Nicholas Giordano, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, is approaching his fifth year at Auburn. The Plainsman interviewed him to find out what these last four years, the time it takes the average student to graduate, have consisted of.
Giordano has been a professor of physics for a number of years, but at Auburn, he not only serves as a physics professor but as a dean as well.
“[I] had to realize what was already being done well and what needed to be strengthened early on and then continue with that in mind,” Giordano said of his early work in the department.
One of Giordano’s main accomplishments during his time in COSAM is doubling the academic advising staff. Giordano stresses wanting students to finish in four years, and he believes advising is key.
“We want to give students as much time as possible to meet with academic advisors because we, as a college, understand its importance,” Giordano said.
Since math and science classes are required for almost every major, Giordano wants COSAM to be a place where not only its students feel at home, but also students of other colleges. COSAM’s facilities have been updated with new classrooms and modern technology due in part to Giordano’s efforts to provide students the best resources for their education.
“We are competing quite well among other very good schools in recruiting faculty,” Giordano said.
Hiring the best possible faculty is what Giordano believes to be “one of the most important things he does” to help students succeed.
“College can take six months or even a full year to adjust to,” Giordano said to incoming freshman. “Give it all a shot. Keep an open mind to after-class activities, but make sure you can keep up with your studies.”
He encourages students to start going to tutoring, supplemental instruction, Study Partners and anything else available. He notes a common problem of waiting until the first bad grade and then playing catch-up all semester.
“Auburn has some of the most devoted alumni. Auburn graduates are so supportive of all of the programs at Auburn, not just sports like at other universities,” Giordano said when comparing Auburn to past institutions where he has been employed. “The Auburn Family is very real.”