Fall 2021

In Vivo

Photo by Michael P. King

This fall, we’re taking some of the first hopeful steps on the path back to normal. With pandemic measures in place, students and faculty have returned for in-person classes, and we’re witnessing the on-campus reunion of many staff who have been working remotely since March 2020. As we find ways to gather safely, there’s a new, palpable sense of excitement on campus.

As the on-campus energy returns, we’re taking some of the best things we learned during the pandemic and changing some of our old practices. Blended learning is taking on a more prominent role in our instruction, and many students are asking for video advising appointments. This partly stems from our recent success with video chat and virtual learning technologies, through which we managed to maintain a strong community — and even strengthen ties with others beyond campus. I expect these versatile technologies will be a regular part of our work going forward, and we’re navigating this new context in a thoughtful way.

That’s some of what’s new on campus. But you might also notice a new look for Grow. Since its launch in 2007, the magazine has delivered compelling stories of the college’s people and discoveries, but it hasn’t gone through any major changes. We felt it was time to modernize our flagship publication. Following a readership survey and extensive research, we’ve revamped everything from the masthead and typeface to the color palette and content structure. You’ll still recognize the Grow you’re familiar with, but there are a lot of new things to experience. And we hope it will be a better experience — one that conveys the exceptional contributions of CALS in new and exciting ways. Please read it (from cover to cover!) and let us know what you think.

I have one other “new thing” to mention, one of a more personal nature but with direct bearing on CALS. In September, I announced that I will be stepping down as dean in 2022. I have truly enjoyed serving in this post for the last decade, and I’m proud of everything the CALS community has accomplished — together — during my time here.

I’m making this decision now to give the Office of the Provost time to do a rigorous national search and help us work toward a smooth transition for my successor. We will keep you posted as that process continues. Meanwhile, I am as committed as ever to CALS and its mission.

My work here isn’t done yet.

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