Dean's Welcome: Fall 2022

photo of Chris Makaroff

Welcome, Class of 2026  to Miami University and the College of Arts and Science (CAS).  This fall, you are among 4,182 new students on our campus, including 1,673 students in CAS. As dean of CAS, it is my honor and pleasure to welcome you as the newest members of the Miami community.

This fall marks the beginning of another academic year in which we are confronting the challenges of COVID-19. Thanks in no small part to our student contact tracers within the Public Health Program, we have had significant success in minimizing its impact here on our campus. I am happy to say that there is no universal mask requirement at this time—though our approach may change if our community experiences a spike in illness among faculty, staff, or students.

However, we do ask that you show courtesy—and embody Miami’s spirit of love and honor—by complying with an individual’s request to wear a mask in their space (e.g. in a classroom, lab, residence hall room, office, etc.). Be sure to get the latest updates on Miami’s response to the pandemic by visiting this website

As you probably know, CAS is Miami University’s largest division and academic centerpiece for the natural and biological sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Among our 11 theme areas we currently offer 60 majors, dozens of minors, and 9 co-majors, from American studies to zoology. This rich diversity of rigorous academic programs and experiences will provide you opportunities to build your critical thinking and communication skills, cultivate intellect and creativity, and help you develop empathy and the sense of working for the common good. All of these are key building blocks to a successful and rewarding career in our ever-changing, globally minded workforce.

In CAS, you will study with nationally and internationally recognized scholars,  researchers and teachers who are committed to academic excellence and to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals. Every student counts, and the personal interaction between faculty and students is a true hallmark of the Miami experience—elevating Miami to national recognition.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices and opportunities that lay before you, but you are never alone. I strongly encourage you to explore our numerous programs, both within and outside the classroom, to determine which of them work best for you. And to help you make the most of your options, make sure to check out the CAS Advising website and reach out to your CAS academic advisor if you have not yet done so.

Rest assured that your CAS education, no matter what major you choose, has never been more valuable than now. You will gain broad perspectives and problem solving skills in the context of a dynamic world—something you cannot get from a more discipline-focused course of study. Your CAS degree will not only provide you the foundation for a rich and rewarding life, but it will also help prepare you for a long and successful career. 

As you navigate your journey of discovery here at CAS, I urge you to develop your own personal “cognitive toolkit” by:

  • Challenging your thinking in new ways by taking a class or two outside your chosen major
  • Immersing yourself in another culture with Miami's popular study abroad and away programs
  • Applying and enhancing your analytical skills in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor
  • Gaining professional competencies through internships and other experiential types of learning
  • Taking on a leadership role in a student organization, residence hall, or fraternity/sorority 

When you engage yourself in these rich academic and extracurricular experiences, your life will be impacted in positive and memorable ways. 

Regardless of how you embark on your new academic experiences this semester, I hope you find it to be an amazing journey of discovery and achievement that will help prepare you to navigate and interpret our vast and vibrant world. Avail yourself to everything that Miami provides, and get involved!

I wish you the best in your first of four great years at Miami. 

With Love and Honor,

Chris Makaroff, PhD
Professor of Chemistry and Dean
College of Arts & Science
Miami University