September 15, 2011

Emmanuel Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Emmanuel Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education

By Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Boston | Most science professors would be dismayed if their college offered them a tiny closet as their designated research space. Josef Kurtz was excited.

When he started working at Emmanuel College here, in 2003, Mr. Kurtz set up his biology lab in a retrofitted closet. The triangular space was so small, he remembers, that when he or one of the two students working with him had to use the bathroom, the others would have to file out to let that person through. They called it the "Research Triangle."

To Mr. Kurtz, now an associate professor at the college, that tiny lab space was the sign of good things to come. He told his friends that the difference between working for a big university and working for Emmanuel was the difference between working for Microsoft or GE and working for a start-up. When he came here, Mr. Kurtz says, there was a sense on campus that the place wouldn't be the same in five years.

That sense proved true. Emmanuel, a Roman Catholic liberal-arts college with about 2,300 undergraduates, has made the most of its location in a biomedical hub, largely through a partnership with the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company, to create opportunities for faculty and students in the sciences.

Today, Mr. Kurtz does his research in a gleaming new science building he was able to help design. He co-chairs the biology department and the chemistry-and-physics department, both of which are growing. And he is at the center of Emmanuel's efforts to position itself as a destination for students who are interested in biomedicine but also want the kind of individual attention that's possible when they are the only research assistants their professors have.... Continue Article »