College Relations

p: 704-894-2017

Mailing Address

Box 7169
Davidson, NC 28035

Shipping Address

209 Ridge Road
Davidson, NC 28035

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Faculty Perspectives

We are grateful to the many donors who made the construction of the Watson and Dana science buildings possible. These buildings have served us well and will continue to expand student opportunities on campus as we continue to grow our focus on undergraduate research with this new state-of-the-art project.

Biology

Student researchers in lab"For Biology, our current spaces in Watson and Dana do what they are supposed to do, but not much more. The buildings house functional science labs, but do not invite collaborations and conversations. Students have few places to lounge or study in our current science buildings. The new building will serve all the functions of our current labs plus much more. Flexible, adjacent classroom and laboratory spaces will make it more possible for students to do active learning in class, going far beyond passive lectures. This building is also designed for student and faculty collaborative research both as part of courses and as part of faculty research programs-novel experiments will be conducted in this new building that will expand our understanding of biology/life/the living world. Many of our peer institutions have science facilities that go beyond function to make statements about their programs. Now, Davidson will too."

—Barbara Lom, Associate Professor and Chair of Biology

Chemistry

Prof. Erland Stevens and student researchers"Our current building, Martin, goes back to the 1940s, and we pretty much fill the space completely, and many of the labs are not big enough. For faculty, it's difficult for us to reach our research potential as a department because we are very short on research space. This is especially problematic with the increasing research expectation on campus. For students, they will have more opportunities to work side-by-side with each other and with faculty in a state-of-the-art setting. We will be in spaces that we aren't forcing into serving our needs in a way they weren't intended. Add to that being in a building with other science departments, we can leverage our common interests. So, instead of fighting to gain momentum as chemistry, we are fighting to gain momentum as a group of science departments. That's a much more powerful approach. We're already winners because we're getting new space."

—Erland Stevens, Professor and Chair of Chemistry

Environmental Studies

Prof. Cindy Hauser and student"Because environmental studies is a new major, and has only been a concentration before now, any lab our students conduct research in is borrowed space. The new building offers room for expansion of the sciences, which was very hard to consider before now. Currently, it is an intentional act and sometimes difficult to bring students together across disciplines, so naturally, it doesn't happen as often as we would like. When the cross-fertilization of ideas happens more organically, we can all think more broadly about our work. Also, the current facilities—Martin and Watson—do not offer a way to showcase students' work. Right now, it's all hidden unless you look for it, specifically. We want a building that makes students curious. We want a building that makes them ask 'why?' This project is so exciting because it is not just a building; it is an environment.

—Cindy Hauser, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Environmental Studies

Neuroscience

Prof. Julio Ramirez and student researcher"What Watson offers now, scientifically, is phenomenal. Social space is what we're missing. Some of the most creative moments happen over lunch or over a cup of coffee. The best ideas develop out of spontaneous conversations, so the new congregating spaces are critical. Not only will the new space provide the platform for a variety of disciplines to interact; it will propel us forward in terms of innovation in pedagogy, research and scholarship. We are creating spaces that further promote "terching," my word for the total integration of teaching and research in a single space. We are breaking down silos and facilitating collaboration. It's an expansion for the future."

—Julio Ramirez, R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology

Psychology

Prof. Cole Barton and students"The department of psychology has not been in a building together in 20 years. It will be wonderful to be able to drop across the hall and have conversations with colleagues in the department as well as an increased likelihood of cross-discipline conversations and work. If you think about the major problems facing the world today such as health care and the environment, they affect and should be studied by multiple disciplines, so it makes sense to bring more of our departments together under one roof. Looking at greater outreach potential, we hope our students will be able to become a service enterprise as well as a research enterprise. For example, their work related to autism and families may invite participation from members of the community. The work of our students and faculty will become more visible both on and off-campus. It will be an inviting portal for the community, and hopefully this model for collaboration will carry through to other departments and buildings."

—Cole Barton, C. Louise Nelson Professor and Chair of Psychology