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CAS Community,

With time, I’ve learned to embrace change as an adventure, and, with each new change, I’ve tried to adopt the mindset that this new adventure is providing an opportunity for learning and growth. A very visible sign of the College’s growth is the new science building. It is beautiful and bright and designed with collaboration in mind. Both the departments of Biology and Physics have moved into the new facility, and the Department of Chemistry has two teaching labs in the space. I know the faculty are excited to be in the new building, and I expect that students appreciate having access to state-of-the-art facilities that allow them space to reflect, connect, and consider their next experiment or project. The new building is also a space for any student who takes a biology, physics, or chemistry class regardless of their major. It is just one more piece of evidence that UAB is a growing and vibrant research university.

There are many dedicated faculty, staff, and leaders who helped to create the UAB that we all celebrate today and are now moving on to their next adventures. Some of these faculty members have been with the university for the entirety of its existence. For example, Dr. Jeanne Hutchison of the Department of Mathematics retired last spring with 53 years of service. Likewise, Dr. John Mayer, also in mathematics and co-founder of UABTeach, retired with 39 years at UAB. Dr. James McClintock, Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology in the Department of Biology, retired after leading UAB students in the classroom and in the field for 36 years. And, one of the College’s longest serving faculty members, Dr. Vithal Ghanta, retired after serving the UAB community for 56 years in the Department of Biology.

We also wish Dr. Edward Taub, 37 years with the Department of Psychology, and Dr. Pamela Murray, 32 years with the Department of History, the best after both retiring this past academic year.

Finally, at the end of the Fall 2023 semester, we will be saying goodbye to our Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Pam Benoit. Dr. Benoit and her husband Dr. William Benoit, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, will retire at the end of the semester to begin a new adventure outside of UAB. The College is grateful for their many contributions, and we greatly appreciate Dr. Benoit’s support of CAS throughout the last six years. I am personally indebted to Pam for her support as I transitioned to my own new adventure during the early months of the pandemic. She will be greatly missed, but I look forward to continuing to learn from her as her new adventure unfolds in retirement.

Go Blazers!

Kecia M. Thomas
College of Arts and Sciences

robert palazzo