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The Student Center for Scientific Engagement

By Emily Haddad - Associate Managing/ Copy Editor
On February 6, 2012

One of NEIU's best resources for Math and Science Majors is also one of its least-known. The Student Center for Scientific Engagement (SCSE) in Bernard Brummel Hall (BBH) is a multipurpose study area where all students, not just Math and Science Majors, can go to find free tutoring help or a quiet place to study.

The SCSE also has advisors like Joe Hibden, whose job it is to help students figure out what their long term plans are, what possible careers they could work toward, and how to accomplish their goals. Hibden, along with other advisors, can assist students in tracking their progress through their degree, as well as finding and applying for graduate programs, and scholarships. Partnering with other notable scientific institutions such as the Field Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, the SCSE extends valuable internship and field experience opportunities to NEIU students. Unified with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, or SACNAS, the SCSE provides workshops and research symposiums, and helps sponsor conference attendance and research opportunities.

The SCSE was originally funded by a federal Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grant from the U.S Department of Education of $2.5 million, awarded to NEIU for the purpose of remodeling outdated laboratory classrooms, updating the computer labs that serve students in BBH, and creating an enriching study space and resource center. The student center opened on Sept. 23, 2010, with the original goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of Hispanic and low-income students entering the sciences. By offering tutoring, advisement, and a pleasant and serene environment to study in, the SCSE seeks to make the sciences more accessible for everyone at NEIU.

SCSE recently reported that there was 65% increase in the number of low-income students studying and graduating with degrees in the sciences, 40% of which were Hispanic. Although these statistics speak to the success and progress toward their goals, according to coordinator Stephanie Levi, the SCSE's real measure of success are students who graduate and continue on to graduate programs or competitive employment positions.

SCSE alumni such as Sarah Vorpahl, who was recently accepted into Cornell University

for graduate studies, Christopher Toni who went on from NEIU to get his PhD in Mathematics at UC Santa Cruz, and Adrian Zamora who was accepted into UIC medical school in 2010, each took advantage of the SCSE services available to accomplish the next step of their educational and career paths.

The SCSE is located in room 247 of Bernard Brummel Hall, and is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The center maintains a Facebook page and website with valuable information about upcoming events and services. Inquiries can be made at (773)442-5636 or at:

www.neiu. edu/~scse/index.php.

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