As we launch another vibrant academic year, it’s inspiring to take a look at all the amazing work our students, faculty, and staff have been doing in the classroom, in research groups, and to foster a stronger sense of belonging and community throughout our campus. We also reflect on the full NSM story, the evolving educational journey each of our students take, marked by early engagement with the fundamental skill of critical thinking, involvement in hands-on research, and active learning – all under the guidance and mentorship of our devoted faculty. If students invest and persist in this journey, they will graduate ready to take on any challenge and find success in the careers they pursue.
This year, we welcomed our largest first-year class ever. Multiple logistical details needed to be considered to accommodate every student’s needs and ensure they got the best start for their individual NSM stories, and each of our departments has worked very hard to ensure all incoming students have the courses and resources they need. Our professional and faculty advisors have made sure to guide every entering student, another mammoth undertaking. We’re so thankful for everyone’s incredible efforts, as it’s been no small task.
“With the innovative spirit and drive of our students and faculty and the unwavering support of our donors and partners, we will always move forward toward better things.”
Marie Johnson, Dean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Beyond that first-year experience, our faculty and staff continue to encourage students to persist in their educational journeys at the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. This summer, our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offered a summer research program for students who had completed their first year with a GPA between 2.0 and 3.0 – those under-the-radar students who may have been unsure about whether they’d return to their majors or to the college for another year. By getting them into our research labs and pairing them with peer and faculty mentors, they learned that there is a place for them here and that research is for everyone. And we learned that students will respond if you seek them out and offer support.
Our faculty and faculty emeriti support and inspire one another as much as they do our students. One longtime chemistry faculty member who made his professional career here with us, Dr. Zhuangjie Li, recently offered incredibly generous gifts to make life a little easier for the faculty who come after him.
With our new provost, who is uniquely positioned to champion campus process improvement, we hope to free up even more of our faculty’s time so they can better focus on what matters to them most – supporting student success and creating new knowledge in their fields.
With the innovative spirit and drive of our students and faculty and the unwavering support of our donors and partners, we will always move forward toward better things.
Marie Johnson, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics