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Checking in With Dean Forbes -- September 2017

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

What are you most excited about at the moment?
It’s September — so, everything! Both Cedar Creek and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior are celebrating anniversaries with events September 9 and October 26. The Petri Dish series returns in October with a conversation on the future of food with our own Dan Voytas, CFANS faculty member Jason Hill and MPR reporter Elizabeth Dunbar. The launch of the Campaign for the College of Biological Sciences is another major highlight. It’s part of the University’s $4 billion campaign announced earlier today. This is an ambitious fundraising effort that will advance our work in really key ways. In coming months, we will launch a website about the campaign. For now, you can learn more by checking out our case statement.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming weeks?
Tomorrow I’ll be at Cedar Creek celebrating their 75th anniversary. I hope you will be there, too! There is an open house from 1-5 p.m. with activities and tours of some of the experiments and ecosystems that make Cedar Creek so unique. Later this month, we’re hosting Cocktails at the Conservatory. We invited donors and members of the community with an interest in the collections to experience the Conservatory in a really fun way as we kick off the campaign to raise funds for our part of the cost to build a new modern, efficient facility to house the most diverse collection of plants in the region.

What do you want to make sure the CBS community knows right now?
The start of a new school year can be stressful for students. First-year students are making the adjustment to college coursework and life, other students are trying to balance multiple demands on their time. As faculty and staff, it may not always be clear how to help students struggling with anxiety or other mental health issues. The Faculty & Staff section of the Student Mental Health website is a good place to start if you’d like some guidance or a refresher on how to help a struggling student.

Anything else on your mind?
The Department of Biology Teaching and Learning launched their search for a new department head last week. It’s an exciting moment for BTL and the College. Please help spread the word and share with your networks! You can see the position description here.


September, 2017