College of Arts and Science, Miami University
Alumni Update
March 2018
Pearson Hall renovation
Pearson Hall is in the midst of some modernized, innovative renovations to its classroom and lab spaces
Capitalizing on our strengths and maintaining our cutting-edge research and teaching
Chris Makaroff
Dear Alumni and Friends:
Over spring break last week, several new classrooms and lab spaces in Pearson Hall went through their final touches to allow students and faculty in botany, biology, microbiology, and zoology to begin moving in -- thus bringing the first of two phases of our four-year, $65 million project closer to completion.
To quote one of my colleagues, professor and chair of microbiology Luis Actis, the Pearson renovation "will foster the instruction of the next generation of educators, scientists, and citizens, who will have an impact on the quality of life in Ohio and across the nation." Please consider making a gift to support this exciting and impactful project.
March 2018 has been a very active month here in CAS, which has hosted events such as our annual spring Janus Forum as well as numerous lectures and presentations from all across the liberal arts. Our stories in this newsletter represent just a small sample of what we have been able to capture. 
I'm always deeply impressed with the multiple ways our alumni engage with CAS students, whether via an on-campus visit for career advice, guidance and mentorship in various internships, or simply sharing their stories and experiences. Everything you do in these areas makes a positive impact, so I thank you.
Until next month!
Chris Makaroff
Dean and Professor of Chemistry

P.S. We're introducing a new way for all Miami alumni to get involved with our students. We would like to invite you to join Miami Alumni Connect, our new online platform that allows alumni to connect with and mentor current students. There are many things you can do on the site, including:
  • Be a short-term or long-term adviser for students or other alumni.
  • Find a mentor or seek specific career advice.
  • Expand your professional network by interacting with other Miami alumni in your city, industry, or common groups and organizations.
  • Post and browse jobs geared toward Miami alumni.
Support CAS
Pearson Hall: The upgraded home for Miami’s biology, microbiology, zoology and botany students
As the headquarters for Miami’s Departments of Biology and Microbiology, Pearson Hall is currently undergoing its first serious renovation in its 33-year history.
Both chair and professor of biology Tom Crist and chair and professor of microbiology Luis Actis have been overseeing the approximate $65 million transformation of Pearson into a contemporary structure with state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories and updated classrooms and group spaces.

Phase 1, to be completed by Fall 2018, is focused on half of the building’s necessary heating, cooling, and lab exhaust systems as well as half of its teaching and research laboratories. It will also introduce a modernized public welcome area on the ground floor, while adding a brand-new glass-encased atrium in the center of the building -- once an underused interior courtyard. Phase 2, set for completion in Summer 2020, will finalize all labs and classrooms.
Janus Forum poses the question: In the age of Trump, is the party over?
The Janus Forum, offered once each semester, held its 6th annual spring lecture on March 7, inviting students and faculty to discuss the American political parties and their changing roles and influences during the administration of Donald Trump.
Guest speakers Kelly Ayotte, a former U.S. senator from New Hampshire, Ezra Klein, founder and editor-at-large of, and Jonathan Swan, a political reporter for Axios, answered debate questions set by the panel and live-tweeted by audience members. The trio were intentionally chosen by the planning committee, run by students, in order to get a diverse array of viewpoints.
More notable CAS lectures and events
covered by student communications interns for CAS News
New CAS student spotlights
Our latest editions in our CAS Student Spotlight series include Lauren Poythress, Harrison Grayson, and Erin Graves, who talk about some of their best Miami experiences -- leading the diverse Bridges Scholars program, exploring the ancient French city of Lyon, making a positive environmental impact on campus, and much more.
CAS student achievements
Erin Graves
Lauren Poythress (in red)
Harrison Graydon
Jacob Bruggeman and Carrie Dobbs
Bruggeman & Dobbs
Recent CAS faculty news
  • CAS faculty spotlight on Jonathan Straussprofessor of French, Department of French & Italian chair
  • Professor of biology Michael Vanni named Fellow of the Ecological Society of America
  • In Memoriam: Cheryl Heckler, associate professor of media, journalism & film
  • Associate professor of biology Yoshi Tomoyasu's research on insect wings featured in The New York Times 
Mike Vanni
Cheryl Heckler
Yoshi Tomoyasu
NEW: CAS alumni spotlights
Tony Albrecht Commander Jeffrey Betz Katie Lehmann
This month we unveiled our new page for CAS alumni spotlights, showcasing alumni who have visited campus to give lectures, meet with students, and share their career insights and experience.
If you can't make it to Oxford, please submit our online Alumni Spotlight form to be featured on our website.
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