Dear Arts and Science community,
We have begun the new year and the spring semester with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Just walking across campus, even with less than ideal temperatures, you can see it and feel it. This renewed sense of purpose is especially clear to me when I enter my classroom to teach Introduction to American Politics. Teaching has always been a passion of mine. The chance to engage with these amazing students to discuss American politics is not only fun, but an opportunity to think carefully about the workings of our country. Each class reminds me how talented and engaged Vanderbilt students are.
This relatively large class (about 60 students) is comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores. These students ask big, thoughtful questions. They see connections I had not thought about. For example, they aren’t afraid to question the motives of the Founding Fathers, and very much want to analyze issues from diverse perspectives. They are, in short, demonstrating what makes the College of Arts and Science’s educational experience so unique and so powerful: they are engaged in the pursuit of the liberal arts. The chance to teach this class reminds me how lucky we all are to be part of this wonderful community.
When you think about what is happening in American politics right now, there is reason to be worried. But looking into the faces of these students, I have no doubt that our future is bright. This next generation is poised to make a lasting and positive change for our country, and for the world.
I wish you all a great and successful new year.
John G. Geer
Dean of the College of Arts and Science
Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science
Knowing which neurons are involved in the eye signal blending process also opens the door to targeted brain therapies that reach well beyond eye patches.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Fine Arts Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons is the recipient of a prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman grant.
New Vanderbilt University biochemistry professor Houra Merrikh is working to defeat drug-resistant superbugs by blocking a molecule they need to mutate rapidly.
Vanderbilt senior Sasha Whitley has been awarded a Pickering Fellowship for 2019, and junior Mary E. Tezak has been named a Boren Scholarship recipient.
In the News
The Washington Post: The shutdown threatens the promise of government jobs—and a way of life (David Lewis, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, quoted)
The New York Times (opinion): Ronald Reagan’s hopeful farewell (Jon Meacham, visiting distinguished professor of political science and Carylon T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair)
The Conversation: Many hate crimes never make it into the FBI’s database (Sophie Bjork-James, assistant professor of the practice in anthropology)
American Society for Microbiology podcast: Meet the Microbiologist: Insect and human microbial symbionts with Seth Bordenstein (Seth Bordenstein, associate professor of biological sciences)
The Economic Times: People with schizophrenia experience emotion differently through their bodies (Sohee Park, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology, Lénie J. Torregrossa, psychology Ph.D. student, quoted)
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