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Intellect

Life Sciences Dean: Work is exciting when I see students understanding something for the first time

'Cougar Queries' Profile on Dean of the College of Life Sciences Rodney Brown

Name: Rodney Brown
BYU employee since: July 2005
My job at BYU is? Dean of the College of Life Sciences

I get most excited about my work when... I see the excitement in students as they understand something for the first time. For example, I taught a freshman seminar called A Testimony of God: Science and the Wonders of Creation for several years. Every day I watched the lights come on for people as they grasped remarkable ideas for the first time.


The best advice I've ever gotten about teaching is... that great teaching is the result of caring about students. No teaching technique or method comes close to doing as much good as caring about students does.

The best-kept BYU secret is... the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. Everyone should visit there at least once.

The title of my autobiography would be... What A Life! because my wife Sandy and I have done so many things, had so many experiences, been so many places, etc. that we could never have imagined when we started. I dream about one day spending all day with my wife, doing whatever we want to do!

My advice to incoming freshman is... to work hard and learn all you can learn at BYU. To do well here you will have to study more than you did in high school. Your classes here are full of people who are all good students. Then I would add one more suggestion. Take the hardest classes available. If there are two versions of the same topic-take the harder one. This will lift you from the "what happened" level to the "why it happened" level. Once you are there, the following classes will be more interesting and so will your future.

I'm currently reading... I?m currently reading Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon and Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

My advice to graduating seniors is... to realize that wherever you go from here, you are beginning again. You have been blessed with wonderful opportunities, not the least of which is your BYU education. You have a solid foundation to build upon. Now is the time to start building. Finally, please remember the things that are infinitely more important than everything else.

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Cougar Queries is a series profiling BYU employees by asking them a few simple questions about their work, interests and life. Know of another Cougar we should feature? Email Emily Hellewell.

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