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Checking in With Dean Forbes - November 2020

Grim headlines confront us each day as the pandemic continues to take its toll in so many ways. Like many of you, I read the news each day with trepidation. The exponential growth of positive cases of COVID here and in the country as a whole is unsettling. 

As scientists and evidence-based thinkers, we have a role to play in encouraging those in our immediate circles to help contain the spread by following public health guidance. During this difficult period, it’s important that we are proactive about taking care of ourselves and one another. For those working on campus, please also be sure to stay home if you are experiencing symptoms or feeling unwell. Paid time off for COVID-specific situations is available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, so please take advantage of it, if needed. 

Of course, there are hopeful signs including recent announcements of effective vaccines nearing distribution. And there’s positive news here in the College as well. 

  • We exceeded our fundraising goal for the new Faculty and Staff Undergraduate Scholarship for Diversity and Excellence, raising nearly $7,000. The scholarship was started by a handful of faculty who wanted to do something to make a meaningful difference for underrepresented students in CBS. Thank you to all who contributed and, if you’d still like to make a contribution you can do so here.
  • Elizabeth Borer, Jessica Hellmann and Nathan Springer were named American Association for the Advancement of Science 2020 Fellows this week. All three are truly outstanding scientists whose work is making a real impact. You can read more about their accomplishments here.
  • The Office of the Vice President of Research recently published a story about Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve that highlighted the Nutrient Network and other work happening at the research station. The global ecological research collaborative was co-founded by Eric Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer. Borer will give a brief presentation about the education and authentic research opportunities it has afforded many of our students at the December Board of Regents Meeting. 
  • CBS faculty continue to share their science with the broader community in a variety of ways including through research briefs. In recent months, faculty commented on topics from food production as a major contributor to climate change to how animals choose their leaders to cultural competency in medical careers among other topics.

These are just a few examples of good things happening right here, right now. I hope the coming break will provide you with a chance to rest and recharge as we head into the final stretch of the semester.


November, 2020