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Louisiana Tech hosts LA-SiGMA workshop for community college faculty

For the third consecutive year, community college faculty from north Louisiana and south Arkansas gathered at Louisiana Tech University for a one-day professional development workshop focused on new discoveries and ethical conversations in stem cell research.

The annual professional development workshops are sponsored by the Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LA-SiGMA) project, which seeks to transform materials science education and research in Louisiana through a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Community college faculty gather at Louisiana Tech for LASiGMA workshop

Community college faculty gather at Louisiana Tech for LASiGMA workshop

Faculty from Louisiana Delta Community College, Bossier Parish Community College, South Arkansas Community College and Grambling State University participated in the event.

Dr. Jamie Newman, an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech and a graduate of MIT, led the workshop and shared her knowledge about stem cell biology with the attendees.

“Stem cells often have a negative association, but there are a number of different types of stem cells, each with their own potential in research and the clinic,” said Newman.  “To be an informed society, it is important to understand these different classes of stem cells, their biological role in development and maintenance, and how they can advance research and medical care.”

Linda Bates, a chemistry instructor at South Arkansas Community College, has attended every LA-SiGMA workshop since 2011.  She says the workshops have helped her to create a challenging yet enjoyable learning atmosphere for many of the employees from local chemical industries. 

“A majority of these employees have a very limited knowledge of chemistry,” said Bates.  “Experiencing the excitement shown by these students when they truly understand the relationship between the chemical concepts and their work is just one of the benefits I have received.”

LA-SiGMA’s member institutions include Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Southern University, Xavier University and Grambling State University.

Written by Alicia Boudreaux – aliciab@latech.edu