The past year has been an incredible one for the College of Arts and Sciences. I thought it best to use my last blog entry of the year to share what made 2011 so great.
Our students continue to impress me with their exceptional achievement. They came up big in terms of earning nationally competitive, prestigious scholarships to continue their studies. Zach Smith’s Marshall Scholarship, Emily Schlichting’s Truman scholarship, and Zach Norwood’s Gates Cambridge Scholarship are just a few great examples. We also had seven students win Fulbright scholarships.
We continue to celebrate the research achievements of faculty, like chemist Stephen DiMagno becoming one of the first in the nation to win a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to guide toward commercialization his discovery that could help manage certain cancers and neurological disorders. We’re proud of Carino Curto, assistant professor of mathematics, who earned a Sloan Research Fellowship to pursue research in the field of mathematical neuroscience. And we’re excited about the great potential ahead with researchers like Bridget Goosby, assistant professor of sociology, who earned a K01 Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health to study the roots of health disparities.
We welcomed some very talented new faculty members in 2011 like Kwame Dawes, an acclaimed author and poet who has taken the helm of Prairie Schooner. Valery Forbes, an outstanding scientist and accomplished administrator who is using her talents as the new director of the School of Biological Sciences, also joined our faculty this year.
The year also brought some improvements to our facilities, including our newly renovated undergraduate chemistry labs. Starting this spring, students will get to enjoy spacious labs that feature reconfigured workspace, added computer access at each workstation and flat-panel monitors, cameras and microphones that will make it easier to see and hear their instructors. Considering that more than 1,000 students take intro chemistry each year, this will have a significant impact.
A separate project, our new nanoscience facility, also is in the finishing stages. The 32,000-square-foot building will provide state-of-the-art, centralized research facilities for more than 80 physics, chemistry, engineering and other faculty members from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources. We’re excited to be a part of this collaboration.
With the chancellor’s goals to grow our enrollment, expand our faculty ranks and make greater strides with research, this is just a start. I’m eager to see what 2012 brings.
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