New Science Equipment to Greet Students This Fall at Area Higher Education Centers

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

June 17, 2005 – New equipment to complement science courses in biology, chemistry, physics and anatomy and physiology at Southeast Missouri State University’s area higher education centers in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo., will greet students when they return for fall semester classes in August.

Jim Robins, Southeast’s equipment and supply coordinator for off-campus centers, says the University is busy this summer ordering about $200,000 in supplies and equipment to bring state-of-the-art science tools to the centers.

“Our goal is to provide students at the centers with the identical experience they would have on campus,” he said. “That starts with buying the proper equipment and hiring quality faculty.”

Robins said purchasing new science equipment for the centers is necessary because some equipment was outdated and many items owned by Three Rivers Community College (TRCC) have been removed by TRCC officials following an ongoing cost-sharing and course-sharing dispute between the two institutions.

“At one of the centers, we are going from almost zero items to a fully-equipped lab,” he said. “There is going to be a significant improvement at all of the Centers.”

Robins says he and others have been ordering anatomy models for anatomy and physiology courses; incubators, centrifuges and microscopes for microbiology courses; Bunsen burners, glassware, flasks and test tubes for chemistry courses; a spectrophotometer for biology and chemistry classes; and balances, thermometers, tuning forks, volt meters and lenses for physics courses.

Southeast will be offering several science courses at the three area higher education centers in the fall. Robins said that he, along with Dr. Chris McGowan, dean of Southeast’s College of Science and Mathematics; Dr. Bill Eddleman, chair of the Department of Biology; Dr. Philip Crawford, chair of the Department of Chemistry; and Dr. David Probst, chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, recently visited the centers at Kennett, Malden and Sikeston and met with each of their directors. The group toured the facilities, met the support staff and assessed their science equipment prior to their efforts to begin ordering new items.

“As director of the Crisp Bootheel Education Center (CBEC) and a former adjunct instructor in science at the Center, I am very excited about the upgrade in new science equipment and supplies,” said Dr. Rick Hux, CBEC director. “We are very thankful to the College of Science and Mathematics at Southeast for their assessment of our needs in this area and taking action to make sure our facility and science classes meet the same high quality standards that students have available to them on the Southeast campus.”

Crawford said the new equipment will improve the quality of the science courses being taught at the centers. He said the new equipment also will allow students the opportunity to take courses and participate in labs that have not been offered in the past at those facilities.

Dr. Randy Shaw, assistant provost for Extended Learning, said, “This new science equipment, in addition to new computers recently installed, is part of Southeast’s commitment to continue to provide quality facilities and learning experiences at the three Higher Education Centers.”

Marsha Blanchard, director of the Kennett Area Higher Education Center (KAHEC), said the new equipment is allowing KAHEC to offer chemistry, anatomy and physiology I and II, and microbiology courses for the first time this fall. These courses are in addition to biology and physics courses they have offered in the past and will continue to offer.

“That’s four classes in three areas that we have not had in the past,” she said. “It’s really going to make us have a nice, strong science program here.” KAHEC opened a new science laboratory in spring 2004. In fall 2004, the center raised about $25,000 to purchase equipment for the laboratory. Those funds were used to purchase some, but not all, of the equipment needed, she said. So, the items being purchased this summer are greatly appreciated. “We want our students to have state-of-the-art, high-level training,” she said. “This equipment is going to be a great addition to KAHEC. Our students are really thrilled to have the equipment and these courses.”

Judy Buck, director of the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC) agreed. “We are getting additional equipment and supplies that will allow our students to have expanded opportunities,” she said. The equipment “is a welcome addition.”

Eddleman said students at the centers in Kennett, Malden and Sikeston “definitely are going to get a better educational experience. I don’t see how it couldn’t help but improve the courses being taught there.”