Dr. Schwenn: See The Future Of Science Education

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - by Dr. John Schwenn
Dr. John Schwenn
Dr. John Schwenn
On two days in May you will have the opportunity to see the future of science education when we hold dedication and open house events celebrating the opening of our new science building, Shelby and Willena Peeples Hall.

The building is the first new academic building to open on our campus in 15 years, and it has dramatically changed the landscape of Dalton State. It is the biggest and tallest structure on our campus, soaring above even the bell tower. The three-story building is all gleaming glass and steel and brick. Positioned between the college creek and the college trail system, it brilliantly features expansive windows, taking in all the surrounding nature. It is a beautiful environment from which science students can learn more about the world around them.


According to Dr. Randall Griffus, Dean of the School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics, Peeples Hall will put Dalton State on a level playing field with just about any college or university in the state of Georgia. But the equipment inside will put us over the top.

Among the specialized pieces of equipment that will be installed in our new labs will be a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and headspace sampler, a high performance liquid chromatograph, a scanning electron microscope, an automated fluorescence microscope system, a potentiostat, and a research grade fourier transform infrared spectrometer.

These words don’t mean much to those of us who are not scientists, but our biology and chemistry faculty members assure me that they will significantly enrich the educational experience of chemistry and biology students at Dalton State for many years to come. Although some of the equipment was purchased with state funds, most comes to us by private donation, and we are deeply grateful.

The sophisticated instrumentation will not only enhance the way our students learn in the classroom and laboratory, it will dramatically benefit our students who engage in undergraduate research.

This is an area of the college that is exploding in growth as our undergraduate biology and chemistry students have the opportunity to conduct meaningful research alongside faculty mentors who are experts in the field. The value of the research experience cannot be overstated, especially as students apply to graduate and professional schools and enter the world of work. This year alone, we have seen Faith Stokes’ research on the antibacterial properties of snake venom win first place honors at the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference and earn her a spot at the Council for Undergraduate Research’s “Posters on the Hill” exhibition in Washington, DC. Another biology student, Cris Shelton, recently won best poster for his research on turtles at The Georgia Academy of Science’s annual meeting held at Georgia Regent’s University.

We believe the future of science education resides within the walls of Peeples Hall, and we invite you to come out and see for yourself. We extend a special invitation to all young students who have particular interest in biology or chemistry. We believe our facility will be the ideal environment from which to learn, discover, explore, observe, measure, quantify, and analyze the world around us. Thanks to support from the state and the generous philanthropy of a handful of individuals and organizations that care deeply about the future of this community, we believe we can offer an educational experience second to none, at a cost that keeps it accessible to all.

We hope you will join us at the dedication of Peeples Hall on Tuesday, May 7, at 2 p.m. or at our Open House on Sunday, May 18, from 2-4 p.m.

-----

Dr. John O. Schwenn is the president of Dalton State College.


Steve Hearn Returns As McCallie Vice President For Advancement

Steve Hearn ’74 returns to McCallie to serve as vice president for Advancement, overseeing the school’s marketing, communications, fundraising, alumni and admission programs while developing strategies to keep McCallie competitive well into the 21st century and beyond.  Mr. Hearn returns to the Ridge from Presbyterian Day School in Memphis where he served for the past 10 ... (click for more)

McCallie Faculty Fellows Announced For 2016

McCallie School's Faculty Fellows program annually rewards outstanding educators who make a positive impact on both the academic and character development of their students.    The 2016 Faculty Fellows class is Rebecca Burnette, Middle School English teacher; Tom Adams '90, Middle School English teacher Rob Lyons ’88, Upper School mathematics teacher; Suzanne Mortimer, ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Jury Awards 25 City Police Personnel Total Of $562,000 On Claims That Pay Plan Was Not Followed

A Chancery Court jury on Wednesday gave a verdict totaling $562,000 for 25 city police personnel who filed suit almost five years ago alleging that the city never lived up to terms of a 2010 pay plan. Attorney Stevie Phillips, who tried the case along with Janie Parks Varnell, said, "The jury awarded each officer what we had asked for to the penny." She stated, "These 25 members ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abused By An EpiPen

It is a good guess that for about 30 years I have kept an EpiPen on the top of my refrigerator. I have never had to open the box, much less jab a dose of life-saving epinephrine into a person suffering from anaphylaxis. Whether it is a bee sting, peanut butter, shellfish or other allergies, I watched somebody come within inches of dying in my early 20s and swore I would have one ... (click for more)