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Professor to Mentor in National STEM Tech Education Program

Jenni Fridgen to serve as one of AACC's MentorLinks mentors for 2017-2019 cohort

Tuesday, August 01, 2017
A Parkland College Agriculture professor was recently selected to share her expertise in a community college mentoring initiative supported by the National Science Foundation.

Agriculture Program Director Jennifer Fridgen will soon serve as a mentor in the American Association of Community College's MentorLinks: Advancing Technological Education program. She will assist faculty from Ozark Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri, in a project titled "Advancing Agriculture." The team will be part of MentorLinks' 2017–2019 cohort.

MentorLinks has been advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) technician education within the country since 2002. It pairs selected colleges with community college mentors experienced in planning and implementing advanced technology programs. Mentors work with their colleges to develop or strengthen curricula and materials, design new programs, develop faculty, implement changes in ongoing programs to improve industry responsiveness, or related goals. The program covers travel for the mentors, including a site visit to the assigned college and attendance at three national meetings in Washington, DC.  

Fridgen was instrumental in securing a $200,000 NSF grant to improve precision agriculture training at Parkland College in April 2016. Her work with the grant has created Parkland's first-ever precision ag course for high school students and is expanding Parkland's precision ag curriculum to align with industry needs. Fridgen won Parkland College's 2017 Innovation in Engagement Award, a county-wide honor, for her contributions to the field of agriculture. She has served on the Parkland College faculty since 2014.

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