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Suffolk's Sean Tvelia on National Team to Improve STEM Education at Community Colleges

Sean Tvelia, Associate Professor of Physical Science at Suffolk County Community College, has been chosen to participate in the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Faculty as Change Agents: Transforming Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges project. The four-year project, part of NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education portfolio, will provide a series of professional development activities designed to help community college geoscience faculty improve the success of their students.

“Faculty as Change Agents: Transforming Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges" was funded by the National Science Foundation as a part of the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program.

The project is a partnership with Highline Community College (Washington), the College of William & Mary (Virginia), the University of Oregon, the University of Wisconsin Richland, and the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (Minnesota) and involves Nassau Community College, Suffolk County Community College and 15 other two-year colleges across the United States.

Tvelia, of Ridge, said that Nationwide, the project will impact more than 250,000 students, helping to meet the nation’s demands for a well-trained geoscience and STEM workforce as well as supporting the scientific literacy needs of our country.

Suffolk County Community College has been one of the strongest pipelines of interns to Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and is second only to Stony Brook University in total number of participants in BNL research programs.

Since 2007, more than 100 Suffolk County Community College STEM scholars have been awarded competitive and paid research internships at DOE laboratories ranging from Brookhaven National Laboratory to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico.  Suffolk students have been selected for various research experiences at Stony Brook University since 2005.

This summer Suffolk County Community College has 25 students working in STEM research at National Laboratories, NASA and research universities.

A two-story, 33,792- square-foot Renewable Energy and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center is going to be built on the Suffolk County Community College Michael J. Grant, Brentwood campus that will be the first of its kind in the state community college system.

The new facility will house laboratories and classrooms to teach installation, maintenance and repair of solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and other green power technologies, according to Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay who said plans call for the building to be solar-powered with geothermal heating and would contain a prototype solar house to test various renewable energy materials.