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"Local Edition" interview of Dr. Dawn Neuman(transcript)

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Bella Shaw

Welcome to Local Edition, I'm Bella Shaw.
She was a plant physiologist who worked on plant responses to the environment. She took a complete left-turn and ended up as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with CSU Channel Islands. None other than Dr. Dawn Neuman. She's only been in that position for nine months and we have her here on Local Edition. Welcome.

Dawn Neuman

Why, thank you.

Bella Shaw

You're here, from UNLV to Channel Islands and you're here to talk about the importance of promoting the Sciences. And they have a very robust science department there, don't they?

Dawn Neuman

I am, I am. This is, um...I'm very fortunate to be at a very new and exciting university that's braving a lot of new territory and we've over the last year or so have decided that focusing on the Sciences is one of our campus initiatives. We have a fabulous President, Dr. Rush And he's the one that's leading the charge in many ways and I'm very fortunate and glad to be there. Big change for me.

Bella Shaw

And exciting times too. They have some park land now that can be used to study the environment there at the campus, and you're going to be part of that.

Dawn Neuman

That's right. We offer the full range of the sciences, but we're particularly excited about these transferred park lands where that could be part of our Environmental Studies and Resource Management Programs. So we're very, very interested in promoting the sciences and the sciences are a great place to be.

Bella Shaw

Sciences come into play in so many ways throughout our day but we don't think about it do we?

Dawn Neuman

No, not at all. And actually, if you think about it everyday we face decisions that come out of the sciences. But, what happens, is alot of the individuals who make the decisions that affect our lives aren't scientists themselves. So having an educated population that is informed about the sciences and understand the language of it is very important. And that's one of the reasons you promote the sciences.

Bella Shaw

We need them.

Dawn Neuman

We do.

Bella Shaw

To become decision makers and everyday tasks, don't we need science?

Dawn Neuman

That's right, that's right.

Bella Shaw

And how's your math background? The same? or did you love mathematics?

Dawn Neuman

I did, actually. I really did, speaking the language of mathematics. Actually, many biologists, the finest biologists are often physicists first. Physics people will always, you know, these are the laws of the universe and you can apply them towards the sciences to understand how things work. And that's what we're interested in... understanding how things work. And you know, when you think about it, is that, having a strong scientific enterprise is one of those things that's good for the United States, good for the region, and importantly it provides a very educated population who is able to discuss the sciences, and this is a very exciting thing for us. And this part of the qualities of an informed citizen.

Bella Shaw

So here you were at UNLV and you arrive at this campus and what was your first thought when you walked into the science building there, and met with some of the students? Here she is, Dr. Dawn Neuman!

Dawn Neuman

I thought it was really exciting. I'm a big fan of the sciences, and here I'm surrounded by all these young adults. And, you know, they're heading out into the world to choose their careers and to basically do important things with their lives and they're looking at you, and they're thinking: "Is science the right place for me?" And so our job a lot of times is even if you don't become a professional scientist like I became a professional scientist what you can do is you can involve yourself in the field and know about it and contribute to the kinds of things that inform our world.

For instance: Whether you smoke, how you eat, the decisions you make environmental, the status of the environment. all of those things pertain to the sciences. And so our goal is to have an educated population. So at Channel Islands we focus very much on the whole person. We're very interested in that and we're creating an environment that is an exciting place. It's exciting to go there, it's exciting to be on campus, and the place is absolutely beautiful. So if your listeners haven't been out there, they should go take a drive through the place. It's just, it's just beautiful.

Bella Shaw

And as a Provost, you're in essence sort-of a mayor and goodwill ambassador.

Dawn Neuman

That's right, I am.

Bella Shaw

I think you're filling that role pretty well.

Dawn Neuman

I am, and I'm very excited and I, the role is exciting to me and I'm working hard at it.

Bella Shaw

Dr. Dawn Neumann, the new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at CSU Channel Islands. Thank you so much for joining us here on Local Edition
I'm Bella Shaw. We'll see you next time.

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