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Santa Monica College Foundation Presents Faculty Awards
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By Lookout Staff

September 2, 2016 -- The Santa Monica College Foundation has awarded more than $170,000 in grants to faculty members that will help develop programs in multiple disciplines, college officials announced this week.

The awards include a “President’s Circle Award for Innovation and Progress”, four “Chair of Excellence” grants and 22 “Margin of Excellence” mini-grants.

“These awards represent the truly distinctive and innovative learning experience that Santa Monica College ­­professors provide to our diverse student body,” said Lizzy Moore, SMC Interim Dean of Institutional Advancement.

Professor Christopher Badger of the SMC Art Department was awarded the Foundation’s “President’s Circle Award for Innovation and Progress,” officials announced.

The $33,500 award will fund the modernization of three design classrooms "to streamline the teaching and learning experience including upgrading the audio systems, improving the efficiency of the demonstration tables, and more, college officials said.

The SMC Foundation also presented four Chair of Excellence Awards -- for $15,000 over three years -- to the following recipients:

SMC Life Science professor Dr. Garen Baghdasarian for The Chair of Excellence in Life Science. The award will make it possible for SMC students and faculty to "participate in collaborative research -- on the effect of global warming, increased seawater temperature, and lowered pH on coral reefs -- in Hawaii."

SMC Communications professor and Debate Team Coach Nate Brown for the Chair of Excellence in Communications. The award-winning SMC Debate Team and its coaches will use the funds to travel to the next three national championship tournaments, beginning in 2017.

SMC Sociology professor Dr. Rebecca Romo for the Chair of Excellence in Philosophy & Social Sciences. Dr. Romo will use her award to take several SMC sociology students to attend the annual Pacific Sociological Association Conference over the next three years.

SMC Dance professor Mark Tomasic for the Chair of Excellence in Performing Arts. Tomasic will use his award to help develop the SMC Dance Department Pathways Program, which establishes a connection to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) students.

In addition, the Foundation awarded 22 Margin of Excellence mini-grants in varying amounts totalling $80,292.

For more information on faculty grants and other opportunities to support Santa Monica College faculty, programs and students, visit

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