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Kopp's Weekly - Get to Know Your City‏

Kopp's Weekly - Get to Know Your City‏

What kinds of adventures will you have this weekend?

Dear Students,


In college, I had a Friday afternoon ritual of catching a city bus down to the Chicago Art Institute. I got in on the cheap afternoon admission and would make a charcoal sketch of a different painting on exhibit each week. It was my way of appreciating something beautiful in a quiet space and being part of the city in which I found myself. These days, I still try to make room for a weekly ritual — I like to sing in a little choir. It's an opportunity to push my brain in a different direction and get to know a diverse group of people who like me aren't professionals but enjoy music.

Austin is a diverse city and full opportunities to explore. Each of us will have different things that appeal to us, but there are great surprises in store. And as students in my fall signature class found out, the city has a great public transportation system that allows you to get to new places (free to you as students). The Greenbelt is an 8-mile trail along Barton Creek. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden hosts the works of former UT professor Charles Umlauf, right next to Zilker Park where the annual Kite Festival is approaching on March 10. Our family likes renting a canoe on Lady Bird Lake or picnicking with the peacocks that roam around Mayfield Park. For those looking to engage in the community, volunteer opportunities at food banks like the Capital Area Food Bank are everywhere. And of course there is music, ranging from early Baroque to punk rock.

I hope you will regard these four years as that time when you first explore for yourself, when you become involved in a community, and when these activities enrich the life you live.

Best wishes for the coming week,
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Natural Sciences

PS: The College is undergoing a strategic planning process. A college-wide group of faculty has been working with departments on areas ranging from improving undergraduate education and outreach, strengthening graduate student support, creating flexible faculty hiring policies, and improving communication within and outside the College. Dean Linda Hicke will meet with the Task Force February 25th to hear final recommendations. Prior to that time, Dean Hicke wishes to have your input. A survey for your views about the college is available here, and we hope you will give us your feedback.

PPS: Some notable news this week. Did you see that a giant meteor struck in Russia? Or that Professor Al Bard (chemistry) was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama in the White House? Or that CNS student Will Berdanier was awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship to study at Cambridge? This was also the week not only of Valentine's Day, but of Darwin's birthday anniversary (Feb. 12).

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Thursday, 27 January 2022

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