Monday Mission, 7/26/10
From Dave Johnson of our biology faculty (who served with his wife, until two years ago, as a long-term missionary to Japan):
Nothing gives me greater joy than to watch a student who is simply going through the motions of taking classes and earning a degree become passionately committed to a field of study. Over the past year I’ve watched one of my students, Jessica Van Ausdall, make that progression. From her first course in Genetics to a later course, Experimental Genetics, she became genuinely interested in the expanding field of genetic research. She approached me in the spring about doing a research project and received a summer stipend from the Samford Undergraduate Research Program that has allowed her to collect specimens from Shades Creek and investigate the mechanism of "killer paramecium." Through her independent research project, she has made the critical move from learning about science to thinking like a scientist. This fall she will enter the Environmental Management graduate program at Samford, and she eventually hopes to pursue a doctorate in genetics/molecular biology. She has definitely found her calling.
The world is better because of Samford's commitment to learning and responsible freedom of inquiry.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.