IRSC AWARDED GRANT TO PLAN NATION'S FIRST NATIONAL CENTER FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY EDUCATION
May 12, 2011
Indian River State College (IRSC) has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Grant of nearly $70,000 to plan the nation’s first advanced nuclear technology training center. IRSC will partner with Florida Power & Light Company and other nuclear industry members across the nation to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the nuclear industry’s workforce needs and the capabilities of a new National Center for Nuclear Energy Education and Training. The facility will be designed to serve as a centralized state-of-the-art location for all aspects of nuclear energy education, helping to meet the national need for 41,000 trained nuclear technicians by 2030.
Nuclear energy is generating renewed interest as an environmentally friendly source of energy, with increased government support and public acceptance leading to industry growth,” said José Farinos, Dean of Advanced Technology at IRSC. “Our goal is to develop nuclear energy training that will serve as a national model. IRSC is recognized as a leader in nuclear energy and we are already working with colleges from around the country to develop this national center.”
The planning project will build a national coalition of two-year colleges and universities that offer training programs for nuclear technicians. The project will identify specific regional needs, provide educational tools and analyze how partner colleges can grow their programs and collaborate to develop educational strategies.
Once in operation, the National Center for Nuclear Energy Education and Training will allow access to a highly-sophisticated flow loop simulator for training scenarios, provide participating colleges with curriculum toolkits based on input from academic and industry experts from across the nation, and offer a wide range of educational resources.
The plan for the national center will be submitted to the National Science Foundation in October. IRSC will then be considered for one of two implementation grants of up to $5 million spread over four years.
IRSC has offered nuclear energy education for more than 30 years. The highly successful IRSC/FPL Power Plant Technology Institute combines instruction from FPL and IRSC experts with paid summer internships at FPL’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. Qualifying graduates may be hired at annual wages exceeding $45,000, with opportunities for promotion.
To become a project partner for the national center of excellence, contact Dr. Kevin Cooper at Indian River State College at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRSC STUDENTS HIRED BY DIGITAL DOMAIN HOLDINGS FOR NEW CAREERS IN FILM PRODUCTION
May 12, 2011
Treasure Coast residents launch new careers in film and visual effects
Eleven students and graduates of Indian River State College have been hired by Digital Domain Holdings and are enthusiastically launching careers in film production and animation with the Academy Award-winning digital production studio.The recent hires developed skills in computer animation, video production and graphic design through the IRSC Digital Media Institute and presented their work portfolios to Digital Domain at a recent Tech Fair.The IRSC students and graduates join other new Digital Domain employees for visual effects training in “The VFX Boot Camp” at the Kight Center for Emerging Technologies and other locations at the IRSC Main Campus in Fort Pierce.
“Digital Domain has been a great partner in the development of the IRSC digital media program, and they recognize the quality of training received by our students. We anticipate growth of both Digital Domain projects and IRSC programs with our graduates becoming a valued part of their workforce,” said Jose Farinos, IRSC Dean of Advanced Technology. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for IRSC students to begin a world-class digital media career in their local community.”
IRSC offers both two-year and four-year degree programs in various aspects of digital media, including graphics and web design, gaming and video, modeling and simulation.
“This new career is possible because of my training at IRSC where I especially enjoyed developing skills in film and 2D and 3D animation,” said Oscar Collazos, 40, of Port St. Lucie. The married father of two formerly worked in furniture sales and banking, but is now eager to embark on his dream career in film production.
A digital production studio focused on visual effects for feature film and advertising production, Digital Domain Holdings is the beneficiary of a state and local incentive package, and, in return, has promised to create at least 500 jobs by 2015. The recent hires of more than 50 new employees have put the company well ahead of its 2010 year-end target of 61 newly created jobs.
“It is really great for this company to come here and reach out to local residents with job opportunities they never thought imaginable, since jobs like this are usually available in other parts of the country,” said Brian Schultz, 22, a new hire from Port St. Lucie who recently graduated from IRSC. “The awesome teachers in the IRSC digital media program teach you what you need to know for real-world jobs like this. I learned techniques and programs I never would have been able to do on my own.”
“I’m incredibly excited about this new job,” said Richard Hardy, 20, of Port St. Lucie, who plans to continue to develop his skills in graphic design and computer programming with classes at IRSC while working for Digital Domain.
“I’ve always liked visual effects in movies and it’s really exciting to be a part of creating one. I always thought I would have to leave and now this opportunity came to me,” added Eliezer Lancelot, 20, of Port St. Lucie.
Digital Domain Holdings is utilizing facilities in the IRSC Kight Center for Emerging Technologies while its production studio is under construction in Port St. Lucie.
Visit www.irsc.edu or call 1-866-792-4772 to find out about digital media programs at IRSC.
EDUCATION IN GROWTH FIELDS LEADS TO JOBS AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT
May 12, 2011
Real-world training provides competitive advantage for Indian River State College students
FORT PIERCE, FL -- Education in Florida’s growth fields has proved to be the key to getting a job or advancing in a career for many Indian River State College students. Despite lingering 12% unemployment throughout Florida, employees and job seekers equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills find doors opening in the life sciences, health care, education, technology, and business management.
National statistics support the experiences of Florida residents. The unemployment rate for those with less than a high school diploma exceeds 14%, while only 5.2% of Bachelor’s Degree graduates fall into the unemployed category. As a greater percentage of jobs require sophisticated skills, education has become increasingly important as an indicator of earnings. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009, Bachelor’s Degree graduates earned about 60% more per week than high school graduates.
“As we transition to the Research Coast, people who are prepared for the knowledge-based economy really have the competitive advantage,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “IRSC develops real-world skills for emerging careers. This pro-active approach arms area residents with the skills they need for new types of jobs and provides a knowledgeable workforce for new and existing businesses.”
Biotechnology is targeted as one of the top ten growth industries by the U.S. Department of Labor. In South Florida, the establishment of life sciences companies has opened up job opportunities for the College’s chemistry and biology majors. The hands-on lab experience gained in chemistry classes helped Jason Fenwick land a job with Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies. The twenty-four-year-old has worked as a Junior Research Technician at the nationally recognized research institute in Port St. Lucie for the past three years. He sets up chemical reactions to assist scientists developing new and better pharmaceuticals.
Research in Health Care Management led directly to a promotion for Sharon George. As the final “capstone” project for her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Management, George researched ways to improve patient understanding of medication side effects consistent with the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers & Systems (HCAHPS) guidelines. The knowledge George gained about the new health reform regulations was valued by her employer, St. Lucie Medical Center.
“They decided to promote me since I had the knowledge and was familiar with the hospital, rather than hiring from outside,” George said. The 47-year-old mother of two and Fort Pierce resident earned an Associate in Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assisting in 1998 and completed the IRSC Bachelor’s Degree program in Health Care Management in May, 2010.
IRSC offers over 20 health care programs with strong enrollment in certificate, Associate Degree and Bachelor’s Degree programs.The need for graduates reflects the national trend, with 4 million openings in health care jobs by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
National, state and regional indicators list education as a strong career field with strong job prospects despite economic fluctuations. Makeda Brome is one of the College’s first students to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Brome made such an outstanding impression during her teaching internship at Lincoln Park Academy, she was offered a position teaching pre-calculus classes.
“IRSC is family! That feeling is what kept me at IRSC to earn my Bachelor’s after I earned by AA Degree. I really felt like I had someone looking out for me and caring about my future. Now, I’m teaching, which is my passion, with something new happening everyday!”
Many IRSC students are re-tooling their skills following a lay-off from an industry slow down.
After leaving an aviation company in South Carolina that was planning employee cutbacks, Stephen Voorhees landed a job with SpectorSoft, a cybersecurity company in Vero Beach. As a Sales Engineer, the 34-year-old Sebastian resident is based locally but interacts with customers nationally and internationally, presenting software and technical support to prospects seeking Internet monitoring and security services. The father-of-three is eager to expand his technical expertise and is enrolled in the IRSC Cyber Security Institute to develop skills in what has become the “hot” new field in information technology. Recent news stories focus on governmental agencies scrambling to combat leaks of classified information and corporations eager to defend their online systems against hackers.
“I’m close to completing the Cyber Security Institute which has helped me in a variety of ways on-the-job with online monitoring and security. I’m currently taking a UNIX/LINUX server technology course, and I plan to keep taking more technology courses to keep up.” Voorhees said.
Dennis Frances is another IRSC Bachelor’s Degree student who is connecting his studies to his career.
“What you learn in the Organizational Management program is related to the real-world,” Frances said. “The program is helping me develop management strategies and leadership skills so I’m prepared to move up.”
The Stuart resident left the construction industry and has been working as a Human Resources Coordinator at Admiral’s Cove, a private country club with over 400 employees, for the past four years.
The emerging fields emphasized by IRSC are consistent with eight industry clusters targeted by the Florida College System and Enterprise Florida: Information Technology, Emerging Technologies, Clean Energy, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Ocean Science, Homeland Security/Defense and Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM.)
For more information about IRSC programs, visit www.irsc.edu or call toll-free 1-866-562-4772.
FLORIDA CENTER FOR OCEAN EDUCATION TO BE BASED AT IRSC
May 12, 2011
Partnership with research institutions funded by NSF grants totaling $2.8 million
With environmental crises like the Gulf oil spill impacting marine life and coastal systems, scientists and citizens are increasingly aware of the importance of clean and flourishing marine ecosystems. Florida is taking a major step toward public understanding of the ocean with the new Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE) to be based at Indian River State College in collaboration with the Smithsonian Marine Station, Florida Institute of Technology, and the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA).
In addition, the University of Florida Sea Grant Extension Program will be involved in community outreach across the state and faculty at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute/Florida Atlantic University will provide scientific expertise and mentoring on the Treasure Coast.
COSEE Florida will help students, educators and people of all ages develop a better understanding of how ocean and coastal systems work. The Center will be funded by prestigious National Science Foundation grants totaling $2.8 million to IRSC and its partners over a five year period.
“Understanding and maintaining the ocean and coastal regions of Florida is vitally important to the environmental and economic well-being of our State,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “The COSEE Center based at IRSC will ensure that Florida’s scientists, educators, students and citizens are well-prepared to work together to address the challenges of our marine ecosystem and foster a healthy environment for those who live in Florida or visit our state.”
Dr. Massey, who holds a Ph.D. in Zoology with emphasis in Marine Biology, will serve as Lead Principal Investigator for the project. Dr. Susan B. Cook, Harbor Branch’s former Education Director, has joined IRSC as the COSEE Florida Project Director and Co-Principal Investigator for the grant.
COSEE Florida will take a three-pronged approach:
- Offering workshops across the state to engage ocean scientists and help them effectively communicate their discoveries and the relevance of their ground-breaking research to non-scientific audiences
- Designing and disseminating a new ocean-based curriculum for college students planning to teach middle school science
- Creating an eight-region Florida Ocean Science Learning Network offering public programs that focus on regional and statewide challenges such as pollution in the Indian River Lagoon or the impact of ocean processes on dolphins, turtles and other animals.
According to Dr. Cook, “COSEE Florida’s work will give Floridians a much better understanding of the discoveries that ocean scientists are making every day and why that knowledge is relevant to their daily lives and the environmental challenges facing the state. Ocean researchers, higher education faculty and graduate students who participate in the extensive workshop series will become more skilled at explaining their work to a range of audiences. They will become more knowledgeable about engaging nonscientists in research and better prepared to make mutually beneficial connections with teachers, school districts and education centers.”
At IRSC, education majors will develop a deeper understanding of the ocean system, biodiversity and methods used to foster critical thinking among their students. Ocean science content will be added to the IRSC Bachelor’s degree program in middle school science, and, starting in May, IRSC education students will intern with research scientists on the Treasure Coast.
“Through their collaboration with ocean scientists, these future teachers will gain a better appreciation for the scientific process and will learn how to translate their experience and new knowledge into classroom activities,” said Dr. Richard Tankersley, Professor of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology and a Principal Investigator for the project.
Dr. Valerie Paul, Director and Chief Scientist, Smithsonian Marine Station, and Dr, Edith Widder, CEO/President/Senior Scientist for ORCA, will also serve as Principal Investigators.
Reaching out to the public, COSEE Florida will bring scientists, educators and people of all ages together under the theme Water as Habitat. Ocean-based presentations and workshops will generate interest in the marine ecosystem, stimulate community discussion and increase awareness of the value of scientific knowledge in environmental decision making.
COSEE Florida will be based at the IRSC Science Center at the Main Campus in Fort Pierce and will join the national network of 12 centers and a Central Coordinating Office funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences.
For more information, call IRSC at (772) 462-7503.
Men's Baseball I
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Men's Basketball I
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Men's Swimming and Diving
Women's Basketball I
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Women's Softball I
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Women's Swimming and Diving
Women's Volleyball I
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Total NJCAA Team National Championship Titles: 74
Men's Championships: 38
Women's Championships: 36
Breakdown by Sport:
Men's Swimming & Diving: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978,
1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986,
1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994,
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011,
Women's Swimming & Diving: *1976, 1977, 1978,
1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,
2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Women's Tennis: 1982
Women's Division I Fast Pitch Softball: 2002