Dean's Welcome: Fall 2019

photo of Chris MakaroffThis fall, Miami welcomes 4,300 new students to our campus. As Dean of the College of Arts and Science (CAS), it is my honor and pleasure to welcome the Class of 2023: the largest in Miami's 210-year history.

As our newest Miamians, you and your classmates have just begun an amazing journey of discovery and achievement that will help prepare you to navigate and interpret the world around you.

The CAS is Miami University's largest division and academic centerpiece for the liberal arts. Among our 11 theme areas we offer 63 majors, 10 co-majors, and 57 minors, from American studies to zoology. This rich diversity of rigorous academic programs and experiences will provide you opportunities to build your critical thinking and communication skills, cultivate intellect and creativity, and help you develop empathy and sense of working for the common good. All of these are key building blocks to a successful and rewarding career in our ever-changing, globally minded workforce.

In the CAS, you will study with nationally and internationally recognized scholars and researchers who are committed to academic excellence and to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals. Every student counts, and the personal interaction between faculty and students is a true hallmark of the Miami experience—elevating Miami to national recognition as the #3 university in the nation for an "unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching" (U.S. News & World Report) and one of the "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" (Kiplinger's Personal Finance).

A liberal arts education has never been more valuable than now. It provides you with broad perspectives and problem-solving skills in the context of a dynamic world—something you cannot get from a highly disciplined-focused course of study. Your liberal arts degree will not only provide you the foundation for a rich and rewarding life, but also help prepare you for a long and successful career. Employers are looking for applicants who have the "soft skills" enabled by a liberal arts education, and it also has been found that at peak earning ages, graduates of liberal arts disciplines earn more annually (at times significantly) than their peers with professional or pre-professional degrees.

We partner with Miami's Center for Career Exploration and Success to help guide students towards their chosen majors and career fields via career clusters—groupings of common occupations that fall within broad career sectors. Your major does not dictate your career, but career clusters serve as helpful guides to pair your academic interests and strengths with your career interests to start you out on the path to success.

As you navigate your journey of discovery here at the CAS, I urge you to fully develop the cognitive toolkit your liberal arts education provides you by:

  • Challenging your thinking in new ways by taking a class or two outside your chosen major
  • Immersing yourself in another culture with Miami's popular study abroad program
  • Applying and enhancing your analytical skills in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor
  • Gaining professional competencies through internships and other experiential types of learning
  • Taking on a leadership role in a student organization, residence hall, or fraternity/sorority

When you engage yourself in these rich academic and extracurricular experiences, your life will be impacted in positive and memorable ways.

Just get involved in new knowledge, new friendships, new personal discoveries, and whatever appeals to you—especially if it exists beyond your comfort zone. Avail yourself to everything that Miami provides. Doing so will enhance both your contributions to the global community and the ultimate value of your liberal arts education.

I wish you the best in your first of four great years at Miami.

With Love and Honor,

Chris Makaroff, PhD

Professor of Chemistry and Dean
College of Arts & Science
Miami University