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Meramec Students, Instructor to Make Presentation at NEA Conference

March 07, 2014

Lisa Martino-Taylor and students  
Left to right: Lisa Martino-Taylor, and students Jacob Bennett, Christina Troupe and Samantha Johnson.

Students from St. Louis Community College-Meramec and their instructor will make a presentation during the National Education Association Higher Education Conference March 14 in St. Louis.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Students Jacob Bennett, Samantha Johnson and Christina Troupe, will represent their class and present alongside Lisa Martino-Taylor, Ph.D., instructor II in behavioral sciences, at the conference.


Students spent a semester researching the radioactive contamination of Coldwater Creek in St. Louis, and related issues ranging from World War II-era weapons production to complex social, legal, and environmental causes and implications of the contamination, Martino-Taylor said. Students in the class worked together as a team, sharing information with each other both inside and outside of class.


"This class allowed me to explore new research methodologies and expand my critical thinking in profound ways," said Bennett. "A student-led, student-driven, research-based class was both challenging and rewarding. I wish more classes were structured in this way."


At the end of the class, students created individual portfolios that brought together all of the information. The outstanding work by Bennett, Johnson and Troupe garnered an invitation to represent the class and present the findings at the conference. The students’ portfolios are available in the Meramec campus library, available for use by students and the community.


"I've heard it said that we should think globally and act locally. This class showed me that there is an essential need for all of us to care locally, think nationally and act globally. I learned that we have to treat the whole world as our backyard,” said Troupe.


Martino-Taylor said that, given this in-depth, collaborative research opportunity, the students stepped up in an amazing way.


“As an instructor, I am very proud of our students for their hard work, their spirit of collaboration, and their mentoring of current American Social Problems students, who are presently researching the related issue of Westlake Landfill,” she said. “It is a privilege to work with such talented students. It is also an honor for both them and St. Louis Community College-Meramec to be recognized for the students' contribution to the college, the community and the discipline."