University Science Club offers community and learning to current and retired faculty

Colorado State University is well known for its research, impressive faculty, and groundbreaking scientific achievements. With so much research completed at the university over the span of many decades, keeping up with CSU’s latest achievements is a challenge.

For faculty, the solution is through joining the University Science Club. The science club acts as a center for the exchange of ideas and helps current and emeritus faculty stay updated on CSU’s latest research projects.

The University Science Club provides individuals deeply devoted to STEM an opportunity to stay engaged and connected to the university, as well as allows those who have advanced many parts of CSU’s curriculum and academic diversity the opportunity to follow the growth of what they helped create.

“We cover a huge variety of topics,” said James (Jim) Bamburg, the current secretary treasurer of the University Science Club and emeritus professor from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “We try to keep faculty up to date on what are the latest things going on at CSU.”

Nearly a century of building scientific community

The University Science Club has been around for nearly a century, and since its inception in 1923, the club has undergone many transformations.

The original intent “was for both active faculty and faculty that were becoming emeritus or retiring to keep in touch with the university,” said Bamburg.

Originally called The Men’s Science Club, women now account for roughly 25% of the group.

Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has transitioned to function virtually. Although virtual meetings are never as good as the real thing, they do provide some benefits. Bamburg explained that the club has been able to integrate presentations with experts from other institutions about topics not traditionally studied at CSU.

Building relationships through STEM

Bamburg noted that there are two parts to the science club that he has enjoyed. First the comradery, meeting together with colleagues and peers, getting a drink at the bar or sitting around to chat have all meant a lot to him. Bamburg has a lot of friends who are members of the club and has made many more connections through the club as well.

Bamburg also appreciates hearing and learning from talks given by other people studying topics he vaguely understood or had heard about previously.

Bryan Wilson, director of the CSU Energy Institute recently presented to the club about CSU’s title as one of the five Smithsonian Centers of Innovation, an award granted specifically for its progress in energy innovation. Bamburg said that this was only one of many talks that enlightened him on topics he knew little about and said “I have learned a lot of stuff that I think is very interesting.”

Bamburg stressed that “when you retire from CSU you don’t have to detach from everything going on at the university.”

The club is open to all faculty, both current and retired, and can serve as a place for building professional relationships, making friends and furthering STEM knowledge even post-retirement.