Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Graduating with a science major from Benedictine University has always carried with it the assurance that students were provided opportunities for experiential learning that are not found at every institution of higher education. We take this very seriously and have always worked hard to provide hands-on training that cannot be duplicated online or in a textbook alone. Our graduates are known for their laboratory skills and first-hand appreciation of the realities of scientific exploration.
To maintain this quality of service, a number of our laboratory and other experiential opportunities have learning outcomes that require face-to-face instruction and experience that cannot be replicated online or at individual homes. These often include gaining real-world experience using state-of-art equipment, require special laboratory safety measures, or are defined by personal interactions, as with clinical practica. The University takes pride in its standing in our community as an institution dedicated to providing robust experiential learning opportunities in the sciences and related fields.
The College of Science at Benedictine University will continue to provide these opportunities while simultaneously instituting additional safety protocols and practices that allow us to continue to achieve the learning objectives of these courses. In addition to adhering to the highest laboratory safety protocols and conditions,
Faculty are also working diligently to limit the time and occasions requiring in-person instruction and experiences. In most cases, labs exercises are being revised when possible to achieve some learning outcomes online or through at-home exercises. The number and length of any in-person lab work is being reduced to those experiences that are required, resulting in fewer and shorter lab periods. In the event that a student becomes ill or needs to self-quarantine for a brief period, arrangements are being made to make-up work missed. We are doing everything possible to provide these opportunities to our students while doing everything we can to minimize risk.
We understand the concerns that the Covid-19 pandemic has raised, and that everyone must decide what is acceptable risk for them individually. If you are not comfortable participating in a face-to-face lab at this time, we want you to know that we are making plans to offer additional lab sections for those who need them once public health conditions change.
If you would like more detailed advice about how to manage the upcoming semester, please discuss alternatives with your advisor. If you were planning to graduate soon and cannot participate in a required face-to-face lab, contact the department chair of your degree program to consider alternatives.
William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science
Grace M. Mirsky, Ph.D. earned her B.S. in Computer Science from Benedictine University and her B.S. in Computer Engineering from IIT the same year. She went on to earn her M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Dr. Mirsky worked at Northrop Grumman Corporation before joining the faculty at Benedictine as Assistant Professor of Computer Science. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she conducts research with undergraduate students in the areas of machine learning, computer vision and robotics. She has co-authored 19 conference and journal papers as well as two book chapters. Inspired by her father’s strong support of achieving her goals, Mirsky has sought to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) throughout her career. In 2003, she participated in the Benedictine University mentoring program, which helped teach eighth grade girls about math and science. While interning at Argonne National Lab in 2003 and 2004, Mirsky volunteered for Introduce the Girl to Engineering Day, a program designed to encourage girls to develop an interest in STEM. In 2008, she served as an instructor in Northwestern University’s Summer Technology and Engineering Program, which introduced junior high girls to engineering through a variety of hands-on projects. During her time at Northrop Grumman from 2009-2014, she informally mentored a number of junior female engineers and interns. In 2017, Mirsky received an unrestricted gift from Google to create a summer robotics camp for junior high girls to introduce them to computer science. This camp, held at Benedictine University in June 2017, involved 27 sixth to eighth grade girls from seven different area schools.
What our students say...
"Benedictine University College of Science fosters growth between me and my professors, as well as the challenging curriculum which would help me be successful in medical school. I thoroughly enjoy and am appreciative of the vast opportunities available for me. Not only are the professors helpful, they are caring and are more than willing to guide students. Furthermore, it is easy as pie to gain research experience due to the wide-variety of options available."
The Benedictine Benefit