Professor of Biology
We have chosen Foundations as the name of the magazine after contemplating the role of the College of Arts and Sciences in the broader landscape of LTU. The disciplines within the College, namely, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, humanities, social sciences, literature, media communication, and psychology, represent the basic sciences and humanities. As well, they are foundational to all disciplines and to an advancing society. All these programs have a long legacy of excellence in pedagogy and scholarship, which continues to this day, exemplars of which are profiled in these pages. We will continue to showcase our many innovations in teaching and scholarship in future issues of Foundations. A second major contribution that the College makes to the well-rounded education of LTU students is through the stewardship of the core curriculum that encompasses most of the disciplines listed above. Students pursuing professional degrees such as engineering and architecture benefit immensely from exposure to a well-rounded and uniquely American model of liberal arts education.
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I was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in August 2019. Barely a few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic upended the world as we knew it. The following months of self-isolation, working from home, and video conferences were stressful and full of uncertainty. My most sincere and heartfelt gratitude goes to all the faculty, staff, and students who pivoted to online delivery on a week’s notice in March 2020. Their dedication and hard work made the transition seem seamless; nevertheless, it is important to understand and appreciate the many, many hours that went into planning and implementing the transition. As we navigate this fall semester and beyond, we are thrilled to once again have students on campus as we strive to provide them with the safest environment and the best education possible. New variants of the coronavirus may temper this excitement but we know now of the resilience, creativity, and deep devotion to education that characterize the CoAS faculty, staff, and students. We are ready to pivot again, if needed, without missing a beat!
As you peruse the various articles in this issue, I hope you will be as enthused as I am about the high level of education and unique learning opportunities taking place in the college. For example, a group of physics faculty in the Department of Natural Sciences, some with federal funding, are actively engaged in research on topics such as heavy ion collisions and dark matter in space. The physics faculty are fine-tuning the curriculum for enhanced student learning through a grant from the Kern Family Foundation and have introduced course-based research experiences for students, supported by a grant from the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Paul Jaussen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication, speaks about his plans for an upcoming sabbatical in Canada, where he will be researching the impact of technology on humanity. Dr. Jaussen is also the director of the Technological Humanities and the University Honors Program. Our faculty from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science are actively engaged in modeling the COVID-19 pandemic and the various factors underlying its spread. Lastly, we highlight the recent graduation of the first cohort of Nursing students. The important work of the faculty, staff, and students featured in this issue of Foundations mirrors the quality of teaching and learning taking place throughout CoAS, more of which we will showcase in future issues.
Finally, I personally invite all of our alumni to visit the campus of LTU to witness firsthand the many innovative things that are happening in our College and the University. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email ( email@example.com ).
Dean and Professor Biology