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From the College of Natural Sciences

A Dispatch from Campus

Dear Students,I have had a chance to go to the Forty Acres a few times since things shut down in March. A lot is different: With so few people around, turtles from the turtle pond have wandered all the way to the entry of W.C. Hogg. But other things are still the same: Domino the cat continues to soak up sun outside the UT Tower, and that ornery op...

Leadership = Courage + Curiosity

Dear Students, So often we think of leadership as leading a team toward an endpoint. A to B. However, more often than not, leadership is more about making sure to look around as we move toward our goal. How we arrive at that goal is just as important as getting there.When we pay attention to how we go about our work, leadership looks different. For...

Leading Change

Dear Students,This week I offer you all three pieces of wisdom that I've learned over the years about being agents of change. Our society is in need of people to step up and lead. What I know is, combined with your incredible work ethic and sense of duty to change the world for the better, you're excellent candidates to be the changemakers our worl...

Being a Better Ally

Dear Students,I have struggled with what to write this week that would not sound like the same message I sent last week. I have wondered if you need to be hearing from me at all right now and how I can work to pull other voices into the weekly emails. While I'm working on ways to do that, I have also been asking myself how I can be a better ally to...

The Hard Work of Change

Dear Students,One of the reasons I write to you each week is to keep us connected as a community, especially when our community is suffering. Part of being a community is recognizing the fact that our Black students, faculty, and staff experience the world in inequitable ways, and this happens because of racism and injustice, which demand our colle...

Takeaways

Dear Students,I know I wrote up most of my end of semester thoughts last week, but I wanted to send a note of encouragement this week too. As you're finishing up finals and projects, please be sure to think about one tangible thing you got out of each of your classes. Maybe you found a new calling in life because the content excited you so much, ma...

You Did It

Dear Students, Well, you did it. Classes for the spring 2020 semester are over. Granted, some of you still have finals, but classes are done. With that in mind, I have three messages this week: To everyone:You have shown a tenacity, dedication, and resilience I am floored by. For some of you, finding internet connection proved challenging, but you ...

A Glass Box of Emotions

Dear Students,As we head into the last week of class for possibly the strangest semester ever, I want to check in with you and talk about your health, specifically your mental health. Here are just a few of the challenges I've heard about:focusing on school, work, or sometimes anything at allcreating and keeping a routinegetting enough (or any) phy...

Summer Love

Dear Students,In honor of registration that starts this week, I wanted to highlight some of the exciting improvements UT and CNS have made for this summer.All courses will be online so you can stay at home and get ahead on your coursework at UT.For in-state residents' undergrad classes, tuition is half what it is during the long semesters.CNS has a...

A Web of Connection

Dear Students,Today is March 51st. Just kidding, I know it's April 20th per the Julian calendar, but March seemed like a month that didn't want to end so I've just continued it. I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week and ask you to check on 5 people. They could be friends, they could be classmates that you haven't talked to since before Spr...

Plot Twists

Dear Students,In a world already full of plot twists, the last few weeks have also brought some news about changes in University leadership, most recently with last week's news that President Fenves announced he is moving to be president of Emory University. Leadership changes ​often come every four or five years in higher education, ​but there wer...

Weathering the Storm Together

Dear Students,I want to take a minute to talk about a couple of things on the horizon, both of which are important but vary exponentially in impact. First, advising and registration for the summer and fall are coming up fast. As always, your academic advisors are here to help you plan, especially given the move to online courses for the summer. Mor...

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 ...