The Applied Approach
Winter 2006, Vol. 2 No. 1 A newsletter for the School of Applied Sciences

Letter from the Dean

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Dr. Linda Chitwood

Dear Reader,

On July 1, 2006, the School of Applied Sciences will celebrate its fifth birthday.

As we plan for the future, it is imperative to think about the state of the school. What are our strengths? What are our opportunities? What best defines our character?

To answer these questions, we typically cite program statistics and enumerate faculty accomplishments. I am pleased to report that we have exceeded all expectations in each of these areas. Since 2001, our enrollment has doubled from 700 to more than 1,400 students, and all programs undergoing review have been fully accredited by our governing agencies. Our professors have been selected as outstanding teachers, honored with awards of appreciation, assumed national leadership roles, published numerous scholarly articles and books, received multiple grants and contracts, and established collaborative relationships with entities all across this nation. Excellent academic programs and an outstanding faculty are hallmarks of our school.

While statistics and numbers are important, I have tried to identify other predictors of success for an academic unit. What will sustain our school should enrollment decline and faculty retire?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I found my answer. As Mississippi rose to recover, applied sciences alumni, faculty and students were among the first to respond. We were mobilized to the front line of service as law-enforcement officers, Corps of Engineers officers, social workers, Red Cross and emergency personnel, nutritionists, speech and hearing pathologists, and counselors. We volunteered our time to the local shelters, relief centers and Habitat for Humanity. We provided temporary housing for displaced families. Our student organizations gathered and delivered donations for numerous displaced families. Our recreation faculty and students revitalized public recreation facilities, and our Speech and Hearing Clinic provided hearing aids and testing to those displaced by the hurricane.

So, perhaps statistics are only one indicator of our future success. Perhaps another is understanding that the state of Mississippi is highly dependent upon our success. We develop the professionals who provide leadership and direction; we develop the professionals who care enough to give of their time and talents; and we develop the professionals who help individuals and families cope with emergencies each and every day.

I leave with you the paraphrased words of Oliver Wendell Holmes: What lies behind us and what lies before us is less important than what lies within.

What lies within the School of Applied Sciences is the attitude of service, the spirit of hope and the essence of success.


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Linda Chitwood, Dean