LLCC athlete to attend research trip aboard ship

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SPRINGFIELD – A first-year student and men’s basketball player from Lincoln Land Community College has been selected to participate in a National Science Foundation STEMSEAS experience next month.

Student athlete Alex Portwood will travel aboard a research vessel from San Diego to Honolulu from May 8 through 19 with all expenses paid. Portwood is among hundreds of students from across the country who applied for the program.

LLCC Geography Professor Dean Butzow says Portwood is an outstanding student and athlete who has worked hard for this opportunity.

“He completed an extensive application and interview process to reach this point. This is an incredible opportunity and LLCC will be well represented on the Pacific Ocean!” Butzow adds.

The STEMSEAS (Science Technology Engineering Math Student Experience Aboard Ships) program gives students the opportunity to spend 10 days on a ship working with mentor faculty on geoscience and oceanography activities. Students take part in scientific research practices and techniques during their time on the voyage.

Portwood, a straight-A student and member of Phi Theta Kappa academic honor society, credits Professor Butzow with bringing this opportunity to his attention. He says it would not have been possible without his help.

“I grew up in a small town, and you don’t get an opportunity like this very often,” Portwood explains.

LLCC’s Men’s Basketball Coach Chad Jones also spoke well of Portwood’s selection and says Portwood is “the perfect example of what it means to be a student athlete.”

“In addition to being a great athlete, he is top-notch student. This opportunity isn’t afforded to many students, and the fact that he was selected speaks volumes about him. Alex is a hard worker who understands the value of his education,” Jones says.

More information about STEMSEAS can be found here.

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