Tag Archives: Biology

Department Details: Biology

9 Jan
Science at W&L

Science at W&L

The biological sciences play a key role in human society from the conservation of biodiversity to medicine. The Department of Biology strives to cultivate an exciting academic environment to study, research, and contemplate the broad spectrum of the life sciences. Our teaching philosophy is founded on a belief in the value of a personal educational experience, achieved through small classes and laboratories, and opportunities for independent study and research. Faculty embrace the Teacher-Scholar model, and pursue varied research interests with student collaborators.

Our curriculum is designed to promote effective scientific communication, the understanding and use of the scientific method, the understanding of the major concepts in biology, the use of the tools and techniques of science, and an understanding of the scientific literature. An important aspect of science education at Washington & Lee is hands-on experience, including independent research experience. Many of our courses include laboratory and/or field work, often incorporating original research projects.

Our majors receive a broad education in the biosciences. Our graduates are competitive for entry to graduate programs, medical and other professional programs, and employment in all sectors of research, development and commerce.

We also provide opportunities for students in all academic programs to gain a greater appreciation for the nature of science and its impacts on society, in keeping with the liberal arts tradition of broadly educated individuals. The opportunities include individual study and research as well as the R.E. Lee Undergraduate Research Program, which enables students to spend the summer doing research full time with the faculty scientists of their choice. In addition to our in-house curriculum, students can take advantage of programs off campus, including our popular fall semester program at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

To find out more about the Biology department click here.

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Tour Guide Spotlight: Katie Boe ’13

12 Nov

Katie Boe ’13

Hometown: Potomac, MD

Major(s)/Minor(s): Biology and Chinese

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? FYOC advertising committee, Kappa Kappa Gamma New Member Chairman, Women’s Golf Club vice-president, Campus Kitchens, Mock Convention.

How are you involved in the Lexington community? I have tutored at Natural Bridge Elementary School at Waddell Elementary School. I lived and worked in Lexington over the summer and developed a Chinese language curriculum for the elementary schools in the area with a RE Lee grant.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests?  Piano lessons, Group Exercise classes (especially Zumba!), KKG book club

Favorite weekend activity? Going for walks in town to go to Lex Co or on the Chessie Trail.

Favorite thing about Lexington? All of the outdoor adventures that are available to us—hiking, tubing, kayaking, camping, etc.

What’s your favorite W&L memory? My favorite W&L memory is definitely Spring Term. It is so unique and such a great outlet for trying new classes and generally enjoying time on campus and in Lexington. I love that the school gives us some time to relax and enjoy the weather and scenery during May but also give us some structure to our day through the interesting courses offered. It’s almost like a reward for working hard all year long.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? My genetics professor from last year is now my current adviser. I also started babysitting for his two children and so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know one of my favorite professors and now my adviser on a more personal level. He still is foremost my professor and adviser but I now know him more as a person. It’s nice to be able to have a working yet personable relationship with him.

Spring Term Adventures

6 May

While everyone else in other universities is cramming for finals, W&L students are enjoying Spring Term! During Spring Term we fully engage ourselves in one class for four weeks. What can possibly be a better way to finish a busy academic year? This spring I chose to take Environmental Biology: Endangered Plants of the Appalachians. The goal of the class is to explore biological diversity of the Appalachians, to understand the human impact on the environment, and to learn the ways of preserving unique ecosystems. This course is also designed to fulfill your Lab Science requirement: a fun and amazing way to get your FDR credit. The class meets twice a week for three hours, and we have laboratory work three times a week for five hours or so.  Luckily, W&L is located in one of the most gorgeous and diverse places in the country which gives us a perfect opportunity to have some hands-on experience. We go hiking and explore the vegetation of the area. The beautiful spring weather makes our trips even more enjoyable! Last Friday we climbed Mount Pleasant that is located a short drive away from campus. We looked at various plants and rock outcrops during our hike. Yet the best part was when we got to the top: we couldn’t stop admiring the view! I took many pictures, and here is of them. Enjoy!