Eder Florian, Chemistry Student
Two teachers - Dieruff High School chemistry teacher Paul McHugh and NCC chemistry professor William Magilton - made all the difference in the world to Eder Florian.
When Florian was struggling with his coursework in his junior year of high school, McHugh gave him the book that he, himself, has used during his college years. At the time, Florian - who hails from Guatemala and who came to the U.S. in 2002 - understood only about 25 percent of what McHugh was explaining to the class. "Read this book, and you'll succeed," he told Florian.
"I finished his class with an A," recalls Florian. ""I translated something he wrote at the front of the book: 'Success is not based on what you have in life, but how you got there'. That inspired a little spark inside of me."
The rest of Florian's family over time came to the U.S. while he worked, giving his siblings the opportunity to get an education while he earned money to support them. When he started at NCC in 2011, the spark that never died inside of him became a flame under Magilton's guidance.
"Professor Magilton spun my head about 360 degrees and made me see that everything revolves around chemistry. He became the person to go to, to prove if what you want is real," said Florian. ""You must prove it to him throughout the entire course. From the minute you walk into his classes, you work. There is no slacking. He wants to see results and he wants to see you succeed."
Florian's younger sister passed through Magilton's classroom as a Chemical Engineering major, and another is just starting as a Biotechnology major. Seeing three of her five children getting a college education is a blessing for Florian's mother, but what makes the entire family even more grateful is that NCC has become like a home for them.
"We actually moved closer to the college because we wanted to be here more," explained Florian, who has been using the additional time on campus to help other students who are struggling with their coursework. "I used to wonder, what is it that students do all day at school? I tutor people because of how Professor Magilton has inspired me. I work two chapters ahead so I can help others, because I don't want them to struggle the way that I did."
And what does Florian envision for his future career? Most chemists desire to work in a lab or for a well-known company. Florian sees only one path for his future: NCC chemistry professor.
"If I can inspire an entire classroom the way that Professor Magilton did for me...and if that person can then go out and impact someone else's future...I think that's how the world becomes a better place," said Florian. "I want to come back and find someone like myself, and I want to challenge them and show them what they can become if they put their heart, their head and their dreams together."
need four years
instead of the
typical two to
can't" or "you
people back in
her old New York
when she would
tell them that
she was going to
and become a
She has overcome
thrown her way,
to derail her
staying on the
Despite all of
this, there is a
drive in Collins
to not just
succeed, but to
succeed on a
"When I lived
back in New
York, I didn't
every day and I
didn't focus one
When I got to
told myself that
my priority is
to stay in
school, to go to
Friday, and show
people that I
can be better,"
people looked at
me as if to say
going to drop
out'. I'm the
only one in my
whole family who
a high school
than a GED."
had a lifelong
desire to study
will put her on
the path to
when others put
down her efforts
to get ahead,
she would find
projects and not
was looking for
a college that
with her not
but also on a
level. She has
president of the
has received a
position at the
boutique, and is
involved in a
"I won't lie.
It wasn't easy
at first," says
has built me
from the ground
up. It's been
fun, but it's
been a lot of
learning and a
I know it's
going to help me
in the future."
makes an effort
to talk to other
campus about the
both inside and
outside of the
also relies on
me at getting
this far and
applying for a
"I would have
never gone to
apply on my own.
I thought I
would never get
picked. I go to
my professors if
I need help with
anything, and I
excited that she
effort I was
to transfer to a
dreams of one
and wants to
work with large
her career would
allow her to do
so - zoos,
anywhere in the
world would be
ideal for the
on her list,
one thing I keep
anybody tell you
that you can't
do it, because
you can. Only
you know what
Psychologist Sigmund Freud once famously
quoted that "biology is destiny." In the case of
biology major Carly Emes, the study of life is
truly her calling.
"When I was a child, I knew exactly what I
wanted to be. I lived two blocks from a pond,
and every day I would go down to that pond and
bring back buckets of mud, fish, and tadpoles,
and dump everything on my porch," recalls Emes.
"I loved trying to figure out the science behind
everything. It was always an interest for me,
and I can't remember a time when it wasn't."
As a STEM (science, technology, engineering
and math) major, Emes was eligible to apply for
a SMaRT scholarship, which ultimately helped
cover the bulk of her educational expenses
during her time at NCC. Her mentor and advisor,
Dr. Sharon Lee-Bond, and Student Success
Specialist Robert Colletta, gave Emes the
positive reinforcement that she needed to not
only succeed in her major, but to go the extra
mile and take advantage of rare opportunities
made available to select students in her
"Last summer after I finished bio and had
some chemistry under my belt, Dr. Lee-Bond
forwarded me an email that gave me an
opportunity for mammal and seed dispersal
research at Wilkes University, which was a paid
internship," Emes explains. "I was the only one
who was outside of Wilkes who got the
internship. I'm positive that Dr. Lee-Bond
giving me the info, and me being a SMaRT
Scholar, helped me get the internship."
Emes followed up that first internship with
another, this time participating in a saw-whet
owl study that ecology professor Karen Klein
recommended her for. The field hours took place
between 7pm and 1am every other night, providing
Emes with plenty of opportunity to learn time
management - a skill she credits everyone at NCC
for providing her with.
"Reality slapped me in the face," laughs Emes
when describing how she learned to balance and
prioritize her schedule. "I know now that you
need to get your work done if you want to
succeed. I'm very lucky to have had the kind of
teachers I've had here."
Emes - who calls enrolling at NCC the "best
decision of my life" - is transferring to
SUNY-ESF (College of Environmental Science &
Forestry) in Syracuse, where she'll begin her
studies in the fall of 2012. She'll forever
credit NCC, however, for helping her further
affirm her career choice.
"The decision to enroll here helped me figure
out that I still want to become a wildlife
scientist, and I experienced nothing but
positive reinforcement," says Emes. "NCC is the
best community college that I can ever
NCC Students Receive Convocation Awards
By Myra Saturen
April 28, 2011
After a lyrical rendition of America the Beautiful by vocalist Meghan Keiper, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jeff Focht, talked about the importance of the awards event. "These students have worked extremely hard to achieve academic greatness," he said. He also acknowledged the contributions of families, friends and professors to the awardees' accomplishments. Calling the students' dedication and commitment impressive, he wished the awardees as much success in their future endeavors as they have attained at NCC.
John Leiser, associate professor of biology, gave the convocation address. He told the students that they inspire him and other faculty members. "You put smiles on our faces," he said. But their efforts do not end with the ceremony, he told the awardees. He said that now the students have more homework to do - to live up to their awards by demonstrating their skills and knowledge and using these to inspire everyone they meet.
Zoe Gauthier, a biological science major with a 4.0 GPA, received the prestigious Trustee Leadership Award, in addition to other awards. In her speech, she recalled herself as a reserved and na´ve person before coming to NCC. At the College, she became a confident, educated person, she said. "NCC provided me with a positive environment in which to grow. The College gave me opportunities to push beyond my self-imposed limits. I learned to express myself, to learn leadership and responsibility."
A leader and participant in many student activities, Gauthier urged students to take full advantage of all the opportunities offered by the College. "The more I learned about NCC, the more involved I became," she said. Saying that club participation gave her valuable experience in expressing her opinions openly, she said that "the only bad idea is the one untried." She thanked numerous faculty and staff members individually. She will continue her education next fall as a pre-medical student at Moravian College or West Chester University.
Other award recipients include:
Victor Beltran: Hites Family Foundation Higher Education Endowment Scholarship
Betty Druckenmiller: Lehigh and Northampton Associate for Young Children Award
Kristie Curry: Drs. Edward and Arnold R. Cook Award for Academic Excellence
David R. David: Klein Tools Award
Stephanie Edwards: Mathematics Award
Sarah Evans: Liberal Arts Award
Erica Ellison: Northampton County Bar Association Award
Ryan Foust: Funeral Service Education Student of the Year Award
Zoe Gauthier: Addison Wesley-Benjamin Award; Outstanding Academic Achievement in Chemistry Award
Lianne Henderson: The Wiley Award for Excellence in Psychology Award
Jennifer Jaman: Marketing Insight Award
Nicole January: Addison Wesley-Benjamin Award
Jason Jones: Klein Tools Award
Melissa Kowalski: Bethlehem Jr. Women's Club Nursing Award: From Nazareth
Jennifer Krumline: Pennsylvania Funeral Director's Award
Chris Lutz: Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, American Institute of Architecture Award
Samantha Malone: Marconi Award for Radio/TV
Erpidia Mercado: Monroe County Association for the Education of Young Children Award
Kellie Meyers: Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter, American Institute of Architecture Award
Justin Ott: Electrical Contractors of the Lehigh Valley Award; Klein Tools Award
Jacqueline Raia: Institute of Management Accounting Award
Tammi Robinson: Criminal Justice Club Academic Achievement Award, Hites Family Foundation Higher Education Endowment Scholarship
Kimberly Salamone: Hites Family Foundation Higher Education Endowment Scholarship
Debbie Schaffner: Just Born Business Award
Rebecca Tomino: Purdon Memorial Award for Excellence in the Arts
Vanessa Williams: Excellence in Psychology Award
The ceremony concluded with closing remarks by NCC President Arthur Scott and the singing of the NCC song "Oh Northampton," composed by Professor Mario Acerra and sung by Meghan Keiper.
Information Technology Students
Have Got Skills
Two Northampton Community
College (NCC) students,
of Nazareth and
Barry Fedon of
Northampton, competed in the
prestigious Internet networking
competition "Cisco Networking
Academy NetRiders 2010 for the
United States and Canada" on
December 8. The students placed
first in Pennsylvania during the
state competitions and were then
able to move on to the national
tests students' computer
networking and information
technology skills through a
series of online exams and
simulation activities. Echart
and Fedon competed as a team and
came in eighth out of 47 teams.
For finishing in the top ten,
the duo won Cisco routers.
competition was open to college
and university students
currently enrolled in a Cisco
Networking Academy CCNA
Discovery or Exploration
New SMaRT Scholars Get a
Jump-Start at NCC Retreat
by Cynthia Tintorri
August 16, 2010
The newest crop of SMaRT
(Science, Math and Related Technologies)
Scholars got a jump on the academic year with a
team-building retreat and orientation held at
Northampton Community College's Main Campus on
Monday, August 16. Problem-solving was involved
in the agenda, but it wasn't all work --
activities with balls, picture books, marbles
and K'Nex ensured that the students not only
revved up their brains, but had fun doing it.
This unique group of 20
scholarship recipients has come to NCC to study
in fields such as biology, math, physics,
electronics, computer science and security, and
computer-aided design. They are doing so with
funding from a National Science Foundation grant
the College received in 2008.
The two-day retreat and
orientation, which includes a day at NCC-Monroe,
gives the scholars a chance to get to know some
of the faculty and staff members they'll be
working with for the next two years, and to
learn about the many resources available to
them, including tutoring, mentoring, field
trips, speakers and internships. Second-year
SMaRT Scholars also gave the new group an idea
of what to expect from the program.
The 2010 SMaRT Scholars are
Barry Batz, Anthony
Di Mascio, Jesus Diaz, Carly Emes, Tyler Evans,
Adrian Garcia, Kelly Handley, Stormie Jones,
Jared McCollian, Taylor Mitchell, Caitlyn
Nakata, Emily Nuyen, Jose Padilla, Brian
Skrapits, Joshua Smith, Maria Tan, and Zachary
Returning 2009 SMaRT Scholars
are Victor Beltran, Matthew Boucon, Josiah
Carlisle, Randy Chase, Thomas Deboer, Dohl
DiFebo, Micheal Eckhart, Ryan Fuller, Zoe
Gauthier, Lisa Nam, Zachary Richard, Leanne
Rios, Joseph Smith, Brandon Stempo, Niko Voletto,
and Ryan Yurvati.
Pursuing Your Passion in a Biology Career
By Myra Saturen
March 11, 2010
"Follow your heart," said Cindy Adams, Project Director of the CBJTC Petri Project and an adjunct instructor at NCC, at a panel discussion on careers in biology on March 11. The biology field encompasses so many occupations, that you are sure to find your niche.
participants on the panel included:
Brittany Galski - NCC/ESU grad, accepted into
physical therapy doctoral program
Joshua Kaminski- NCC grad, senior at Moravian
College, biology major with a pre-med emphasis
Dr. Thomas Polanski - Clinical supervising
dentist at the NCC Litwak Dental Clinic
Dr. Charles Achenbach -Professor of Biology and
NCC pre-professional program advisor (e.g.,
Dr. Kelly Austin - biology adjunct professor;
ESU graduate, and Ph.D. in environmental science
and forestry from State University of New York
College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF;
The event was coordinated by
Sharon Lee-Bond, associate professor of biology,
and presented by NCC SMaRT Scholars.
Advice to students included:
- Be flexible. With
countless variations on the biology career
theme, there are many different
opportunities. It may be that special
course or experience that changes your mind,
as happened with several panelists. For
example, Kaminksi began at NCC with the goal
of becoming an engineer, but decided that
medicine was truly his love after taking
some biology courses. As a student at
Pennsylvania State University, Adams
considered career options in nutrition,
biology and food science. A graduate
student teaching assistantship clinched
matters for her. "This is me," her
experience told her about education.
- "Make your next step
wisely," Achenbach said, rather than
planning 16 years out. "Identify, as best
you can, what what's truest to your heart."
He recommends taking a chance on that class
that is tugging at your curiosity. "Things
fall in place, the closer you get."
- Shadow professionals.
Galski shadowed doctors, physician
assistants and physical therapists before
focusing on physical therapy as her niche.
"Following people in the field helps you
decide," she said.
- Volunteer. Galski
volunteered at St. Luke's Hospital.
- Participate in
career-oriented activities. At both NCC and
at Moravian College, Kaminski took part in
the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and
biology and pre-health professional clubs.
- Visit websites of
baccalaureate and professional schools you
are interested in to gain knowledge of
- Explore transferring
close to home. Colleges in a region, such
as Eastern Pennsylvania, accept transfer
courses from each other's institutions most
- Go to NCC's website to
explore articulation agreements, which make
- Keep your GPA up. Good
grades make you more attractive as a
- Keep going. The higher
your degree, the higher your earnings.
- If you want to become a
dentist, study mechanical drafting, helpful
in understanding 3 dimensions.
- If you aim for a health
care career, take extra writing courses.
Clear communication is essential.
- For those going into
private health practice, business courses
Some specific careers
mentioned during the discussion included:
- Respiratory therapist
- Dentist or dental
- Park ranger
- Physical therapist
- Physician assistant
And of course, there are many,
By Myra Saturen
March 04, 2010
If you've ever hit a tennis ball, worn Dockers stain-resistant pants, or scanned the NCC webpage, engineers made it happen.
"Engineering is the practical application of math and science to meet the needs of humanity," said Sharon Jones, professor of civil and environmental engineering/engineering studies at Lafayette College. She spoke about engineering careers to NCC SMaRT Scholars, and engineering, physics, math and general studies majors at NCC on March 4.
There are four main fields in
engineering, Jones said. Chemical engineers
design new consumer products, rubber and
petroleum, for example. Civil engineers make
buildings more environmentally friendly and work
on many other areas of infrastructure, while
electrical engineers work on our ever-improved
cellphones, as one instance among many.
Mechanical engineers devise motors, robots and
artificial knees and hips. Alternatively, some
engineers maintain and manage operations, sell
products or cost systems. Growing fields, such
as nanotechnology and biotechnology, rely on
Jones encouraged students to
pursue engineering as a useful and rewarding
career and invited them to consider
transferring, after earning their associate
degrees, to Lafayette College, in Easton.
One-quarter of Lafayette's 2,400 students major
in one of the four major branches of
engineering, which includes a combined
engineering/computer program. While most
receive bachelor of science degrees in one of
the areas listed above, some earn bachelor of
arts degrees in the field. The bachelor of arts
degree is designed for those more interested in
marketing and management. Lafayette also offers
a dual major in engineering and international
studies to prepare graduates to manage global
projects. Financial aid is available for
transfer students, and Lafayette actively seeks
transferees. An open house at Lafayette College
will be held on March 26.
It is not unusual for
engineers to begin their educations at community
colleges. According to the National Academies'
newsletter InFocus, 20% of people with
engineering degrees started their academic
careers by earning at least 10 credits at
community colleges and 40% of graduates who
received bachelor's or master's degrees in
engineering in 2000 had attended a community
college. Bachelor degree-holders earn an
average starting salary of $65,000.
Some of the companies where
NCC engineering graduates are employed include
Minerals Technology, Laboratory Testing, F.L.
Smidth, and Avogadro Environmental Corporation.
A NCC graduate who transferred as a junior to
Lafayette College now works at Merck and
"Engineers improve the quality
of life, making it safer and easier," Jones
A Special Group K'NEX at NCC
By Heidi Butler
August 14, 2008
Call them smart. Call them
scholars. Call them SMaRT Scholars. SMaRT
Scholars are the newest species of scholarship
recipients at Northampton Community College.
What characteristics do they
share? They are smart. They gravitate to
science, math, engineering or technology, and
they might not have been able to pursue those
interests - so vital to the nation's future -
without financial aid.
Enter the National Science
Foundation. A $545,091 grant from the National
Science Foundation will make it possible for 54
SMaRT Scholars to enroll at Northampton
Community College over the next four years.
The first twenty began their
studies this month, starting with a two-day
orientation program that gave them the
opportunity to get to know the faculty members
they'll be working with over the next two years,
to tour some of the College's laboratory
facilities, to meet with scientists,
entrepreneurs and industry representatives, and
to learn about the many resources that will be
available to them including tutoring, mentoring,
field trips, speakers and internships.
Team-building activities began
the first morning with group problem-solving
exercises and a K'NEX building contest. Even
though classes in the sciences are demanding,
"being part of a cohort will help you get
through," Karen Parker told the
students. The associate professor of electronics
technology also predicted that the bonds the
students establish with each other now will help
them later when they are working.
are part of a very special group," said
Carolyn Bortz, dean of allied health
and sciences. "You've put a stake in the ground
to make a viable career for yourself. It's going
to be a great experience."
A study conducted by the
National Science Foundation in 2006 showed that
44% of new scientists and engineers attended a
community college at some point in their lives.
Foundation officials expect community colleges
to provide a significant source of brainpower in
fields deemed critical to the nation's future.
The 2008 SMaRT
Scholars pictured above and their fields of
interest are Jessica Baran
(chemical technology), Lauren Brown
(computer science), Iyoka Burkett
(biological science), Janette Burkholder
(math/physics), Nicholas Check
(electromechanical), Kenneth Cooper,
Jr., (electronics technology),
Thomas George, Jr. (chemistry), Anthony
Gomez (biological science),
Samuel Guman (biotechnology),
Arthur Harris (engineering),
Sean Hicks (biological
science), Rachel Hillegas
(biological science), Jennifer Juska,
(biological science), Ethan Keys
(electronics technology), Steven
McConnell (computer information
systems), Kurt Paukovits
(engineering), Jonathan Romano
(biological science), Haillie Sabino,
(biological science), and Douglas
Williams (computer science).