The Santa Monica College Foundation announced last week that it has awarded a total of $34,000 in nine “Margin of Excellence” mini-grants to professors for equipment, ranging from sophisticated astronomical devices to “green screen” technology used in film post-production.
Earlier this year, through its President’s Circle, the Foundation announced the new program, which offers full-time professors and program directors an opportunity to get grants of up to $5,000 for equipment, supplies, instructional materials, seminars and more.
“These awards are not only a vote of confidence in the incredible work that our professors do, they provide funds for equipment that will make a major difference in the learning experience of our students,” said JoAnn Ortiz, Foundation executive director.
The grants committee was made up of Ortiz, along with the college’s chief financial officer, Foundation directors, and members of the President’s Circle.
The awardees were:
* For SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology, green screen technology, a standard post-production tool that allows filmmakers to insert a desired background after an image or action has been captured.
* For geography students, global positioning systems, which allow exact determination of a location’s latitude, longitude, elevation and more.
* For organic chemistry students, new lab glassware.
* For marine biology students, digital cameras with underwater capabilities and other accessories.
* For dance students, a conga drum set.
* For communications students, two television sets with VCR/DVD players, along with DVD and VHS tapes for the department’s video library.
* For the SMC student newspaper Corsair, equipment and software for production.
* For science students, museum-style glass display cases in the Science Complex that would contain biological exhibits, including specimens loaned from museums, with flat-screen monitors and computers for interactive features.* For astronomy students, an ozonometer that will allow students to determine atmospheric ozone amounts and more.