Photo: Daniel Milner
I will soon be completing my fifth year as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. When I wrote my first message for art/sci, in the fall of 2006, I had just finished greeting our newest students as they arrived on campus. I mentioned how delighted I was by their energy and enthusiasm, and how privileged I felt as I welcomed them to this "extraordinary place." It doesn't seem possible that members of that entering class are now alumni of Case Western Reserve University. The time has passed more quickly than I could have imagined.
As I reflect on the last five years, I take enormous pride in the college and all that we have accomplished together. And I hope that all of you feel the same way.
Let me begin with our fabulous students. Case Western Reserve attracts many of the nation's most talented and dedicated undergraduates, and thanks to the opportunities they find here, they flourish and achieve recognition in every field of endeavor. This spring, for example, Stephen Fleming '11, a double major in physics and biochemistry, was awarded a Churchill Scholarship that will enable him to continue his studies next fall at the University of Cambridge. Stephen, who has conducted biomedical research with faculty mentors Peter Thomas (mathematics and biology) and Xuan Gao (physics), is one of only 14 Churchill Scholars selected in 2011.
One of the great privileges of my years as dean has been getting to know our alumni. I admire them for the remarkable contributions they make to the larger society, and I am deeply grateful for their active support of the college.
Our faculty, to whom our students and alumni owe so much, are advancing knowledge in every realm of the arts and sciences — and conducting research on every continent! I want to commend them for their leadership in developing the college's strategic plan, and for their commitment to collaboration across disciplines, which the plan envisions as a source of our continuing preeminence in education and research.
This issue of art/sci illustrates many of the college's forms of excellence. In these pages, you will read about two undergraduates whose research bridges the domains of cognitive science and music. You will meet an alumnus who has achieved distinction by promoting economic development in Northeast Ohio, applying scientific knowledge for the benefit of humanity and upholding ethical principles in the business world. You will follow a geologist to the icefields of Antarctica and learn how a journalism professor fosters civic engagement through storytelling. In addition, you will see faculty members from two disciplines coming together to create a pioneering new department. As I was saying, this is an extraordinary place.
Cyrus C. Taylor
Dean and Albert A. Michelson Professor in Physics