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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Kopp's Weekly — Braggin' on Our College‏

Kopp's Weekly — Braggin' on Our College‏

Mark your calendar! There are some exciting events happening soon in the College of Natural Sciences.

Dear Students,

Each of us can think of our best, most favorite teacher in high school, the person who really knew his/her stuff, engaged the class, mentored us through critical transitions in our life, and celebrated our accomplishments. In college, there are great faculty, and while they do these things as well, what makes them great is different because college is different.

What makes for great college faculty? Students from the Natural Sciences Council have been thinking about this a lot and worked to select and surprise 5 of our faculty with the Natural Sciences Council Faculty Appreciation Awards. These 5 instructors, Josh Beckham, Greg Clark, Jennifer Moon, Beverly Finklea, and Terry O'Halloran, were recognized for the extra care and attention they gave students and the innovations they brought to their classrooms. Coming from students, I can tell you these awards have a tremendous impact on the faculty.

The University and the College think about this a lot as well. Spring is a great time in the College's calendar, because we get to celebrate some of the accomplishments of faculty, staff, and students. Some of the highlights so far:

    • President Powers and Provost Leslie welcomed 7 new faculty, including Physics Professor Mike Downer, in to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Listening to the inductees speak, I was struck by the creativity each applies to his/her teaching, and the gratitude each expressed at how much students taught each of them in their path toward better and better teaching.

    • Faculty from Chemistry, Biology and Statistics gave a symposium on their practice of hybrid learning, using technology to deliver content and lecture material and allowing faculty to use class time for more active problem solving, interactive discussions, and working with students. The use of technology is a subject of national discussion these days. What I so admired by our faculty presentations was their focus on students -- technology for them was not a snazzy distraction, but rather a tool to access more information about where students are at, support individual learning, and devote more of their contact with students on mentoring and teaching. You may have seen a nice article in the Daily Texan.

Coming up, we'll be celebrating students. The CNS Honors Day ceremony will take place Friday April 13 at 7:30pm in the Frank Erwin Center, with the University-wide event to follow the next day. Students on the University Honor Roll, receiving College Scholarships, or CNS Book Awards will be invited to be recognized. Who are these students? They are the students who worked hard to figure it out. How to study, how to learn, how to get help from their peers and instructors, and how to overcome difficulty. Studying science and mathematics is challenging, and one of the things I always enjoy in speaking to these students is the collection of strategies they had to learn to get where they are, and meeting some of the friends and family that helped them along the way. All of us are invited to go and celebrate these students' accomplishments. It is a celebration of our College at work.

Sacha Kopp

Associate Dean

PS: The Pass the Baton at the Texas Relays: A College of Natural Sciences' Black Alumni Event takes place Saturday March 31. We all have a calling in life, or perhaps a few, but finding this calling requires a lot of trial and error, gaining life experiences, and learning from others. Alumni, just like you, had to make their way through school and their degree, and just like you they had to translate that degree and their skills in to their eventual career. The event is on March 31, 2012, 9am-12pm, Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78712, Lounge/Concourse area, south end of the building. Please RSVP by March 25th, 2012, to Holly Hunt, hmhunt@mailutexas.edu.

Also on March 31st at 10am is the 5th Annual "Getting on Track" Health Symposium in Welch 3.502. Strategies for interviews, applications, and Q&A with admissions representatives are on the agenda. Registration must be completed by Tues March 27 and is done here.

PPS: The online application for the 2012-2013 scholarships, which includes scholarships given through the Dean’s Office, Health Profession Scholarships and Out-of-State Tuition Waivers, and the Natural Sciences Council, are now available.

    • Scholarships and tuition waivers from the Dean's office: Students can access the online application via our scholarship website. The deadline to submit both the online application and letter(s) of recommendation is April 15, 2012.

    • The Natural Sciences Council will be accepting applications for the Natural Sciences Council Scholarship. Students meeting the academic requirements and who have also demonstrated leadership and service, especially to the College of Natural Sciences will be considered for scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year. The application form is available here. The deadline for this scholarship is Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:00pm.

Please contact Adrianne Chacon at adrianne.chacon@cns.utexas.edu with questions or concerns.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

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