CSTEP and NSF Hold Montly Meeting

by Paul Hart

Faculty and students from CSTEP and NSF STEM held their monthly meeting and discussed events for the remaining semester and collected feedback to improve the programs impact on students lives. The upcoming events include a lecture hosted by the American Nuclear Society on April 15 at Stony Brook University(SBU) and a retreat lab and tour on the 19. The Advanced Energy Conference will be held at the Jacobs K Javits Convention Center April 30 and May 1. The annual CSTEP student conference and competition at The Saratoga in Lake George,NY will be underway April 12 to the 14. The conference competition hosts hundreds of students across New York State all competing against one another. The lecture “Visualizing the Quantum World” will be given by Seamus Davis PhD. D at the Wang Center Theater at SBU and the CSTEP/NSF S STEM recognition ceremony will commence on May, 2nd at 5:00 pm. in the Babylon Student Center.

The meeting was held by Dr. Candice J. Foley a professor of physical science at The College handled the CSTEP affairs and associate dean for continuing education Nina Leonhardt had coordinated NSF STEM’s. Foley and Leonhardt spoke to the members about how student feed back is a crucial tool for the faculty in charge of the program to better understand what the students feel are beneficial to them or not and direct the programs accordingly. “Its important to us to have a clearly robust program for students to take advantage of” said Leonhardt as students of the CSTEP program where given an anonymous survey regarding their opinion on the programs helpfulness.

CSTEP and NSF S STEM is a collaboration of the two programs there at The College that offers a wide range of benefits to students. The NSF STEM scholarship program at The College was formed to help students interested in a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Tutoring, advising, field trips, transition programs for graduates, job shadowing and internships are some of the opportunities available. Students can also gain financial assistance that typically averages $3600 per school year.
Mentoring of program participants and collaborations with Brookhaven National Laboratory, Dowling College, and Stony Brook University gives students the potential to have an inside look at prospective career paths. “CSTEP offers students exposure to places that are looking for bright young adults like Brookhaven National Laboratory ” said Arlene Jackson assistant director of CSTEP at The College. “It has given me chances to see different career paths I was not aware of” said student member David Lituma and “I get to experience first hand if a certain field of study interests me or not”.  The two programs also serve graduates by offering lectures, seminars and classes to help acclimate students to a four-year institutions once their ready to leave The College.
The annual statewide competition presented by CSTEP also attracts students to the program. Every year during the conference, hundreds of students enroll in various self conducted research based competitions in natural sciences, physical sciences, technology, social sciences, and human services categories demonstrating individual research adhering to the CSTEP research program guidelines. The conference also has an arrangement of programs on leadership training, time, money and stress management as well as goal setting and achievement as well as many other beneficial tools. “The conferences give students the chance to make contacts and share information they would not normally have access to”said Jackson.
Perspective and current students need to meet certain criteria to be eligible. NFS and CSTEP both requires students to meet certain academic requirements and have to be majoring in a math, science, health or technology field with a minimum of 12 credits each semester. Students also have to be in need of financial assistance or be part of an underrepresented group.  “Both CSTEP ans NSF really are a win for everyone involved” said Jackson.

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