Here you will find a collection of profiles and updates for and about staff in the College of Biological Sciences.
The end of the year is nearly here and for many it won’t be missed. We’re all hoping for better days to come in 2021. While things won’t return to normal any time soon, we have cause for hope that this year will be the inverse of the last one. I am incredibly grateful to all of you for going above and beyond to deliver on our mission in spite of it all.
With the semester underway, I know many of you are juggling multiple commitments both professional and personal. Moreover, the excitement and energy of a new academic year are mixed with uncertainty as we collectively navigate the shifting terrain of this pandemic.
Those of you who work directly with students are also no doubt keenly aware of their concerns about keeping up academically, staying motivated and managing stress. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to share some resources for helping them stay healthy and stay on course to achieve their goals.
Part of Cheri Stockinger's Birch Bark Quilt created during her artist-in-residency at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.
What did you do before you came to the Conservatory and what drew you to work here?
It would be difficult to overstate the impact of this pandemic on how we fulfill each part of our mission including education, research and outreach. Feelings of dislocation and disappointment are to be expected, but despite personal and professional challenges, this community has risen to the occasion in ways large and small. We have demonstrated great resilience and adapted to dramatically changed circumstances with creativity. I want to share a few of the many examples.
The College’s field stations are vital to our research, education and outreach mission. Faculty and staff at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories do incredible work. Two recent productions capture a bit of the magic of these unique places.
The new performance management process is designed to encourage regular performance check-in meetings with your supervisor and will provide you with the training and resources you need to engage in meaningful conversations about your professional development. Additionally, the new process focuses on shared goal-setting and individual accomplishments rather than rated competencies. Supervisors will rate overall performance on a 3-point scale. New Performance management forms (for reviewing civil service, bargaining unit, and P&A staff):
I spent part of last week with about 90 other biologists at a meeting in Atlanta on Reintegrating Biology hosted by the National Science Foundation. It was one of three parallel “jumpstart” meetings happening around the country and online. We were asked to think about big questions in biology such as: Is there a universal theoretical framework to understand robustness and resilience? How does life persist despite constant change? How can artificial intelligence be utilized to advance biology? and so on.
How long have you been at the University of Minnesota?
I started in CBS in February 2019.