Thursday, September 24, 2009
New academic labs offer modern equipment and supportBy Katie Land, news editor
Students taking courses in Oakland University’s laboratories will see some major changes this fall, as newly renovated academic science labs opened their doors this week.
Set in two phases of work, the renovations touched a total of 18 labs and classrooms in Hannah Hall, O’Dowd Hall and Wilson Hall. The updates will enhance instruction in chemistry, biology, physics, nursing, art and art history and physical therapy.
All of these academic departments have seen substantial increases in student enrollment and play a key role in the biomedical and health care programs that draw many students to Oakland.
“The major renovation of our large biology, chemistry and physics teaching labs will impact thousands of Oakland University students,” said Kathy Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The original teaching labs, dating from the 1960s and 1970s, have been replaced with state-of-the-art facilities that provide a safer, brighter and modern professional environment for the very important learning that occurs via hands-on laboratory courses.”
Some of the rooms were upgraded in the first phase of light construction and received a fresh lift with cosmetic repairs, minor casework, plumbing and electrical work. The first phase of work included the nursing simulation lab in O’Dowd Hall and a studio art computer lab in Wilson Hall.
The second phase included more extensive work on the biology labs, physics teaching and research labs. The major renovations consist of additional casework replacement, new flooring and ceiling in instructional labs, upgraded mechanical systems, improved ADA compliant workstations, eye wash and safety system improvements and fresh paint. The project also included upgrades to student computer stations, instructor presentation technology, microscopes and other instrumentation.
“When we provide our students with modern, clean, bright and uplifting facilities, it provides at least two benefits,” said Arthur Bull, chair of the Chemistry Department. “First, it subconsciously enhances the learning process thus making the laboratory experience more effective, and second, it convinces students that the scientific enterprise is serious business. It is serious and it is business, for the past few years I have been tracking graduates from my department and until recently, every one of them was either in graduate or professional school, or employed in the field in which they trained.”
For more information about CAS programs, visit the Web site at oakland.edu/cas.