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IRSC Foundation Awards Endowed Teaching Chairs

IRSC Foundation Awards Endowed Teaching Chairs

August 12, 2020 Suzanne Seldes

Four New Institutes Will Benefit Students and Community

FORT PIERCE, FL—Four exceptional Indian River State College (IRSC) professors were named Endowed Teaching Chairs by the Indian River State College Foundation in recognition of their outstanding work at IRSC and to support implementation of new initiatives benefiting students and the community.

Four IRSC professors were named Endowed Teaching Chairs by the IRSC Foundation

The recipients are Dr. Steven Hammer, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, with the Basil L. King Endowed Teaching Chair in Health Sciences; Dr. Moamer Hasanovic, Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Electronics Engineering Technology, with the Susan H. Johnson Endowed Teaching Chair; Dr. Robert Lowery, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences with the Marilyn C. Link Endowed Chair in Financial Management; and Ms. Mia Tignor, Interim Administrative Director of Library Services and Assistant Professor, with the Patterson Endowed Teaching Chair in Humanities.

“Through the Endowed Teaching Chair program, IRSC recognizes outstanding faculty for teaching excellence that directly correlates with student success,” says Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Today we recognize four exceptional faculty members who, through this program, will implement projects that improve instruction and further contribute toward the excellence of the College.”

Presentations were made earlier today during the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony. Recipients were celebrated with flowers and a miniature wooden “chair.” Each will receive an annual stipend in support of their project: $6,000 a year for three consecutive years ($4,000 to implement their initiatives and improve instruction in their field of expertise and $2,000 in recognition of excellence in teaching). The Endowed Teaching Chair program is made possible by contributions to the IRSC Foundation.

Dr. Steve Hammer seeks to improve student success in anatomy and physiology through the use of 3-dimensional viewing of anatomical structures and related iPad technology. Through the Utilizing iPad Technology and 3D4Medical Interactive Anatomy Program, the IRSC Biology Department will purchase technology and develop unique interactive applications that, together with instructor teaching and model interaction within labs, lead to a more complete, interactive and retaining learning environment for students.

Dr. Hammer, Associate Professor, joined IRSC in 2010. He earned his B.A. in Biology from Kansas Newman University (Kansas), M.Ed. in Exercise Physiology from Wichita State University (Kansas) and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Kent State University (Ohio).

Dr. Moamer Hasanovic will create the School of Photonics and Robotics at the Coast (SPARC), a partnership between local high schools and the IRSC Electronics Engineering Technology program. High school students participating in the SPARC academy will be offered a clear path toward completion of all the requirements of the IRSC Laser and Photonics Certificate, and the region will benefit from an uninterrupted pipeline of graduates to meet job market demands in photonics and possibly other areas of advanced electronics.

Dr. Hasanovic joined IRSC in 2015 as an Assistant Professor in Electronics Engineering before becoming Department Chair in 2019. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University (New York). He also earned a M.B.A. in Business Administration from Syracuse University.

Dr. Robert Lowery will establish the IRSC Bioinformatics Consultancy Development Project, where IRSC students, working with faculty and IRSC graduates, can engage in paid internships that expand marketable skills, knowledge base and critical-thinking skills through active research in DNA sequencing. The project also seeks to bolster entrepreneurial scientific development for the region by supporting the growth of new biotechnology start-ups that will strengthen the local economy and provide employment opportunities for IRSC graduates.

Dr. Lowery, an Associate Professor, joined IRSC in 2012. He earned a Biology from University of Miami, and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from Florida International University.

Ms. Mia Tignor will create the IRSC Center for Digital Humanities. The Center will provide support to IRSC faculty who wish to incorporate new and emerging technologies into their humanities instruction or engage more mindfully with humanities questions in their technology and science classrooms. The Center will be among the first of its kind at a community college within the nation, and the first within the state of Florida.

Ms. Tignor, Interim Administrative Director of Library Services and Assistant Professor, joined IRSC in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from University of South Florida. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Texts and Technology at University of Central Florida.

To date, the IRSC Foundation has awarded 66 honored faculty members with Endowed Teaching Chairs. Other Endowed Teaching Chair awards include the Banack Family Partnership Endowed Teaching Chair in Agriculture, BankAtlantic Foundation Endowed Teaching Chair (any discipline), Community Endowed Teaching Chair in Fine Arts, Endowed Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, John and Marilyn McConnell Endowed Teaching Chair, Richardson Endowed Teaching Chair in Business and Entrepreneurship, J. Douglas Stephens Endowed Teaching Chair (any discipline), J. Douglas Stephens Endowed Teaching Chair in Technology, and the Gladys Williams Wolf Endowed Teaching Chair in Communications.

For more information about supporting an Endowed Teaching Chair with a tax-deductible contribution, please call the IRSC Foundation at 772-462-4786.

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