Spring Semester 1.27.23

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff,  This week has brought devastating news of shootings in California, and the horror of Tyre Banks killing is beginning to unfold, among other troubling events. I hope your loved ones are safe.  When the task list seems too daunting, when the troubles across the world seem too much, I sometimes escape by wondering what life would be like if Earth were the size of Jupiter. Would that dilute our issues, by spreading them around a greater area, or would more appear to fill the space? About 1300 earths could fit into the volume of Jupiter. The planet is no target for human habitation - mostly helium and hydrogen gas, liquid deep below to make a huge, electrified ocean. Did you know that Jupiter’s day is only ten hours, making it the fastest-spinning planet in the solar system? This spin creates jet streams that separate clouds colored by ammonia and sulfur into zones, and with no land to slow down the storms, the zones persist for a long time – the famous Great Red Spot has been present for at least 300 years. The space probe Juno that was launched in 2011 and made it to Jupiter in 2016, 1.7 billion miles later, has been sending data and stunning images all the way home since then. Here are some, if an imaginary visit would be helpful escape for you, too. On earth, in our College there is much going on, and much that is wonderful. I hope your teaching has started well, and that classroom connectivity issues have been taken care of. Please let me know if any persist. Thank you for your expert work. We are deep in faculty hiring season, and I am meeting up to five candidates each day to discuss their fascinating research and our outstanding College and University. I tell candidates that there is no more exciting university to join than Northeastern, that this is a fantastic, vibrant, collaborative place to do science research and education. Our groundbreaking INVEST mechanism, that removes need for a postdoctoral period, so normalizing the timeframe for entry into academic or industry positions, is well appreciated. Thank you to every search committee member and everyone supporting searches, for the huge effort involved. Your departments are (soon) recruiting their top candidates for PhD training, and it’s thrilling to see incorporation of the Connected Science Community and Departmental PhD Programs. We are reinventing the PhD together, and we are well set up for success. Thank you for your excellent work on every aspect of PhD training.

In our Northeastern Global Campuses, we are planning for teaching undergraduates and MS students in Oakland next year, with expanding presence in London, Portland and Toronto. Everywhere, we will offer highest quality science education that is so useful to every student. Thank you to everyone working towards these university goals. Our COSMO 2 Space project to further renovate Mugar is moving along, making new lab space and a great conference room. And we are joyfully watching EXP edge ever closer to completion. How fantastic to have members of the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology occupy this extraordinary space! Thank you to everyone involved.

Devising our Strategic Plan is progressing on track, including input from hundreds of COS members. There is much more opportunity to give ideas and please see the note below for an update. Thank you for contributing.  And finally, one way to celebrate the excellence of our College of Science Community is through an extensive set of Awards, many brand new. Please see the COS AWARDS graphic from our Communications Team and watch for an email next week including how to nominate.