Message from the Head
Posted on January 5, 2010 by mcphail
Welcome to the Fall edition of BioNews! As I reflect on the quote above from Jim Lovell I am proud of the fact that the faculty and staff of the Biological Sciences Department at Purdue are committed to educating the next generation of students to become people who “make things happen”. With 874 undergraduate students and 110 graduate students we take seriously our responsibility to impact their lives through not only their educational experience but also the life experiences they will encounter each day as they work towards accomplishing their dream of having an advanced education.
Speaking of people who “make things happen” our internal Strategic Planning Committee spearheaded by Dr. Maureen McCann generated the department’s 2009 – 2014 Strategic Plan which has recently been approved. This plan is purposefully aligned with the University and College of Science strategic plans and will focus specifically on actions that will: 1) provide access to a biological sciences degree to all students desirous of a world-class education, 2) prepare the biology leaders of tomorrow, 3) focus our research effort towards world health and environmental issues, and 4) devise mechanisms for the delivery of viable solutions to academia, industry and the government.
Each day our faculty, staff and students make it a point to operate with an inter-disciplinary mindset that serves to foster successful partnerships and grow leadership skills. Understanding how a team works to accomplish a goal and how to lead or manage a group to a successful outcome are necessary skills that our students will take with them as they leave the university and enter their respective fields of employment. Students who know they have a responsibility and a commitment to take action in response to the biological concerns facing our world.
Inside this edition you will also read about our Biological Sciences Alumni Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and their accomplishments at our Fall 2009 meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BSAAC for giving of their time, resources and talents to the department. Through their ideas and recommendations we are making curriculum changes and providing an enhanced educational experience for our students.
On a personal note I would like to thank Wayne and Mary Hockmeyer and the myriad of other alumni and friends who saw the need and chose to “make it happen” by providing resources for our impressive, state-of-the-art Structural Biology building. Inside this issue you will learn more about Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology and our world class structural biologists. Their research efforts will bring us closer to understanding the structure and function of numerous viruses that threaten our world. With this information we will then be able to look at anti-virals and ways to combat/fight back/counteract their impact.
As we look ahead to the implementation of our newly approved strategic plan I along with my colleagues are filled with a sense of renewed energy. We know that by reviewing our past, understanding the current needs of our society and forecasting viable solutions that we have placed our sights and efforts in a direction to serve the needs of industry, academia and government alike. I am pleased to be a part of this effort and our world-acclaimed faculty. Our future is looking very bright.
Richard J. Kuhn
Professor and Head Department of Biological Sciences
Director, Bindley Bioscience Center