Like drinking from a fire hose…
“Like drinking from a fire hose…” It is a metaphor that has many uses, but at a major university it usually refers to the overwhelming volume of information that is being generated and shared. Undergraduate and graduate students use this phrase when they try to assimilate all they are exposed to in class and labs. Faculty members use it as they wrestle with the problem of how much to expect from their students. I use it as I strive to convey a proper sense of the full breadth and depth of our department’s achievements. Indeed rarely a day goes by here without something really exciting to pass on –– this spring’s newsletter provides you with a few "sips".
You’ll find such stories as one of our recent graduates being distinguished by a national postdoctoral award to conduct cancer research as well as one of our distinguished alumni returning to be inducted into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. You’ll find stories about one of our recent doctoral graduates joining a new institute for regenerative science and one of our current bachelor’s graduates deciding to seek a master’s degree in secondary education.
You’ll find stories of astonishing research such as threading DNA molecules through carbon nanotubes as a means of sequencing the DNA, of work on improving biochemical markers for predicting disease events, of faculty research being highlighted as models for new research reported in Nature and of an invention leading to a sustainability energy start-up company.
One measure of our accelerating activity level is the research funding that keeps pouring in. ASU’s President Crow was recently celebrating a new university milestone - more than $300 million in new awards attracted in just the past 12 months. In this achievement, our department is playing a big role. Over the same period, it has won more than $30 million, representing 10% of the university’s total, and a 155% increase over the previous year. This is not to imply that we will spend this much in the coming year, but it gives some indication of the way the department is growing. Such funding will seed new funding and new projects.
This is, however, coming at a time when state budgets are being stressed and tested to the limit. Interestingly enough, the reductions we have already experienced, painful as they are, are also leading us into greater activity. We find ourselves being more creative, and efficient, in the delivery of instruction without prejudicing the quality of our students’ education. As we make these adjustments, I ask for your support and help. Your advocacy of the importance of investing in our nation’s schools and universities will be extremely valuable, whether this should be in front of political decision makers or with your local community boards. We would also appreciate your own investment of time and money to the variety of causes we have listed under the newsletter menu of links.
Please enjoy our newsletter and let us know of your news.
All the best,