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Merced College Biotechnology Grad Receives Award

June 19, 2007

A Merced College biotechnology program graduate has won a prestigious science teaching award. Dave Menshew, lead teacher of the biotechnology/forensics program at James C. Enochs High School in Modesto, received the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence.

Menshew was one of six California teachers to receive the award which included an unrestricted $5000 cash award, plus a $5000 cash grant for expansion or enhancement of his school's science program. The Science Teaching Excellence award recognizes extraordinary contributions by full-time classroom teachers who are elevating the level of science literacy through creativity in the classroom and motivation of students.

Menshew has been active in programs offered by the San Joaquin Biotechnology Center as well as the Edward Teller Education Center (ETEC), including a summer internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. After earning a biotechnology certificate from Merced College, Menshew proposed a biotechnology course to his school district as an advanced high school science elective. The district asked if he could expand the proposal. The four-year Forensics Biotechnology Career Pathway Program at James C. Enochs High School is the result.

The new forensics/biotech program includes almost 225 students in 4 sections and is one of the most popular programs at the new school. "We're using forensics as the hook to get students interested in science," says Menshew. "Our goal is to teach science, aligned to state content standards, that meets our student expectations and need for job skills training."

For more information on the biotechnology program at Merced College, contact Dr. Douglas Kain at (209) 384-6344.

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