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.

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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