Dec 21, 2016

FVCC Foundation Awards $33,000 for Innovative Projects and Student Travel

FVCC’s Director of Career and Technical Education Pete Wade accepted two Enhancement Grant awards on behalf of the college’s Advanced Manufacturing program. The FVCC Foundation recently awarded more than $33,000 in grants to faculty and staff for innovative academic projects and to FVCC students to participate in regional and national conferences.

The Foundation at Flathead Valley Community College recently announced grant awards totaling more than $33,000 to FVCC faculty and staff for innovative projects that shift student learning experiences and FVCC student travel to national and regional conferences to present research or work.

Thanks to one of these awards, the FVCC Art Department will host a juried art exhibit and auction in celebration of FVCC’s 50th anniversary in early June of 2017. By participating in the auction, students will learn the professional and career aspects of being an artist, including submitting artwork for publication, showing work in a gallery setting, selling work and organizing art exhibits.  Along with student art, community and faculty artists will be invited to submit art for this special event.  Proceeds from the auction will benefit the FVCC Art Endowment Fund.

“We are excited to bring the art community together for this special art auction to commemorate FVCC’s 50th Anniversary,” said Associate Professor of Art David Regan.  “We thank the FVCC Foundation for giving our students, faculty and the community this opportunity.”

Now in its 12th year, the Foundation’s Enhancement Grant program has provided seed money for successful programs including The Culinary Institute of Montana’s Chef’s Table program and The Scholars program at FVCC.  It continues to provide resources for new and entrepreneurial initiatives through proceeds from Festival of Flavors fundraising events.  All the grants are made possible by the generosity of the businesses, organizations and individuals who support foundation events and make donations to programs.

Enhancement Grants were also awarded for the following projects:

Flathead Valley STEM Races”
FVCC’s Engineering department will implement a semester-long, team-based engineering project for high school and college students taking science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes.  The project will integrate multiple academic disciplines and culminate in a tournament where teams of high school students present their work to the public. The teams will be mentored and coached throughout the semester by FVCC students, FVCC faculty and representatives from local business and industry.

“Sharp AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display’
Adult Basic Education students seeking their high school equivalency diploma will train on this new technology to improve their digital literacy and technology skills.

“Electrical Maintenance Troubleshooting Training”
This specialized training program will provide FVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing faculty and students with a new learning tool to properly troubleshoot problems on electrical and electronic circuits and motor controls.

“Multimedia Lab for Exploring Electricity and Electronics”
This hands-on specialized software program will allow up to 50 students in Advanced Manufacturing to create, test and safely repair circuits using multimedia screens, virtual instruments and sound and animation.

“Promoting Botanical Literacy in the Community and the Classroom”
This past summer, FVCC Associate Professor Dr. Mirabai McCarthy and botany students identified native plants for the Whitefish Trails system.  This project will utilize the data collected to design and print a guide, which will be made available as an interpretive resource for life science educators, trail users and botany students.

“Luminescent Gold Nanoparticles for the Detection of Toxic Metal Ions in Aquatic Ecosystems”
FVCC’s Chemistry department will acquire a fluorometer to support student research projects and classroom lab experiments to monitor the levels of potentially toxic metal ions in local water and ocean water.

In addition to grants for innovative projects, travel grants were approved for students to present research or work at regional and national conferences in the fields of psychology, biology, jewelry design and leadership development.

For more information on Enhancement Grants or the FVCC Foundation, contact Colleen Unterreiner at or 756-3914.