Welcome to everyone in the Biological Sciences community for the 2021-2022 academic year.
This year brings both great promise and lingering uncertainty. We continue to struggle with COVID19 and the new Delta variant. We continue to practice social distancing, masking, and sanitizing. We continue to fear another shutdown. We also have great optimism and hope for the new year. Let us use this year as a reset. This year is an opportunity to leave behind our trepidation and doubts, our procrastination, and a few of our bad habits. This year is an opportunity to take a new path, to have the courage to learn a new skill, and to forge new relationships.
This year we return to campus and resume in-person gatherings where we can foster our sense of community and collective discovery. Although the classrooms have been empty, our dedicated faculty have continued to teach and advise and do research. Our dedicated staff have tirelessly worked to keep our department running smoothly. We are now prepared and excited to have everyone return to campus and thrive in our department space. With more than 1300 undergraduate majors and 75 graduate students, our hallways, classrooms, and labs will once again be a vibrant community. We will come to a welcoming WOODWARD to see our old friends and meet new ones. We will explore the new SCIENCE building with its active learning classes, open study areas, modern labs, and cutting-edge equipment. We will see our student organizations sponsor events, support each other, and engage the greater Charlotte community. We will once again see faculty and students collaborate as fellow scholars, educators, and scientists. We encourage the participation of everyone in the process of scientific inquiry and thought. Each of us will bring our unique perspectives to the classroom and laboratory to engage and inspire each other to create a smarter world.
As a department, we will continue efforts on our commitment to a community of peace, equality, respect, inclusion, and safety for everyone. After seeing the hateful, violent, and deadly acts unfold before us these past two years, we know that healing and improving our community will take sustained effort and concrete actions. Our humanity must embrace the beauty of our diversity. We welcome all comments, suggestions, and critiques from faculty, colleagues, staff, and students as we move forward.
Christine Richardson, Professor and Interim Chair