September 18, 2013 — Amy Radik
The Centers of Excellence can now be found at FM; but what are they? Dean of Academic Affairs Diana Putnam explains: “The Centers of Excellence are places where new courses and programs come together with existing curriculum, new technologies come together with established practices, and innovative upgrades come together with the evolving infrastructure.” The Centers are: Science and Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and Health Professions.
The Center for Science and Technology includes Liberal Arts and Sciences: Science, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology: Sustainable Building, Computer Technology, Electrical Technology, Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, and Computer Networking.
“The instructors in Auto Tech have owned and operated automotive repair shops and have many years experience in the trade. We keep up to date with the technology,” states Glenn Marcucio, Auto Technology Instructor. “Students are learning in a state-of-the-art automotive shop which is only six years old and NATEF certified.”
The Visual and Performing Arts Center includes Communication and Broadcast Media, Digital Communications and Transmedia, Fine Arts, and Theatre Arts.
“The Center for Visual and Performing Arts is all about storytelling using different media,” says Jim Hinkle, Associate Professor of Media Communications. “We teach students how to tell stories using a combination of this media. For instance, we could take one item of interest to the student and show it in a in a piece of art or in a video, and the student can portray it in different places whether it be at a museum or on the web. We help students learn the tools to express their storytelling, whether it be creative, factual, or both.”
“We prepare students for professions in the Information Age,” says Assistant Professor of Multimedia Technology Bob Renda. “We train students for a Digital Workforce.”
Jason Radalin, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, concurs with Hinkle and Renda. “A student who learns through the Center for Visual and Performing Arts gains access to all resources within the Center. For example, a Theatre Arts student who wishes to concentrate on the visual aspects of theatre is part of a network that includes Fine Arts and Media faculty and students. The result is that the student feels part of a bigger collaborative community.”
The Center for Health Professions includes Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Health Science, and Health Studies.
“Health Careers is a new program that helps students consider areas in health care that they ‘think’ they may want to pursue,” says Karlyn LaBate, Instructor of Radiologic Technology. “Our introduction to health professions course brings professionals in from the communities to describe their roles and responsibilities. A few examples of guest lecturers include doctors, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dieticians, and veterinary technicians. If you are interested in the health professions but ‘don’t know what you want to be when you grow up,’ then this is the course for you.”’
“The Center for Health Professions is all about exploration and opportunity,” says Sherry Warner, Assistant Professor of Nursing. “Students can only benefit from its uniqueness. The professors have years of health care practice, including employment within the local communities. We meet with students individually in order to give them valuable insight tailored to their goals.”
“The ‘Center’ concept makes a new kind of innovation possible, where college faculty and administration regularly meet with area business and industry representatives and four-year colleges,” says FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger. “This leads to curriculum that is responsive to current employment and educational trends. This kind of creative approach is an investment in the future not only for our students but also for our communities.”
Amy Radik is the Coordinator of Public Relations & Marketing at FM.