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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Research, Travel & Work (Oh My!)

Dear Students,I know we're in week two of the semester, and summer still seems far off, but it's a great time to start making plans. A few summer options to put on your radar:Gain experience this summer in scientific research. With the vast amount of research happening here in CNS, there are many opportunities on campus. But I encourage you to also...

Making the Day Off a Day On

​Dear Students,Today is MLK Day, and I hope you're enjoying the day off from classes. In this short break before the semester heats up, perhaps you are thinking about things like grades, awards, acceptances and academics. The legacy of Dr. King reminds us that perhaps the most important yardstick of our success is the impact we have on others.So to...

Charting Your Path

​Dear Students,Happy new year, and welcome back! When I was a student, the start of the semester always brought mixed emotions. There was excitement about reconnecting with friends and the new courses I was starting. But reading the course syllabi also brought anxiety as I contemplated the many tests, homework and papers that lay ahead. If you're f...

3 Tips for Finals Readiness

Dear Students,Well, we've just about made it through another semester! But I know that for many, it hardly feels that way because finals are about to begin, and there's more work ahead. As you get ready for finals, here are my top three bits of advice:Sleep: All-nighters often do more harm than good because your brain needs sleep to store informati...

Announcing New Supports

​Dear Students,A positive change I've noticed during my 12 years as a professor at UT is that students have become more comfortable talking about their struggles and to see struggle as a normal part of life. So more ask for help when they need it. That ensures we more readily can find ways to address students' needs.Students have asked for more sup...

Gratitude and Your Brain

Dear Students,I hope your registration went well, and you're feeling good heading into Thanksgiving break. Hopefully, next week will bring you some time to decompress, connect with family or friends and do something restorative. If you're looking for something restorative, I have a suggestion.We usually think of giving thanks as something we do for...

First-Gen Week

Dear Students,This week UT is celebrating our first-gen students. These are students who will be the first in their family to complete a college degree. UT has over 9,000 first-gen students. And first-gen Longhorns are not just students. Some of our most influential and beloved faculty and staff are first-gen, too! These include Dr. Jason McLellan,...

Venture into the Safe-Scary

Dear Students,Recently, a local reporter wanted to talk to me as a neuroscientist who studies fear for a Halloween story he was preparing. "Why do we like to scare ourselves?" he asked. This question is relevant to our lives here in CNS.We usually think of fear as a feeling—the distinctive experience of being afraid. But the feeling of fear is just...

Healthy Horns Up

Dear Students,The good news: we're almost 2/3 through the fall semester. The bad news: filled with holidays, registration, events, exams and maybe even some cold weather, the final 1/3 can be a doozy. How do you make the intense final third of the semester as smooth as possible?You probably thought the rest of this message was going to be about stu...

Where Longhorns Share

Dear Students,This week I am using this space to tell you about a great new program that I recently learned about. I'd like all CNS students to know about it and consider participating. It's the Longhorn SHARE Project. This is a student-led peer support program that creates spaces for students to talk about life experiences, give and receive suppor...

Concentration Consideration

Dear Students,In CNS, we rightfully spend a lot of time honing our technical and analytical science skills. As important as these skills are, scientific success also depends on social-interpersonal skills that enable people to collaborate across diverse perspectives, expertise and experience. Indeed, studies show that diverse research groups produc...

Time for a Contest

Dear Students,Wow. People really do have strong feelings about the Texas Science t-shirt. Almost 800 students responded to my poll last week, and a whopping 641 of them (81.97%) voted that it is time for an update. So, update we will!A number of students proposed having a design contest. I think that's a great idea. Let's do it. The college will pr...

Time to Take Stock

Dear Students,As we head into October, many of you are finishing your first round of exams. If so, now's a great time to take stock. Whether your performance was fantastic or disappointing, take a moment to acknowledge yourself for taking on the challenge. Also, think about what you did to prepare, what worked and what didn't. Remember that exams a...

Make Your Impact

Dear Students,We talk a lot about the amazing science and math our CNS students and alumni are doing. But the impacts of our community outside of science are equally inspiring. Last week, I attended two events that really brought this home for me.One event was the CNS Hall of Honor induction ceremony, which recognizes alumni and other friends of CN...

If Coursework Is a Struggle

Dear Students,Four weeks into the semester, and I'll bet classes have started to "get real." Exams on the horizon…. assignments coming due… maybe you've even fallen behind in a class or can't seem to grasp an important concept. It is normal this time of the semester to feel you're struggling with coursework. So, what should you do?First, give yours...