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Checking in with Dean Forbes - March 2017

A monthly Q&A with College of Biological Sciences Dean Valery Forbes.

What are you most excited about at the moment?

We welcomed a capacity crowd of nearly 650 people — 230 prospective students and their families — to the CBS Dean’s Reception last week. For those who haven’t been to one, the event is designed to give prospective students and their families a closer look into the undergraduate student experience in CBS as they prepare to choose a college. It was wonderful to see the energy and interest. Thanks to Student Services for their great work organizing the event and welcoming prospective students to campus! I didn’t get to stay for the mac and cheese bar later in the evening, but the response from attendees when it was mentioned was promising.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming weeks?

Next week, the CBS Conservatory kicks off an exhibition called Roots to Healing at Northrop Auditorium’s fourth floor gallery. You can stop by to see the exhibition any time now through the end of 2017. Roots to Healing explores the historical, cultural, scientific and economic context of a handful plants from around the globe that have taken root in Minnesota, and highlights some of the current research relating to these plants.

What do you want to make sure the CBS community knows right now?

As you all know, the State legislative session is in full swing. I encourage everyone to engage with legislators. Let them know what is important to you. Remember, CBS has two projects in this year’s State bonding request, the Conservatory (Plant Growth Research Facility) and the 3rd and 4th floor laboratory renovations in the Biological Sciences Center building on the St. Paul campus (Academic and Student Experience Investments, which includes priorities on multiple campuses). These are important projects for CBS, and we need legislators to know that. You can find more information about the projects and how to advocate for them here.

Anything else on your mind?

We had a great time at MinneCollege last week! This annual alumni event organized by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association held in Scottsdale, Arizona brings together over 100 alums from across the University for an afternoon of faculty presentations and engaging discussions. Our own Marlene Zuk gave a great talk on bug sex. We met with a group of CBS alums who shared their memories of being students as well as the many fascinating directions their lives have taken since. I hope to get some of these folks back to campus to share their stories with our current students, and to introduce them to all of the exciting things going on in the college.


March, 2017