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F O R M U L A 2



In the College of Science OUR

MISSION is to provide the highest quality educational programs and to

create and disseminate new knowledge through scientific research. Through fulfillment of this mission, our students become scientifically literate citizens and our graduates

have the opportunity to pursue successful careers in science and related disciplines. We are committed to being the primary scientific intellectual resource for Louisiana

and a leader in the nation, promoting economic development by the transfer of scientific knowledge into practice. In the College of Science OUR


is to be an international leader in scientific research and instruction, elevating LSU to the highest level of excellence among major research universities in the United States and the world.

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S FORMULA FOR EXCELLENCE | 4 DEAN’S MESSAGE | 5 THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TODAY | 6 LEARNING | 8 Facilities Program Enrollment & Success DISCOVERY | 10 Facilities Faculty Productivity ENGAGEMENT | 12 Science Education Corporate & Private Partnerships Philanthropy

COVER PHOTO: Mytrang Do, May 2012 biochemistry graduate


PHOTO (left): College of Science University Medalists, May 2012 | The University Medal for

“Highest Academic Achievement” is awarded each commencement to undergraduate students graduating with the highest grade point average (GPA). These scholars maintained a 4.0 GPA . (First Row, l to r) Lyndsey Nicole Bruno, Christine Elizabeth Taylor, Thu A. Thi Nguyen, Hannah Manuel, Sarah McBride; (Second Row, l to r): Breanne Hughes, Erin Heimbach, Mary Evelyn White, Donald A. Mullen Jr., Mytrang Do, Baylet Elizabeth Eck; (Third Row, l to r): Brandon Thomas Finnorn, Alexander Frederick Leder, Matthew Michael Darce, Stewart Wynn Humble, Brian Kurtz, Sarah Amacker.


for·mu·la /ˈfôrmyələ/ noun : a mathematical relationship expressed in symbols or set of chemical symbols showing the elements present in a compound and their relative proportions. ex·cel·lence /ˈeksələns/ noun : the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

FORMULA for EXCELLENCE The LSU College of Science is committed to providing excellence in science and mathematics education. Thousands of the College’s pacesetting graduates are national leaders in research, medicine, business, industry, academia, and public service. Our students are not only among the University’s best and brightest scholars, but they are also contributors to the ground-breaking research that has placed the University among the nation’s top tier research institutions. The College’s renowned faculty have been major contributors to the latest discoveries and innovation from the world’s tiniest vertebrate to the origin of thermonuclear supernova. We have established a Formula for Excellence that has and will continue to catapult our graduates to be among the world’s leading scientists, innovators, and thinkers.


Our formula: High quality academic programs provided by top-notch faculty


State-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate research experiences

+ + Committed alumni, corporate partners, and friends

Enriching and inclusive academic environment supported by faculty and staff offering a diversity of knowledge and experiences



Dear Friends, It has been said that excellence is a quest and not a destination - it stands still for no one and can only be achieved by relentless pursuit. Just as it is an illusive goal, excellence can be difficult to rigorously define and quantify. Even so, we can objectively identify and measure components of excellence and aspire to achieve them. Toward that end, I am pleased to present Formula for Excellence, the LSU College of Science’s five-year strategic plan. It is the product of extensive dialogue with faculty, staff, alumni, and key stakeholders and builds upon the progress and growth that the College has realized over the past two decades. Formula for Excellence embraces as its components the broad goals of learning, discovery, diversity, and engagement that are integral to the LSU Flagship Agenda 2020. As scientists, we have the privilege of exploring some of the most profound questions that face humanity, questions that range from the history, fate, and composition of our universe, to the extraordinarily rich diversity of life. We also have the opportunity and responsibility to convert our discoveries into applications that benefit the citizens of Louisiana, the nation, and the world. LSU College of Science faculty, students, and alumni are tangibly engaged with fundamental discoveries in areas such as energy, the environment, and health, and the translation of this new knowledge into practical solutions for the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Our contributions to basic and transformative science define us as a major research university, but ultimately our most important product is our students, the next generation of scientists, technicians, and medical professionals. As we achieve the goals set forth in the Formula for Excellence plan, we will enrich the educational experience of our scholars and better prepare them to be leaders in their chosen discipline and in society. While our history and accomplishments give us much to be proud of, we have only begun to realize our potential. We can and we must do more. Formula for Excellence sets an ambitious agenda for advancing our educational and research programs to even higher expectations and outcomes. It will guide us to secure state-of-the art teaching and research facilities; develop and grow programs that enhance student success; propel us to broader and deeper engagement with industry, K-12 educational programs, and our alumni; and enrich diversity among our faculty, students, and staff. The plan represents our pledge to the citizens of Louisiana, our country, and the world—especially its extraordinarily talented young scholars—that we aspire to nothing less than the very best. I encourage you to be part of this quest, and invite you to be an integral component of our Formula for Excellence. Sincerely,

Kevin R. Carman, Dean 5


• • •

Pennington Biomedical Research Center, which houses more than 80 faculty members and over 600 physicians, scientists, and support personnel, focus research efforts on epidemiology and prevention, physical activity and health, cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegeneration, genomics and molecular genetics, stem cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, and nutrient sensing and signaling; and

Center for Computation and Technology, which provides highperformance computing resources for LSU, and regional and international researchers.

The College of Science offers students top-quality education through classroom and laboratory instruction and research experiences at the undergraduate and graduate levels.The College is comprised of five academic departments: Biological Sciences Chemistry Geology & Geophysics

• •

Mathematics Physics & Astronomy

as well as the Museum of Natural Science. A few College of Science FACTS: •


The College generates more than $30 million annually in external research funds, over 80 percent of which comes from federal agencies such as NIH, NSF, and DOE. Our pioneering research routinely appears in national media and makes fundamental contributions to understanding our natural world.

Approximately 60 percent of students accepted to LSU medical schools in New Orleans and Shreveport are LSU graduates. Our students are also accepted to a number of prominent medical and dental schools including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Columbia, and Stanford.

The Museum of Natural Science contains more than 2.5 million specimens and houses the world’s largest collection of neotropical bird DNA. The Museum is also the only comprehensive research museum in the south-central U.S.

Our faculty have garnered national and international accolades for their academic leadership and contributions to groundbreaking research discoveries. Currently, the college has 30 faculty named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows, in addition to an American Academy of Arts Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Science.

The College enrolls approximately 1,800 undergraduate and 700 graduate students.

Research facilities and partnerships include: •

The Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), the only state-funded synchotron facility in the U.S.;

Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), an NSF-funded facility dedicated to the detection of cosmic gravitational waves;

LSU Medical Physics & Health Physics Partnership with Mary Bird Perkins Canter Center (MBPCC) which supports the College’s nationally accredited program in Medical Physics;

The Formula for Excellence is outlined in four broad themes: Learning, Discovery, Engagement, and Diversity.


Learning LEARNING –

The College is committed to providing challenging and rewarding learning experiences to our graduate and undergraduate students, as well as to the broader LSU community. Our goals are to develop critical thinking skills and to promote scientific literacy by providing students with the most current, accurate, and relevant information in the sciences. We encourage faculty to continually develop teaching skills and reward excellence in teaching. The College values multidisciplinary scholarship. We emphasize programs that enhance student success while maintaining standards of excellence, and we seek to increase enrollment of highly talented students in graduate and undergraduate programs.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION 1: Maintain, develop, and enhance our learning and teaching programs.


Plan and begin construction of a state-of-the-art facility for undergraduate teaching laboratories Generate revenue to renovate and modernize existing teaching laboratories



Establish professional and M.S. degree programs that serve the needs of Louisiana


Increase undergraduate enrollment in chemistry, geology & geophysics, mathematics, microbiology, and physics & astronomy

100% participation in pre-college academic “boot camps”

Increase both undergraduate retention and graduation rates by five percent

Increase Science Residential College capacity from 200 to 400 students

Increase undergraduate students who participate in research by ten percent

Increase participation in international educational programs by 20 percent

Increase Ph.D. enrollment by ten percent.

Provide strategic offerings of online classes that help students make progress toward their degree

Increase six-year Ph.D. completion rates by five percent

Improve the communications skills of graduates by increasing science student enrollment in communications intensive courses



“Boot camps” offer a week-long orientation to the science academic environment, including real college lectures and exams. The College offers boot camps in each of its academic departments: BIOS (biology), CHEMIS (chemistry), GIOS (geology & geophysics), PhIOS (physics), and Tiger Math Camp. Our boot camps greatly enhance student success and are being replicated at many universities throughout the U.S.

LSU has received continuous funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the world’s largest philanthropic organization dedicated to funding biomedical research and education. Among other programs, HHMI funding provides undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in an intensive 10-week summer research experience with LSU faculty. The program also offers international research opportunities at laboratories in France, Brazil, India, and South Africa.

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) awards scholarships and stipends to the nation’s top young research scholars. Each year the College has a number of students who receive this prestigious fellowship. Some of the recipients are:

SCIENCE RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE The Science Residential College (SRC) provides a living-learning environment designed to give our entering freshmen an enriching and rewarding education experience. SRC students learn about research opportunities, interact directly with faculty, and explore a diversity of careers available to science majors. SRC students are housed in historic Evangeline Hall, which is centrally located on campus not far from the Student Union, University Recreation Center and the 459 Commons Dining area. Evangeline offers many common study areas, a new multimedia classroom, on-site faculty offices, an academic counselor, and a computer lab.

Amanda Achberger, Ph.D. student, studying the microbial communities that inhabit the liquid environments beneath polar ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland,

Carlos Chavez, Ph.D. student in chemistry, studying highly reactive Ni catalysts for living chain-growth polymerization, and

Valerie Derouen, MS of natural science student, researching the systematics of batfishes.

GOLDWATER SCHOLAR The nationally competitive Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence Program recognizes the nation’s best science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students. College of Science students are routinely successful in this competition, including junior physics major Carl Sabottke, who was named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar. Sabottke plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.





The College will maintain and develop research programs that are at the leading edge of discovery, build upon existing strengths to reveal new avenues of scientific inquiry, and translate our discoveries to directly benefit the citizens of Louisiana, the nation, and the world. We will take a leadership role in identifying and facilitating multidisciplinary research within and outside of the College. We will build upon our standards of excellence and continue to move upward in metrics of national and international rankings. Our culture of discovery is intimately and synergistically linked with our educational mission.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION 2: Maintain, develop, and enhance research programs. FACILITIES •

Obtain approval for constructing a building dedicated to multidisciplinary research

Leverage partnerships with other academic and nonacademic units, including shared equipment and technical staffing



Hire outstanding faculty that enhance existing areas of disciplinary strength that build upon current and emerging areas of interdisciplinary research and education (increase total tenure-track faculty by ten percent)

Provide nationally-competitive salaries that are competitive with national research universities

Increase the number of faculty serving on national and international editorial boards and scientific review panels

Promote faculty for prestigious recognitions within their discipline as well as broader organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Develop new partnerships and build upon existing partnerships with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, the Center for Computation and Technology, the College of Engineering, the School of the Coast and Environment, and the School of Veterinary Medicine by making joint faculty hires that are mutually beneficial


Increase annual grant and contract funding to $50M

Increase faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student publications in peer-reviewed journals by ten percent

Increase technical and administrative support staff, particularly staff needed to support competitive research programs, by ten percent


OUTSTANDING FACULTY RESEARCHERS & SCHOLARS The College of Science boasts some of the nation’s most acclaimed faculty researchers and scholars, 30 of whom are Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s, largest general scientific society.


LSU System Boyd Professor of Biological Sciences Meredith Blackwell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences joining some of the world’s leading “thinkers and doers” such as Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Winston Churchill.


Chris Austin, LSU Herpetologist and curator of herpetology in the Museum of Natural Science made national headlines with the discovery of the world’s smallest vertebrate. The tiny frog, called Paedophryne amauensis was discovered during a three-month expedition to New Guinea.


Sophie Warny, assistant professor of palynology in the Department of Geology & Geophysics and curator of education in LSU’s Museum of Natural Science, collaborated with scientists from the University of Southern California and NASA’s Chemistry and Materials Building Jet Propulsion Laboratory to publish a paper in Nature Geoscience highlighting research demonstrating that ancient global warming allowed LSU Professor of Physics & Astronomy greening in Antarctica. This study will help Bradley Schaefer and astronomer Ashley scientists better understand what the future of Pagnotta discovered the solution to one climate change may look like. of the long-standing fundamental problems of astrophysics: what produces thermonuclear supernovae? Their findings represent the Isiah Warner, LSU System Boyd Professor culmination of more than 40 years of worldwide and vice chancellor of strategic initiatives, is study. Schaefer was also invited to the 2011 Nobel the 2013 recipient of the American Chemical Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden for his Society’s Award in Analytical Chemistry, a contribution to research that led to the discovery of prestigious honor awarded by the world’s largest the accelerated expansion of the Universe due to scientific society and one of the world’s leading “dark energy.” sources of authoritative scientific information.

* *

Mathematics Professor Michael Malisoff partnered with professors and students at Georgia Tech and the College of William and Mary to develop marine robotic methods to survey weathered crude oil off the coast of Louisiana.


Warner’s research involves fundamental studies in analytical chemistry as well as the development and application of new methods (chemical, instrumental and mathematical), for analytical measurements.

Photo (left to right): Chris Austin, Isiah Warner, Sophie Warny, and Bradley Schaefer


Completed June 2012, the five-story Chemistry and Materials Building provides more than 85,000 square feet of cuttingedge research space. This facility will expand the University’s research capacity in synthetic chemistry and provide critical infrastructure for interdisciplinary research in materials science & engineering.

The marine robots can detect pollutants and take sediment and water samples while their human controllers remain safe on dry ground.



The College will continue to build upon its strong commitment to enhancing K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Louisiana and the nation. We will cultivate relationships with local and regional industry and government. We will partner with local and regional K-12 programs and with community colleges to enhance STEM education. Development of intellectual property will be promoted and rewarded. We will work with alumni, friends, and the private sector to increase working partnerships with industry, enhance philanthropic support for our mission, and communicate the impact of investments to all our donors.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION 3: Engage with and be a resource for the community. SCIENCE EDUCATION •

Hire three tenure-track faculty in the field of science education research

Engage alumni, friends, and private sector partners to enhance external and private funding

Increase the number of students participating in the GeauxTeach program to 300

Establish and grow endowments that enhance the undergraduate and graduate learning and research experiences

Maintain current enrollment in Masters of Natural Science (MNS) program for math and science teachers

Share immediate and long-term impact with donors who make investments in our students, faculty and programs

Increase the percentage of alumni that contribute to Annual Fund by 25 percent

Foster a tradition of giving among current students

Reconnect with alumni in Louisiana and across the country and increase interaction with current students

Highlight alumni achievements in college communications




Promote research strengths and expertise and seek new opportunities for collaboration

Foster an environment within the College that seeks and encourages partnership with the private sector and facilitates more efficient industry collaborations

Partner with industry to increase the diversity of opportunities for student internship experiences in science

Engage industry to develop programs that meet their needs and address goals shared by the university, corporations, and global communities


SCIENCE HONORS SCHOLARSHIP At the core of LSU’s National Flagship Agenda is the goal of attracting increasingly talented students and creating an environment for learning and discovery unsurpassed in our region. It is our goal that the Science Honors Scholars Program would become nationally recognized as a significant undergraduate opportunity that is synonymous in reputation

DEAN’S CIRCLE The Dean’s Circle (DC) is a loyal group of College of Science alumni and friends who share a passion for advancing scientific scholarship and research at LSU. Since 2007, members of the Dean’s Circle have provided the working capital needed to fund many pursuits of the College including student organizations and educational travel, faculty recruitment and recognition, and development initiatives to build alumni and community relationships. Each year, a significant portion of these funds are dedicated to scholarships for our pre-freshman year academic boot camps. Many of the students

who received support from the DC may not have been able to attend the boot camp without some level of financial support. Dean’s Circle members make annual gifts of $1,000 or more to the Science Development Fund. MASTER OF NATURAL SCIENCE The Master of Natural Science (MNS) program offers M.S. degrees for individuals who are presently teaching or those who wish to become a math or science teacher. The program provides the depth and breadth of study in the sciences. LSU faculty have attracted over $20M in federal support of teacher-education programs in Central Louisiana and in the Baton Rouge area. “CART,” funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Rapides Foundation, is a partnership with LSU-Alexandria and the LSU’s Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy. The Louisiana Math and Science Teacher Institute is a collaborative project which involves 15 school districts within a 50-mile radius of LSU. Collectively, these MNS programs are impacting over 100 math and science teachers in Louisiana.


LSU’s GeauxTeach program has substantially increased the numbers of science and math students working towards becoming secondary education teachers. Students earn a degree in biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics and teacher certification. Participation in real classroom experiences occurs throughout the entire degree program. The curriculum is addressing Louisiana’s and the nation’s critical shortage of science and math teachers by increasing the number and quality of educators. It also expands students’ career options. LSU is now a nationwide leader in recruiting future teachers.

with other similar programs across the country. Scholarships assist in recruiting top students from around the country as well as help ensure that no top Louisiana student wanting to pursue a degree in science has to leave the state for a more attractive scholarship package. The program offers resources for a unique educational experience and the infrastructure needed to recruit and support them.



The College is committed to promoting a diverse student, faculty, and staff community. We aspire to further develop funding opportunities and student scholarship programs that allow us to recruit and retain students from under-represented racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic, and geographic groups. We will build upon and strengthen our policies that facilitate professional development while simultaneously supporting the needs of traditional and non-traditional families.


Increase diversity among faculty, students, and staff by: •

Promoting greater representation from women and under-represented minorities among our faculty. Our goal is to have a net gain of at least one faculty member per year that tangibly enhances diversity

Increasing the number of under-represented minority undergraduate science students to 20 percent by providing scholarships (such as the Science Honors Scholarship) and through programs such as “boot camps,” the Science Residential College, Bridge to the Baccalaureate, and other programs that support STEM education

Increasing diversity among our graduate students by forming alliances with minority-serving universities, historically black college and institutions, and federally funded programs to help facilitate a seamless transition of minority undergraduates to graduate programs in the College of Science

Encouraging participation in summer research programs that provide opportunities for minority students to participate in research and encourage them to pursue graduate studies

The LSU College of Science and Office of Strategic Initiatives, in partnership with the Baton Rouge Community College, have been awarded a five-year $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences. The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program from LSU to BRCC (LSU-BRCC/BB) provides a broad range of recruitment, mentoring, and faculty-development programs that will increase students’ preparation and skills as they pursue a baccalaureate degree and later more advanced degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. LOUIS STOKES LOUISIANA ALLIANCE FOR MINORITY PARTICIPATION (LS-LAMP) The Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation is a comprehensive, statewide program aimed at substantially increasing the number and quality of minority students enrolling in and completing bachelors degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and subsequently going on to pursue graduate studies in STEM disciplines. LS-LAMP is led by Southern University and A&M College

in Baton Rouge. Its scholars are engaged in a systemic mentoring program that includes research participation at higher education institutions and national laboratories. RONALD E. MCNAIR RESEARCH SCHOLARS PROGRAM The LSU Ronald McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program prepares first-generation, underrepresented groups in graduate education for doctoral studies. Named in honor of physicist and black astronaut Ronald Erwin McNair, the program prepares juniors and seniors for entry into graduate school. Preparation includes opportunities for research, summer internships, academic counseling, and funding assistance for travel, stipends, and tuition. McNair scholars participate in workshops on applying to graduate school, thesis preparation, and professional and career development. EXCEPTIONAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM (EXROP) The Exceptional Research Opportunities Program links the resources of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science and Grants Programs to

provide summer research experiences to selected undergraduate students. These experiences encourage the students to pursue careers in academic science. EXROP students attend meetings at HHMI headquarters and present their research during a poster presentation session. The students also have an opportunity to network with their peers and HHMI scientists. EXROP students are eligible for continued support in doctoral education through HHMI’s Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study. INITIATIVE FOR MAXIMIZING STUDENT DIVERSITY PROGRAM (IMSD) The LSU IMSD program provides qualified undergraduates valuable training in broad areas of biomedical research while enhancing diversity in biomedical sciences. IMSD students participate in research, attend scientific meetings, and coauthor a peer-reviewed publication. The Program is supported by an award from the Institute of General Medical Sciences, Minority Biomedical Research Support Branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).





We are setting performance benchmarks to assess our progress each year. These benchmarks and our progress are available along with the detailed version of our strategic plan, Formula for Excellence, at 16



Kevin R. Carman, dean

Richard Kurtz, associate dean John Lynn, associate dean

Guillermo Ferreyra, associate dean Martha Cedotal, sr. assistant dean

Sara Marchiafava, sr. assistant dean


Mary Lou Applewhite

Patricia Hewlett Bodin George L. Boudreaux Brad A. Broussard Peter D. Burland Gregg A. DeMar

Michelle K. Holoubek Bryan T. Kansas Arlo Landolt

James V. Lange

Terry J. Latiolais Mary E. Neal

Beverly W. Ogden

Edward B. Picou Jr.

Charles C. Pinckney

Angela LaGrange Scott Charles M. Smith

Marion D. “Soc “ Socolofsky Melvin L. Triay III John M. Tyler


EDITOR Dawn Jenkins CONTACT College of Science Office of the Dean 225.578.8859 19



Formula for Excellence is an official publication of the LSU College of Science |




LSU College of Science Strategic Plan: 2010-2015  

The LSU College of Science is committed to providing excellence in science and mathematics education. We have established a Formula for Exc...

LSU College of Science Strategic Plan: 2010-2015  

The LSU College of Science is committed to providing excellence in science and mathematics education. We have established a Formula for Exc...