William & Mary

ISC Brings New Possibilities for Scientific Learning

  • Integrated Science Center
    Integrated Science Center  Associate Professor of Psychology Pam Hunt expects powerful results for students and faculty research in the labs of the Integrated Science Center.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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What goes through Associate Professor of Psychology Pamela Hunt’s mind whenever she sees William and Mary’s new Integrated Science Center (ISC), which is under construction next to Millington Hall? “Hurry up!” she says with a laugh.

Hunt, who is also associate director of interdisciplinary neuroscience, is excited about the possibilities that the ISC will bring for students and faculty alike. “The new structure is being built for today’s technology, but also with a view for the future that allows it to be modified as technology and programs demand,” Hunt says. “That’s a good vision for the ISC, and the amount of research — as well as quality of research — is going to increase tremendously.”

The $54.3 million facility — $12 million of which must come from private funds — will help integrate the College’s science programs, allowing faculty and students in biology, chemistry and psychology to enjoy increased opportunities for multidisciplinary research. It will also be crucial to the College’s continued efforts to attract and retain the best faculty and students as well as apply for grants from major foundations and agencies.

Hunt, whose interests include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, says that the facility will be much better suited to her research. “Because my new lab in the ISC will be isolated from student traffic and classrooms, it’s going to be much quieter than my current lab. This more controlled environment will make the results all the more powerful,” she says.

The ISC will have powerful results for students, too. Virtually every undergraduate will study there at some point, and for those whose interest in science runs deeper, the results will be particularly rewarding. As such, the ISC project is just one example of how commitments to the College will make a tangible difference in the lives of faculty and students.

“Student education is going to benefit both in terms of labs associated with classes and involvement in faculty research,” Hunt says. “Because we’ll be able to increase our productivity and do more research in better facilities, we’ll be able to have more students involved in research than we have in the past.”