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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

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...

Distinction in Service & Leadership

​Dear Students, Two weeks ago I let you know about four new College Distinctions that will recognize student excellence and be awarded at graduation. This week I want to talk about why we in Natural Sciences recognize Service & Leadership. One of the core principles of UT is Leadership: "The will to excel with integrity and the spirit...

A Special Message for College of Natural Sciences Undergraduates

This message was sent to current CNS undergraduate students in the weekly email from the college, prior to an evening with the dean especially for students.

Student Distinctions in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dear Students,Science and research are inextricably linked for a good reason: this is how we further knowledge. We're really good at research here at UT, but research is far from the only area of excellence, especially amongst you, our undergraduate students who amaze me at every turn. With that in mind, the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is cre...

Step Into the Arena

Dear Students, There is a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt. In his "Citizenship In a Republic" speech given in Paris in 1910, the former president paints a picture of a strong fighter in the ring, stumbling. Roosevelt says it's not the nitpicking critic, sitting outside the ring and pointing, who counts. Rather, the credit belongs to the pers...

Help Spread the Word: Boil Water Notice

Dear Students, You received a message this morning from Campus Safety alerting you to the fact that the City of Austin has issued a citywide notice that all residents need to boil their water. Updates on the situation for our campus community will be posted to this website https://emergency.utexas.edu/In the meantime, please avoid consuming water f...

Free Tacos and a Star Party

Dear Students,You read that right: this week is Natural Sciences Week – the time when we celebrate how great science is – and tonight we kick it off at 6 pm in and around the Texas Union Ballroom. Come on out to enjoy free tacos and pizza, live animals like mini-horses, and lots of student organizations. Be sure to represent with your Texas Science...

Speaking Truth to Power

Dear Students,Often, I hear from students (and staff and faculty) who feel there has been an injustice through words or deeds, but don't feel they have the right to speak directly to that individual because they're a professor, or a supervisor, or a Dean—someone in a position of power. Quakers coined the phrase "speak truth to power" as a middle gr...