Director's Message

Martin Kociolek, Ph.D.

Martin Kociolek, Ph.D.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Science is about engagement. It’s about doing, interacting, and communicating. Whether it’s a student in the classroom, a researcher in the field, or a visitor to our school, engagement is a hallmark of the School of Science.

The most effective learning is not passive but active—with students not only listening to someone talk about subject matter but also engaging with it. This could mean diving into the human body using our new Anatomage dissection tables or providing data to a global surveillance program dedicated to protecting salamanders from deadly fungal pathogens.

Much scientific research requires engagement with the world around. This could involve investigating invasive species on Presque Isle in the present day or turning back the clock to discover how shark species evolved millions of years ago. There's no better way to communicate this research, exchange ideas, and engage with science colleagues than through a research gathering, such as the Penn State Behrend-Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference hosted by the School of Science.

For many of us, our roles as scientists extend beyond the classroom or laboratory, as we reach into the community to pass on our enthusiasm and love of science. Whether participants are hunting for prehistoric eggs, exploring “scary” science, or using basic physics to keep from getting all wet, such engagement lights the spark in future generations of scientists.

As you read this issue of Science News, I hope you gain an appreciation for all the great engagement going on in the School of Science. Enjoy.

Dr. Marty Kociolek
Director, School of Science