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From the College of Natural Sciences

Citizens of the World

Dear Students, 

Tomorrow is Election Day, and the citizens of our city, state, and nation will be electing new leaders. Some of you can and will exercise your right to vote. Others of you likely already have, given the long lines I've seen at the FAC for early voting. But now is a great time for everyone to reflect on the larger purpose of your time at the University. 

We often think of an education as about learning facts. Or we focus on skills that are important for a wide array of careers. But, in fact, an education is about learning how to engage with the world and be productive community members. The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is "To transform lives for the benefit of society." 

So it is true that your physics class will expect you to learn about Faraday's law. And your upper-division lab with a writing flag will improve your written communication skills. But the sum of it all is to prepare you for life, work, and citizenship. We need citizens who are engaged, thinking, innovating, and transforming our world. So as you study for your exams this week, take the time to reflect on the deeper lessons you are learning and how you will use them to change the world. 

Best, 

Dr. Vanden Bout

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Friday, 17 September 2021

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