Davidson, NC 28035
209 Ridge Road
Davidson, NC 28035
Biology and Psychology major
What will the new building and academic neighborhood bring to the student experience at Davidson?
Although locations of "academic collision" do exist across the campus, for example the Carolina Inn (i.e., Center for Interdisciplinary Studies), it often becomes too easy to retreat into your specific major or discipline and fail to interact with those outside of it. Watson is the Biology and Psychology building, Martin the Chemistry, Sloan the Music, and by and large these are where those disciplines and those students confine themselves to. With the new building and greater academic neighborhood, it is my belief that we can move closer to our liberal arts mode of thinking in not only a philosophical sense, by taking a range of classes, but in a literal sense by interacting and collaborating with those outside our academic focus on a daily basis.
How will the new structure facilitate collaboration?
By housing a range of departments and programs in one space, this new academic neighborhood will foster the academic collisions I believe are essential to a successful education and life. Outside of the academic bubble, no one thinks strictly in "math" or "science" mode but instead draws upon the diverse modes of thinking, inquiry, and understanding that make up their educational background. In this new academic community, the opportunity for these happenstance interactions, whether in a strict academic sense or not, will help with this dissemination of thinking and further break down the largely artificial barriers we create among academic departments.
What are you most excited about in terms of enhancements for future classes of Davidson students?
One of the important pieces that these sorts of interactions will preclude is more cross-listed, trans-discipline courses. By this I do not simply mean combining two similarly minded disciplines but instead courses that fuse seemingly divergent modes of thought under one cause. These sorts of experiences have already begun at Davidson, to include Drs. Fox and Wessner's Representation of HIV/AIDS, a course that uniquely combines English and Biological approaches to this key issue. It is my hope that our new academic neighborhood will foster new and exciting courses such as these.
What will the new space bring to the student experience?
This new building will greatly enhance the student experience at Davidson. It will hold more advanced and up-to-date labs for students doing research and boasts a lot of lounge type areas where students can gather and interact outside of school and work.
How will it enhance collaboration across disciplines?
The idea of housing different disciplines in one new building is very different from our current academic and scientific buildings. Now, chemistry has Martin, psych has Watson, bio has Dana. There is very little interaction within the buildings, and the new building will allow for all those disciplines to interact, especially in the common areas. This integration of areas will contribute greatly to continued and value-added collaboration.
What are you most looking forward to for yourself and for future classes that follow in your footsteps?
I'm really excited for the variety in classes that this new building will bring. With new and larger lab spaces, there will be more lab options for students to take, exposing them to new and interesting techniques and information. Also, I think having an academic building that is much warmer and more informal in its corridors will be a great thing for this campus.