Your Anniversary Message 05/13/2018 — 9:05 pm Millard Susman

It must have been 1967 when Kelly Clifton came to my office to invite me to participate in a new educational experience — the Biology Core Curriculum. It sounded like just the sort of thing I’d love to do. The course — or, rather, the series of courses — was to be organized around discovery. We were not going to tell students just what we know; we were going to tell them HOW we know what we know. And we were not going to break biology into arbitrary chunks like Zoology, Botany, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics, and so forth; we were going to emphasize the continuum of biology from micro to macro, from molecule to population. We were going to draw faculty from all over the campus, with no boundaries between L&S, Agriculture, Medicine, and so forth. We were going to talk about research from day one, and we were going to teach rigor and skepticism. I became a member of the Cell Biology team, which was to be led by Bill Dove, and we spent months designing our course, meeting for hours at a time to try to figure out how to put together a coherent course in which the connections between units and disciplines were as clear as possible. We all pledged to attend each other’s classes so that we could critique each other and refer to lectures that preceded and followed our own. Working with that teaching team was wonderful. We were doing something new, bold, challenging. It turned out that the students who registered for the course shared our sense of adventure and excitement. We were all pioneers working together on a new approach to biology education. I loved teaching in Biocore. My colleagues over the years — Bill Dove, Walter Plaut, Bob Metzenberg, Wayne Becker, Ann Burgess, Philippa Claude, Bill Sugden, Rick Eisenstein, Stan Peloquin, Gary Borissy, Sean Carroll — were wonderful teachers and collaborators. The students in Biocore were sharp, eager, critical, and fun. I learned a lot both from my teaching partners and the students. Of all the things I did as a faculty member, the one that gave me the most satisfaction and, as I look back on my career, gives me the most pride is my participation in Biocore. I loved teaching Biocore!