Bishop Gerber Science Center open for learning

Aug 31, 2017

The Bishop Gerber Science Center is officially open for business.

Students, faculty and staff are expressing their excitement for the new state-of-the-art science building, which is complete with brand new laboratories and classroom equipment for various disciplines.

Assistant Professor of Biology Kiley Hicks, Ph.D., teaches genetics and is beginning her third year at Newman. Hicks said she is most looking forward to the new lab spaces and classroom technology that was not available to students and professors before.

lab equipment
New lab equipment for students fills the classrooms.

“I’m excited that the students will be able to work hands-on with state-of-the-art lab equipment that they wouldn’t be able to touch at most other schools,” she said. “It’s truly going to change the caliber of the education we’re able to provide for our students — and I’m stoked.”

Professor of Biology Sarah Evans, Ph.D., is in her fourth year at Newman and teaches biochemistry, nutrition and general biology labs. Evans is also excited to use the extensive lab space and new lab equipment — which she says, in many ways, makes the impossible possible.

A wooden double-helix is incorporated into the wall of the new science building.

“We’ll be able to run simultaneous lab sections and the students will have room to work, both during lab time and between classes,” she said. “There is space for independent research, which will allow our students more flexibility in when they can work and what they can do. And the new equipment, which includes a DNA sequencer, fluorescent microscope and BIO ID, will allow us to design studies for both lab courses and independent research that were previously impossible to do here at Newman.”

Students and faculty now have access to advanced equipment and classroom facilities.

Student Jonathan Serrano-Ramsey spent his entire summer helping with the move from Heimerman Science Center to this new space and said he is excited for the new facilities that are available to students.

“The advanced technology allows us to do more experiments at deeper levels in the labs,” he said. “It is much more precise and there are more opportunities for varying levels of research now.”

The Bishop Gerber Science Center isn’t just an exciting addition for those who teach science courses, however. Director of the Counseling Program and Assistant Professor of Counseling John Walker has taught at Newman for nine years and said he is grateful to the new science center for accommodating students in his course, Perspectives — a class that has gained more popularity over the years.

study space
In addition to expanded facilities, the Bishop Gerber Science Center offers more study spaces for students.

“The Perspectives course has outgrown our previous meeting space, but the Bishop Gerber Science Center allows us to continue to welcome students who are interested in the course while also enhancing the students’ experience in the subject,” Walker said. “Having the tools available in the classroom to create a rich and immersive learning experience is what it’s all about.”

But there are many more elements that make up the student experience, he said. In addition to having beautiful architectural and design elements, Walker describes the building as being “bright, open and welcoming, with meeting and gathering areas incorporated throughout.”

“I think students will really appreciate how their experience and use of the space was a guiding force in the planning and design of what the Bishop Gerber Science Center is today,” he added. “The building is an (example) of what is possible when wonderfully diverse communities stand in solidarity and commit to the advancement of our Mission and are guided by the wisdom of our sponsors, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.”