Happy Fall, our wonderful alumni!! Many changes have happened since our last newsletter, and most are delightful and welcomed. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Dr. John Stimac, as he decided it was time to retire and move to the East Coast to pursue his future there. I am sure many of you fondly remember him from your days here at Eastern and wish him the best in his endeavors. Fortunately, we were granted permission to hire a new faculty member and welcomed Jake Crandall to our ranks this Fall. Jake hails from Southern IL University, Carbondale, where he is finishing up his dissertation and working on really exciting research involving ore deposits on Mars. Jake will be taking on Mineralogy, Petrology as well as Structural Geology – he brings added strength to an already quality department and program. We have written and have in various stages of completion 23 different Articulation Agreements with state community colleges, which should be a significant manner in which to continue increasing our number of majors. With a generous budget from the Provost, we were able to upgrade several technological devices in our department – we have 13 brand new computers in the GIS lab, along with a new “wall of whiteboard” and software system that allows interactive work with projected images and maps. We acquired – through a Federal surplus system – a $30k base station and set of rovers, as well as purchased a new GPS backpack unit and a couple of flow meters. Jim Riley has obtained his drone license, so we now are legally able to fly our two drones to comply with Federal regulations. We repurposed some of our older computers and the old Map Room to convert it to a dedicated student workspace. Now our majors have a quiet, spacious area in which to study, collaborate and call their own.
On a more personal note – thank you in the most sincere manner and from the bottom of our collective hearts to all of our wonderful alumni who support us financially and figuratively. We have alumni who are very generous and give of themselves in a variety of ways to help the current students. These wonderful alumni do this by giving colloquium presentations, posting job openings on our Facebook page (please join! Contact me if interested), donating to our various scholarships or Gift Account and more. Your interactions with and support of the students inspires them to do their best, and it shows. Thank you.
May you have a most wonderful year!