Message from the Dean
Welcome to the Fall 2019 issue of Catalyst—our science magazine written and edited by American University science students.
This issue reflects some of the excitement we feel over the sciences at AU. Science is our fastest-growing area of undergraduate study. Over the past five years, College of Arts and Sciences faculty have more than doubled their research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and other prestigious institutions. Just last year alone, our faculty received $8.3 million in new research grants.
Our new buildings, facilities, and laboratories are transforming scientific research. In 2017, we completed our state-of-the-art Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building. Next fall, we will open our 125,000-square-foot Hall of Sciences. Students are working in technologically advanced classrooms and labs, using some of the most modern equipment available. They are learning from experts who are shaping their fields—in addiction, cancer research, mathematics and cybersecurity, health disparities, climate change, and so much more.
If there is one theme running through this issue of Catalyst, it’s science with a public purpose. Our students care deeply about the world and making a difference. They do this on campus, by launching sustainability clubs and supporting the movement towards biodegradable gloves in our laboratories. Their research touches our local community through school nutrition programs, satellite launches with local high-school students, and the monitoring of Chesapeake Bay water quality. Even more broadly, their work ranges from monitoring disease prevalence in Asia, to improving surgical equipment, to better understanding how the brain affects vision and hearing.
Our students are not only preparing for a rapidly changing world—they are on their way to becoming scientists and innovators who have the power to make an extraordinary impact on the world.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences