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Science Convocation 2020- Dean Morton

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College of Science Dean Sally C. Morton welcomes students to the Fall 2020 semester and new academic year.
[Sally Morton] Good morning. I'm Dr. Sally Morton, Dean of the College Science at Virginia Tech, welcome. My scientific career has been focused on the use of statistics and data science in health. Research to help patients make better decisions about their health care. Studies on preventing the spread of Coronavirus have shown that non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying physically distant, staying away from large crowds, and staying home if you are sick, can reduce infection rates. I know everyone listening to me right now wants the Virginia Tech college experience to be in-person as much as possible. We do too. The science does show if we take precautions, such as wearing a mask, we have a much better chance of achieving that. At Virginia Tech, just as in the College of Science, we spent the time since commencement in May, preparing for your arrival. Yes. It's a different environment on campus this fall. The coronavirus has required us to be innovative and to develop new teaching techniques so that we can ensure we deliver the educational experience, that you, all Hokies, expect. In a larger sense, the past six months have shown how essential science is. now more than ever. Scientists in our college developed an FDA approved test for the virus. In fact, if you checked into our residence halls, you took that test. Other scientists in our college use 3D printing to develop swabs to be used in virus testing. Our data science experience in modeling the transmission has been quoted in news outlets across the country. 2020 is a remarkable time to be a scientist. The country and the world need us. They need you. I've said it to our faculty and our staff all summer, and I'll say it to you now, The health and safety of our students, our faculty, our staff, and our community are paramount. Please stay safe and help keep others safe. Thank you. Welcome to Virginia Tech and Go Hokies!