One day, not too long ago, I got out of my office to take a tour of Phase I of the new Integrated Science Center with the rest of the admission deans. It was a nice day, so we wandered over and were met by Professor Paul Heideman, chair of the biology department. His contagious enthusiasm for the new facility had me thinking why did I major in Business instead of Biology? For about an hour I forgot that I don’t know the difference between meiosis and mitosis. Prof. Heideman lead us through the building showing us labs, offices, gathering places and some very expensive, cutting edge equipment. Most of which I will never be able to pronounce let alone understand what they do. He carefully explained what some of this equipment could do and the far reaching impact this research will have. Aside from Prof. Heideman’s obvious love for his work, I was struck by two things. The first was the care and thoughtfulness that was put into the design of this unique building to include the provision for areas that encourage and facilitate the collaboration and free flow of ideas that is needed in truly remarkable scientific research. The second occurred when we stopped in a lab where a student was researching. Prof. Heideman asked the student to describe to us what he was working on. The student graciously provided an understandable, concise and knowledgeable description of the research he was performing. Here is where I was bowled over – the whole time the student was speaking, Prof. Heideman stood to the side beaming like a proud father. Clearly he takes great pride in his students!
At W&M, students have opportunities to work in state of the art laboratories, with delicate and complex equipment and comfortable work space. But more importantly, they are fortunate to be able to work with professors like Paul Heideman who inspire, support and encourage students to do great things!
– Betsy Quinzio