We have some catching up to do and a great deal to talk about. There has been a lot going on, and we have much to be proud of – so much so that this may turn out to be more of a novella than a blog entry. We received word last week that Sacred Heart has been named one of the country’s 294 Colleges of Distinction. Colleges of Distinction is a college guide that looks for the schools that give students the best opportunity to learn, grow and succeed. The four distinctive characteristics they look for are engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. Those are the things that Sacred Heart University is all about, but it’s nice to have it validated.
In the same vein, we also learned that our students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the national licensing exam that they must pass to become a registered nurse. The average pass rate this year was 93.5 percent. Congratulations to Anne Barker, the Nursing faculty and the students on a job well done!
Bravo to June-Ann Greeley who participated in an interview with Randi Kaye on CNN Sunday morning two weeks ago. June-Ann lent her expertise to a segment called “Spiritual but not Religious” where she suggested that it shouldn’t be a question of being spiritual or religious, but a combination of the two. She noted that the best that religions offer is the combination of community engagement in worship, tradition and the very personal and private part of the religious/spiritual experience. Not only did June-Ann do an outstanding job, but she represented the University and increased our credibility in her role as an expert.
Two of our professors from the Welch College of Business won the “Best Paper” Award at the Academy of International Business (AIB) conference we hosted here recently. Congratulations to Jeanine Andreassi and Leanna Lawter! The title of their paper, which they submitted with two colleagues from outside the university, was “Job Satisfaction Determinants: A Study across 48 Nations.”
The Class of 2016 elected its officers recently. Congratulations especially to the winners, but also to everyone who took advantage of the opportunity to mount a campaign and gain some valuable experience. In fact, I want to congratulate the 66 percent of the class who participated in the election by casting a vote. This is a much higher level of participation than we have previously seen in our freshman class elections, and I commend you on taking an interest and ensuring your voice was heard. It’s clear that this is going to be a very special class. I hope you all will also participate in the upcoming national and local elections.
We have had a number of distinguished guests on campus during the past couple of weeks from State legislators Gail Lavielle and Toni Harp discussing the Affordable Health Care Act and Professor Mayland Chang of Notre Dame University presenting on traumatic brain injury to Mike & Mike of ESPN radio talking about all things sports.
We have also had some great musical performances, including presentations of Irish music by the Brock McGuire Band and Jerry O’Connell. Perhaps my favorite was the Christian band In+Sight who recently participated in a Sunday night mass in the Chapel and then came back last week for a Praise and Worship event that featured singing, readings and students speaking. The hope is to have a Praise and Worship evening once a month with In+Sight. They are talented and uplifting, and I strongly recommend that you make it a point to see them when they come back.
The New England Regional meeting of The American Conference for Irish Studies took place on campus this past weekend. The plenary speaker was Dr. Eamonn Wall, Smurfit-Stone Professor of Irish Studies and professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The feedback from participants was that they enjoyed the papers and discussions and, especially, the chance to see old friends and make new connections. Congratulations to Professor John Roney on an outstanding job organizing this prestigious event.
We had a group of elementary-age students from Bridgeport’s Madison School on campus to run the timed mile required for their State of Connecticut fitness test on our track. There were safety issues and poor conditions where they were previously running near their school. Students from Professor Valerie Wherley’s ex-320 service learning course were on hand to help out. Video of the event can be found here. I love that we find ways to get students of all ages to campus.
Our two newest deans – Dean John Chalykoff of the Welch College of Business and Dean Jim Carl of the Farrington College of Education – were honored this week at an after-hours reception here on campus that was sponsored by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. Congratulations to John and Jim on being recognized as two of the region’s newest business leaders.
Several of our women’s athletic teams participated in last Sunday’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk at Sherwood Island. They were among more than 6,000 walkers who raised $316,000 for the American Cancer Society. Great job, ladies!
Since I bragged when my trivia team was victorious, I have to confess that this week, we went down in defeat as the crown was returned once again to Welch College of Business. However, I can’t help but point out that the winners (by just four points) were a team of eight faculty members going against a team of three students and yours truly. Make of that what you will. Congratulations – but don’t get too comfortable!
We are heading into Family Weekend with exceptional weather predicted for tomorrow. (After that, you might want to keep an eye on the skies as nobody seems quite sure how this possible “superstorm” will all come together…) I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families and friends. I also encourage you to take lots of photos and share them with us for a Family Weekend video that is planned. Details about how to participate can be found here. Anyone who submits a photo will be entered into a random drawing for a $20 gift card to the SHU bookstore. Don’t forget about the Choir Concert in the Edgerton Center on Sunday afternoon. It promises to be an afternoon of outstanding musical performances by our talented students. Enjoy the weekend!