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STLCC Students and Faculty Member Receive Rotary Club Awards

Rotary Club member Kim Folwarski, left, presents Branden Schweiss with the Collegiate Volunteer Leadership Award.

Rotary Club member Kim Folwarski, left, presents Branden Schweiss with the Collegiate Volunteer Leadership Award.

The Rotary Club of West St. Louis County honored two St. Louis Community College students and one faculty member with community awards. 

Denise Deavenport and Branden Schweiss received the Collegiate Volunteer Leadership Award. The award is intended to encourage and recognize leadership and volunteer engagement both on the college campus and the community. Both recipients received a $500 scholarship. Syed Chowdhury, Ph.D., associate professor of science at Wildwood, received the Excellence in Teaching Award. 

Deavenport served as president of the campus’ chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year colleges. Under her guidance, the chapter earned two regional awards and achieved 5-star status, the highest ranking awarded to a chapter. She was also vice president of the Science Club, and helped plan a Wellness Week on campus and raise $500 for “Be the Match,” an organization that supports bone marrow donations. Deavenport just completed her associate degree and has been accepted to the nursing program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she will attend on full scholarship. 

Schweiss served for three semesters as president of the Science Club and organized tours of Logan Chiropractic’s cadaver lab, an astronomy event and a global warming lecture. He also helped organize the Wellness Week and raised funds for “Be the Match.” Schweiss also attended John F. Kennedy High School, where he was nominated for the Audrey Walton Youth Leadership Award, and participated in FOCUS St. Louis Youth Leadership Team. He also served as a youth leader at St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood. He will attend Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish Hospital beginning in the fall, and hopes to attend the nurse anesthetist program in the future. 

Chowdhury was nominated by his students for his work both inside and outside the classroom. Chowdhury brings his knowledge as a research scientist in the field of neuroscience and the higher cognitive functions directly to his students. He also serves as sponsor for the Science Club and the campus’ chapter of Amnesty International, and has taken students on field trips within St. Louis and beyond to introduce them to new opportunities. 

Prior to joining STLCC, Chowdhury taught at Washington University, Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada and the University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh. He holds a master’s degree in science from Dhaka University, a doctorate in neurophysiology from Gifu University School of Medicine in Japan, and has completed post-doctoral fellowships in the Department of Biology at Washington University and the Centre for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California-Irvine.

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