First Annual College of Arts and Sciences Fair

Sacred Heart University's CAScon, the College of Arts and Sciences 2017 Conference. Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek/Sacred Heart University.

Sacred Heart University’s CAScon, the College of Arts and Sciences 2017 Conference. Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek/Sacred Heart University.

By Victoria Mescall

Circulation Manager & Staff Reporter

On Wednesday Feb. 8 the Sacred Heart University College of Arts and Sciences held its inaugural Conference.

The College of Arts and Sciences Conference, or CASCon, is a series of presentations held in the University Commons discussing a variety of topics that range from vampires, aquariums and the Bible.

According to the Sacred Heart website, “the conference seeks to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of faculty scholarship and reaffirm the College’s commitment to undergraduate research.”

This is the first annual CASCon.

“CASCon reflects the College of Arts and Sciences’ deep commitment to intellectual inquiry, lifelong learning and social responsibility,” said Dr. Robin Cautin, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on the Sacred Heart website. “This inaugural conference is an important instantiation of our College’s mission, which is founded in both the Liberal Arts and Catholic intellectual traditions.”

The presentations each ran an hour in length and featured three to four professors from different departments across the college.

Each room held a faculty presenter panel and a moderator, facilitating discussion between presenters and students.

In a press release about the event, the university said that CASCon was designed to showcase the work of Sacred Heart faculty from multiple disciplines and to reaffirm the College’s commitment to undergraduate research.

One of the most well attended presentations was titled, “Vampires, Super Villains, Teenage Girls, and other Scary Things: Popular Culture in the Lives of Millennials.”

Professors Andrew Miller, Lori Bindig and Dr. Sally Ross from the School of Communication and Media Arts collaborated to show how these haunting things tie together.

Professors and students attended each of the sessions from other branches of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Although I’m not presenting, I’m here to support my colleagues,” said Dr. Gary Rose, professor and Chair of the Department of Government, Politics and Global Studies.

The collaboration and discussion between professors of different studies carried over into the other presentations as well.

“I came to see my catholic intellectual traditions professor Brent Little from the Department of Catholic Studies,” said sophomore Joseph Leo. “It is interesting to see the type of research he does outside of the classroom.”

The idea behind the conference was to link the work of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences with real life application for students.

“I came to see the bio presentation and I thought it was really good,” said sophomore Juliana Manno. “Most people don’t normally pay attention to the environment, so the presentation brought a lot of hidden problems to light.”

Another presentation came from the department of psychology, entitled “Psyched Out,” which spotlighted how a positive growth mindset effects children’s intellectual success.

The conference sparked conversation between faulty across the colleges and connected students with possible research opportunities to deepen their commitment to their studies.

“I would say the conference was a huge success,” said Dr. Lori Bridig, Assitant Communications Professor. “It is exciting to see so many students come out and see what we’re doing across all branches of the college of arts and sciences and to have that kind of support from the university community.”

Future CASCon events will bring similar feature features back.

“Engage, learn, and explore the possibilities,” said Cautin.

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