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A Message from the Dean

Mike AuerbachDuring this past year we have added wonderful new faculty, advanced planning for renovated and new buildings, secured a record amount of federal grant funding, and most importantly, watched our students tackle the rigors of learning and ‘doing’ science and math with tremendous success.

I am frequently asked what distinguishes SSM departments from the many excellent ones at other regional and national schools.  Why do we send about 130 of our graduates off to medical and other allied-health programs every year?  Why are we a leader in producing geology and physics graduates in the southeastern U.S.?  Why has our computer science department been able to build relationships with 60 high tech businesses that offer our student internships?  I believe the answer is threefold:  First, we strive to staff the vast majority of our classes with faculty, not teaching assistants.  Secondly, we offer a wide range of rigorous laboratory and field courses, bucking the national trend of reducing the number of these high-impact, but expensive, venues for learning.  Finally, we strongly encourage our students to conduct an extensive research project sometime during their time at the College.  These projects are akin to an apprenticeship for someone learning a trade; they teach the hands-on skills, the methodology and equipment of the field.  These forays into ‘doing science’ the way scientists do are career setting and career affirming for many students, as they were for many of their faculty.

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