University News

Reception formally launches Science Center

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, March 4, 2010

At a grand opening for the Science Center held Wednesday night, faculty, students and administration flocked to the third floor of the Sciences Library to observe the new space’s available resources. The center has been open since Feb. 5, but Wednesday evening marked its formal introduction to the Brown community.

The opening included exhibits by various undergraduate science departments in the center’s study rooms. Student groups focused on science outreach, such as Advancing Rhode Island Science Education and Brown Science Prep, also had displays around the center.

David Targan ’78, associate dean of the College for science education, spoke briefly during the opening. Targan, who was a leader in the concept’s development, said he hoped the center would serve as a meeting point for all of the University’s science resources.

“We now have an open space that is located centrally where you can all feel at home here,” he said at the event.

“With students’ participation, this will indeed become a learning center, and we hope to have more of the same throughout this building,” University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi said to the crowd. “This building needs to come to life.”

After Hemmasi spoke, Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron addressed the crowd.

“This is a wonderful moment for undergraduate science education at Brown,” she said.
Bergeron listed the various uses of the center — a place where, she said, students, faculty, and members of the Providence community can have a common ground in science education.

“This center speaks to several important missions of this university,” she said. “I am very grateful and very proud that in this time of fiscal constraint the University had the vision to see this project through.”

In her speech, Bergeron also mentioned that Hemmasi has mentioned plans to possibly expand the center to the fourth floor, adding that her office would support this expansion.

Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 spoke next, discussing the center’s history and even reading e-mails he and Bergeron sent to each other in 2006 and 2007 about the creation of the Undergraduate Science Education Committee and its recommendation to create the center.

“This has been the dream of many people and has been in the works for many years,” he said.

Margaret Lamb, senior instructional technologist for Computer and Informational Services, demonstrated the study rooms’ new SmartBoards, highlighting different ways students could use the technology to enhance their studying.

The SmartBoard software is “really designed with student use in mind,” she said.

The event was especially intended to raise awareness among faculty members, who received personal invitations to the opening, said Jackie Giovanniello ’12, who works at the center’s front desk. “As soon as it opened, students knew it was a really great place to study,” she said.

Kai Morrell ’11, an environmental studies concentrator, first visited the center during the opening and said she was excited with the potential she saw.

“All of those different types of sciences that people have at Brown don’t interact that much, and hopefully this will provide a space for that,” she said.