Dr. Suzanne K. Murphy, DeanContact:
Brian KirschnerContact Email:
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to provide an update on the recent activities in Misher College of Arts and Sciences (MCAS).
This year has been quite exciting. The College has formally adopted its strategic plan and the faculty-driven process by which the plan was developed was energizing. Building on the momentum and inspiration resulting from an earlier Misher Open Forum, and subsequent groups of faculty that had developed a new vision statement for the college, our MCAS planning committee, chaired by Dr. Tilman Baumstark, Department of Biological Sciences, met numerous times last spring and throughout the fall. In keeping with the spirit of inclusion and the value of diverse ideas, all of the meetings were open to everyone in the College, and a number of additional Misher faculty indeed participated and contributed to the emerging plan at various stages. Members of the planning committee then took a draft back to the individual departments to seek further broad input and make sure every Misher faculty voice had a chance to be heard. After consideration of all the responses and incorporation of many creative thoughts and important suggestions, a full faculty meeting was convened and the final plan was enthusiastically adopted. This plan capitalizes on Misher College’s unique strengths and rich potential, it gives focus to a growing role and identity both within the University and beyond, and it positions MCAS to become a destination for students interested in sciences and health sciences. For good reasons, there is much excitement as we move forward.
I am very happy to introduce two individuals new to the office of the Dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences. Lisa A. Thayer, MEd, joined us on December 1, 2009, as assistant director of the Pre-Health Professions Programs. Lisa’s role will be to counsel undergraduate students and alumni interested in pursuing a career in the health professions (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, etc.). Previously, Lisa served as assistant director in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Prior to that, she was the pre-professional health careers advisor in the Office of Career Services at University of Pittsburgh.
I am also pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2010, William R. Law, PhD, will be joining us as associate dean of Misher College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Law joined the University in 2005 as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience as an educator with a broad range of accomplishments. I am confident that Dr. Law will help MCAS move towards accomplishing our strategic goals. We warmly welcomes them both.
On the horizon, we are looking forward to Misher Festival week, April 12-16. It promises to be an exciting week featuring the Misher Visiting Professor of Humanities, Bruce Graham. Many events are planned, including a digital photo and graphic story contest. The Festival was arranged due to the tireless efforts of Dr. Christine Flanagan in the Department of Humanities.
On Thursday, April 15, a special tribute commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the College of Arts and Sciences and 10th anniversary of the naming of Misher College of Arts and Sciences will take place. We will honor Dr. Allen Misher, former University president, and former deans Dr. Charles Gibley and Dr. Reynold Verrett.
There have been several events hosted on campus this fall by departments in MCAS. On Saturday, November 7, 2009, the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics, hosted the fall meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Section (EPaDel) of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Roughly 100 faculty and students from area universities attended the day-long meeting featuring invited speakers and presentations from undergraduate and graduate students. The MAA is a professional organization with a focus on undergraduate mathematics.
Monday, November 16, the Departments of Humanities and Behavioral and Social Sciences hosted the Malis lecture. The speaker was Rebecca Yamin and the title of her talk was Urban Archaeology, Adding to History from the Ground Up.
October 18-24, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry participated in National Chemistry Week (NCW). NCW is an event that unites American Chemical Society (ACS) sections, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life. Also of note is the fact that the University’s ACS student chapter was selected to receive an Honorable Mention Award for its activities conducted during the 2008-2009 academic year. This was the first year the ACS participated in this national competition in 15 years. Lists of award winning chapters will be published in Chemical & Engineering News and in Inchemistry, the student member magazine. The award winning chapters will also be honored at the 239th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, Ca., on Sunday, March 21, 2010.
I am very pleased to be able to bring you this update from MCAS, and invite you to participate in the anniversary festivities this coming April!