). He was able to handle organizing the unit on heterosexism
and helped to put students at ease. Some students even expressed an interest
in joining Cross Roads after interacting with Patrick in class. Not only
was Patrick helpful in the heterosexism unit, but with daily class activities.
course was planned out during the Summer 2001 session, in light of the
September 11th terrorist attacks, I revised some of the course’s discussions
and I asked that students’ social action projects focus on a positive
response to those events. I do think many students learned about the
Muslim religion and better understood issues of racial profiling (discussed
prior to September 11th but focusing on African Americans rather than
Arab-looking people). I had not anticipated including anything on Arabs
or people of the Muslim faith when I designed the course, but it did
tie into Anti-Semitism unit–something
most people (as well as our textbook) tend to link only to hatred of Jews.
I do think the
redesigned social action
project was a positive way to deal with some of the psychological issues
surrounding the terrorist attacks and the related issues that followed
(Anthrax and other bio-terrorism plots).
I was fortunate to utilize
eight speakers (from the FMU campus or Florence area) in this course. The
following individuals addressed our class:
Rev. Leo Woodbury (Co-Director,
Pee Dee Community Center)
Thomas Grossman (Holocaust
Rabbi Marc Kline (Anti-Semitism
in the 21st Century)
Dr. Amar Amasude (FMU Coordinator
of Instructional Technology [Islam/Koran])
Dr. Gabriel Batarseh (FMU
Adjunct Psychology Professor [Perspectives from a Palestinian Christian])
Patrick Rabin (President/Founder,
FMU Crossroads [Gay/Straight Alliance])
Prof. Travis Knowles (FMU
Biology Professor [Environmental Conservation])
Richard M. Turner, REHS (Environmental
Health Manager,/DHEC [Bio-terrorism])
Of the speakers we
had, students really found Holocaust survivor Thomas Green most stirring.
I invited the entire campus to hear Mr. Green speak. He attracted over
180 students, faculty, and staff, including FMU President Fred Carter and
his political science students, in addition to the entire junior and senior
classes at the Byrnes School (a nearby private college preparatory school).
FMU’s media center videotaped Mr. Green’s lecture on his capture by the
Nazis in Hungary and his survival of the concentration camps and aired
it over local access cable television. Most students had heard about the
Holocaust but never really understood the impact it had on individuals
prior to hearing Tom Green. Prof. Travis Knowles’ lecture on Environmental
Conservation was also rated highly among students. Richard Turner of DHEC
helped students understand the impact of bio-terrorism without frightening
students (something the national and local media need to learn how to do).
In addition to Mr. Green, I videotaped Rev. Woodberry’s discussion [which
did not air on TV]. A former student of mine asked to videotape the trip
to the synagogue and the lecture and service given by Rabbi Marc Kline
for one of her Mass Communications courses, but I have yet to see her final
project. Unfortunately, the media center did not deliver the video camera
for Mr. Turner’s talk on the environment. In all, if I had the course
to teach again, I would make every effort to include these speakers as
they brought to life some of the issues we discussed in class. I realized
after the course was completed that I had not brought in anyone to speak
on sexism nor had I invited any women speakers (one of my research areas,
however, is women’s studies, so I believe the topic was well covered).
If I teach this course again, however, I would try to find some local person
(hopefully female) to address this omission.
While the speakers worked
well, the textbook I chose did not work as well as I would have wished.
I am not certain students did most of the readings (their mid-term and
final exams suggest otherwise). Readings also tended to be politically
liberal for a rather conservative bunch of students. In the future, I think
I will put together a packet of materials rather than rely on a textbook
(which did not cover the environmental issues anyway). Patrick and I found
other articles (on the environment and other issues) which we copied for
the class, and some of those readings worked better. Students were asked
to utilize library and Internet skills to find environmental articles of
interest to them. They gave mini-presentations of their environmental articles
and wrote brief reports on them.
It was difficult to orchestrate
a service-learning project. I encouraged students to get involved in various
community projects (in response to September 11th and other non-related
projects). Many of the students’ course projects focused on educating the
community on issues of airline safety, better understanding Muslim beliefs
via www pages, brochures, and posters, and one student wrote a brochure
addressing the positive environmental impact on being a vegetarian. In
the future, more time would be needed to plan for service-learning. I would
request, if possible, that the course receive 4 credit hours (3 credits
for Honors 101 and one credit for service-learning) where time is assigned
to do a service-learning project that will impact the campus and/or surrounding
community. Many students complained that they did not have the time to
complete additional SL projects out-of-class. Future courses would have
to better address and plan for this dilemma.
Students completed a course
survey and I have compiled the results
so I can submit them electronically. I am also submitting the course
syllabus, midterm & final
exams and course project
I am sending the syllabus,
social action assignment, midterm & final exams, and the end of the
semester survey with the compiled answers.
College SUI Environmental Program
Piedmont Technical College
All three initiatives
are in the planning stages. I have commitments from the Students and Advisors
(Instructors) to start on the projects in the near future. The students
are back in class now.
The first initiative involved
college recycling. As I mentioned to you earlier, we have an ongoing paper
and cardboard program. After talking with the student (in Human Services
Curriculum) and challenging her to other avenues for the recycling efforts,
she would like to promote and initiate Aluminum and Plastic recycling.
We have vending all over campus, but no place to place for the bi-products
such as cans and bottles. She is in the process of detailing the activities
with a time frame and budget.
Second initiative involves
a student in the Industrial Electronic Class. He is coordinating some energy
conservation activities and budget. The class will assist with the
Third initiative includes
a natural product composting program. The Horticulture Instructor is heavily
involved in the development of this process. A student will
include these activities as part of his "on grounds - hands on " training
activities . Compost piles are already being collected and defined in the
different stages for product use in this program.
Reports will be generated
to study the cost savings, sustainability and usefulness for each discipline.
Pictures will be taken during all phases of each initiative.
Chemistry toAttract Students to Careers in Science
Prepared by: Joe N. Emily
The Department of Physical Sciences
South Carolina State University
Associate Professor, Department of
doing is an invaluable asset to academic researcher when attempting to
train young scientists and to help them find their direction in
terms of career choices. The South Carolina Sustainable Universities
Initiative (SC-SUI) program like wise has been an invaluable asset by
helping to provide research experiences for undergraduate students here
at South Carolina State University. Thanks to resources provided through
the SC-SUI we were able to conduct a scientific study this summer which
utilized students and involved them in hands on research.
The study involved using
the distribution of lead concentrations and ratios in drinking water samples
taken from a small rural town and to attempt to identify whether the source
of lead is geogenic or anthropogenic. Lead has four naturally occuring
isotopes. Only 204Pb is a nonradiogenic stable isotope. The others, 206Pb,
207Pb, and 208Pb are decay products of uranium or thorium. Lead from a
natural source (geogenic) is known to have a different ratio of 206Pb to
207Pb than lead from anthropogenic (man introduced) sources1,2.
SC-SUI funds were used
to travel to Columbia to use the clean room and High Resolution Inductively
Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer housed in the laboratories
of Dr. Timothy Shaw in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at
The University of South Carolina and to buy standards and supplies. The
Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities provided us with drinking water
samples from their distribution system and gave us a tour of their facilities.
An abstract based on the
results from this study has been submitted for presentation at the Southern
Region Extension Water Quality Conference to take place on
October 26, 2001 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Hopefully we will be able to
continue this work and provide the same experience for other students.
(1) Faure, Gunter, Principles and Applications of Geochemistry, 3rd
Ed.; Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 1991; p 485.
(2) Prohaska, T.; Watkins, M.; Latkoczy, C.; Wenzel, W. W.; Stingeder,
G.; J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2000, 15, p365-369.