Joe Conner, associate professor of Biology, understands that PCC students must think of themselves as leaders in order to be successful in college and in life.Conner works with students to help them gain confidence in their chosen career paths by getting them paid internships.
In 1996, Conner as well as other faculty, took a grant given by NASA and started the National Science Tour. Funding for this program ended after six years and the NST name was changed to the Pre-College Science Academy.
Currently, Conner wants to recruit students for Project 257, which is a referral service that aims to recruit 257 high school and college students every year in every state and territory to get summer jobs in science, technology, mathematics and medical agencies – the STEM Squared.
His long term goal is to use Project 257 to increase the number of college graduates in STEM Squared by 7, 000, 000 by 2013.
Conner said his main goal is to figure out the best way to help students.
For example, he does not want the students in his biology class to leave wanting to be biologists.
Rather, he wants them to use biology as a tool to help them connect with people because, according to him, connecting is important regardless of the chosen profession.
With philosophical undertones embedded within the coursework of the class, he wants to “help students see things in a different way, to help them get more meaning out of the same set of facts [that all people have].”
With calWORKS students serving as the backbone of the program, Conner also has a television show that helps him spread the words he hopes will create leaders.
The Conner Bubble airs locally on Charter Cable Channel 56 at 2:30 a.m. and p.m. on Mondays and at 10:30 a.m. and p.m. on Wednesdays.
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