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From the College of Natural Sciences

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...

Tough Love

Dear Students,Do you know what one of the greatest things about studying at an institution of this size is? So many opportunities … so don't miss out!With registration around the corner, why not broaden your horizons and check out these courses?Inventors Program (NSC 323): register for an Inventors course to explore team-based solutions and entrepr...

A Mole Day Study Break

Dear Students,Wednesday, 10/23, At 6:02 p.m. (or a.m. if you're up that early), join me in celebrating the annual Mole Day – a day dedicated to Amedeo Avogadro's famous number 6.022 * 1023. In doing serious research for this great day (I am a scientist after all), I found some study break ideas for you to help celebrate:Watch "A Molar Eclipse of th...

Free Doughnuts and a Week of Celebrating Science? Yes please.

Dear Students,This is one of my favorite weeks of the year: Natural Sciences Week. Led by our incredible Natural Sciences Council, this week celebrates so many wonderful things about our scientific world. Monday, October 14thDonuts on the Patio – Coffee. Donuts. Dean Goldbart. Don't miss it! (NHB Patio 9-11am)Gone to Natural Sciences – This is the ...

Financial Wellness

Dear Students,One of the largest stressors for students (and non-students, too) is finances. From making your budget last through the whole semester to credit card debt to even knowing if you have enough to cover that next meal, the stresses can have a real impact on academic success. Below are some support ideas to help assist in your financial we...

What It Takes to Succeed in College

Dear Students,Our College Communications office just released a podcast called "You Belong Here: What It Takes for Success in College," and I want to encourage all of you to listen to it.There are two takeaways I want to highlight for you:Learning is hard (if you're doing it correctly), and that does not equate to you being inadequate. You were sel...

Engage!

Dear Students, This week's theme is engagement, and I've got two different, equally important ways to start.CNS created an amazing way for you to get hands-on, applicable experience in science and entrepreneurship through Science Sprints and Inventor Sprints. These one-day events have you working with UT faculty, staff, and industry representatives...

Healthy Horns

Dear Students, I overheard a student the other day saying "It doesn't really feel like school is back in session until the first test." Whether you agree or not, school is most definitely back. So now is the time to establish those healthy habits; that way, when things ramp up next week (or next month), you'll already be creating a positive buffer ...

From False Assumptions to Focusing on STEM Equity

​In addition to writing a weekly note to students, Dr. Vanden Bout sometimes pens messages for other outlets. Below is a piece he was invited to submit for the newsletter of GlobalMindED, which awarded him its 2019 Inclusive Leader Award. GlobalMindED is a nonprofit innovation network that closes the equity gap through education, entrepreneurship, employment and economic mobility to create a capable, diverse talent pipeline.

Y'all Belong Here

Enter your text here ..Dear Students,As a college we are committed to making UT a welcoming and inclusive place for all students, faculty, and staff. To that end, I'm making a pledge to do at least one thing each month that expands my understanding of groups other than my own and results in ways I can better support those around me. I plan to atten...

Wanna Succeed?

Dear Students,Welcome to the start of a new year in the College of Natural Sciences! As most of you know, my name is David Vanden Bout and I am the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in CNS. I think I have the best job at UT because I get to work with all of you and make sure your time here is the best it can be. Each week I will send you a...