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Chair's Note

Newsletter issue:
People:
David J. Perkel

Dear Friends of UW Biology,

Welcome back to Autumn quarter, one unlike any that we have ever experienced. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of our courses are taking place remotely, with just a handful of lab courses operating with limited in-person activities. We miss the bustling energy of the students, faculty, and staff in our Life Sciences Building. Despite the challenging circumstances, UW Biology is dedicated to supporting our students. Instructors have spent substantial effort to adapt to this new learning environment, and we recognize that it is a huge adaptation for students and staff members as well as the faculty. It is critical that we remain vigilant in all of our efforts to help contain the coronavirus, including: washing our hands; maintaining social distance; and wearing facemasks while indoors or near others. Thank you all for continuing to do your part to keep the virus at bay.

In the wake of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others, the country is going through a reckoning on inequity, racism and police brutality. We acknowledge that our history as a public university is part of a system that has caused harm to historically marginalized communities. Here at UW Biology, we are redoubling our efforts to root out practices that lead to racially disparate outcomes. We encourage you to join us in taking responsibility and taking action by participating in anti-racist activities through the department or through other venues.

We have an amazing community of students, faculty, and staff here at UW Biology and I am grateful to be a part of it. Here's to a great quarter with you all.

Sincerely,

David Perkel

Professor and Chair, Department of Biology