Colby Community College Biology Instructor and STEM Division Chair Dr. Jeffrey Sekavec presented at the 2023 Midwest Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference held Oct. 20 through 22 in St. Louis, Mo.

Sekavec and Earl Legleiter from Fort Hays State University's education department delivered remarks on "Community College Partnerships to Promote a Noyce Scholarship Program." It marked the conclusion of FHSU's five-year Noyce Scholarship project, "Recruiting, Preparing, and Retaining STEM Teachers for Western Kansas," which increased the number of high school STEM teachers in rural areas.

The project was a collaboration with Colby and other regional Kansas community colleges. They targeted recruitment and funded scholarships at the two-year institutions to attract teachers from STEM majors and return them to their high-needs communities in western Kansas. The colleges also developed STEM clubs to engage students in activities that increased their interest in teaching careers. 

Sekavec has been the site director at Colby from the Noyce project's inception through its conclusion. 

"We have numerous CCC students that have become part of the Noyce Scholars Program for educating and recruiting teachers into the STEM education field, especially at the middle and high school levels," he said.

Robert Noyce (1927-1990) was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor (1957) and Intel (1968). He invented the integrated circuit, or silicon microchip, revolutionizing the computer industry and giving Silicon Valley its name.