Shared Studios “Channel” Arrives in JBWS

The Shared Studios Channel arrives in JBWS lobby.  Stop by and "Take On Your World" by talking with someone at a similar Channel in countries around the world.

The Shared Studios Channel arrives in JBWS lobby. Stop by and “Take On Your World” by talking with someone at a similar Channel in countries around the world.

The School of Natural Sciences will proudly host the Shared Studios Channel in the JBWS lobby for the next several months.  The Channel is the follow-on technology to the Portal (the gold shipping container that has been between Andre Hall and the Munday Library since late August) and will connect our lobby space with other such Channels around the world.  We’ve already been linked to Afghanistan, where several students and I met a dental student who was up very late at night to chat with us!

The Channel is a 90″ monitor with a webcam and microphone attached.  We anticipate the Channel to be active for most of the day, but we are uncertain at present to where we will be linked.  If a schedule becomes available, I will post that information here.

Stop by JBWS and “Take On Your World!”

Dean hosting open office hours for students now at Jo’s


The Dean is outside of Jo’s Coffeehouse, Ragsdale from 2:30 – 4:00 on Wednesday, 2 November for student open office hours.  Stop by to say, “Hi!”

(He’s set a Pokemon Go lure nearby, too.)

Team from UCLA Visits SEU to Learn More about STEM Success of Latino/a Students

A team of researchers from UCLA is on campus from Wednesday, 19 October through Friday, 21 October to learn more about our STEM programs.  In particular, they identified St. Edward’s University as a top producer of STEM majors from the Latino/a population of students.  Through interviews with our faculty, staff, and administrators, they hope to learn more about our strategies and pedagogical approaches.  Results of their study, which includes just 11 institutions nationally, will be released after they complete their analysis.

The study team from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA is led by prinicpal investigators Dr. Sylvia Hurtado and Dr. Kevin Eagan.  The on site visit team includes Dr. Hurtado, Tracy Teel, Ana Karen Gomez, and Krystle Cobian.  Here’s a document that provides profiles for all of the site visit team members.

Their visit and study is funded by a grant from the National Institutes for Health (NIH).

Statement on Friday’s “Debate” of Darwin’s Theory

We note that this week Friday, 21 October, a “debate” on the viability of Darwin’s theory of evolution is scheduled to take place on our campus between two philosophers of science. While we, the faculty of the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University, recognize that academic freedom is an essential characteristic of institutions of higher education and that civil discourse is an important educational goal in a free, democratic society, we also recognize our scientific duty to comment on issues, events, and forums on our campus that fall within the realm of science and for which the scientific community has a clear point of view.

To that end, we note that our science faculty are not involved in the event itself nor in its organization or promotion. Although the philosophers involved in the event may identify philosophical issues for debate, we do not recognize any legitimate scientific issues up for debate with respect to evolutionary theory.

We write to state clearly that the theory of evolution has undergone significant review in the scientific literature and remains the best, most coherent explanation of the observed development of life on Earth. While specific mechanisms within evolutionary theory remain the subject of modern research, we reiterate that subject of evolution itself is not up for debate in the scientific community.

Numerous scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronomical Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and the National Academy of Sciences, have issued statements on the subject of evolution and intelligent design, confirming the demonstrated success of the former and rejecting the scientific viability of latter. The undersigned faculty in the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University fully embrace this point of view.

  • Dr. Gary A. Morris, Dean of Natural Sciences
  • Dr. Eamonn F. Healy, Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Richard Kopec, Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Professor of Chemistry and Computer Science
  • Dr. William Quinn, Chair and Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Tricia Shepherd, Chair and Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Patricia Baynham, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Lisa Goering, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Dr. Charles Hauser, Associate Professor of Bioinformatics
  • Dr. David Wright, Associate Professor of Physics and Mathematics
  • Dr. Raychelle Burks, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Santiago A. Toledo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Dr. Barbara Dugleby, Director of the Wild Basin Creative Research Center
  • Dr. Sughangi Ghosh, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

This post appeared in the Wednesday, 19 October 2016 edition of Hilltop Views.

Active Learning Lab Updated Hours

Greetings everyone,

Please see the below update on the expanded Active Learning Lab (ALL) hours, updated 10/12/2016. The updated schedule as been posted to the door of the ALL (JBWS 267).

For any questions regarding the ALL and its hours of operation, please contact Richard Kopec at or Weston Wilson at



Bob Wilems Receives Honorary Ring at Fall 2016 Ring Ceremony

Bob Wilems ('63) under the Sorin Oak with his honorary class ring.  (Photo courtesy Joe DeMedeiros.)

Bob Wilems (’63) under the Sorin Oak with his honorary class ring. (Photo courtesy Joe DeMedeiros.)

On Monday, 10 October 2016, Bob Wilems (’63, Physics) was surprised at the Fall 2016 Ring Ceremony, receiving an honorary ring as an outstanding alumnus of the University.

Bob has long been a supporter of St. Edward’s University.  You can find his name, along with his wife Nela’s, on the wall of donors in the JBWS atrium.  In fact, as you climb the staircase, take a look at the name on that yellow-green wall:  “The Wilems Atrium.”

Bob and Nela have served on the NSCI Advisory Board for a number of years, with Bob chairing that body until Spring 2015.  He and Nela continue to serve on the Advisory Board, making twice annual visits to join the discussions about what’s happening in the School and ways to enhance the student experience.  You will also often find them on campus to support Kozmetsky Center events and to visit with friends and other alumni.

Please join the Dean’s Office in congratulate Bob on his well deserved recognition!


Steelcase Active Learning Classroom Workshop

Learning to use the Steelcase Eno (smart board) in the Steelcase Active Learning Center (JBWN 206)

Learning to use the Steelcase Eno (smart board) in the Steelcase Active Learning Center (JBWN 206)

Our Chemistry faculty members gathered on a beautiful Friday afternoon (30 Sept.) to spend 2 hours with Steelcase representative, Marisa Sergnese, learning strategies for best leveraging the resources in our Steelcase Active Learning Center classroom in JBWN 206.  From seating configurations to collaborative groupings to using Eno (Steelcase’s smartboard tool), Marisa shared many great ideas.  Get ready students!  The Active Learning Center will become even more active and dynamic in the weeks ahead.  Thanks to Steelcase for the grant that supported the deployment of these resources at St. Edward’s!

SACNAS Chapter Coming to St. Edward’s

Attention SEU Students:

Are you focused on a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? Let SACNAS help in developing your potential!

SACNAS is an inclusive national organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

Connect with opportunities, resources, mentors, and friends that will help you thrive in your education and future career. SACNAS has a strong network of student and professional chapters, professional development opportunities, and a prestigious annual conference which affords members an opportunity to present their research and network with leaders in various STEM fields.

We are bringing SACNAS to the Hilltop and are holding an information session on Monday, October 3rd at 5:00PM in JBWS 268. Bring your friends or anyone interested in this type of opportunity.

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Burks
Dr. Toledo

SACNAS organization link:

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom Workshop – 30 Sept. @ 3 pm

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206

Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206

All interested faculty and SI instructional staff are welcome to participate in a workshop on use of the new Steelcase Active Learning Classroom in JBWN 206 from 3 – 5 pm on Friday, 30 September.  Marisa Sergnese from Steelcase will be present to run the workshop.

Kozmetsky Center: Climate Change and National Security

The next Kozmetsky Center event of the semester features a lecture on The Climate Change Challenge and Implications for National Security with Dr. David Titley, Rear Admiral (ret.), U.S. Navy, and Professor of Practice in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. The event is cosponsored by the World Affairs Council of Austin and will take place on Tuesday, October 4th in Carter Auditorium from 7:00-8:30pm.

Dr. Titley is an internationally recognized expert in the field of climate, the Arctic, and National Security, and he is founding Director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk.  Dr. Titley’s career includes duties as Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance.  While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.  After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  He completed his advanced graduate studies in the fields of meteorology and physical oceanography.