- Written by Clayton Crockett, Legacy Magazine
Professor Steven Barker is a curious, if strange, man. And he does little to hide it, if he does so at all.
With 28 years of work at the University behind him, this particular afternoon sees Barker smiling comfortably from the worn-in furniture in his office, his open-wide blue eyes betraying an eagerness to explain himself.
There is much explaining to do.
Every surface of his office in the Veterinary Science Building is bespattered by his youthful inquisitiveness with strange and intriguing curios. A large, marble mortar and pestle glows in the windowsill; a dusty three-dimensional model of a DNA molecule rests in the corner; awards and accolades adorn the homey wooden walls, which surround two exceedingly homey sofas; and atop his desk sits a cylinder from an outdated mass spectrometer — an intimidating device whose mystery is only exceeded by its price.
Though it looks like it would shrink one's family or churn out superheroes with the flip of a switch, it is used to detect chemicals in focused samples, or quadrupoles.
"Pretty fancy stuff," Barker laughed, and with a price tag that set the University back nearly $400,000 15 years ago, a dash of facetiousness doesn't hurt.