Message from Department Head Gary Sands
Written for BioBriEf August 2018 issue
I hope our August BioBriEf finds you well and enjoying the fleeting summer season. After all these years, I am still amazed by the number of times I am asked by those outside of academia, "But, you're off for the summer, right?"
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth for BBE faculty, staff, and students! Sure, it is quieter on campus with our undergrads off pursuing internships and other summer experiences, but the research and teaching wheels roll on! Our research labs are humming, and we are engaged in field experimentation. New research grant proposals are being written and submitted (and funded!). Several faculty and students have either presented their work this summer or had their work published.
For example, as I finish this column at the 2018 Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers in Detroit, I’ve had the pleasure seeing several of our faculty and graduate students present their work, which ranges from biosensors, to remote sensing, to water quality, to airflow in animal housing systems—BBE can take pride in having such a diverse group of researchers!
Although little coursework is offered in the summer, we are busy fine-tuning our course offerings for the upcoming academic year and converting our online content from Moodle to the Canvas learning management system. Our teaching faculty participated in a half-day teaching and learning retreat in May (pictured) to kick-start some focused teamwork in this area. I have received several comments from faculty this summer about trying something new in the classroom—stay tuned!
Finally, at this point in the summer, we begin to anticipate and prepare for our next wave of incoming students, in addition to hosting many prospective students on campus. We very much look forward to the new energy that each new class brings to BBE!
Gary R. Sands
Professor and Head