Smart Science

Apr 27th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Highlights

By Joy Drohan

Sev­eral areas of Can­non Hall, Wes­ley College’s sci­ence build­ing, were recently ren­o­vated with fund­ing from three fed­eral grants total­ing more than $600,000. Led by Dr. Mal­colm D’Souza, pro­fes­sor of chem­istry, the goal was to improve the cyber-infrastructure and sci­ence under­grad­u­ate research facil­i­ties in the build­ing, which was built in 1965. The grants cov­ered ren­o­va­tion of Cannon’s lobby, main audi­to­rium, and biol­ogy stor­age and prepara­tory rooms.

Wi-Fi was installed through­out the build­ing, and smart­boards – Internet-connected, inter­ac­tive white­boards – were
installed in all Can­non class­rooms and three labs.

“Smart­board tech­nol­ogy allows pro­fes­sors to teach using a num­ber of dif­fer­ent media, which should help with stu­dent com­pre­hen­sion of the mate­r­ial,” says Dr. Kath­leen Cur­ran, chair of the sci­ence department.

Annie O’Connor, a senior biol­ogy major and sci­ence admis­sions coun­selor, says she feels that the lab­o­ra­tory improve­ments enable Wes­ley to com­pete with larger schools for qual­ity sci­ence stu­dents. “I have seen a tremen­dous dif­fer­ence in the way prospec­tive stu­dents and their par­ents per­ceive Can­non Hall dur­ing admis­sions tours. Prior to the ren­o­va­tions, some rooms were a bit dated,” says O’Connor.

A look inside Can­non Hall

“Newer con­struc­tion is much more attrac­tive to stu­dents,” Cur­ran con­firms. “They want bet­ter facil­i­ties
than their high school.”

Through the INBRE and EPSCoR pro­grams, the num­ber of stu­dents con­duct­ing under­grad­u­ate research has increased dra­mat­i­cally. The ren­o­va­tions give stu­dent researchers the lux­ury of hav­ing their own space, mak­ing research more convenient.

Fund­ing came through the IDeA Net­works of Bio­med­ical Research Excel­lence (INBRE) grant from the National Insti­tutes of Health, and from an Exper­i­men­tal Pro­gram to Stim­u­late Com­pet­i­tive Research (EPSCoR) grant and an ARI R2 grant, both through the National Sci­ence Foundation.

More Can­non Hall update pho­tos avail­able on

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