About Me

Erick T. Tatro, Ph.D.Erick Tatro

    • From:  Columbus, Ohio, United States
    • Interests: Hiking, tennis, politics, community service
    • Motto: Disciplina in civitatem
    • Website:  http://www.ericktatro.com


Mission Statements and Mottos

The Motto of my most recent institution, University of California San Diego, is Fiat lux, which translates to Let there be light. The phrase is a Biblical metaphor for dispelling ignorance, enlightening, and awakening oneself to the world and universe around and within ourselves. From this motto, I derive a few motivations about our research and my interactions with students. The overarching goal of research is a quest for truth and understanding, to enlighten myself and the world about a specific aspect of science. I try to remember from this motto that mysteries are potential discoveries, to seek the truth in all of our research aims, and that despite the cynical pressures that may steer the path of science toward profit and gain, our mission is to enlighten. With students, I seek out opportunities for enlightenment and turn every moment into a teachable moment. Students and trainees are here to learn and understand, they will apply their personal touch to the knowledge that we help them to create. My job is to expand their sphere of understanding as best I can so that they can go on to bring light to the world around them.

The Motto of my alma mater, The Ohio State University, is Disciplina in civitatem. This translates to Education for Citizenship. These three words carry a lot of weight. Arguably, the weight of Western civilization, as the ancient Greeks understood it. I personally identify most with this motto and carry it with me throughout most of my interactions. The concept of being a Citizen is a powerful one. We are not subjects of a monarch, nor are we drones in a collective. We are individuals that traverse life and interact with one another. We accept a responsibility for ourselves and toward our fellow citizens. Our actions are to make our civilization better for ourselves, our neighbors, and our progeny. I cannot articulate as eloquently as others on the concept of what Citizenship and the Citizen means, but I take it seriously. The motto itself seems to me a Jeffersonian construct of the mission of a public university. By educating it citizens, a community (state, and nation) enlightens and improves its future prospects. It ensures a well-reasoned debate and a best solutions to problems. We were not educated for ourselves, but for our polis, and in this way, we become immortal when our works carry forward to the generations beyond.


The content of this site represents solely my views and opinions. Nothing here represents any organization or institution with which I am affiliated, including past or present employers.

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