Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER), works to improve science education by focusing on real world problems and, by so doing, extends the impact of this learning across the curriculum to the broader community and society. Recently, the organization selected nine faculty members and administers to serve 18-month terms as SENCER Leadership Fellows. Two individuals from MNCC member campuses have received this honor: Dr. Richard Dunning, from Normandale Community College, and Dr. Linda Fuselier, from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Dunning has undertaken a sabbatical project to develop student activities around Mississippi River related issues as a way to help students better engage in the class and in key local environmental issues. Over the previous decade he has developed and taught Environmental Geology, a course that relates the science of geology in relation to key environmental issues. Over the past four years, he has been the PI for an S-STEM scholarship program, work that has connected him to students from a wider range of scientific disciplines and has helped him appreciate some of the concerns they are dealing with.
Fuselier will continue to facilitate a learning group including faculty from economics, biology, philosophy, physics, and women’s and gender studies in their grant-funded project to design SENCER-based course modules for biology and physics courses. The group is working on a course designed around Red River Valley floods and a SENCER-based module on ultrasound techniques for an introductory Physics course, both of which will be implemented in the next year.