The Heights

Updated: December 19, 2016

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Summer 2016 achievements and awards

Congratulations are in order for these Foothill College community members and departments: Foothill College President Thuy T. Nguyen, our Men's and Women's Swimming Teams, the Anthropology Summer Abroad Program, and Astronomy Instructor Andrew Fraknoi.

Foothill College President Thuy T. Nguyen has been named a recipient of the 2016 State Bar of California Diversity Award. She earned the recognition, impressive and very well deserved, because of her long-term, sustained accomplishments toward increasing diversity in the legal profession. Dr. Nguyen will receive her award at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting in San Diego this October.

The Foothill College men's and women's swimming teams finished 10th and 9th in the state, respectively–their highest rankings in decades! The biggest splash was made by Layna Auchard who repeated her championship-winning performance in the women's 200-yard breaststroke. A Japanese major who will transfer to UC Davis this fall, Auchard was determined to end her competitive swimming career as a champion ... and she certainly did! 

Foothill College’s Anthropology Summer Abroad Program in County Roscommon, Ireland, received some high praise from U.S. Ambassador Kevin O’Malley. In The Irish Times Magazine’s July 1 edition, O’Malley states that one of the highlights of his tenure as U.S. Ambassador was his visit to the Foothill program’s archaeological dig in Roscommon last year. “The dig was being carried out by a group of American and Irish students,” he states in the article. “As we pulled into the town, the streets were lined with schoolchildren waving American flags–that was a really touching moment for my wife and I." Now in its second year, the Anthropology Summer Abroad Program serves as an enriching educational experience for students, while also providing significant benefit to the local community of Clonalis, and County Roscommon. Part of the program involves a joint project between Foothill archeologists and local officials, who are mapping and digging the site of an ancient castle. The local community has welcomed the Foothill summer program with an outpouring of support, including cultural celebrations and visits from local officials. Foothill Anthropology Instructors Sam Connell and Kathryn Maurer started the program.

Solar Science: Exploring Sunspots, Seasons, Eclipses, and More, a new book written by Foothill College Astronomy Instructor Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz (2016, National Science Teachers Association Press) recently received the 2016 Gold EXCEL Award from Association Media & Publishing. The book is especially timely for educators and libraries because on August 21, 2017, there will be a total eclipse of the sun, visible from the U.S. and no other country. More than 500 million people in North America will see a partial eclipse of the sun on that day. Written for classroom and informal educators, Solar Science includes 45 hands-on, inquiry-based activities that prompt students, and museum, library, and nature-center audiences to think like scientists–by asking questions, doing experiments, and refining and reporting results. Among the topics that the book covers are the sun's daily and yearly motions in our sky, the phases of the moon, the causes of solar and lunar eclipses, the seasons, solar activity and space weather, the calendar, and more. The book also provides related writing projects, age-appropriate math examples, and connections to music, art, fiction, and history.  "I've had the good fortune of working with and training thousands of K–12 teachers to bring the excitement of astronomy to their students through hands-on activities," Fraknoi says. "Solar Science is the latest collection of such activities that I’ve published and the first one that was published by the National Science Teachers Association."

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