Features Summer 2015

Dean Bosch answers why Science & Mathematics matter on Bison Hill

Why is it important to study science and mathematics?

Whether students are interested in a career in one of the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) or just want to be better in their chosen non-STEM field, studying science and mathematics makes them better prepared for their future and can open doors of opportunity. It makes students smarter consumers, better planners for their future and better citizens if they understand very large numbers, like the national debt, or very small numbers, like DNA evidence.

Why should students come to OBU if they want to pursue science and math?

One obvious reason is class size. “Large” for us is a freshman chemistry class of 45 as opposed to a freshman chemistry class elsewhere of 400 to 500. Second, all of our professors are Christians who are intentional about integrating faith with their discipline. They ask themselves, “What does my faith have to say about this?” as they study the logical and ethical implications in their fields. A third and critical reason is our professors provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their careers following college. We do not have classes taught by teaching assistants, but by fully qualified professors.

What do students learn from an OBU education in the Hurley College of Science and Mathematics?

Simply put, Hurley College students learn how to learn and how to become their own best educators. They learn that knowledge is not compartmentalized into disciplines but is all connected – science with mathematics, with history, with music, with literature, with faith. It’s one thing to be able to solve problems once one knows which formula to apply, but it’s another matter entirely to take a complex situation, determine which information is relevant, which information is irrelevant, which information is missing, and what might be the best approach to solving the problem.

When students graduate with a degree in science or math from OBU, what careers are they prepared to enter?

Some graduates immediately enter careers in education, government agencies, the biotech industry or numerous other fields. For others, an OBU degree is the first stop in a longer educational pathway, whether becoming a medical doctor, a physician assistant, a veterinarian, a pharmacist or earning higher degrees in science to focus on laboratory research. A number of our students use their preparation in mathematics and the sciences as platforms for ministry. Many have come to OBU with a heart for missions or have found that heart while being students here or while participating in OBU GO Trips.

What does the future of science and mathematics hold at OBU?

The increasing role of science and mathematics in society makes our role in educating all OBU students ever more important. In 2015, the MCAT Standards increased the rigor significantly for applicants to medical school. OBU anticipated this change and implemented a “new” biochemistry degree when the changes were first discussed at the national level a decade earlier, thus preparing our students far ahead of the curve. This type of forward thinking from both science and mathematics professors helps prepare our students for their futures.

How will the proposed expansion and renovation of Wood Science Building impact the college?

It will provide much needed space. We have grown significantly and have simply outgrown the capacity for classroom and office space. For the first time, all Hurley College faculty will be able to office in the same building. The renovations will provide our students with new and updated chemistry labs, additional physics lab space and more classroom space for all disciplines.