A Message from the Dean

At the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, we transform our students’ experience through innovative classroom instruction, involvement in unique and timely research opportunities, and strong mentorship and advising.

Dr. Marie Johnson, Dean of the CSF College of NSM

As we wrapped up a successful spring semester, celebrated our accomplished graduates, and look forward to the academic year ahead, we continue to work toward building a greater sense of belonging among our students and supporting them academically by increasing both undergraduate research and peer mentoring opportunities.

Exciting new strategies are springing up at the departmental level. Our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for example, is planning to target rising sophomores with GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0 – a group with the potential to thrive with some extra focus and encouragement by faculty – with new research and lab experiences over the summer. These experiences are designed to help students figure out which aspect of chemistry or biochemistry they like most.

Our Department of Geological Sciences is developing a peer mentoring program, in which upper-division students mentor lower-division students, facilitated by recently created curricula and field trips. And our Department of Biological Science is working on summer undergraduate field research experiences for students, funded by a combination of state and philanthropic dollars.

Our focus continues to be giving our students chances to be practicing mathematicians and scientists. It’s not enough to read about these things in a book. The joy comes from being able to work on unsolved problems and discovering that you yourself can contribute original knowledge.

It’s amazing to see the ways our incredible faculty and staff dedicate themselves to advising and encouraging students every day to facilitate that joy, the inspiring ways our students achieve and thrive with that guidance, and the unwavering support of our donors and partners who allow us to offer these transformative experiences that show our students what’s possible.

Marie Johnson, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

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