I’m a little late in getting around to updating my blog (Natural Blogarithms) on my recent change in position at Wayland. As of February 23, 2015, I am now the Dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences. (See Press Release)
“I’m coming home…to the place where I belong!”
I actually remember it vividly, the spring of 1994, when I first walked onto the Wayland campus pondering the possibility of attending school here as an undergraduate. I remember touring the campus and not even having a clue what I should be asking the recruiter. I had a head full of dreams but no clear vision of where my life could be headed. I can also recall sitting in my very first course in the Moody Science Building, where my future mentor, Dr. Phil Almes, called me and several others to stay after class just so he could tell us he was glad to see us in his church the previous weekend. It would be unfathomable to that younger version of me that somewhere down the road, I would be settling into the position of dean of this very school.
From glossy-eyed freshman, to an ambitious graduate with a 10 year plan, to a rookie faculty member without a clue, to an associate dean eager to solve any problem you could throw at me, to a virtual campus director honing the quality of our online programs, I have traveled a long way through this system. Wayland and her mission are part of my core and there is no place I’d rather be. I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue serving the university in a new way.
As I begin the transition into the leadership of the School of Mathematics and Sciences, I am looking forward to many new adventures, but most of all a continuation of what has made this school great: a mission to provide an academically challenging, learning-focused and distinctively Christian environment for professional success and service to God and humankind.
For the last six years, my predecessor, Dr. Herb Grover, has led the school to some amazing achievements. As you can see through his article in this newsletter, the program review that is currently underway has revealed some truly exceptional accomplishments in the last few years centered around the distinctives of our school: an integration of faith and science, hands-on undergraduate research experiences with exceptional faculty, and regular travel opportunities as part of the curriculum and beyond.
It is my lofty goal to bring my many perspectives of Wayland together to build even better opportunities for our students to launch into their careers. Fortunately for me, with giants like Dr. J. Hoyt Bowers, Dr. Vaughn Ross and Dr. Grover preceding me, the momentum of our school is strong and pushing us to be even better. With our incredible faculty and strong student base, we have all the pieces to make a truly world-class educational experience right here in rural west Texas. What shape it will take over the next few years is still up in the air, but thanks to the timing of the transition of leadership with the program review underway along with the adoption of a new University Strategic Plan, the School of Mathematics and Sciences is situated to make some amazing achievements and accomplish exceptional new things in the coming months and years.
I hope you’ll take time to read through what great things are already underway by scrolling through our newsletter. From a recent graduate to completing their doctoral degree to exceptional showings of our current students at recent conferences, we are still forging great success stories. And we’re not even done yet for the year. Coming soon, our Spring Research Day on April 24 will spotlight exceptional course projects and undergraduate research projects. Plus, we’ll soon be crowning our School Champion, an award that recognizes outstanding achievement among our undergraduate researchers.
If all my years at Wayland has taught me anything, it’s that God’s hand is truly on this university, the faculty here, as well as the students. He has a great plan for the lives of the people He brings here, and thanks to the visionary leadership of those who have come before, this great place will continue to shape the leaders of tomorrow spreading His kingdom throughout the world.