2022 is an exciting time for the various programs in STEM. As we continue to slowly return to campus - and take appropriate safety precautions - there is a lot of work taking place behind the scenes. Most visible is the construction of the Lindley Center for STEM Education, which has been continuing in earnest, with the steel structure nearly complete. In October 2021, SRJC was awarded a $4.7M Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant from the Department of Education to fund our efforts to support Latinx and low income students and their educational journey. The impacts of both of these activities will be more apparent in the coming semesters.
Currently, most Biological Sciences and Chemistry labs are being offered in-person, to support the hands-on experiences that are critical to learning technical skills in these disciplines. As SRJC assesses the progress of the pandemic and receives guidance from public health officials, my hope is more classes and labs can be offered in-person, while also maintaining a selection of critical courses in a hybrid for online format to increase access for individuals who cannot come to campus.
Recent challenges - COVID variants, wild fires, power outages - have been disruptive but the commitment from the faculty, classified staff, and administrators of STEM are to support students as best as possible. In the classroom, lab, and through our student support initiatives like MESA, HSI STEM and NSF S-STEM grants, internships, research experiences, and career preparation course, our greatest joy is when students reach their educational goal.
Victor K. Tam, Ph.D.
Dean of STEM
Victor Tam's professional career has been focused in community college education. Victor started as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2007 at Foothill College, and oversaw a STEM internship program placing community college students into research experiences at four-year institutions. In 2014, Victor transitioned to the position of Dean of Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering. Part of his work included facilitation of a STEM Summer Camp for middle and high school students to increase interest in STEM fields. Victor assumed his current position at SRJC in 2016. Victor has served as co-PI on two different NSF S-STEM grants to address student retention and success rates, as well as career preparation for STEM majors. Recently, he was privileged to perform committee work with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, on a report about STEM education at minority-serving institutions. Victor is currently serving on the implementation team for the recently awarded $4.7M Department of Education grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions focused on supporting Latinx and low income STEM students succeed. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC San Diego.