I want to start today’s message with a welcome to the Class of 2016! We are so glad that you have decided to join the Sacred Heart community, and we are looking forward to meeting you at orientation next month.
A big thank you to all the faculty and staff members who came out Monday night to serve the students at the end-of-classes late night breakfast sponsored by Res Life. It appeared to be a lot of fun for all involved. Clearly, hundreds of hungry students appreciated your efforts.
I’d like to wish students the best of luck as you take the last of your finals and finish up your projects and papers. Whether you are heading home for the summer or gearing up for graduation exercises next weekend, have fun and be safe.
I hope you had a chance to attend one or more of the student performances over the weekend. The University Choirs, the University Concert Band and the SHU F.O.R.C.E. DanceEnsemble all put on spectacular shows.
We got some good news this week by way of social media: Pilar Munday, who teaches Spanish in our Foreign Languages and Cultures Department, was named in a list of the Top 50 Foreign Language Professors on Twitter. She was commended for her posts in Spanish and English on language education, health and cultural topics. Consider me a follower of @mundaysa!
Congratulations to the Master of Arts in communication team that took the top prize in the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Connecticut, Inc. state-wide PSA contest. Their commercial about underage drinking took home the awards for best overall PSA and technical excellence, which means that it will air on all the major television stations in Connecticut for a full year. Members of this creative team were Jeff Crane, Mike Dominguez, Jade Ean-Heller, Lauren Forgione, Michele Herrmann, Justine Luzzi, Guilherme Palma Neto and Wayne Travers. Along withtheir project supervisors, Lori Bindig and Justin Liberman, we take great pride in this extremely talented group of students.
Congratulations also to Katie Nicols, winner of the Religious Freedom Essay Contest, sponsored by the Order of Malta, and to David Hill who wrote the runner-up essay. Both Katie and David will receive an Apple iPad2 for their efforts, and the essays will bepublished on the SHU website. These two stood out among the many extremely well-written essays that were submitted. The judges were impressed by all the essays, so kudos to the other students who sent in submissions.
It was a week of accolades and awards, beginning with our 20th annual All-Sports and Senior Awards Banquet on Monday evening at the Trumbull Marriott. A total of 168 senior student-athletes and others were honored for their accomplishments both on and off the field. Jeff Holtz, the voice of the Pioneer Sports Network, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, and Callan Taylor of the women’s basketball team delivered moving remarks on behalf of all the student-athletes.
On Thursday, nearly 200 faculty and staff members gathered for the Faculty Awards reception, which was one of our presidential inauguration year events. Provost Laura Niesen de Abruna joined me in hosting the event where 55 faculty members were honored. Categories included Academics for Creative Teaching Grants, Faculty Excellence Awards, Retiring Faculty, Sabbatical Awards and University Research and Creativity Grants, as well as the Annual Excellence Awards for Scholarship and Teaching. Congratulations to all the honorees.
Let’s enjoy these last few days of the semester.