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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Welcome to Fall 2021!

Welcome to Fall 2021!

Dear Students,

Welcome to the start of a new year in the College of Natural Sciences! My name is Michael Drew, and I am serving as Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in CNS while Dean Vanden Bout serves as interim dean of CNS. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with students across the college and make sure your time here is the best it can be.

Each week, I will send you an email like this one that highlights skills, opportunities and ideas to expand your horizons. I'll also follow in Dean Vanden Bout's tradition and include a science joke. I can't promise the jokes will always be funny, but, hey, I'm a neuroscientist not a comedian.As we start the semester, I'd like to share a few important messages:

  1. First, as you probably know, COVID-19 is circulating at high levels in Austin. The science tells us there are two very effective ways to protect ourselves and others in our community. One is to wear a mask when indoors. Although masks are not required, we ask that you wear one in classes and offices. The second way to protect both yourself and our community is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe, effective and free. Find out how to get the vaccine here.
  2. Second, as you return to campus, there will be a lot of great opportunities and demands on your time: social events, classes, jobs, volunteer work, etc. It will be easy to get swept up in a stream of activities. Make sure you prioritize and set aside time for the things that matter most, like coursework. If you carve out some protected time each day for studying, I promise it will reduce your stress while optimizing your performance.
  3. Finally, don't hesitate to ask for help. If you need help with an assignment, ask the professor, ask the teaching assistant, ask a classmate. If you are confused about degree requirements, ask an advisor. If you struggle with life in general, contact a counselor. There are lots of people around ready to help you. You just need to reach out.
I'm really looking forward to the start of the semester and, in particular, to seeing students on campus again. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person sometime this year.

Until next week,
Dr. Drew

Follow me on Twitter @StudentDeanCNS

Joke: Three statisticians go hunting. They spot a deer. The first statistician crouches, takes a shot and misses high. The second statistician takes a shot and misses low. The third statistician jumps up and says, "We got him!"
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