Smart Science

Apr 27th, 2012 | By | 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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