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Project Rhea: What started it all

July 17, 2012

The year was 2007.

I was sitting in a curriculum committee meeting, working to fulfill the “service” part of my academic duties. Indeed, professors have to perform “service” duties, in addition to their “teaching” duties, and their “research” duties. Now I am not sure what kind of chalk, if any, is provided for that part of our work, but I digress…

It was the end of the semester, and this was to be our last meeting before the summer break.  To end on a high note, I suppose, we were reading the results of a large survey of our students, alumni, and Faculty. Overall, there was a consensus that we were producing a good number of well educated, quality students. Kudos to us! However, each group had its own, somewhat surprisingly agreed upon suggestion for improving our program. Our current students suggested the need for better coordination between courses taught in different departments. Our alumni stressed that more exposure to outside applications of the curriculum material would be beneficial. Our Faculty pointed out that the students would do better if they still retained the preparatory material by the time they took the more advanced courses.

I could see a common theme in all three suggestions: the need for more connections. More connections between disciplines, more connections with outside applications, more connection between the advanced material and the fundamental material. And this got me thinking…

Two months later, Project Rhea began!

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copyright 2012, all rights reserved

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