As graduates of Arts & Sciences are well aware, the effects of the activities and research within our Arts & Sciences community extend far beyond the Danforth Campus. Our work is vital to innovations of the future and the economics of our nation, but in order to look forward, we must also be aware of our place in a broader continuum of learning and discovery.
Earlier this year, university officials announced that Washington University will sponsor an innovative new charter school in St. Louis: the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. At Hawthorn, girls in grades 6 through 12 will have the opportunity to explore STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – in a supportive and challenging environment. The school’s founder is Mary Danforth Stillman, former assistant dean at Washington University. Arts & Sciences alumna Ann Rubenstein Tisch founded the Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN), with which the school will be affiliated.
When I first heard of these plans, I knew that I wanted our school and faculty to be involved from the outset. Women continue to be underrepresented in important STEM fields. I believe that faculty across Arts & Sciences – including women faculty in my own department, biology – can be positive role models for this future generation of scientists and engineers.
Although there may appear to be a world of difference between an elementary school classroom and a university research lab, both are essential to solving the pressing problems found across our nation and world.
This partnership is one example of the many ways in which the university sustains a strong focus on the connections between education and innovation. Although there may appear to be a world of difference between an elementary school classroom and a university research lab, both are essential to solving the pressing problems found across our nation and world.
In the feature “Tests That Teach," you can discover how research from our own psychology department helps teachers improve students’ learning outcomes. Years from now, these students may continue the excellent work of professors who are uncovering potential treatments for disease (“The New Science of Chronic Pain”), challenging cultural presumptions about important concepts like privacy (“Private Lives"), or developing technologies for new ways to share and experience news from around the globe (“The Future of Journalism").
I hope you enjoy this year’s issue of A&S Magazine and the glimpses it provides of our research community. As I have wrapped up my first year as Dean, I am continually impressed by the passion and dedication of our faculty, students, and alumni, and I have great expectations for the ideas and innovations that the scholars within Arts & Sciences will bring forth in the years to come.
During a recent trip to Taiwan to meet with Washington University's International Advisory Council for Asia, Dean Schaal visited a Gongliao rice terrace. For the past five years, Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau has worked with local governments and civic organizations to promote ecology conservation in Gongliao and other districts. The photo was taken by Kuo-Fang Chung, a former advisee of Schaal’s who earned his doctorate in evolution, ecology, and population biology in 2006.