Faculty Notes

News of faculty grants and academic awards

Faculty Notes

News of faculty grants and academic awards

Drs. Ryan Dorland (PI), Steve Jury (Co-PI), and Jason Goldstein (Co-PI) were awarded a one-year research grant for $20,000 from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to introduce satellite science and build nanosatellite prototypes in introductory calculus-based physics labs. This funding led to the creation of a nanosatellite research team that involves SJC students and faculty, as well as high schools. Their goal is to design a data communications nanosatellite, and to help Maine launch its first Cube Satellite. Dr. Dorland said, “We are one of the first colleges in the state working on this; we’re on the ground floor with NASA.” Kevin McWilliams ’20 also participates in this program as a researcher. Community partners include: Maine Space Grant Consortium, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Yarmouth High School.

When the Maine Technology Institute awarded Ready Seafood, Inc. (Portland, ME) this year with $2.25 million toward a $6 million Maine Lobster Full Utilization Campus project, nearly $100,000 was set aside to support scientific research in the laboratories of Saint Joseph’s College and University of Maine. Consequently, Dr. Steve Jury received $47,000 from Ready Seafood to support research with the goal of creating a science-based process that will increase the viability of lobsters in shipping, thus increasing their value. Additional SJC personnel include researchers Katie Pelletier ’19 and Dr. Lucas Bernacki

Dr. Emily Lesher (PI) and Dr. Patricia Waters (Co-PI) received a $103,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program called “Growing Future Science Teachers in Maine” to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. Dr. Janice Rey will be teaching a free online course to eligible high school and community college students. The overarching goal of the project team is to enable high-needs schools in Maine to “grow their own” science teachers by recruiting and training students from these schools and having them potentially return to that school as a teacher. Community partners include: Southern Maine Community College, Central Maine Community College, Biddeford High School, Bonny Eagle High School, Caribou High School, Fort Kent High School, Gray-New Gloucester High School, Lewiston High School, Westbrook High School, and Windham High School. Additional SJC personnel are: Drs. Janice Rey, Katrina Hoop, Kassy Clements, Jim Paruk, Ryan Dorland, and Johan Erikson.

Dr. Emily Lesher (PI) and Dr. Yi Jin Gorske (Co-PI) have received a $182,845 grant from the National Science Foundation called Collaborative Research: Development and Evaluation of a Service-Learning Focused Chemistry Curriculum” or “Chemistry for the Community.” Kimberly Post, Community-Based Learning Director  and Center for Sustainable Communities Co-Director said, “The Chemistry for the Community program allows our students to be active participants both in their education and the community. The multi-semester experiential format represents progressive Service-Learning pedagogy with great potential for increasing student engagement and retention. Our students will follow each step of their learning—from theory to practice—allowing them to evolve as community-engaged scientists. This is truly transformative learning.”

Community partners include: Windham/Raymond school district (high school students) and University of New Hampshire. Additional SJC personnel include: Kimberly Post and Dr. Dale Brooker.