Theodore D. Filteau, 1967 – 2000
Professor of Biology and department chairman
I came to the college, fresh out of Graduate school in 1967, the year of the first graduating class. Those first years of the college were a very exciting time for students and faculty. The collegiality that developed made for a stimulating academic environment. The unique opportunity to contribute to the development of a new college was recognized by all the participants. A Curriculum development grant enabled a unique auto tutorial biology program to be developed. The planning of the Biology laboratories for the new campus was heavily influenced by this program.
The Biology Club (Darwinian Society) was very active during the 70s and students took advantage of the woodlands on campus to develop a magnificent nature trail. This trail was used for enjoyment as well as a laboratory. Many weekend field trips were a part of the Darwinian experience. During this time another curriculum development grant for the biological sciences (written by myself and Professor Trinchero), allowed release time for members of the biology department to pursue further graduate studies, develop new curricula, and build a laboratory greenhouse.
Unfortunately, college tuition was rising steadily during the eighties and nineties and students were unable to continue participation in extracurricular activities like the Darwinian society. In order to continue to provide field experiences, an interdisciplinary course on the Biology, History and Culture of the Caribbean which included a field trip to one of the Islands was developed. It was an opportunity for students to integrate learning from several disciplines as well as a field experience. During this time, adjunct faculty played a larger role in teaching some of the biology course. Curriculum coordination became more difficult and some innovative instructional practices were abandoned for more traditional methods of instruction. However, no matter what the method, teaching was always exciting to me and I look back on my 33 years at the college with great satisfaction.