From the Dean
As we begin this new semester, I am well aware of the challenges our students and their parents as well as our staff and faculty have faced over the past two years because of the pandemic. And now we are yet again faced with another rapidly evolving COVID environment. I want to assure you — and reassure you — that the health and safety of our CECAS family are our priority, and we are diligently following the protocols recommended by our medical professionals.
Given this current situation, it seems fitting that during the second week of classes, the University celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with its annual Day of Service; it reminds us of the importance of service to others, especially in times like we have faced over the past couple of years. Our students, staff and faculty were active participants in the various volunteer opportunities across campus and throughout the Clemson community, several offered virtually out of an abundance of caution due to weather and health conditions.
Our faculty have returned from their winter break, and in this issue we highlight some of their transformational research. One example is our focus on pioneering new ways to make automobiles lighter and, thus, more fuel efficient. This ground-breaking research further positions us as a leader in the auto industry. We are also taking the lead in addressing such pressing issues as sustainable materials and food and health resources. Our efforts go beyond resolving these issues to ensuring our approaches are strategic, feasible and result in the equitable sharing of these critical resources.
This issue also features our research efforts in such cutting-edge areas as the smart cities of the future and the potential impact of an extinct river on our climate, in addition to highlighting the United Nations International Year of Glass and its recognition of John Ballato as a leader in the field of fiber optics. As the J. E. Sirrine Endowed Chair in Optical Fiber, he is credited with developing the University’s world-class fiber optics program.
I want to express my appreciation to Martin and Linda Lightsey for their latest gift to the college. They have long been generous supporters of our entrepreneurship programs, and their most recent donation will help create the innovators of the future.
Finally, I would like to commend our students, staff and faculty for their hard work and endless resilience over the past couple of years. I appreciate their efforts and dedication as they have navigated the COVID environment while remaining focused on our mission of excellence in instruction, scholarship and service.
If you would like to help support the college and its initiatives and programs, you can do so by clicking on the “Make a Gift” tab below. Our accomplishments are possible only because of you — our alumni, donors and friends — and your generosity. As always, I appreciate everything you do for us.
Stay warm, safe and healthy,