SFCC convocation celebrates success


Published: Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 11:59 p.m.

With one semester under its belt, a mentoring program aimed at keeping black men in class at Santa Fe Community College is being called a success.

"My Brother's Keeper" was launched in August to encourage the college's black men to stay in school and graduate.

And it looks like the initiative has begun to pay off.

During SFCC's spring employee convocation Friday, Eugene Jones, SFCC's director of Information Technology Education, said that 80 percent of the college's first-time black male students signed up to return to school in spring. Ninety-three percent of the 80 percent are registered for spring classes, Jones said.

"It's a tremendous start," Jones said. "This semester is the time we have to get serious and keep bringing the kids back. We're counting on the faculty to help support the program."

Members of the program receive tutoring, financial aid counseling and attend lectures and luncheons that include life skills discussions. Jones said 25 to 30 people attend MBK meetings each week.

The program is also implementing a loan library that will allow students to check out donated textbooks from professors and former students.

Other highlights in the convocation:

· Marisa McLeod, director of the college's Honors Program, spoke about the success and growth of the program. Three Honors Program students — Shay Mayweather, Nawar Alsafar and Edith M'Hango — discussed the impact the program has had on them such as offering the chance to take unique courses and interact more on collaborative projects.

· SFCC Senate President Carole Marquis was remembered by SFCC President Jackson Sasser and other colleagues. SFCC has set up a scholarship called the Friends of the Senate Carole Marquis Fund in her memory. Marquis died Nov. 27. She was 63.

· Kim Kendall, director of the SFCC Center for Academic Technologies, was awarded the Alan J. Robertson Medallion Award.

· Professor Eric Wu of China joins SFCC as an international Fulbright Scholar this semester.

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