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Early in the planning phases, EKU administrators chose the Project Shepherd Model for the design and construction of the New Science Building. In this model, high value is placed on faculty input. Dr. Malcolm Frisbie was selected to take the lead and is affectionately known as the Project Shepherd.

What does being part of the building process mean to you?

The Phase I building is already working very well for students in Chemistry, Physics, and Science education. Phase II will work just as well for students in Biology and Geosciences. And that’s because EKU, the state, and the design team all embraced this idea of bringing faculty and staff into the process. On the EKU side of things, faculty and staff have been absolutely wonderful about offering up their time, energy, and brainpower.

Lots of people have put an awful lot of thought and work into this building even though they already had full time jobs. Again and again, faculty and staff have said, “This is my chance to help make this building better” and they have stepped up to the plate. EKU really is a special place. When push comes to shove, we do focus on furthering the mission of the university. I don’t think many places can make that claim with a straight face.

What is your favorite memory teaching at EKU?

There are lots of small moments that bring me smiles when I think back on them. Early in my career, I regularly took students for an all day trip to the Red River Gorge. I was struck by the number of students who had never been there and were sure we had gone to the edge of the earth. Most found the area beautiful and interesting. Those trips were always satisfying for me, thinking that perhaps some of those students would pay just a little more attention, and appreciate perhaps just a little bit more deeply, the natural world.

What are your areas of interest?

I like to think about how organisms deal physiologically with their physical environment. Over the last couple of years, Dr. Wally Borowski and I have worked with 7th graders to investigate some of the chemical parameters and fauna in Tates Creek. — a “get the kids involved in science” endeavor. It has been fun to see those young students finding things for the first time that they had no idea existed in a stream that starts in town, not far from where they live.

What do you enjoy most about being in the classroom?

I really feed on interaction with students. Many students are afraid of science, or think they don’t like science, or both. Science is fascinating. I have fun talking with students about the natural world and helping them explore new things.

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