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Message from the Dean

December 22nd, 2008

The end of the semester has officially arrived and much of our student population — along with many faculty and staff — will be returning home or traveling over the winter break. Things will be relatively quiet around campus for the next few weeks, but there are still a couple of items I’d like to bring to your attention as we head into the New Year.

First, SEAS’ Professor David Wu was recently named a key co-investigator under a new $3.18 million first-year government contract awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The project brings together researchers from medicine, biology, and engineering fields here at the U of R to investigate a “post-radiation pill” that could be used in the event of an accident or act of terrorism involving nuclear or radiological devices. Researchers will be testing the drug eltrombopag, which comes in tablet form, rather than as an injection, as a potentially safe, effective and convenient way to treat hundreds or thousands of patients in radiation-related medical emergencies. The team will be using the 3D human bone marrow bioreactor developed in Professor Wu’s lab as a model for radiation treatment drug testing. This is another excellent example of the close proximity of the U of R’s engineering and medical researchers, and how that closeness allows sharing of expertise across disciplines that can be leveraged to reach solutions to urgent 21st century problems. The collaborative environment here at the U of R is, quite simply, unsurpassed anywhere else.

Second is something of importance to our students as they begin to think about their post-graduation careers. The Simon Graduate School of Business has announced an opportunity to spend the first three weeks in June at their Summer Business Institute. According to the program description, participants will “discover exciting opportunities in business, get a head start on their career path and meet other talented and ambitious future leaders.” Although winter break is typically a brief reprieve from more serious matters, it is also a great time to reflect on your long-term goals. I want to encourage all of our aspiring professional engineers to consider their entrepreneurial drive, and weigh the possible benefits of applying to such a program. Here is some more detailed information: The program will include courses in business essentials such as management, marketing, finance, accounting, and leadership, along with real business world discussions, roundtables and lectures by Simon faculty and outside business leaders. Participants will learn how to craft compelling résumés, work on their interview skills and help solve real world business problems on a diverse team of peers. Those who complete the program will earn 4 credit hours and a Certificate of Completion from the Simon School that will add value to their résumé. The program cost is $3,500including all materials. For additional information, contact Professor George Cook at (585) 273-4890 ore-mail george.cook@simon.rochester.edu. To apply, contact (585) 275-3533 or admissions@simon.rochester.edu.

The SEAS community has a long, storied history of successful entrepreneurship. The program at the Simon School looks to be a great chance for our current students and recent graduates to get their feet wet in the business world.

Over the winter break my weekly newsletter will be on a brief hiatus, but once our campus starts bustling again, there will be plenty to report. The next installment is scheduled for January 12, so continue to send your news and accomplishments my way.

Having now completed a full semester as your Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, I want all of you — alumni, students, faculty, and staff — to know how much I have enjoyed meeting and working with you this semester. The enthusiasm that I brought with me to this new position has grown each and every day that I have spent on this wonderful campus. There is no doubt that we will face challenges in the coming year, but I am certain that as a community, a great University, and an outstanding School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, we will address them as we continue in the motto of our University: Meliora.

From the looks of it the week ahead promises to be a wintry one here in Rochester and the Northeast. For anyone going out of town, may your travels be safe — tomorrow I’m headed down to North Carolina, looking forward to spending time with family and friends. In that regard, from my family to yours, I want to wish you all peaceful and happy holidays!

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