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Fall 2012


Creating the Future Today

IRSC Expands Bachelor’s Degree Programs


Five new workforce-oriented programs begin in August

ith the launch of five new Bachelor’s Degree programs by Indian River State College, Treasure Coast residents have more opportunities than ever to earn a four-year degree locally. The new programs bring the total of IRSC Baccalaureate program choices to 20. “As our economy strengthens and diversifies, it’s very important that area residents have local access to higher education opportunities that open new doors for employment and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Our new Bachelor’s Degree programs develop the skills and knowledge needed to support business and community success.” David Smith, Vice President of Engineering for SpectorSoft in Vero Beach, is eager to hire IRSC technology graduates. “We’ve been working closely with IRSC to provide internships and welcome the addition of the new program in Information Technology/ Cyber Security. Having this level of training

here in our backyard will be a major asset for SpectorSoft and other IT companies,” he said. SpectorSoft markets and supports PC/Internet monitoring and surveillance products. In addition to Information Technology/ Cyber Security, the new programs include Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and two concentrations in Public Administration: Public Policy and Leadership and Emergency

Planning and Management. Other IRSC Bachelor’s Degree programs focus on Education, Nursing, Biology, Digital Media, Organizational Management, Health Care Management, and Human Services. Fall classes begin throughout the semester at IRSC campuses in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Vero Beach, Okeechobee and Port St. Lucie.

IRSC – Ranked 5th Most Affordable College in the U.S. by United States Department of Education

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Energy Training Leads to New Jobs Over 120 graduates of the Power Plant Technology Institute at IRSC are on their way to a brighter future as new employees of Florida Power & Light and other energy firms. The students complete two years of hands-on training, including a paid summer internship at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. Chris Guercio worked in construction for 18 years but with the economic downturn, lost his job. Married and a father of three children, Guercio was without an income or an education.


n energy efficient “smart building,” the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship connects training in energy and technology with services for business start-ups to create a powerful launching pad for new jobs on Florida’s Research Coast. Developed with the “idea to market” approach, this unique facility fosters new ideas, new businesses and new jobs. Students learn how to produce biofuels, construct photovoltaic

cells, experiment with light technologies, study nanotechnology applications and gain hands-on experience in all aspects of energy efficient building construction. Students and entrepreneurs eager to leverage this knowledge into new businesses get the help they need from the Innovation Incubator.

After graduating from the Power Plant Technology Institute, Chris Guercio was immediately hired by FPL.

Desperate and motivated, he enrolled in the Power Plant Technology Institute. Upon graduation he was hired by FPL at a salary of $55,000 a year plus benefits. “My education has made a huge difference. Now, I can support my children and I have health insurance for the first time in my working life!” Guercio said.

Students conduct nanotechnology research for product improvement.

Speaking at the recent Dedication of the technologicallysophisticated facility, Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture said, “Florida has tide power, wind power, solar power and biomass capabilities, but we need a workforce to participate in that – and that workforce will occur right here at IRSC and the counties that circle it.”

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Thomas Stem Center To Support Medical Research Science, Technology, Engineering and Math focus of new laboratory training facility

IRSC STUDENT CONDUCTS RESEARCH FOR CANCER CURE While other 24-year-olds were lounging at the beach this summer, Robert Tack was engaged in research with senior scientists to determine how viruses can be used to fight cancer cells. The IRSC student is one of the first to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Foundation at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, SURF-VGTI. The sixweek program was created by Dr. John Schatzle, Scientific Affairs Director for VGTI at the Tradition Center for Innovation in Port St. Lucie. “We’re using oncolytic viruses to combat cancerous tumor cells.” Tack said, “My Mom has been a nurse for

IRSC biology majors Lisa Tack, Adam Carroll and Reginald Brown test DNA concentrations while interning at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies this summer.


esearch that will save lives and combat diseases is underway every day at worldclass institutes on Florida’s Research Coast. Biomedical firms such as Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies and Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida require a laboratory-trained workforce to find answers to some of the world’s most pressing medical and scientific questions.

To fully prepare students for growing employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, IRSC is constructing the

$18.5 million William and Helen Thomas STEM Center at the St. Lucie West Campus, in the hub of the region’s biotechnology corridor. The three-story 56,000 square-foot building will house sophisticated laboratories in genetics, ecology, chemistry, molecular biology, botany and microbiology. State-of-the-art teaching laboratories will link math and science concepts to practical research and connect engineering and industry applications through real world projects. The Thomas STEM Center is scheduled to open in early 2013.

Robert Tack

30 years and taught me about medicine and nursing. As I got older, I had various jobs in hospitals, and medicine became my passion. This internship is extremely interesting to me.” Tack is enrolled in the Bachelor’s Degree program in Biology at IRSC and plans to become a Physician Assistant specializing in surgery. He is one of ten IRSC biology students participating in biomedical research this summer, at VGTI, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Research and the USDA Horticulture Research Lab.

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IRSC C ommencement M arks 10th Year Of R ecord Class Sizes

n May 4, IRSC held its 2012 Spring Commencement Ceremony with the largest graduating class in the College’s history, marking the 10th consecutive year of record class sizes. During the 2011/2012 academic year, 3006 students earned a Bachelor’s Degree or Associate Degree from IRSC, a 28% increase from last year. Bachelor’s Degree graduates are the fastest growing group. Thanks to the generous contributions of local businesses, individuals and organizations to the IRSC Foundation, 126 outstanding graduates received transfer scholarships totaling $557,000 to continue their education. To contribute to a scholarship for a deserving student, contact the IRSC Foundation at 772-462-4786.

Over 750 students lined up at the Spring Commencement Ceremony, eager to walk across the stage and receive their college degree.

Study Abroad Promotes Global Understanding

Lori Fry gave Carol some recent photos from the Peru trip – maybe one of those would work

Meeting local inhabitants was a highlight of a 2012 Study Abroad experience in Peru.

IRSC students and community members return from study aboard energized with new interests and inspired by a broader world view. New groups of intrepid explorers will create the memories of a lifetime as participants in five upcoming

2013 Study Aboard trips. Students from other colleges and universities and community members who wish to combine travel with learning, while earning college credits are invited to participate. For more information, call 1-866-792-4772.

examining its economy and international business practices.

Astronomy & Interdisciplinary Studies in Puerto Rico will offer immersion in the culture, language and history of San Juan by day and an introduction to star patterns and constellations by night.

As the economic challenges of the Euro Zone impact nations around the world, participants in the Economics and Math in Europe experience will travel throughout the region to understand, compare and apply economic and statistical concepts that influence social and cultural points of view.

Brazil recently overtook the United Kingdom as the sixth largest economy in the world. Travelers journeying in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo through Business Study Abroad in Brazil will gain a first-hand look at this dynamic country while

Service Learning in Costa Rica participants will work side-by-side with residents of Heredia, providing health care and engaging in community projects in this naturally beautiful Spanish-speaking country.

International Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance The Study Abroad trip to Macedonia will be offered for Emergency Services students to participate in international disaster relief.

Quick Training Delivers Job Results From auto mechanics to welding Hands-on instruction builds marketable skills


uick Job Training students are equipped with the competitive advantage when looking for a job or promotion in fields such as automotive technology, air conditioning, child care, nursing, medical assisting and culinary operations. Students can complete the programs in a year or less.

budget management and advanced culinary techniques. The apprenticeship program really helped me prepare for my new responsibilities,” he said.

A former stay-at-home mom, Wendy Young completed the Office Administration program at her own pace and is now employed as a bookkeeper for a CPA firm in Fort Pierce. Louise Hatfield of Stuart aced the one-year Medical Assisting Certificate program and is working as a Medical Assistant at Martin Memorial Hospital Systems/East Ocean Family Care. A married mother of two, she was previously laid off and is very happy with the versatile range of duties in her medical assisting role.

AUTO TECHNOLOGY STUDENT HIRED ON-THE-SPOT When Ryan Gruber walked into Wallace Hyundai looking for a job, his qualifications so impressed Service Manager Dennis Doucette that he was hired on-the-spot. By completing increasingly complex training through the College’s Automotive Service Technology program, Gruber had the skills needed for a technician position. “One of the best things about the IRSC program is actually working on the cars hands-on,” Gruber explains. “I want to own my own repair shop one day, so I plan to continue my Ryan Gruber education on the business side and earn a degree in Automotive Service Management.”


The one-month Commercial Driving Program helped Jason Hardy land a good paying job with benefits with JJ Tailor, a Fort Pierce distributor. The program begins every Monday and combines classroom training with experience behind the wheel of a “big rig.” “I was hired two weeks out of school; it was the direct result of my training,” he said. IRSC also offers longer-term apprenticeship programs. The skills learned in the IRSC Culinary Apprenticeship program played an important role in the promotion of Tim Lowe from cook to head chef. The 28-year old Vero Beach resident heads up culinary operations for the new Willowbrook Court section of Indian River Estates, an assisted living facility. “I learned

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After completing the IRSC Air Conditioning program, (top) Luis Polanco launched his own company. Tim Lowe (below) was promoted to head chef armed with the skills he learned as a culinary apprentice.

Maria Spies was ready for a career change and walked into her first college class, Introduction to Business, not knowing what to expect. “The curriculum was reality-based and the teachers were motivational,” she said. “One professor infused me with enthusiasm to learn about marketing; in another class we studied resumes, cover letters and interview techniques. I couldn’t believe it – in my last semester before graduating with my A.S. Maria Spies Degree, a job opening I was really interested in became available. I followed through with all the techniques I had learned and now I apply my knowledge in my new administrative job at B4C Technologies.” The Palm City firm provides innovative technologies for the metal coating industry.

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Clark Advanced Learning Center Ranked 7th Best High School in Florida

igh academic achievement, exceptional Associate Degree, ready to continue their college graduation rates and outstanding education as juniors. student success earned Clark Advanced Learning Center the designation as the 7th best high school in Florida, according to rankings released by the Florida Department of Education. The public charter high school is an “A” rated school located on the Chastain Campus of Indian River State College in Stuart.

“Clark students flourish in an outstanding teaching and learning environment, where they receive personal attention in a small school setting,” said Maria Mosley, Clark Executive Director.

The national model school affords students with the opportunity to earn high school and college credits tuition-free through Dual Enrollment, with access to the convenience and resources of a college campus. As a result, Clark seniors graduate with their high school diploma and a year or more of college completed. Forty-six students, representing 61% of the 2012 graduating class, graduated from Clark with an

Clark students complete internships connected to their career interests and utilize technology in project-based learning, with a personal laptop computer assig ned to each student. The school serves about 240 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Endowed Teaching Chairs Reward Excellence To support excellence in teaching, four exceptional professors were honored by the IRSC Foundation with 2012 Endowed Teaching Chairs to enhance instruction in their fields of expertise. Marvin Hobson, Assistant Professor, Learning Assistance, was awarded the Bank Atlantic Foundation Endowed Teaching Chair to create the Zora Neal Hurston Center for Writing Across the Curriculum.

Sarah Mallonee Named 2012 Professor Of The Year

Arlene Green, Assistant Professor, Business Administration and Marketing Management, received the Dan K. Richardson Endowed Teaching Chair in Business & Entrepreneurship to establish an Entrepreneurial Institute. Kimberly Milner, Assistant Professor, Learning Assistance, was presented with the J. Douglas Stephens Endowed Teaching Chair in Technology to enhance online learning.

Dr. Pat Pongam was all smiles when presented with the Banack Family Endowed Teaching “Chair” in agriculture by Syd Banack, Cheryl Roseland and Dr. Massey, IRSC President.

Dr. Patchara Pongam, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, was awarded the Banack Family Partnership Endowed Teaching Chair in agriculture to develop a program that supports research and internships for biology students.

Dr. Sarah Mallonee, Associate Professor of English and Chair of the English/Communications/ Modern Languages Department, was selected by students for outstanding teaching and named 2012 Professor of the Year.

Enjoy Delightful Performing Arts and Planetarium Season

The 2012/2013 McAlpin Onstage season promises an eclectic mix of music, drama, dance and all-time favorite musicals. The Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue concert kicks off the repertoire of shows on October 11. Next up its Tennessee William’s Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. The season’s first musical, Ragtime, offers a powerful portrait of life in turn-of-the-century America. The excitement continues to build with the presentation of Chicago featuring a dazzling score and the staging made famous by Bob Fosse. And that’s just the beginning! If you have never visited the Hallstrom Planetarium on the IRSC Main Campus in Fort Pierce, you are missing a family treat. Why not enjoy a multi-media trip through the cosmos this season? The 2012/2013 Starlight Series opens with Star Party and Open House on Saturday, September 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. Other Fall shows include The Goldilocks Planet, the traditional holiday presentation, Star of Wonder, and a new show Yuletides featuring songs of the holiday season under the Planetarium stars. For information about IRSC performances and tickets, contact the Box Office at 1-800-220-9915.

Center Stage at I R S C

Center Stage Combines Music and Comedy with Lecture Series Center Stage at IRSC offers a unique combination Jacques Cousteau, and expanding our of professional musical comedy, a hilarious parody understanding of This Blue Planet: Preserving of current events and two fascinating lectures. and Sustaining a Healthy Earth. In March, the Capitol Steps create song parodies and skits The season will open in January with satirizing today’s political scene. The final show Broadway’s Next H!T Musical, a musical comedy will present famed choreographer Twyla Tharp like no other. Master improvisers gather made up addressing The Creative Habit and taking a look hit song suggestions from the audience to create at developing and using creativity throughout life. a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite All shows will be held at 4 p.m. in the McAlpin song, which the cast turns into a laugh-out-loud Fine Arts Center. Series subscriptions are $100 musical. and seats for individual programs will be offered after the subscription renewal period. For more Next is a lecture with Alexandra Cousteau, information, contact the IRSC Box Office at continuing the work of her renowned grandfather 1-800-220-9915.

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Jim Coffey Honored as Entrepreneur of the Year Exemplifying the innovation, drive and forward-thinking of a successful entrepreneur, James W. Coffey was honored with this year’s Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Jim Coffey

“Jim Coffey has always demonstrated entrepreneurial vision, a tireless work ethic and spirit of community service,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Recognized as one of the most outstanding Indian River County residents, he has played an important role in the establishment of highly successful businesses and development of property throughout the County for 60 years. We are especially thankful for his initiative in the acquisition of the land for the Mueller Campus and his support of educational opportunities.” The award is a central element of the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program established in 2000 by the IRSC Foundation and 13 founding members.

Lt. Col. Curtis Carlin Named 2012 Distinguished Alumni As the recipient of the 2012 IRSC Distinguished Alumni Award and keynote speaker for the 2012 College Awards Ceremony, Lt. Colonel Curtis Carlin, United States Marine Corps, shared his memories of being a championship diver and student leader during his years at IRSC. After graduating in 1991, he continued his education and joined the Marine Corps where he has steadily moved up in rank. Lt. Col. Curtis Carlin He now serves as the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion in Bangor, Washington.

Institutional Advancement Department INDIAN RIVER STATE COLLEGE 3209 Virginia Avenue Fort Pierce, FL 34981-5596

1-866-792-4772 ■

Fall 2012

Turn Your Ideas Into Business Success Take advantage of IRSC’s Business Incubators to support your start-up efforts with business consulting, working offices, high-speed wireless Internet and more. Innovation Incubator Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, IRSC Main Campus, Fort Pierce (772) 462-7630 Business and Technology Incubator 924 E. Central Parkway, Stuart (772) 419-5690 Boost your productivity and profitability with customized corporate training — eLearning Professional Development workshops Continuing Education for licensure and certification “Learn @ Lunch” workshops A year-round menu of business programs and services.

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IRSC Connection Newsletter  

Fall 2012 edition

IRSC Connection Newsletter  

Fall 2012 edition