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BCC Foundation Awards Mini-Grants


The BCC Foundation encourages participation in its Bladen Community College Faculty/Staff Mini-Grant program.  A new BCC Foundation program, eligible activities are creative, innovative, and beneficial project for students and/or for staff job-related enrichment.   The BCC Foundation may award up to $1,000 total in mini-grant funding during any fiscal year, with a maximum of $500 per award.  Applications will be reviewed and selected by a committee consisting of a faculty member, a staff member, and the foundation director.

Two mini grants were awarded this year at $500 amount each. One was awarded to Kathy McGurgan, BCC Director of Evening Programs, and the other to Cheston Saunders, BCC Biology and Chemistry Instructor.

Ms. McGurgan’s project is to add further plants to sustain the habitat on campus and to apply for certification for the butterfly garden as a butterfly way station.  The butterfly garden is located between buildings 1 and 2 on BCC’s campus. A description from the grant application is as follows, “It is a dazzling array of nature at its finest. Beautiful flowers and shrubs attract hummingbirds, moth hummingbirds, and a variety of butterflies.”   The “Butterfly Haven”, as named by BCC staff member Travis Locklear in recent contest, is a great photo opportunity for those avid photographers.

The garden, an educational environment for students and a source of beauty and relations for others, is the creation of the Green Technology Committee.  Ms. McGurgan leads the Green Technology Committee, whose goal it is to bring awareness of the environment to college campus. Other committee members are Dr. Priscilla Pope, Ms. Pamela Locklear-King, Mr. David Humphrey and Mr. Clayton Dowless.

“I want the butterfly garden to be uplifting, comforting, enjoyable, and educational,” stated McGurgan. To add to the theme, McGurgan commissioned a welding sculpture by BCC former welding student, Savannah Schmidt. The art piece is suspended from a pole over the garden, literally, a butterfly visiting the garden.

The other mini-grant award was given to Cheston Saunders for a classroom addition to aid in teaching musculature in biology through modeling with clay.  Students often display difficulty learning human muscles.  Mr. Saunders noted in his application “typically, instruction of human musculature involves student simply observing models and viewing diagrams of muscles.  This lack of hands on active learning often results in low retention as well as a lack of student interest.   The project creates a more collaborative experience in the biology laboratory while providing students a new and different avenue is they are more visual learners.”  Learning human muscle location as well as function is crucial for prospective allied health and science students who hope to pursue health careers.

As grantees, both winners will be required to compile an annual report and make presentations about their project to various audiences.  If you are interested in donating to the Bladen Community College Foundation, please contact Linda Burney, Director, at 910.879.5519.

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