By Michelle Coneo, Staff Writer
On April 30, the Bergen Community College Paramus campus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of its new STEM Student Research Center. Attendees included the school’s president, Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., Bergen County officials, faculty and staff members, as well as a robot assembled by students from the STEM program.
“Our students are our future, and the smartest thing that we can do is to invest in our students,” said President Michael Redmond.
Steps ahead of hundreds of community colleges around the country, Bergen Community College has become one of the few to establish a $1 million STEM Student Research Center. This accomplishment has been the result of several months of hard work, some empty rooms and a vision suggested by many STEM faculty members. These members include the STEMatics Grant Program Director Luis De Abreu and Faculty Advisor Professor Joseph Sivo, Ph. D., among others that supported this project that students will be able to benefit from.
Even though many institutional leaders and faculty took part in the decision-making of this location, once documents were signed and authorizations were given, it was the feedback of STEM students that shaped the heart of this Student Research Center. “I want to make sure that students feel that this is their space,” said Director De Abreu.
The multidisciplinary center includes a small classroom, in which mini-courses of skill development will be open to all students, and an academic lounge. These resources will allow students to showcase their projects while having the opportunity to familiarize themselves with 3D printing, robotics and equipment such as high-tech milling machines and laser cutters.The research center will be open to students and faculty and is located in the Pitkin Building in the science wing.