Dear HUBI alumni,
Greetings from the IU campus. I hope this newsletter finds you well and thriving in your post-graduation endeavors.
It is gratifying to be able to report that the Human Biology Program continues to prosper with over 500 majors, and more students than ever before arriving on campus this summer with the intention of pursuing a Human Biology degree. This past year core course topics included the relationship between human biology and climate change, diet and health states, the politics of food supply and health outcomes, pregnancy and gestation, and current trends in infectious disease. In the fall I was able to teach a B400 section focused on HIV disease and thoroughly enjoyed the semester. My experience with students in that course bolsters my belief in the program’s value as I experienced great engagement and high quality work. As we plan for next year we welcome our newest core faculty member, Ann Barwich, who is a new member of the IU faculty in Cognitive Science. Ann’s scholarly work focuses on the olfactory system and how the brain makes sense of scents. Ann and Jutta Schikore (History and Philosophy of Science) will teach a B200 on Sensory Perception in spring 2020.
We celebrated our eleventh graduating class this May. The event went off well even though we are outgrowing the space available to us for the gradation event. It was wonderful to meet parents, friends and family members of our students, hear the inspiring remarks of our student speakers, recognize accomplishments, and learn of the post-graduation plans of all our students.
For me this summer will combine professional and personal travel as I attend the Positive Strand RNA Virus conference in Killarney, Ireland, with two of my graduate students. They will be presenting their work examining determinants of virus replication and transmission. Following the conference my family is joining me and we will explore the countryside and sights of County Kerry, one of the most picturesque places in the world.
On a personal front I am preparing for a major transition as my oldest daughter graduates high school. However, she will not be going far and enrolls as a first year student here at IU in fall. Unfortunately she is not a HUBI major, but is looking to major in Astronomy. I’m thankful that I may be able to see her on a relatively frequent basis, particularly when she wants dad to pay for a lunch.
As my first year as Director of Human Biology comes to a close I would like to thank all the faculty for helping my transition into the position go smoothly. I am particularly grateful to Assistant Director Andrew Libby, our academic advisors, Andy Ruff and Aaron Ellis, and our Administrative Assistant Casey Green who has so capably taken over from Diane Richardson. I am looking forward to the fall and another excellent year for HUBI.
All the best and keep in touch.