The Fountain - The Official SLCC Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Shanghai Students Have STEM Fun at College, Visit Iconic Utah Sites

About 30 children from China this summer visited Salt Lake Community College to create electricity from wool and Styrofoam, make polymers from glue and Borax, and cool ice cream in a bag using salt. They used compasses to find school supplies and candy to power bottle rockets. In short, the kids from Shanghai had a blast while visiting SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus.

The visit is part of the Utah Chinese Center’s effort to provide an annual cultural and teaching exchange for students and teachers from China. The entire trip lasts about three weeks and includes other American cities. While in the U.S., the students and teachers stay with host families.

The UCC’s goal is to expose students and teachers to American history, culture and ethics as well as China’s major contributions to the development of the civilized world, according to Dave Richardson, SLCC interim dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The UCC hopes the exchange helps to bridge real or perceived Sino-American misunderstandings. “Even though the organization makes a microscopic indentation in this process, any contribution to diversity is better than none,” Richardson says.

In previous years the exchange included more classroom time, learning English, history and culture while indoors. The visits evolved into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) hands-on activities that are fun and at times confounding. “Bottle rockets were challenging for them to make, as they didn’t realize how to tear duct tape,” says Barbara Antonetti, a fourth-grade teacher who also helps out with the college’s Slick Science Camp, the blueprint for activities with the Chinese elementary school students. “They loved launching them and had fun dashing around trying to find theirs when they landed.”

While in Utah, the students also visited the University of Utah, Snowbird Ski Resort, Timpanogos Cave, the Utah State Capitol, Temple Square and Arches National Park. So far, the exchange has been one sided, with only Chinese students visiting the U.S., but the Richardson hopes that will change. “It has been very difficult to get American parents to send their children more than 6,000 miles into a distinctly unfamiliar environment for three weeks under the supervision of someone other than themselves,” he says.

Expert from College Dispenses Hydration Advice For Fox 13 Viewers

Lorri Castro-Zenoni, director of Salt Lake Community College's Center for Health and Counseling, stopped by Fox 13 News studios to chat with hosts Kerri Cronk and Kelly Chapman about the importance of staying hydrated during the hottest weeks of the year in Utah.

·      Stay hydrated, especially if you work outside or engage in physical activity under the hot sun. That means drinking about half of your body weight in ounces per day. If you weigh 200 pounds, that means you should drink about 100 ounces of water a day.

·      Eat hydrating foods like cucumbers, watermelon, raw broccoli or tomatoes along with drinking water throughout the day. Try keeping a water bottle with you during the day, which can help you track your fluid intake.

·      A way to measure whether you’re staying hydrated can be to look at the color of your urine, which should be a light yellow or straw colored. If it’s darker than that, drink more.

·      Don’t use thirst as an indicator of whether you need to hydrate more. Thirst can be an early indicator you are becoming dehydrated, which is not a good thing.

·      Avoid overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol, which work as diuretics that can more quickly dehydrate your body in hot weather. Also avoid using sugary beverages to quench your thirst, as they add unneeded calories for most people.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer BBQ Series Kicks Off at Jordan Campus

It's so great, it takes three names in one to tell you what it is.

The Employment Enjoyment Summer Glam Grill Jam Fun 'Splosion started off Salt Lake Community College's barbecue series at Jordan Campus July 16. The series continues July 17 at Taylorsvile Redwood Campus and July 18 at South City Campus, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.  The annual event is sponsored by the college's executive cabinet for all employees. Below are a few highlights from the Jordan Campus.

Alum's Academic Success Rooted in Parents’ Sacrifice, Hard Work

Elizabeth Gamarra’s parents took a risk and gave up everything they had worked for in Peru for a better life in the United States. They took turns working and going back to school, learning English along the way. And they started their American higher ed experience at Salt Lake Community College.

“I stepped foot on this campus when I was seven or eight,” Elizabeth Gamarra says of the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. “I saw my parents fight for what they wanted.” Her parents wanted better opportunities for their children, and Gamarra has taken full advantage of every opportunity that has come her way.

Gamarra’s early academic ambitions took root at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education as a high school student, during which time she completed concurrent enrollment classes at SLCC, the same campus where her mother was working.

While at SLCC, she helped start Amigos Mentores, a peer mentoring organization for students. She earned her associate’s degree in social work, and at the age of 17 transferred to the University of Utah. “I was inspired by my parents, and I saw how it fit into what I wanted to do,” Gamarra says.

In 2017, Gamarra earned a master’s degree in social work from the U, and by the time she turned 20 in May of that year she was finishing a fellowship at Oxford University as part of a consortium for human rights.

While at Oxford, she received an email notifying her that she had been selected as a Fulbright Fellow to teach a basic human rights class at Instituto de Empresa University in Madrid for one year beginning in the fall of 2017. “I called my parents about 1 a.m. their time – they thought something bad had happened to me,” she recalls.

Before heading off to Spain, in the summer of 2017 Gamarra traveled for fellowships to Switzerland and Greece, where she worked at a Syrian refugee camp. She also gave a TEDx talk in front of more than 2,000 people in Salt Lake City about refugees and human rights.

Last month, Gamarra, now 21, returned from Spain, and she is now preparing for a two-year leave to Tokyo as part of her prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship, a $70,000 award given to a handful of graduate students “committed to becoming catalysts for peace, conflict prevention and resolution.” After studying at International Christian University in Japan, Gamarra will have earned a second master’s degree. Her sights are set on someday studying international law, possibly as a Rhodes Scholar (she was a finalist for the award), or either studying law in the U.S. or working in France in some capacity dealing with migration issues.

Gamarra traces all of her success to her upbringing. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve met people who are transforming society at all different levels, some on a global scale,” she says. “The idea of service is ingrained in my mind. My mom has helped thousands of students, and they remember her.”

For students trying to find their own paths, Gamarra has some advice: come up with at least a rough idea of what you want to do, because “no one else will have that vision for you;” incorporate service along the way, “so you are able to receive as much as you give;” don’t be intimidated by whether you might feel too young or too old to reach your goals, because “age is really a number;” meet the “right” people; invest your time in acquiring skills in negotiating, public speaking and persuasion instead of focusing on a title or position you want to reach someday; and, stay humble, a trait she attributes to her father. “I have met many people who have lost that humble aspect,” she says. “That’s something I definitely don’t want to lose.”