Life as a Hawk

Official blog of the Xaverian Hawk


Interview With Ryan Howard, Science Teacher

Editor’s Note: Ryan Howard, Science Teacher sat down with Assistant Director of Admissions Kevin Loftus to talk about  the new schoolyear, and some great events produced by the Science Department.

Kevin Loftus (KL) : I’m here with Ryan Howard, Science Teacher here at Xaverian. Mr. Howard, how long have you been a member of the Xaverian community?

Mr. Howard helping a student after school

Ryan Howard (RH) : I came to Xaverian in 2002, upon the completion of my master’s degree in chemistry from Boston College.

KL: Has a lot changed since then?

RH: Yes! The science department has worked hard to improve our curriculum, and increase the amount of technology in our labs. The Vernier digital probes have really enhanced our lab curriculum.

KL: How about the students? Have they changed at all?

RH: I’m amazed at the passion many students have for science. That’s why we started the Science Lecture Series.

KL: What is the Science Lecture Series all about?

RH: The goal is to show our students the exciting things that are happening in the world of science.  These aren’t career talks, they’re research based lectures.  It’s important for students to hear that people outside Xaverian share their enthusiasm for science.

KL: How long has the Science Lecture Series been going on?

RH: Well our first lecture was by Dr. Brian Wecht of MIT in 2006.  He did a lecture on string theory. His talk was so successful that we decided expand the program to a full series. Now we have three lectures a year.

KL: So who attends these lectures?

RH: All students can attend the lectures. Seniors get the most out of them because they’ve taken more science classes, but anyone can attend.

KL: Are the lectures open to the public as well?

RH: Yes, anyone is welcome to attend. General public will need to check in at the main office.  If anyone has questions about the science lectures they should contact Mr. Tassinari.

KL: What notable speakers have you had in the past?

The Xaverian Science Lecture Series drew a crowd last year

RH: The strength of the program is the diversity of the speakers and their topics.  Last year we had Tim Crowley, who coaches world class triathletes, discuss the use of technology in training.  We also had Dr. Joyce Sackey, Dean for Multicultural Affairs and Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine discuss medical service trips in Africa.  We’ve also had lectures about financing pharmaceutical research, and also the use of robots in science.

KL: So what do you have planned for this year?

RH: Mr. Tassinari has been planning this year’s lecture series.  He has lined up three speakers: Dr. Mark Vesligaj, Dr. John Graham McCoy and Dr. Dennis Bernal

KL: When is the first lecture?

RH: The first one is Thursday, October 14th at 1:50 PM in the theater.  Dr. Mark Vesligaj of Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, CT is the speaker.

KL: And what is the lecture about?

RH: Dr. Vesligaj is going to talk about Engineering and Medical Collaboration. His talk will highlight the importance of two different fields of science working together to solve a problem. More specifically, engineers and doctors combining their efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment for patients with Hemodialysis.

KL: Sounds interesting, I’ll see you on the 14th!