Convocation Speakers

Convocation speaker

The Convocation speaker will be announced soon!

Student speaker

The College of Science is pleased to have the opportunity for one of our graduates speak at Convocation to represent their experience and deliver an inspiring message to all students in attendance.  All undergraduate students graduating in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020 are invited to submit a written speech to be considered for the 2020 Convocation Student Speaker.

Here are some guidelines for a successful submission:

  • Your speech should be around 3 – 4 minutes (500-700 words).
  • Have a clear story, theme, or message.
  • Talk about your future and how your experience in the College of Science helped to shape it.
  • Be authentic and positive.
  • You must be comfortable speaking in front of several thousand people during the College of Science Convocation on Thursday, April 30 at 9 am at the Huntsman Arena.

Please submit your speech by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. Speech submissions should contain your full name, UNID, and major.

Students chosen to audition with the College of Science convocation committee will be contacted to arrange a time during the week of March 23-27. The committee will then choose the winning speaker and notify them by April 1. If you have any questions, please email us.

>> Return to the Convocation page <<

Student FAQ

Student FAQ


Convocation is an opportunity to celebrate your academic accomplishments with your peers, family, friends, and College of Science community. This page contains useful information for graduation day.

Convocation Procedure
  • All candidates for degrees will line up outside the Huntsman Event Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. Although convocation does not begin until 9:00 am, students will begin marching in at 8:10 am.
  • A reader card will be given to you when you arrive at convocation. Printing legibly, fill out ALL sections of the card (front & back) and bring it with you to the reader table. These cards are to provide your information to the faculty announcing the student names.  They also assist the professional photographer in the process of identifying student photos for those who wish to purchase pictures.
  • Graduates will file into Huntsman Arena and be directed by the ushers to your seats.
  • During the awarding of diploma cover, you will be directed to a reader table where you will hand the reader your card. As your name is read, walk to the Dean’s reception line, where your photograph will be taken.
  • You will then return to the seating area to await the processional out of Huntsman.
Regalia
  •  All graduates are required to wear the appropriate cap and gown during Convocation. Ribbons or cords may be attached to the robe to denote membership in an officially recognized academic organization or honor society when membership is by nomination and/or election.
  • Regalia may be ordered through the Campus Store.
Photography
  • Graduation photographs may be ordered through Island Photography. You are not obligated to purchase these photographs.
  • Family and friends may take pictures as long as they do not disrupt the ceremony.

Island Photography preorder

Diplomas
  • Diplomas are mailed to graduates from the Office of the Registrar within three months of graduation.
  • If your address, phone number, and/or email address change, update your information immediately in the Campus Information System (CIS). The Registrar will use the most recent address listed in CIS when mailing your diploma.
reception

All graduates and their guests are invited to a reception at the Crocker Science Center, directly after graduation. It is recommended that cars remain parked, as there is very limited parking by the Crocker Science Center. Guests may take campus shuttles from the Huntsman Center to Crocker, or take TRAX west one stop to the Rice Eccles station. It is a short walk from the TRAX station to the Crocker Science Center. Please email events@science.utah.edu if you need parking accommodations close to the Crocker Science Center.

PhD Candidates

The College of Science allows faculty to hood their Ph.D. candidates during the diploma presentation of the convocation ceremony. In order to assure that this process proceeds smoothly, please read these instructions carefully:

Step 1: After the Ph.D. candidate’s name has been read, s/he proceeds to the dean’s reception line to receive the diploma. The hood should be draped over the left arm. Please be sure that the hood is unbuttoned so that it will fit over the graduation cap.

Step 2: As the candidate approaches the dean, the faculty advisor or department chair (if the advisor is not present) will step forward and stand on the candidate’s left side. The dean will be on the candidate’s right side. The dean will give the diploma cover to the candidate, and the candidate should hand the hood to the dean.

Step 3: The dean and the faculty/chair will each take one side of the hood and lower the hood over the candidate’s head from the rear.

Step 4: The candidate shakes hands with the faculty/chair and the dean, and smiles for the photo.

Guest FAQ

The College of Science looks forward to welcoming the family and friends of our graduates. Family members are advised to arrive at the Huntsman Center by 8:15 am.

Parking

Campus parking lots may be used at no charge during Convocation. Families are encouraged to drop off elderly guests and those who cannot walk long distances in the Jon M. Huntsman Center circle before parking their cars. The closest parking to the Jon M. Huntsman Center is directly south in the LDS Institute lot.

There will be no parking at the Rice Eccles Stadium lot during Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

For information regarding guest parking, accessible parking, shuttles, and other transportation related information, please visit the Parking Page.

bag check

The Huntsman Center enforces a clear bag policy. Guests may bring in one clear bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one (1) gallon storage bag. 

If you do not have a clear bag, any belongings brought into Huntsman Center, including diaper bags, will be searched.

Seating

There is open seating for Convocation guests. Please arrive early to ensure a good seat for the ceremony.

Special seating/accomodations

Guests needing ADA access to the Huntsman Center have 2 options: They may have someone drop them off directly in front of the Huntsman center on the circle (accessed from Westbound South Campus Drive only) and then the driver can park at the stadium lot and take the shuttle or TRAX back OR they may park in the stadium lot and ride a campus shuttle to the Huntsman Center. All the shuttles will be lift equipped.

Photography

Official graduation photographs may be ordered through Island Photography. The graduate will receive information from Island Photography on ordering prints.

Family and friends may take pictures as long as they do not disrupt the ceremony. No one is allowed to take photographs in front of the main stage or the Island Photography staging area.

For additional information, check out the University commencement page here.

>> Return to the Convocation page <<

Safety Committees

Safety Video #1

Safety Video #1

Safety Video #1

When Nalini Nadkarni was a young scientist in the 1980s, she wanted to study the canopy – the part of the trees just above the forest floor to the very top branches.

But back then, people hadn't figured out a good way to easily reach the canopy so it was difficult to conduct research in the tree tops. And Nadkarni's graduate school advisors didn't really think studying the canopy was worthwhile. "That's just Tarzan and Jane stuff. You know that's just glamour stuff," Nadkarni remembers advisors telling her. "There's no science up there that you need to do."

They couldn't have been more wrong. Over the course of her career, Nadkarni's work has illuminated the unique and complex world of the forest canopy.

She helped shape our understanding of canopy soils — a type of soil that forms on the tree trunks and branches. The soil is made up of dead canopy plants and animals that decompose in place. The rich soil supports canopy-dwelling plants, insects and microorganisms that live their entire life cycles in the treetops. If the canopy soil falls to the forest floor, the soil joins the nutrient cycles of the whole forest.

She also discovered that some trees are able to grow above-ground roots from their branches and trunks. Much like below ground roots, the aerial roots can transport water and nutrients into the tree.

During Nadkarni's early work as an ecologist she began to realize something else: There weren't many women conducting canopy research.

Nadkarni was determined to change this. In the early 2000s, she and her lab colleagues came up with the idea of TreeTop Barbie, a canopy researcher version of the popular Barbie doll that could be marketed to young girls.

She pitched the idea to Mattel, the company that makes Barbie. "When I proposed this idea they said, 'We're not interested. That has no meaning to us," says Nadkarni. "We make our own Barbies."

Nadkarni decided to make them herself anyway. She thrifted old Barbies; commissioned a tailor to make the clothes for TreeTop Barbie; and she created a TreeTop Barbie field guide to canopy plants. Nadkarni sold the dolls at cost and brought TreeTop Barbie to conferences and lectures.

Her efforts landed her in the pages of The New York Times, and word eventually got back to Mattel. The owners of Barbie wanted her to shut down TreeTop Barbie due to brand infringement.

Nadkarni pushed back.

"Well you know, I know a number of journalists who would be really interested in knowing that Mattel is trying to shut down a small, brown woman who's trying to inspire young girls to go into science," she recalls telling Mattel.

Mattel relented. The company allowed her to continue her small-scale operation. By Nadkarni's count, she sold about 400 dolls over the years.

Then in 2018, more than a decade after Nadkarni started TreeTop Barbie, she got an unbelievable phone call. National Geographic had partnered with Mattel to make a series of Barbies focused on exploration and science. And they wanted Nadkarni to be an advisor.

"I thought, this is incredible. This is like full circle coming around. This is a dream come true," says Nadkarni.

For its part, Mattel is "thrilled to partner with National Geographic and Nalini," a spokesperson told NPR.

Nadkarni knows that everyone might not approve of her working with Barbie. Barbie's role in creating an unrealistic standard of beauty for young women has been debated. Nadkarni has also wrestled with how she feels about it.

"My sense is yes she's a plastic doll. Yes she's configured in all the ways that we should not be thinking of how women should be shaped," says Nadkarni. "But the fact that now there are these explorer Barbies that are being role models for little girls so that they can literally see themselves as a nature photographer, or an astrophysicist, or an entomologist or you know a tree climber... It's never perfect. But I think it's a step forward."

Nadkarni is an Emeritus Professor at The Evergreen State College, and currently is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah.

 

Nalini Nadkarni's story has appeared in The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Taiwan News, News India Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Geographic, The Guardian, Science Friday, San Francisco Chronicle, India Today, India Times, KSL News, Salt Lake Tribune, USA Today, BBC, The Morning Journal, CNN, UNEWS, Star Tribune, National Science Foundation, Continuum, TreeHugger, and many others.

 

 

- First Published by NPR News, Fall 2019

 

Safety Videos

Safety Video #1

Safety Video #1

Safety Video #1

When Nalini Nadkarni was a young scientist in the 1980s, she wanted to study the canopy – the part of the trees just above the forest floor to the very top branches.

But back then, people hadn't figured out a good way to easily reach the canopy so it was difficult to conduct research in the tree tops. And Nadkarni's graduate school advisors didn't really think studying the canopy was worthwhile. "That's just Tarzan and Jane stuff. You know that's just glamour stuff," Nadkarni remembers advisors telling her. "There's no science up there that you need to do."

They couldn't have been more wrong. Over the course of her career, Nadkarni's work has illuminated the unique and complex world of the forest canopy.

She helped shape our understanding of canopy soils — a type of soil that forms on the tree trunks and branches. The soil is made up of dead canopy plants and animals that decompose in place. The rich soil supports canopy-dwelling plants, insects and microorganisms that live their entire life cycles in the treetops. If the canopy soil falls to the forest floor, the soil joins the nutrient cycles of the whole forest.

She also discovered that some trees are able to grow above-ground roots from their branches and trunks. Much like below ground roots, the aerial roots can transport water and nutrients into the tree.

During Nadkarni's early work as an ecologist she began to realize something else: There weren't many women conducting canopy research.

Nadkarni was determined to change this. In the early 2000s, she and her lab colleagues came up with the idea of TreeTop Barbie, a canopy researcher version of the popular Barbie doll that could be marketed to young girls.

She pitched the idea to Mattel, the company that makes Barbie. "When I proposed this idea they said, 'We're not interested. That has no meaning to us," says Nadkarni. "We make our own Barbies."

Nadkarni decided to make them herself anyway. She thrifted old Barbies; commissioned a tailor to make the clothes for TreeTop Barbie; and she created a TreeTop Barbie field guide to canopy plants. Nadkarni sold the dolls at cost and brought TreeTop Barbie to conferences and lectures.

Her efforts landed her in the pages of The New York Times, and word eventually got back to Mattel. The owners of Barbie wanted her to shut down TreeTop Barbie due to brand infringement.

Nadkarni pushed back.

"Well you know, I know a number of journalists who would be really interested in knowing that Mattel is trying to shut down a small, brown woman who's trying to inspire young girls to go into science," she recalls telling Mattel.

Mattel relented. The company allowed her to continue her small-scale operation. By Nadkarni's count, she sold about 400 dolls over the years.

Then in 2018, more than a decade after Nadkarni started TreeTop Barbie, she got an unbelievable phone call. National Geographic had partnered with Mattel to make a series of Barbies focused on exploration and science. And they wanted Nadkarni to be an advisor.

"I thought, this is incredible. This is like full circle coming around. This is a dream come true," says Nadkarni.

For its part, Mattel is "thrilled to partner with National Geographic and Nalini," a spokesperson told NPR.

Nadkarni knows that everyone might not approve of her working with Barbie. Barbie's role in creating an unrealistic standard of beauty for young women has been debated. Nadkarni has also wrestled with how she feels about it.

"My sense is yes she's a plastic doll. Yes she's configured in all the ways that we should not be thinking of how women should be shaped," says Nadkarni. "But the fact that now there are these explorer Barbies that are being role models for little girls so that they can literally see themselves as a nature photographer, or an astrophysicist, or an entomologist or you know a tree climber... It's never perfect. But I think it's a step forward."

Nadkarni is an Emeritus Professor at The Evergreen State College, and currently is a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah.

 

Nalini Nadkarni's story has appeared in The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Taiwan News, News India Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, National Geographic, The Guardian, Science Friday, San Francisco Chronicle, India Today, India Times, KSL News, Salt Lake Tribune, USA Today, BBC, The Morning Journal, CNN, UNEWS, Star Tribune, National Science Foundation, Continuum, TreeHugger, and many others.

 

 

- First Published by NPR News, Fall 2019

 

Beckman Application

Beckman Scholars Application


Application deadline: May 1, 2020, at 6pm MST.

Required from Applicant

  • Research Interest and Eligibility Form: The form will ask for declared major (biology, biochemistry, or chemistry), U.S. citizen or permanent resident status, selected BSP faculty mentor from the list of approved mentors, research area, and career goal statement. Students should also have a minimum 3.5 GPA and be ready to commit to a research project that will last two summer semesters and the entire academic year in between. As such, applicants currently need to be a freshman, sophomore, or junior.
  • In Addition: The applicant must send the following information in a single combined PDF using the filename [last name of application]_BSP2020 to uoubeckmanscholarsprogram@gmail.com.
    • Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum): The CV should include research and work experiences, awards, extracurricular activities.
    • Unofficial Copy of Applicant’s Academic Transcript: Academic information must include full-time student status, minimum 3.5 GPA, coursework.
    • Research Proposal: NSF fellowship format research proposal (2 pages).
    • Short Essay: Students will be given “The Legacy of Arnold O. Beckman” (page 9 of Terms and Conditions) to read and asked to write a 250-word essay explaining which one of Dr. Beckman’s rules they would embody as a UoU Beckman Scholar.

Required from Mentor

  • Letter(s) of Support: One letter is required from a person that can assess the student’s potential for independent research (research mentor); an additional letter is optional. Mentors should submit the letter(s) of support as a PDF to uoubeckmanscholarsprogram@gmail.com.

Upon Award

  • Scholar and Mentor Contracts: If awarded, the scholar commits to performing research during the full duration of the award, to attend the Beckman Symposium in each of the two summers, and to present at the Utah summer undergraduate research symposium in each of the two summers; the selected BSP faculty mentor will sign to verify acceptance of the responsibilities of training and tailoring their Scholar Mentorship Plan to the scholar, if accepted into the program.

 

 

Crocker Science Center

Crocker Science Center


The University of Utah dedicated its new Gary and Ann Crocker Science Center on Friday, launching a host of new facilities, classrooms and laboratories devoted to interdisciplinary science and math instruction.

Led by a $10 million donation from Gary and Ann Crocker, the U. has poured nearly $55 million in state and private funds into overhauling the 83-year-old George Thomas Building on its Salt Lake City campus’ Presidents Circle.

“This modern science hub is ready to serve new generations of students, faculty and staff at the University of Utah,” Henry S. White, dean of the College of Science, said in a written statement. “We are extremely grateful for Gary and Ann’s pioneering support for this building to become a world-class science education and research center on campus.”

School administrators—including new U. President Ruth Watkins—joined Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other elected officials, faith leaders and other dignitaries Friday afternoon for a dedication ceremony and official opening of the research and education building.

In addition to a fully equipped, world-class biotechnology incubator, the newly renovated Crocker Science Center will house new classrooms, support areas and a host of research programs from the U.‘s College of Science.

It will also be home to the Henry Eyring Center for Cell and Genome Science and the U.’s Center for Science and Math Education. The renovated building is part of a flurry of demolitions, construction and upgrades at Utah’s flagship university in recent years.

Improvements at the U. are planned, underway or newly completed at several major sites, including Orson Spencer Hall, renovation of Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House, improved pedestrian accessibility between Rice Eccles Stadium and the S.J. Quinney College of Law, construction of the Shoreline Ridge Garage, and a series of campus-wide improvements to plumbing and other systems.

The Salt Lake Tribune - April 20, 2018

 

 

The Science Campus


South Biology Building

South Physics Building

Skaggs Building

Cowles Building

Fletcher Building

Eyring Building

Widtsoe Building

Thatcher Building