A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the March 2019 issue of This Month in CAS!  The temperatures are warming and surely Spring is around the corner.

New media technologies, in general, and social media, in particular, influence our lives on a daily basis. In this issue of TMiC, you can read about Dr. Ashton Speno from the Department of Mass Communications and her work understanding how these new technologies allow teenagers to document their personal narratives online.  How does the online availability of these personal details affect their lives and concept of self?  Read more in TMiC! As a perfect example of this idea, you can also read about how senior Mass Communications major, Mollie Thompson, created her own hashtag campaign called #ThisIsMe.

The movie “Get Out” was Jordan Peele’s directorial debut. Dr.Tisha M. Brooks, from the Department of English Language and Literature, recently gave a lecture as part of the Black Studies Lecture Series concerning the issues of black mobility and terror embedded in this movie.”  Dr. Brooks is also working on a new book entitled, “Spirit Deep: Recovering the Sacred in Black Women’s Travel.”

What’s the best technique for learning abstract ideas?  There is a great deal of work on the idea on cognitive development in young people that points to the notion of “gamification” of concrete, real life activities. Throw math in the mix and you have something called Math Games, where students can open their mind to new patterns, relationships, and strategies, all the while engaging with others using the structure of a sports league.  The Alton Math Games League will be participating in the National Math Festival in Washington DC on May 4th, 2019.

Finally, read about one of the most exciting events in recent memory on campus. The Department of Chemistry will host the 2019 Jean Dreyfus and 43rd Annual Probst Lecture series on Mar. 26 at 7:00 PM in the Meridian Ballroom with Dr. Jennifer Doudna as the guest speaker. A Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California Berkeley, Doudna is world renowned for her fundamental work on CRISPR-mediated genome editing.  Enormously important work with deep implications both scientifically and societally, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Until the next time, here’s This Month in CAS!

Best wishes,

Greg

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