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4th week update from the chair!

Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering students holding equipment in a classroom


We’re nearing the end of the 4th week of the semester and I hope it continues to go smoothly for all of you. By now some of you have had your first round of exams. This is a great time to assess what’s going well and what you may have to adjust to achieve at the level you know you can. If you had some struggles, don’t get discouraged; use that disappointment, and channel it into better habits. If you think you’re doing all you can and still can’t make it, then it’s time to reach out for some help. Your instructor has office hours — use them. Many of your classes have learning assistants and peer educators – use them. I suspect we’ll all look back on this year as the time when we learned a great deal about ourselves and our abilities. Let’s make these good memories!

As always, if things aren’t going as well as you’d like, I want to know about it. If you’ve got suggestions about how we can do better, I want to hear them. This is a great time for course corrections, not just for you, but for the faculty as well. Know that we’re all in strange waters this semester and sometimes our best intentions land wide of the mark. We need your help to correct them.

Finally, I have a request for you. In any academic program, there are always students who decide to leave the program and change to another major or even change schools. Very often, these are good decisions and the student finds themselves in a better situation – that’s a great outcome. But sometimes the decisions are made without complete information and/or without giving us the chance to see if we can make things better. So my request to you is this: If you know someone who changed their major from mechanical engineering to something else and you are comfortable sharing their story (anonymously, of course), I’d love to hear it. If you’re still in touch and can convince them to talk to me, even better! Finding these ‘leavers’ is a notoriously difficult task but I’m convinced they have special insight into how we can improve the experience for everyone.

Dr. John Gardner

Keep working hard, stay safe, and take care of yourselves.

John Gardner