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From the College of Natural Sciences

How to Prepare Now for Online Classes

Dear CNS Students, As we prepare for classes to start again next week, I wanted to provide you with a few quick updates and links on where to get information. First, if you need technology for shifting to online classes, please contact Student Emergency Services or fill out our CNS Survey (and we'll get the information to SES). There are a number o...

Taking Care of Yourself

Dear Students, I'm sure you've all been hearing about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how to take measures to stop or slow the spread of the disease. The University has a central page for up-to-date information that I encourage you to check regularly. Even beyond COVID-19, I want to encourage you to take care of yourself. This is a stressful point in th...

How's That Whole Learning Thing Going?

Dear Students, The semester is in full swing and by now you've probably had a chance to demonstrate your knowledge through tests, papers, presentations, or class discussions. So how's it going? It's a question we don't often ask ourselves, yet it's critical to the process. I find I get swept up in the day-to-day goings-on of learning something and ...

Keep On Keeping On

Dear Students, As I was trying to write this week's newsletter, I realized that I was fresh out of inspirational ideas to give to you, and it occurred to me that maybe some of you are suffering from a creative or inspirational dry spell also… or a different kind of low spot in your life. So my message this week is short: keep on keeping on. If thi...

Finding Your Support Network

Dear Students, This past Friday I had the honor to attend the Black Excellence in STEM event, co-hosted by Natural Sciences and Engineering, which highlighted many scientists and engineers who contributed significantly to society and were also Black. As I looked around, I was struck by the beautiful community I saw, both formal student groups and i...

Black Excellence in STEM

"Many of the younger students may have no idea of the struggles that we had—just like I didn't know the struggles of my grandparents. Everybody comes on the shoulders of someone."– Col. Leon Holland, member of the first cohort of Black students admitted to UT in 1956 in a group known asThe Precursors.Dear Students, I came across this quote from UT ...

Working Toward Belonging

Dear Students,Jacqueline Gibson is a change maker. Before she graduated last year, the College of Natural Sciences recognized Jacqueline for her leadership in tackling ways to use technology to build a more equitable world. In the Department of Computer Science, she co-founded the Association of Black Computer Scientists, and she worked with Dr. Al...

Distinguish Yourself

Dear Students,This is your call for nominations. CNS Distinctions are a way for the College to highlight all the remarkable things you as students do in entrepreneurship, research, service & leadership, and in the area of diversity, equity, & inclusion. Nominations are open to all students, regardless of year in school, AND you can self-nom...

The Gift of Perspective

Dear Students,Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful, restful break. I spent some of the time off thinking about what this new year holds. I'm not big on resolutions, but time away from work affords time for reflection. I caught myself thinking about all the plans I had for the fall semester, all the things I wanted to get done and fell short. Bu...

There's More to Acing Finals Than Studying

Dear Students,You've made it to the last day of class this semester! For many classes that means filling out CIS sheets and maybe even some food, but for a lot of courses in CNS that means squeezing in one last exam. Here are some words of wisdom to carry you through today and finals:Sleep. I know I keep giving this piece of advice, but it's crucia...

The #1 Pressing Item for Any To-Do List

​Dear Students, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the CNS student leaders at a lunch last month, and I asked them what they thought all students need to know. Overwhelmingly, they stressed the importance of mental and physical wellbeing. As we enter the homestretch of the semester, they urged all students to make sure they are taking care ...

A (Not So) Secret Weapon to Get You Through the Semester

Dear Students,There's a calendar from the Random Acts of Kindness organization in my office suite that plants a seed of an idea every day for how to operate from a place of kindness and gratitude. There's emerging science behind the profound positive impact gratitude can have on your life. I've found it to be true in my own life, and it is goo...

You've Got to Tell Someone About This

Dear Students,Imagine this: you just discovered a remarkable mechanism for fighting cancer by identifying a little-known protein's interaction with a particular strain of cancer cells (I'm a chemist so I'm kind of making this up – but if this pans out, I want part of the glory!). How do you get the word out about how great this mighty protein is? I...

That's What the Storm Is All About

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about." — Haruki Murakami Dear Students,This time of year is ...

First Gens of the First Class

Dear Students,Sometimes universities, including UT, assume students know certain things when they get here. But really, I mean, how many of you knew what a subsidized vs. unsubsidized loan was before you got here? Or what a semester credit hour was? Or a FIG? Or how about office hours?! Many of you have learned these things, or are in the process o...