Biology Department Mission and Vision Statements

Mission

The biology department at Westfield State University fosters the development of the scientific skills students need to address the challenges facing society in the 21st century, from climate change, to emerging diseases, to social justice. 

We aim to provide our students with a broad foundation in the fundamental areas of biology, while also assisting them in their pursuit of advanced knowledge and skills in one or more sub-disciplines via courses, internships, and research opportunities. Our faculty strive to create an inclusive and active learning environment by applying a variety of pedagogical approaches that focus on student centered learning.

Vision

The vision of the Biology department at WSU is to prepare students of all backgrounds for a career in STEM fields by creating an inclusive, equitable learning environment that fosters student self-efficacy through exposure to content and research.

Overview of the Biology Department

Westfield State University is ideally situated on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. The campus is surrounded by natural environments that serve as outdoor laboratories for our students in the sciences. Wilderness areas, rivers, streams, mountains and an abundance of forest lands are all within a short distance of campus, some even within walking distance. Hiking, canoeing, and ski areas are minutes away, yet the campus is in close proximity to the thriving cultural centers of Springfield, Northampton, and Amherst, and is less than two hours from both Boston and Albany.

The Biology Department offers a collegial work environment where classes are small and faculty are accessible, knowledgeable and excited about what they do. Research is required of all biology majors, and many of our students present their research at regional and national conferences. Collaboration with other departments on projects, studying and doing research in other countries, and working independently on research that you are passionate about are all encouraged.

The Department is proud to host the Westfield River Environmental Center. The goal of the Center is to bring together students, faculty, surrounding K-12 schools, community members, and local organizations to better understand the interactions between people and the environment of the Westfield River Watershed. The Environmental Center serves as a conduit for faculty to involve students in fieldwork and research in the environment.