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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Future You

Dear Students, I don't know about you, but early April seems to be the time for me that things really heat up (stress rises, more things to do than time to do them, etc.). I can feel it continuing to build as we approach the beginning of May when it will inevitably all hit the fan. I'm guessing many of you can relate.  This year I'm going...

Let’s Make a Playlist

Dear Students, I had a thought: what if we work together to create a list of inspiring songs that can help us all?  At the annual CNS Aspire Awards Banquet this year, Dr. Toyin Falola, an alum and former Dean's Scholar and TIP Mentor, spoke to the audience about her continued negotiation with a phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome. Many of...

Tell Me How You Really Feel – and Maybe Win $50

Dear Students, This week we are launching the CNS Annual Student Survey, one of our most important data collection points. This survey informs our decisions as a college; it gives us a measure of how we're doing and what changes we need to make.  In a college as large as ours, it's hard yet vital to hear student voices from all corners of...

Vitamin Sunny D

Dear Students,  Welcome back from break! This week many of you will have midterms (or get your results back from exams before break), and I want to encourage you to see them not as a measurement of success or failure, rather as feedback on how to proceed for the rest of the semester. We all want you to succeed, so here are some resources you c...

Darwin’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

"But I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything." – Charles Darwin Dear Students,  I don't know about you, but every once in a while the world seems to all come crashing down at once. Just last week, I was experiencing a discouraging string of events, the culmination of which was my kids' rabbits turning on m...

Words of Wisdom from a CNS Alum

​Dear Students, A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the TIP Scholars student banquet where a recent TIP alumna, Michelle Eng, spoke. She had three simple messages for students that I want to pass on to you: Step out of your comfort zone – Try new things. Take some chances. You never know where it may lead you. Practice grat...

Build Your Own Path

​Dear Students, Every great once in a while my life slows down enough to breathe and take stock of what my personal and professional goals are, but naturally occurring pause points are few and far between, which means I need to create my own.  This week I encourage you to join me in setting aside some time each day for reflection. It can ...

The Unintended Immortality of Henrietta Lacks

​Dear Students, Most of us know about famous Black scientists such as Mae Jemmison, George Washington Carver, and Betty Harris, but there is one Black woman who inadvertently revolutionized science and stirred a large conversation about scientific ethics: Henrietta Lacks.  Ms. Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951 and was diagnosed...

Black Excellence in STEM

​Dear Students, In honor of Black History Month, Natural Sciences and Engineering are teaming up to celebrate Black Excellence in STEM. This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community. I hope that everyone will come out to join us:  Friday, February 15th2 pm – 4 pmEER Commons There's going to be food, amazing performances,...

Celebrate, Periodically

Dear Students, Did you know that this year is the 150th birthday of the Periodic Table? What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a giant Periodic Table made out of cupcakes?  Dr. Biberdorf is going to do some explosive demonstrations, we're going to have cupcakes featuring all your favorite elements, we'll be handing out some one...

Distinguish Yourself

​Dear Students, This is your call for nominations.  Last semester I wrote to you about four new distinctions the College is offering that highlight things we value a great deal in the College of Natural Sciences: Entrepreneurship, Research, Service & Leadership, and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Well, now is the time to nominate...

A Day of Service

Dear Students,Welcome back to a new year and a new semester. Once again, we begin this semester with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday. So if you don't have plans for how to spend the holiday, here are two ideas.Come to the annual MLK Day celebration that begins with a march that starts on the East Mall. If you can, bring non-perishable food ...

#CNSfinals

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 enjoying some free 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:Don't underestimate the power of sleep. Yes, ...

Distinction in Research

Dear Students, As a kid, I remember going to the McDonald Observatory with my dad, an astronomer, and staring with amazement into the very dark night sky. That curiosity never vanished, and I found my world in research. Zora Neale Hurston famously said, "Research is formalized curiosity." That quote resonates with me — and, I suspect, it rings...

Entrepreneurship

Dear Students,"Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself."—Oprah WinfreyEntrepreneurs are essential to progress—the ability to see potential and make it a reality drives everything from creation of job opportunit...