Details of Fall Commencement at SCC Released

Southwestern Community College’s fall commencement will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, in Myers Auditorium in the Balsam Building on SCC’s Jackson Campus.

Matt Cass, SCC’s physics and math instructor and the college’s 2017 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award, will serve as featured speaker.

Cass serves as the principal investigator of the Smoky Mountains STEM Collaborative, an effort in collaboration with NASA Science, to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education in western North Carolina and nationwide. 

He has initiated STEM summer camps, serves as faculty sponsor for the STEM club and supports student-learning initiatives including the high-altitude balloon research projects. Cass has served as science department chair and serves on a number of college committees and regional projects focused on promoting STEM education and future opportunities for students and teachers in the region. His academic interests beyond physics include equity in science education and working with underrepresented populations.

Cass also worked tirelessly this past year to educate SCC students and the community about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse through expert panels, speaking engagements and other educational events.

“We are so grateful to Matt for his contributions to the college and the public over the past several years leading up to and since the eclipse,” said Dr. Thom Brooks, SCC’s executive vice president for instruction and student services.