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May 8, 2006

UCSC faculty honored by Educational Partnership Center

By Jennifer McNulty

Two current UCSC faculty members and a professor emeritus were among the seven "partners" recently honored for their service to the Educational Partnership Center.

Eugene Switkes, professor of chemistry, and Michael S. Isaacson, professor of electrical engineering, were honored along with Edward M. Landesman, professor emeritus of mathematics and director of special projects at the Higher Education Collaborative, during the EPC's open house and awards ceremony on May 5.

The event took place at the EPC's new downtown offices and culminated with the awards ceremony that honored the center's K-12, community, and university partners for their dedication and commitment to serving students.

The EPC works with educational partners throughout central California to improve student learning and increase the college-going rates among students from educationally underserved families.

"Increasing the number of students attending college is something that will benefit the entire community. Our programs have been tremendously successful. It is important that the community know more about our programs so they can collaborate with us on this work," said Carrol Moran, EPC executive director.

Switkes was recognized for his contributions to programs that reach underserved populations, his commitment to improving science education for precollege students, and his contributions to programs that integrate mathematics into middle-school science.

Isaacson was hailed for his participation in numerous programs, including the Developing Effective Engineering Pathways program, the nanotechnology cluster of the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS), and the California Math Science Partnership-funded middle-school mathematics project.

Landesman also collaborated on the engineering pathways program and was recognized for his help pursuing grant opportunities in mathematics and science and building links with community colleges and the California Center for Teaching Careers (CalTeach) program. He was described as "a true team player" and a "tireless supporter" of the efforts to improve mathematics and science education for underrepresented students.

In addition to UCSC faculty, the EPC honored David Jolly, statewide director of the California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP); Nancy Kotowski, associate superintendent, Monterey County Office of Education; Diane K. Siri, superintendent, Santa Cruz County Office of Education; and Edward J. Valeau, president/superintendent of Hartnell College.

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