​Dear Students, 

Two weeks ago I let you know about four new College Distinctions that will recognize student excellence and be awarded at graduation. This week I want to talk about why we in Natural Sciences recognize Service & Leadership.

One of the core principles of UT is Leadership: "The will to excel with integrity and the spirit that nothing is impossible." Too often leadership skills are mistaken for management, and often people only see leadership as a position. But leadership is a verb, an action, and it is inextricably linked with service to others rather than management of others. And science is at its very core teamwork.

As you look around, who is leading by example? Who is leading by serving? Who inspires those around them to collaborate and to strive for ambitious goals and works to get people there together? Early in the spring semester, we will send a call out for nominations, so start thinking about the leaders amongst us now—maybe it's even you.

Dr. Vanden Bout

Joke: Where does bad light end up? In a prism.