Tag: medical research

Report on SOAR 2

by gwilson on Jul.10, 2009, under A Day in the Life...

Thomas at GraduationToday we saw completion of our second Summer Orientation And Registration (SOAR) session.  During these two-day events, incoming McMurry students learn all about college life at McMurry and get their schedules set for the fall semester.

So where do we stand, now that we are half way through the registration process (there is another SOAR and a good number of students always register at the beginning of school)?  We have 27 students in the first BIMS course – BIMS 1300 Introduction to Scientific Research.  This course introduces students to looking at science and studying life science in a new and engaging way.  If we keep on the current track, we should see at least a 50% increase in BIMS majors this year, proof that our approach is gaining momentum and students are “buying in” to our new way of teaching. 

How are the other freshman-year Biology courses doing?  There are 18 signed up for the BIOL 1301 Unicellular Organisms class, which is offered both fall and spring.  BIMS majors must take this with the BIMS 1101 Unicellular Lab, which is only offered in the spring, so it is a good bet that many of these are Biology majors instead of BIMS majors.  Botany (the first course for BS in Biology majors) has 24 enrolled, while the Human Anatomy & Physiology I course sits at 60 right now.  This course is needed for Nursing, Exercise Science, and Life Sciences majors.  These are exciting times for our BIMS/Biology faculty!

What does this tell us?  At this point, it appears 1 in every 4-5 freshman students enrolling at McMurry this fall has an interest in a Biology Department program.  With so many of the predicted “hot jobs” of the future centered in healthcare, biotech/forensics, the environment, and medical research, it is not surprising that so many of our students gravitate toward them.  BIMS was a program whose time had come, and our offering this exciting program says we’re preparing students for prosperous and successful futures!

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New Equipment

by gwilson on Jun.09, 2009, under A Day in the Life...

Hermle Z36We took delivery yesterday on a new high-speed centrifuge.  Our old one, purchased in 1996, put on quite a fireworks display a month or so ago and had to be put out to pasture.  The new one allows us to diversify our work a bit – swinging bucket rotor for 1 ml tubes, capacity for 250 ml bottles, etc.

The centrifuge is just one of several purchases to be made this summer – a Nanodrop spectrophotometer, another tissue culture hood, gel documentation system.  They follow a monumental year at McMurry in which we received a Li-COR GEMF Grant for a DNA sequencer, and purchased a variety of new equipment to outfit the molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology effort of the BIMS program.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we want our graduates to have experience with the equipment they will encounter in research, in medicine, in the workplace.  Hands-on experience teaches much better than theory on a chalkboard.

Our desire to impact “every student, every day” means these instruments will be used in a variety of classes by every student – not just a privileged few who go the extra mile in one-on-one research with faculty.  McMurry believes in the direction the BIMS program is headed and is willing to invest, even when times are tough.

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