Dr. Patricia Lang, the new Interim Associate Dean for the Honors College, is no stranger to Ball State, where she has been a professor for 30 years, nor to the Honors College. Lang taught Honors science courses, served on the Whitinger selection committee for more than 10 years as a young faculty member, mentored students for their Honors theses, and even took students on a study-abroad trip to Oxford, England for an entire term.
After getting a phone call about the position from Interim Dean of the Honors College Dr. John Emert Lang first considered her own department, the chemistry department.
"My concern was that I would leave [my department] sort of short-handed, so I chatted with our chairperson and thought about how maybe he could get by and what I could still do there, and when I was satisfied that they could cover my teaching assignments and duties and so forth, I told [Dr. Emert] that I would be happy to help," Lang said.
While she will not be teaching this semester, Lang usually teaches a wide range of chemistry classes from introductory chemistry classes to physical chemistry to analytical chemistry. In the past, she taught HONR 296, a course which explored applied chemistry topics.
"As I recall, [in HONR 296] we talked about DNA and those experiments which allow one to determine DNA, we talked about radioactivity and atomic bombs, polymers, and sort of chemistry topics that you might be exposed to."
Lang says that she has known Dr. Emert for years, as they once taught in the same building when the math department and science department both occupied Cooper Science.
“[I] certainly enjoy working with [Dr. Emert]. I thought that would be the easy part, I guess, and learning the job is not as easy."
Lang says that she looks forward to lending a new perspective to the Honors College and offering her 30 years of experience.
"Maybe if there's something that I'd like to do, it would be to help Dr. Emert to have a stronger science presence in the college.” Lang said. “I know that's something that they've wanted to have for a long time, so I hopefully can help with that," Lang said.
Since taking over the position at the start of this school year, Lang says that she has attended the Freshman Honors Convocation in Sursa Hall, the Whitinger brunch, and a lunch the Honors College staff held to welcome her aboard.
Like many of her Honors College colleagues, Lang says that working with students is one of her favorite parts of working at Ball State.
"I love interacting with students, and the Honors College students are so great... I do love the students and I always have. This year, unfortunately, trying to learn the job I won't be teaching and I'll miss that, but I wanted to make sure I was able to do what I needed to do here," Lang said.