On March 31st, 2012, the Odum School of Ecology welcomed 25 families of our undergraduate students. The typical undergraduate parent experience is attending orientation at the beginning of their students' higher education journey and then four years later returning for graduation. Due to the close-knit community of the Odum School we wanted to engage and inform parents regarding their students' undergraduate experience.
The day began with a welcome from John Gittleman - Dean of the Odum School - and Misha Boyd - undergraduate advisor. We then had a panel of esteemed faculty provide ten minute talks on their ecological area of expertise. Jim Porter talked about his work with coral reefs. Sonia Altizer focused on her infectious disease research. Andrew Park introduced the audience to the world of computer modeling. Finally, Jeb Byers took the parents on a journey to coastal ecosystems. These presentations provided the parents a glimpse of how their students are working alongside professors in the field and in laboratories.
We then had five of our undergrads give an all-encompassing talk of their undergraduate experience, not just from a personal viewpoint but from a shared perspective. The three major themes that Todd Pierson, Malavika Rajeev, Theresa Stratmann, Buck Trible and Becca Risser looked at were what takes place in the classroom, how they have been given rare research opportunities and how they've had an impact through service and outreach.
The program was capped by a tour of faculty labs and a special treat from the students - a chance to interact with a collection of herps from a faculty lab.
We hope we've now started a new tradition in the Odum School. To get a glimpse of the 2012 Parents and Families Day take a look by clicking on the link below.