Sacred Heart Purchases General Electric Property

Sacred Heart University purchased General Electric's 66-acre former global headquarters in Fairfield, Conn. Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart University's Instagram page.

Sacred Heart University purchased General Electric’s 66-acre former global headquarters in Fairfield, Conn. Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart University’s Instagram page.

By Natalie Cioffari

Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, Nov. 21 Sacred Heart University announced to the community the agreement to purchase General Electric’s (GE) property in Fairfield. This property was formally known as General Electric’s global headquarters.

According to The Wall Street Journal, GE is relocating to Boston sometime in 2018. The company’s headquarters have been stationed in Connecticut since 1974.

“This is a transformational moment in the history of Sacred Heart University,” said John Petillo, president of the university, in a press release. “With this property, SHU has a unique opportunity to contribute to education, research, health care and the community. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, and it also reflects our long-standing relationship with GE that includes former GE CEO Jack Welch, for whom our College of Business is named.”

The decision to purchase GE’s property has mainly had a positive impact on campus.

“When I saw it [the GE purchase] in the paper, I was very excited about it. I also saw what the price was, and was actually very surprised because I thought it was an unbelievably good deal for the university,” said Joe Alicastro, Coordinator of News & Broadcasting, MACOMM.

According to Sacred Heart’s official press release, the land is approximately 66 acres it was acquired for 31.5 million dollars.

The property will most likely include parts of and expand on the School of Computing and the Jack Welch College of Business.

“I am excited to see what new programs will be implemented here for computer science students,” said junior Nick D’Angelo. “This can only grow our strong computer science program. A lot of other programs here like business or health sciences have their own facilities, like the business building and Cambridge, so it is nice to have a facility dedicated to computer science majors especially the former GE office.”

This expansion also hopes to place the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at the new location, along with the art & design program, and some university offices.

“I am really excited to hear that the education department will finally have a home for itself,” said senior Cristina Zangaglia. “Being that we spend an extra year here, it will be very refreshing to utilize this space designed just for us.”

WTNH News 8 stated that Sacred Heart is hopeful to include new features with this new venture including expanding sports facilities to including a swimming pool and running trails, and additionally, space for performing arts.

Sacred Heart officials also say they hope the expansion and purchase of GE will hopefully lead to partnerships with local health care facilities and providers. This would be beneficial to the College of Health Professions and the College of Nursing students for clinical oppurtunities.

Many students have expressed excitement towards the expansion of the university.

“I think that Sacred Heart buying GE is the start of something new. Just thinking about where this college is going gives me the chills,” said senior Sarah Krufka.

Overall, they believe it is a great oppurtunity for Sacred Heart.

“I think purchasing General Electric will be beneficial for the school for academic puposes and will help grow our community as the campus grows larger,” said freshman Nicole Patch.

Sacred Heart has been steadily expanding their campus for the past few years. From the construction and opening of the new Jorge Bergoglio building, to the newly purchased Jewish Senior Services, also known as The Jewish Home, Sacred Heart keeps on building in size.

“We are buying a world-class headquarters from a world-class company, one that I happen to work for indirectly for 30 years, since GE owned NBC. It gives us opportunities to expand in ways we never could have within our existing footprint,” said Alicastro.

Gaming and Computer Science Programs Rated by Princeton Review

By Alessandra Setaro

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University has proven itself capable of battling in the big leagues while being such a small university in competition with much larger schools.

Last March, The Princeton Review recognized Sacred Heart University’s Gaming and Computer Science programs as being one of the Top 50 programs in America.

Since the review, Sacred Heart has established its new School of Computing. Professor Domenick J. Pinto has been named the founding director of the new school.

“[The review] shows we are a player. The schools listed directly above us are Penn (Ivy League), MIT which has worldwide recognition, and Ohio State which is known as a wealthy Midwestern state university,” said Dr. Robert McCloud, director of the motion capture lab and Associate Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology.

The Princeton Review ranked Sacred Heart’s undergraduate game design program at 42 while its graduate game design program was ranked at 21.

“The faculties at these schools are outstanding, and their alumni include legions of the industry’s most prominent game designers, developers, artists and entrepreneurs,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice-president and publisher, in a press release.

Students are also appreciative of the positive review and what it means for their education.

“The ranking will attract a lot more students to not only attend Sacred Heart, but become interested with and major in Computer Science,”said freshman Seiji Hosokawa, student in the computer science program.

These professors have earned this review due to their dedication to excellence and student success.

“It is always an honor to be recognized by The Princeton Review,” said professor Domenick J. Pinto, Director of the School of Computing. “This puts Sacred Heart University and the new school of computing in a very positive light when compared to other universities.”

The new school offers four undergraduate majors which includes computer science, information technology, game design, and development and computer engineering.

The undergraduate engineering programs are said to begin in the Fall of 2017.

The School of Computing offers two master’s degree programs as well. These programs include a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Cyber Security.

“All of our students receive a solid foundation in Computer Science. That positions them well for advancement later in their careers. Each student will have created, either on their own or as part of a two-person team, more than one original independent game development by graduation,” according to Dr. Robert McCloud. “Thus the student has had hands-on development experience in all phases of game creation. Students can also work in the motion capture lab where they can create original animated 3-D characters.”

These new advancements make Sacred Heart’s School of Computing unique from other schools that offer the program.

“We offer ten graduate certificates in areas such as database design, web design, network security, cyber security, coding boot camp, .net programming and others,” said Pinto. “All of our programs offer a very solid foundation in Computer Science.”

With the grand opening of Jorge Bergoglio Hall and its video game room, students in the School of Computing can test their work on students who use the game room for recreational use or as part of the competitive video game club sport.

“It is a wonderful resource for all interested Sacred Heart students. I am sure that gaming students will want to take advantage of the development and testing opportunities presented by this facility,” said McCloud.

The New School of Computing: Establishing the Latest Technological Beginning

Students discuss new projects in the making under the new and improved school of computing. Photo courtesy of the Sacred Heart University official website.

Students discuss new projects in the making under the new and improved school of computing. Photo courtesy of the Sacred Heart University official website.

By Marguerite Girandola

Staff Reporter

This past week, Sacred Heart University announced the launch of the new School of Computing. The new addition to the university will include two graduate programs and four undergraduate programs. This establishment comes as the whole university is continuing to expand.

According to the recent press release, the school will offer a master’s in computer science and information technology and a master’s in cyber security.

Computer science, information technology, game design and development and computer engineering are the undergraduate programs offered.

 “I am so proud and ecstatic to be a computer science major at this moment. Campus has been expanding in so many wonderful ways these past few years and now, my own area of study is following suit,” said junior Alaina Silveri. “I can’t wait to see all this new program has in store for not only Sacred Heart’s future, but also my own.”

 Silveri is not the only one who is enthusiastic about the new school that has climbed its way to being one of the most populated programs at the university.

 “We’re most excited about expanding our curricular footprint in this way, leveraging current strengths of our existing programs while being able to offer programs that were heretofore unavailable at Sacred Heart University,” said Robin Cautin, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The curriculum will stress certain areas of study as well as provide cutting edge technology resources to students in the program.

“The emphasis will be on software engineering, cyber security, game design and state of the art programming including scripting languages like Python,” said Dominick Pinto, Director of The School of Computing.

Python is a high-level scripting language that is widely used and allows users to express concepts in fewer lines of code than other scripting languages.

“I think that gaining knowledge especially on cyber security and software engineering is very important in this day in age because today’s society is extremely dependent on technology,” said Silveri. “That being said, I think that this program will open many doors in the future for a lot of its students taking advantage of the new school’s offerings.”

The new school will be directed by Pinto who has been with the university for 40 years and a department chair for computer science for 29 years. He has received multiple teaching awards over the course of his teaching career.

   “I have seen the program grow tenfold since 1987 and expand our offerings exponentially,” said Pinto. “I love to advise and mentor students and try to get to know as many of the students as possible. We now have almost 300 international graduate students which is a tribute to the faculty and administration of the school.”

Pinto tries to meet with every student of the program at least once a year.

“The establishment of a School of Computing is the result of steady enrollment growth in computer science-related fields, as well the unyielding dedication and talent of our faculty and staff,” said Cautin. “It’s more precise to say that it’s a beginning of an exciting new chapter in the evolution of The College of Arts and Sciences and of Sacred Heart University more generally.”

President John Petillo is also excited for the growth of the new school.

“This is the logical next step for these rapidly growing programs that are now housed in the Computer Science & Information Technology department,” said Petillo in a press release.

The School of Computing is effective immediately and the new undergraduate computer-engineering program will begin in the fall of 2017.

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