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SCC Student Spotlight

Shawnee Community College educates students who are prepared to succeed both academically and professionally. Three of our current students are accomplishing their goals through the SI Bridges to Baccalaureate Program.

The SI Bridges to Baccalaureate program is a unique, professional training program allowing students to explore the numerous opportunities in biomedical and behavioral science research. SI Bridges prepares students for fulfilling and lucrative careers in scientific research designed to benefit human health and well-being. Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Shawnee Community College and John A. Logan College are partnering to offer this comprehensive training program, funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. SI Bridges student scholars work alongside faculty mentors from SIUC, JALC, and SCC on developing and implementing their own scientific research projects.

Our current SI Bridges Scholars are Jose Botello of Vienna, Laura Botello of Vienna, and Martin Flores of Anna are experiencing a great journey with this program. They are learning to perform new laboratory techniques and use relevant scientific equipment. Additionally, they are giving professional, scientific presentations. SI Bridges Scholars receive salaries for their participation in the program. SCC Marketing Coordinator, Emily Elliott interviewed all three students about the SI Bridges program.

What have you learned from this program?
Laura stated, "I've learned professional researching including lab behavior, lab skills, scientific reading and writing. The most important thing that I have learned is that I can do anything I want in life and to never give up."
Jose stated, "I've learned how to manage my time better and how properly study. I've learned that science isn't always a success. There are trials and errors and you keep trying until something works."
Martin stated, " I learned how to read and write literature which was difficult at first to understand. I also learned to never underestimate yourself because if you really want something, you will reach it."

Why did you choose to apply for the program?
Laura stated, "The word science got me interested. Professional training and getting paid to do it was another reason. This would be a great opportunity for me."
Jose stated, "Lori Armstrong, SCC's Biology Instructor, suggested the program to me. When she mentioned the Biomedical aspect of it, I was sold because I love science."
Martin stated, "I've taken a lot of science classes and I love them. I wanted the experience of doing research that many undergrads don't have the opportunity of doing."

All three students, Laura, Jose, and Martin love this program and are eager to continue their professional research as they prepare to transfer to SIUC to finish their education. They all highly recommend applying to this program if you love science and are interested in conducting research that will benefit human health! Deadline for applications is October 31, 2014. If admitted to the program, participation will begin January 2015.

To learn more about the SI Bridges to Baccalaureate program or how to apply, contact Lori Armstrong at 618-634-3313 or email Lori at You may also visit

For more information about SCC's Student Success Stories, contact Marketing Coordinator Emily Elliott at 618-634-3270 or by email at

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Shawnee Community College • 8364 Shawnee College Road • Ullin, IL 62992 • (618) 634-3200
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