A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the December 2018 issue of This Month in CAS!  As we bring the Fall 2018 semester to a close, it’s a perfect time to reflect back and look forward in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Our Student Spotlight falls on Haley Gouchenour. As a senior majoring in Integrative Biology with a minor in Studio 3-D Art, Haley is a perfect example of the intellectual diversity available in CAS.  You also can read about our students’ reflections on the recently completed finals and the end of the semester. We gathered some of their thoughts and musings together for this month’s article. Our students’ perspectives are always interesting, and these are no exception.

We have a number of articles this month concerning our faculty. This spring, Dr. Adriana E. Martinez will teach a cross-listed graduate course, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Modeling for the Natural Environment, bringing together drone technology with GIS.

New assistant professor in Biological Sciences, Dr. Emily Petruccelli, has research which focuses on the effects of alcohol on the brain. Testing using the fruit fly, Dr. Petruccelli’s work has important implications for addiction studies, and has been cited by both academic colleagues and the popular press.

How can we help the sometimes abstract issues of sustainability and climate change become real for our students? This is a question that many faculty who are interested in heightening awareness of these issues face. Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Sasi Balasundaram, uses a number of interesting ideas in his classes, including making students save ALL of their garbage!

Our Alumni Spotlight focuses on Tyler Davis, a 2007 graduate in literature and music performance. Tyler’s career path led him toward the culinary arts and he has recently been named executive pastry chef for The Chocolate Pig, which opened November 8 in Cortex Innovation Hall. Tyler describes how his academic development in CAS nurtured his creative spirit and led him to explore this new innovative endeavor.

Finally, you can read about some of the great proposals that were funded in this year’s Targeted Funding Initiative.

As we approach the Holidays, I hope you and your families have a peaceful and joyful time together. Innovation and creativity are not only nurtured through funding, but through rest and recreation (re-creation) of the human spirit, as well.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!

Greg Budzban

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