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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

STEM Living-Learning Community Thrives at SU

SALISBURY, MD---A new family has emerged among Salisbury University's freshman class.

On the fifth floor of Chester Hall, 27 students are living and studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields together. The STEM floor is the newest addition to SU's Living-Learning Communities offered to first year students. Other communities have included Honors, Business, Education, Green, Substance-Free, Wellness, La Cuminidad for those studying Spanish, and LEAD Scholars.

The Living-Learning Communities are specialized housing options that allow first year students to study, reside and make friends with others who have similar interests. They feature planned activities by resident assistants.

"SU is rapidly expanding its Living-Learning Communities, which have proven nationwide to be an excellent way to improve student retention and success, especially getting students through the very difficult freshman year," said Dr. Tom Jones of the Biology Department, who is SU's STEM coordinator.

The STEM community is open to any major with an interest in a STEM discipline. Together the students take calculus, English and history. Outside the classroom, they participate in group activities ranging from career nights to weekend canoe trips.

This year, students living on the STEM floor are: DaNiesha Brown of Landover, MD; Kelsey Cheezum of Preston, MD; Andrea Christ of Grasonville, MD; Selwyn Delgado and Christina Grossi of Cranford, NJ; Jessica Evensen of Towson, MD; Catherine Fitzgerald, Kyle Haufler and Billy Gibson of Westminster, MD; Gregg Gast of Salisbury, MD; Brahm Gicheru of Germmantown, MD; Jasmine Grandison of Fort Washington, MD; Davon Griggs of Largo, MD; Brittany Iseminger of Funkstown, MD; Chelsea Jacobs of Olney, MD; Michael Kropkowski and Stephen Laughter of Jarrettsville, MD; Gabriella Llerena of Adelphi, MD; Ronald Meris of Waldorf, MD; Candra Mitchell of Bowie, MD; Alice Murphy of Hockessin, DE; Ashley Porta and Matthew Wolf of Baltimore, MD; Akua Preko of Beltsville, MD; Gloria Seho-Ahiable of Greenbelt, MD; Rachael Smith of Federalsburg, MD; Whitney Spangler of Smithsburg, MD; and Devin Talbot of Columbia, MD.

SU created its STEM community last fall in response to national attention on graduating more students in critical STEM areas, Jones said. They can enter the U.S. workforce and pursue STEM careers, which are key to our innovation-based economy. Jones hopes the floor will help increase the number of chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics majors who may ultimately enter these fields after they graduate.

We look forward to expanding this and other communities on campus, one of our many efforts to foster student success, he said.

For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at http://www.salisbury.edu/henson/STEM/.



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