COSAM News Articles 2023 November Dean Thomas shares impactful and bold accomplishments of COSAM with Auburn Trustee

Dean Thomas shares impactful and bold accomplishments of COSAM with Auburn Trustee

Published: 11/21/2023

By: Maria Gebhardt

On Friday, Nov. 17, with a backdrop of white tailgate tents, Auburn University Board of Trustee Member James H. Sanford visited the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM).

“A 1968 graduate of Auburn University, Trustee Sanford also earned his master’s degree in 1971,” said Edward E. Thomas, Jr., dean of the college. “Jimmy is also on the board of the Auburn University Research Foundation and has a strong connection to research mission of the university.”

COSAM consists of five departments biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, geosciences, mathematics and statistics, and physics, and currently has more than 2,500 undergraduate students enrolled and 428 graduate students.

“Our college is transformative and empowers the next generation of students ranking second in honors students and fourth in the university in overall enrollment,” Thomas explained as he gave his presentation, Leading COSAM into the future.  

COSAM faculty are prolific publishers ranking second in the university in scholarly journals.

“Our extramural research has grown from $12 million to almost $25 million over the past seven years,” Thomas said.

After Dean Thomas presented, two COSAM undergraduate students shared their stories with the trustee.

Alexis McFeely, an undergraduate student majoring microbiology spoke about her research in a virology lab where she worked on long non-coding RNA that has many functions in the cell.

She explained to Trustee Sanford why she chose Auburn.

“I wanted to reach both personal professional and academic goals, and Auburn provided me with a community that supports me to reach those goals,” McFeely said. “I have grown more in the last four years than anything ever before.”

Caroline Locker, majoring in geology, spoke about her research with iron skarns in Puerto Rico with more geochemical signatures than other iron ore deposits.

“I have grown tremendously during my time at Auburn, and I am better prepared for my future,” Locker said.

Thomas gave Sanford a tour of labs in the Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Biological Sciences Departments.

“COSAM is an exciting place with outstanding faculty, students, staff and postdocs that are ready to make a bold difference in tomorrow’s workforce,” said Thomas.  

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