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Linfield Mag 28 Fall 2014

FOCUS ON STEM: Science, Technology, Science is on our minds here at Linfield. In August, I joined 350 innovative leaders in biological research and education from 178 colleges and universities at the Vision and Change in Biology Undergraduate Education conference in Washington, D.C. I accompanied Linfield biology Professors Anne Kruchten and Catherine Reinke, who had been invited to participate in this conference, co-hosted by the leading science foundations in the country. I was delighted to be party to this impressive group but also interested to learn how our work at Linfield fits into this national conversation. I was very pleased to find that the ideas at the heart of the conference are already embedded into Linfield’s academic philosophy and practice. The conference focused on the mandate for the future of undergraduate teaching and research in the sciences, an imperative not just for biology, but for the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In the broadest of terms, we need science education for every student. We must prepare future scientists, physicians, engineers and computer scientists. In addition, we are called to educate all students. As informed citizens they can participate in an increasingly complex world where scientific understanding is at the core of many, many issues. At Linfield, our faculty have already taken to heart the themes that permeated this conference: • Science education is about doing science, not just learning about science. • Collaboration is critical to address issues that do not neatly fit into any single discipline. • Critical thinking, data analysis and communication are essential scientific skills for scientists and non-scientists alike. • The ability to communicate science to the general public is crucial. All of these themes are found at Linfield: articulated in our strategic plan, demonstrated in our engaged teaching and evident in our student-faculty collaborative research. They are critical to the rich conversation about the future of science at Linfield, initiated by faculty, that includes professors from STEM disciplines and many other departments as well as trustees of the college, and friends in the community. In the pages that follow, you will learn about our students, faculty and alumni. As President Hellie discusses in A View from Melrose (page 2), science is very much on our minds. Opposite: Amanda Dorman ’14, led by Professor Stephen Bricher ’86, took a mathematical look at terrorists during her summer research project. Her work culminated in a paper, which she hopes to submit to an undergraduate journal and present findings at a math conference in the spring. Susan Agre-Kippenhan Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean of Faculty 6 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Fall 2013


Linfield Mag 28 Fall 2014
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