Dear College of Arts and Science friends:
Regardless of how often I have this experience, I never get immune to how innovative and forward-thinking our students are. Recently, I had a conversation with junior Ariel Helms. She told me that she had participated in the Vanderbilt Minority Summer Research Program, headed by Biological Science’s Jim Patton. In this program, a subset of
the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy, Ariel worked on diabetes research in Dr. Al Powers’ lab at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. By the end of the summer, she not only had learned a lot as a researcher, but also learned about VUMC labs and opportunities of which she had been unaware at the beginning of the summer.
Her research experience is one that I would love to see repeated throughout the College of Arts and Science—and one that Provost Susan Wente is also championing. Recently, the Office of the Provost launched a new website
for undergraduates interested in research opportunities throughout the university. Not only does it provide the foundation that students need to begin the research experience, but it also provides resources and suggestions for finding faculty mentors.
In Arts and Science, we want the undergraduate experience to be the best mix of a liberal arts education with the opportunities of a world-class research university. Ariel is a great example of students who incorporate both. I’m in awe of their vision, effort and initiative.
Also, please join me in welcoming Lauren A. Benton, who was announced Feb. 19 as the new dean of the College of Arts and Science. A noted scholar in international legal history and currently the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU, she will join us on July 1. See the article on the right for more about her.
John M. Sloop
End human trafficking and slavery
Assistant Professor of Political Science Cecilia Mo has won a $1 million grant to help develop solutions to human trafficking and forced labor worldwide.
Arts and Science in the news
Ever experienced "mental time travel?" RedOrbit, Huffington Post and other media wanted to know more about the study from psychology’s Sean Polyn
; history’s Paul Kramer spoke to NPR about the century-old fight between the U.S. and Cuba over Guantanamo Bay; John Wikswo’s promising organ-on-a-chip drew the attention of Nature and Scientific American; and
Moses Ochonu talked with Time about the long history behind Boko Haram.