by gwilson on Jul.20, 2016, under Uncategorized

2013-07-21_17-30-26_369Just a quick note with an update on some of the things going on in BIMS-o-topia this summer…

Students in research…  Students Payden Dompe and Ella Mackowiak are spending the summer working in research with Dr. Dana Lee doing molecular biology/genomics on moles from around the nation.  Dr. Joel Brant captured some of the pests at Firebase Libby (our department’s field station in Callahan County) which are the westernmost moles in our part of the country.  The two students are isolating DNA from museum specimens to compare with DNA from our moles to see if patterns of migration can be determined that could give us an idea of the source for these moles.  May not sound like a medically relevant project to our future doctors, but the methods used in the study are the same as those used in medical research.

New Freshman Seminar… Starting this fall, a new Foundations of Excellence (FOE) Freshman Seminar is being added to the requirements for all freshmen.  The course incorporates 17 different approaches to the consideration of important questions for incoming freshmen, with one major topic central to each of the 17 sections being offered.  During SOAR, it was really interesting to see what our incoming BIMS students chose as their options for this course.  Our expectations are that FOE will help improve student success and persistence at McMurry.  Both are good things!

Year Two of the New BIMS and other Programs…  You may recall that Biology rolled out new and improved programs for Biology, BIMS, and Life Science last year.  This year we are also adding Environmental Science.  Because these are young programs, we will for the first time teach some of the new courses for these programs during our Fall Semester.  For example, BIMS now requires a Cell Biology course (separated from Molecular and Cell Biology).  This will be taught this fall by Dr. Malaney Lopez-O’Connell.  We also are replacing the Junior Exam with a new Junior Seminar, now taken by all students.  Expect this course to give our majors a jump start into their senior years.

Grants, Grants, Grants!… We are in various phases of grantwriting for things as diverse as updating Firebase Libby to obtaining a scanning electron microscope to creating an incredibly modern freshman lab sequence for top students to transforming our approach to engaging freshmen and transfer students and fostering success in the classroom and in researsch.  Our goal is to become the best, most forward thinking program in our area, to build knowledge and skills and a sense of wonder and discovery in every graduate.  These grants will help move the needle to make that happen.

I’ll be back in touch with more news as the summer rolls along.  Stay cool!

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Time to SOAR!

by gwilson on Jun.07, 2016, under Uncategorized

IMG_2737As we plan for the upcoming 2016-17 academic year, we find ourselves in that exciting time of welcoming our new students into the fold.  They will not start classes until late August, but right now it is time for them to SOAR!

Summer Orientation And Registration brings students to campus to meet advisors, pick their classes, and tend to all of the student life necessities associated with starting college at McMurry.   No matter how many times our faculty have been part of SOARs, there is always something special about getting to know our bright, excited incoming freshmen.  And it seems like there is always some new program available for our students.  This year is no different, with new initiatives aimed at helping our freshmen not only survive, but thrive!  And McMurry will be adding a faculty member to strengthen the BIMS program – Dr. Malaney Lopez-O’Connell, graduate of UTMB and biotechnology guru.  Can’t wait to see what is in store for her!

McMurry’s BIMS program is one of the campus leaders, a large program with students who rank among the brightest and most driven on campus.  That should not surprise anyone, as our students often want to be forensic scientists, doctors, dentists, and medical researchers.

Three SOARs are planned at this time:  June 10-11, June 24-25, and July 29-30.  There is still time for you to come join us!  Call 325-793-4700 and see how you can claim your seat in the Class of 2020!

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Update on Some Graduates

by gwilson on May.16, 2016, under Uncategorized

tara_danni_PharmSome news on some of our recent graduates…

Bryce Stash, Russell Stanley, and Jonathan Urbanczyk recently completed medical school. Bryce (TTUSM) will be headed to St. Louis and a residency in Plastic Surgery.  Russell will be headed to Lubbock and residency in OB-GYN, Jonathan is headed to Scott & White and a residency in Internal Medicine.

Danni McMahon and Tara Williams both completed their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees at TTUSP.  Danni was the top student in the class!

Karen McAlister and Heather Rawls Zamarron begin their Physician Assistant programs at the end of this month.

Undoubtedly there’s more news to share, but these are the ones we’ve been made aware of in recent days.  We are excited about the students who have  committed to McMurry this fall and hope you’ll spread the word to students who might like to join the next class of success stories!

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