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From the College of Natural Sciences

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...

Game On

Dear Students, In case you hadn't noticed, classes are done for the semester and all that stands between you and summer are finals. I have three messages for you this week:  To everyone: Please don't forget to sleep. Sleep is vital to recalling information, so if you prioritize stuffing information in but don't sleep, it doesn't do a lot ...

Ramadan Mubarak

Dear Students, First of all, I'd like to wish all of our Muslim students happy Ramadan! I hope this time is fulfilling for you. For students who are not familiar with the month of Ramadan, it began yesterday, May 5th, and is a month when Muslims fast, pray, and work to do more good in the world. I wanted to take a moment to share some ideas about h...

Playlist Delivered

Dear Students, Remember when I asked y'all for song recommendations a couple weeks ago? Well, many of you sent in suggestions, and I'm happy to share our CNS Spotify Playlist. We can keep building it, so as you think of inspiring songs or hear new ones, send them my way!  And in my tradition of celebrating nerdy holidays, don't forget to ...

Balance: Opportunities Outside the Classroom

Dear Students, As most of you buckle down for the final push in the semester, I encourage you to schedule small breaks to attend a couple of the great free events CNS and UT have to offer this month: Why You Should Consider Mid-Size Companies for Your Career Path, a chance to connect with local, dynamic executives and to sample heavy hors...

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,...