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Checking in With Dean Forbes -- May 2017

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

What are you most excited about at the moment?

As we wrap up another academic year, I am extremely pleased by the unprecedented number of awards and honors received by our students, faculty and staff. Members of the CBS community were recognized for excellence in areas ranging from community engagement to achievements in research to outstanding service to the College and the University. In case you missed the many announcements, here’s a rundown:

Faculty and Staff

Graduate Students

  • 2017 Outstanding Community Service Award: Beth Fallon
  • Fulbright Scholarship: Jason Thomas
  • CBS Teaching Assistant Award: Robert Evans

Undergraduate Students

  • 2017 President's Student Leadership and Service Awards Recipients: Chloe Fouilloux, Nicholas Goldsmith and Jack Hedberg
  • Thomas Burnett Advanced Leadership Program: Adam Cox, Akila Pai and Jake Schauberger
  • Sue W. Hancock Scholarly Excellence In Equity And Diversity Award: Zineb Alfath
  • CBS Teaching Assistant Award: Nels Shafer

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

This is such a special time of year because we get to say a bittersweet farewell to the class of 2017 at the undergraduate commencement ceremony in less than two weeks. Watching the students cross the stage at Mariucci to the cheers of family and friends reminds us all why we do what we do every day. Our students are a source of inspiration. If you can’t be there and would like to watch the ceremony, you can access it here. I’m also looking forward to checking out Market Science at Midtown Farmers Market this summer. They begin their season this Saturday, May 6!

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

The legislative session is entering the final stretch and much remains unsettled. At present, the legislature is proposing to fund just nine percent of the University's capital request and 13 percent of the budget request. A drop in state funding on that scale would have a profound impact on every aspect of our work. It’s critical that we continue to make the case to our legislators about the importance of the University to the State of Minnesota. The value we create through educating students who will enter STEM fields and through technology transfer and startups rooted in University research help drive the economy. Our students are the state’s future healthcare professionals, educators and biotech entrepreneurs. We know this because most of our graduates stay in Minnesota and many go on to professional schools and graduate programs. Much-needed funding to rebuild the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory remains uncertain as well. Please make sure your legislators know you support full funding of the University’s budget request and robust bonding that includes the CBS Conservatory!

Anything else on your mind?

In late April, I joined CBS students, faculty and staff at the March for Science Minnesota. I was impressed by the leadership of the CBS Student Board in organizing a CBS presence at the march. The march was one of a number of ways we expanded efforts to engage in a broader conversation about the impact of science in our lives. We did this through events such as the Petri Dish series, the CBS Postdoc Symposium, SciSpark, and Market Science, which is expanding its outreach all the way to Cedar Creek and Itasca this summer! 



May, 2017