With the official start of spring less than two weeks away, students across Arizona and the nation are making decisions about where they will pursue their undergraduate or graduate studies. To make that selection easier, Forbes has picked the best college or university in every state. I am proud to share that the University of Arizona made the list. Forbes noted the UA's reputation in physical sciences and health programs, as well as its emphasis on "giving students real-world experience in their area of study to better prepare them for the workforce."
For students preparing to be physicians, that real-world experience culminates with a residency. Every year on Match Day, which falls on March 18 this year, medical students throughout the nation find out where they will spend the next several years as residents. Match Day will include the members of the Class of 2016 at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. This is an important step in the professional life of new physicians and I am incredibly proud of the UA's strong record. For example, while the College of Medicine – Phoenix opened its doors relatively recently it has matched 100 percent of its graduates and half of them have gone into primary care disciplines, an area of major need in Arizona. The college also is on pace to achieve full accreditation by early 2018, ensuring that it will continue to serve the state for many years to come.
March also brings another annual event that is special for the UA: the Tucson Festival of Books, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday on the UA campus. The event draws thousands of families and visitors from across the U.S., giving them a chance to immerse themselves in reading, learning, and exploration while engaging with UA faculty, scholars, and scientists.
Finally, I would like to share two stories that only the UA can tell:
UA researchers are taking a closer look at one of the Southwest's most iconic figures – the beloved saguaro. They are especially interested in the crested saguaro and the genetic variations that make this succulent so unique.
Some fascinating research that is making national news is based in part on records from the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the UA, which is credited with founding dendrochronology. A team led by a UA professor used tree-ring records from the Florida Keys, ship logs detailing traffic between Spain and the Caribbean, and a book published for treasure hunters to link shipwrecks and hurricane activity during the Golden Age of Piracy. You can learn more about the research by reading this article in The Washington Post.
Thank you for your continued support, and best wishes.
The arrival of the 21st century brought unprecedented amounts of data – and new challenges related to information management, data utilization and individual rights. To address these concerns and explore the new opportunities they present, the UA School of Information has launched the Center for Digital Society and Data Studies. Through the center, top digital information experts from across the university will work to bridge disciplinary, geographical, methodological and paradigmatic divides in this new era of big data.
The UA's Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center has trained more than 6,500 public health professionals in emergency preparedness since 2005. Now, with a $1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, those efforts will be expanded to include public health responders in Native American communities. The Mountain West center, part of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is one of 14 such centers across the nation.
The UA is extending its reach in the center of Tucson – literally and figuratively. One example is the Sustainable City Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration among the UA's Institute of the Environment, the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. From its physical location downtown, the project helps develop community-based solutions to urban challenges by connecting UA expertise and opportunities with governments, nonprofits and local, regional and global communities.