Excellence in Teaching and Learning
“Our focus was on how we can tackle an oil spill efficiently, find it in its nascent state and contain the damage.”
In a matter of minutes, marine oil spills can do lasting damage. With a Society of Physics (SPS) Chapter Research Award, a team of Saint Peter’s University student researchers experimented with technologies that have the potential to mitigate or prevent oil spill disasters like Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
“Mistakes happen,” said Sabin Pradhan ’17, who co-led the team with Prajwal Niraula ’15. “Our focus was on how we can tackle an oil spill efficiently, find it in its nascent state and contain the damage.”
The team, mentored by Assistant Professor of Physics Debing Zeng, Ph.D., designed an experiment to test the visibility of oil in water using a thermal infrared camera and an optical spectrometer and lasers to remotely measure the depth of an oil spill. Advancing remote technologies is significant, according to the paper Pradhan and Niraula published in The SPS Observer because “they could detect early failures in equipment and inform response teams about the best course of action.”
From TriBeta grants for biology research to a University-wide academic symposium showcasing findings from the social sciences, sciences and humanities, Saint Peter’s undergraduates have ample opportunity to investigate academic areas of interest, work alongside a faculty member or advisor and demonstrate their capabilities to admissions committees at top graduate schools and prospective employers.
Pathways to Distinction calls on the University community to raise the academic bar even higher. With infrastructure and programs established in the previous strategic plan, VISION 2015, the new plan is tailored to unleash the full potential of the people of Saint Peter’s and the communities it serves. Initiatives are designed to enhance student success, grow professional development opportunities for faculty and continue to innovate academic programs that prepare graduates for lives of purpose and positive consequence.
Dr. Zeng, who has mentored undergraduate researchers in their freshman year, thinks that’s a good thing. “It’s important to go beyond the course material,” he said. “Involving students gets them interested in the discipline and it’s beneficial for jobs and graduate school.”
Pathways to Distinction
Pathways to Distinction grew from the success of VISION 2015: The Strategic Plan for Saint Peter’s University 2010–2015. University status, expanded degree programs, including Saint Peter’s first doctoral programs in education and nursing, and renovated academic facilities, as well as the construction of the Mac Mahon Student Center, are the catalysts for future growth, innovation and excellence.
Pathways to Distinction is a student-focused strategic plan. Advancing excellence in teaching, learning and research at the University will prepare distinctive graduates who exceed expectations and are well prepared to make significant contributions to their professions and communities.
Five academic goals will further excellence at Saint Peters:
- Recruit and retain a diverse, talented student body
- Recruit and retain outstanding faculty
- Increase student success through high impact teaching, experiential learning, advising and career preparedness
- Improve student learning experiences to enhance outcomes and engagement
- Enhance curriculum through innovation to respond to student needs and changing market demands