You are here

Checking in with Dean Forbes -- October 2021

This fall's incoming class of undergraduate students was our largest yet at nearly 700 students. Our continued growth means we now have one of the larger cohorts of incoming students at the University. We even added a new CBS guild to accommodate the growing number of students!

A growth mindset
Even as the College attracts a record number of students, it’s incumbent on us to continue to deliver the best possible experience and prepare our future graduates to succeed once they leave here. To that end, we continue to innovate. This summer, we piloted a program to provide paid research opportunities in faculty labs for students who might not otherwise have this valuable experience. We are now in the process of expanding support for students involved in research through our CBS Circles program. 

Our Department of Biology Teaching and Learning continues to build our knowledge about how students learn and the best way to teach biology. BTL faculty member Anita Schuchardt recently received an NSF CAREER Award to build on her existing research into integrating math into biology curriculum to give just one example. 

Fostering community
Rigorous academics and authentic research opportunities are important, but so is community. As the number of students increases, it's critical that we continue fostering that sense of community that we take so much pride in as a College. Nature of Life is an important piece of this effort for our students as they can engage with each other and the College more broadly throughout the program. We continue to expand the scope of NOL as it remains a defining experience for our students. 

CBS Student Services works hard to ensure that students are supported throughout their collegiate experience. This work includes organizing and leading student affinity groups for students with specific identities including LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Women in CBS and Whiteness Student Accountability groups as well as a Wellness Community focused on mental health, stress management, and wellness within the CBS community. 

These are just a few examples of the many efforts large and small happening across the College to ensure our students have the best experience possible. 

Bioeconomy in focus
In other news, the College is teaming up with the Office of the Vice President for Research and the BioTechnology Institute to host a panel discussion on November 4 about the future of the bioeconomy. As we break ground on the new Biomanufacturing Innovation Center, we’ll discuss the role the U can play in the bioeconomy with industry and academic experts. I hope you’ll join us for this illuminating conversation!

October, 2021