This year has tested us all.
And like you, faculty, staff and students here at the College of Science and Technology have found new ways to cope, to help others and, yes, to thrive. The pivot to online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges in our college’s history, one that we are all meeting with enthusiasm, dedication and creativity. We have invested significant resources in online course design, establishing a new Center for Online and Digital Learning to help faculty develop engaging online content. Virtual labs are offering students the scientific and technical skills they need to succeed in an economy where change and disruption are likely to accelerate.
Almost every aspect of CST has moved to the virtual realm, from academic advising, Undergraduate Research Program and job fairs to alumni events and the Owl to Owl Mentor Program that connects CST graduates with our students. Over the past several months we produced a successful online convocation, Temple Made Day and events for prospective students.
After initially suspending activities in mid-March, in mid-July many of our research labs were able to resume activities safely by following CDC and university guidelines. Some faculty continued essential research projects uninterrupted, including those researchers taking on the novel coronavirus featured in Outlook’s cover story.
The college community has also been shaken by incidents across the country that highlight the prevalence of inequality in society. Like all of Temple, CST joins with those working toward racial inclusion and equity. We established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI) to ensure classrooms and labs are spaces where every member of our community can belong, contribute and succeed. DEI hosted a successful virtual town hall, and CST has established a Diversity Innovation Initiative fund to support projects that aim to increase diversity within the science and technology fields broadly.
I have been impressed with the resiliency of our students, as they have faced so many challenges throughout 2020. Also, the hard work of CST staff and faculty demonstrates their commitment to providing an exceptional education and to supporting scientific innovation and exploration.
I know this year has been a difficult one for our alumni and donors, as well as for our foundation, corporate and community partners. I truly appreciate your continuing support of the college. To everyone in the CST family, I wish you all the best in 2021.
Michael L. Klein, FRS
Dean and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Science