I’m thrilled to have received the news that I was awarded Independent Study Leave (sabbatical) for Fall 2011! Although I’ll miss the students while I’m gone, I’m so excited to have the chance to commit uninterrupted time to my research questions. One of the things that is challenging for us profs at small institutions is not having enough time to sit down and THINK about our research. We scramble to find time during the academic year to write grant proposals, and then during the summer we rush to generate as much data as we can before all the craziness starts again in the fall. However, there is little time to fully dive into the literature, to examine new avenues to explore, or to think deeply about new questions and hypotheses to test in the lab. So, I’m excited to get into my lab for full days to run experiments! I’m also excited to travel to some hot laboratories around the country to learn some new techniques that I can bring back to my own lab. And mostly, I’m excited to get the chance to THINK!