COSAM News Articles 2020 September COSAM highlights how it continues to make an impact at Leadership Council presentation

COSAM highlights how it continues to make an impact at Leadership Council presentation

Published: 09/29/2020

By: Maria Gebhardt

More than 40 people attended the online presentation of Leadership Council for the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) on Saturday, September 26.

Dean Nicholas J. Giordano welcomed members virtually from across the country at the fall presentation.

After the college’s first virtual tailgate, the presentation began with Dr. Thomas C. Matthews, a 2000 graduate in biomedical sciences who received a leadership council scholarship when he was a student in COSAM.

“Auburn University is one of the best schools in the Southeastern United States to attend to get into medical school,” Dr. Matthews said. “I could not have made a better decision than to earn my undergraduate degree from COSAM.”

After completing medical school and a residency in surgery, Dr. Matthews is a vascular surgeon in Atlanta.

Hal Schenck, the first Rosemary Kopel Brown Eminent Scholars Chair in Mathematics, spoke about ways the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is making an impact to improve the student experience at Auburn.

“Veterans may not have used math for several years, so our goal is to create extra math support for students who served their country to succeed here at Auburn,” Schenck explained.

He spoke about new programs that are making a difference to both students and faculty.

“Our new postdoctoral program, a partnership between the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the college, is making a big impact through creating enthusiasm and energy in the classroom and in research,” he added.

During the response to COVID-19, ways to provide additional help to students in large math classes has resulted in more support for all students. 

“Most importantly, we are driving a change in the positive direction to improve the entire student experience in large lectures,” Schenck shared. “These students now have more opportunities for office hours and resources to take advantage of during the entire semester.”

Dean Giordano spoke about the impact new faculty are making during this transitional time during COVID-19.

“I am so proud of the accomplishments of our faculty,” he said. “We will soon have the best X-ray diffraction instrumentation in this entire state in addition to an array of impressive grants funded from the National Science Foundation during the last six months.”

During the Spring 2020 semester, 63 percent of COSAM students graduated with honors, and the first-year students have increased to a class of more than 700.

“COSAM is a dynamic college making an impact throughout the world,” Dean Giordano said. “I could not be more proud of the dedicated faculty and staff who have worked so hard to help our students while continuing to pursue groundbreaking research  that will help COSAM make a significant impact in the future.”  

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