Last week, I began sharing the 11 standards that the NEASC accreditation team will look at when they visit in April. This week, I want to tell you about Standard 4, the Academic Programs standard. I am particularly proud that at Sacred Heart, learning takes place anywhere and everywhere – not just in the classroom. The SHU Square website that complements the First-Year Seminar is one example, but as I travel the campus, I see engaged learning taking place in the library, in the dining halls, in the residence halls with our Living and Learning Communities and even on the lawn…on days a bit warmer than today.
When we respond to the Academic Programs standard, we will describe and assess our academic programs and project our future growth. For example, when we went through this process 10 years ago, we were getting ready to introduce the doctorate in physical therapy. In this report, we are introducing the nurse practitioner doctorate, along with future plans for additional doctoral programs. In the same vein, we offered just 10 master’s programs 10 years ago; now we have 24.
The exciting thing about this process – and this standard in particular – is that it gives us a chance to reflect on the success of our programs and to focus on the future opportunities we have to respond to the growing needs of our students and the marketplace.
Our NEASC contest begins next week, so watch for an email with your first opportunity to win a $10 gift card to the SHU bookstore.
This has been an exciting week at Sacred Heart with lots of good news to share. Congratulations go out to Don Cook, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, on his election to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame. Don is one of three inductees this year and is more than deserving.
Congratulations also are in order for several students. Alyssa Papachristos’ illustration, "Frog," was accepted into the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles WEST 51 national juried competition, and clarinet player Lora Streett, bass clarinet player Nate Tallo and tuba player Mike Tomanelli have all been named to the New England Intercollegiate band. This honors band gives students an extraordinary opportunity to perform in a college ensemble with peers of the highest caliber. Kudos to all.
Sacred Heart has received its fourth consecutive Gold Award from the Business Council of Fairfield County. The award goes to employers that are successful in promoting a healthy workplace. Congratulations and thank you to Rob Hardy and Sally Schettino of Human Resources, who have done an outstanding job developing the University’s Health and Wellness program.
A tip of the hat (or maybe a stomp of the feet is more appropriate) to Scott Aliberti on the success of last weekend’s Performing for the Angels of Sandy Hook fundraiser. A total of $2,067.03 was raised in donations at the door, and more than $500 in additional funds came from the sale of the Newtown t-shirts. Totals from online donations are still being determined.
Similarly, the Aunt Terry Foundation recently raised $5,000 at a fundraiser for SHU’s Horizons Program. The Foundation is run by attorney Victoria Ferrara and our own Michelle Loris and was founded in memory of long-time educator Theresa Martinez. The foundation’s goal is to serve children and the elderly. The event was a concert featuring Vicki’s Dini Band.
Ernie Anastos was on campus Tuesday to meet with our communications students and faculty. Ernie, a longtime journalist, freely shared his experiences and advice in his upbeat “positively Ernie” style. It was great to see him, and we appreciate his taking time out of his hectic schedule for our students.
The penchant for giving back to the community is not limited to SHU students, faculty and staff, but also includes our high school Upward Bound students. On Saturday, the students will be down the street at St. John’s Church where they will package and distribute food for the homeless and organize clothes that were donated by themselves and others. They participated in a similar event in early December.
The grand opening of the student-run Walnut Beach Creamery took place Wednesday evening at Roncalli Hall. Leave it to us to open an ice cream shop on the coldest day in seven years! Despite that, the shop was crowded, and the ice cream was delicious. Stop by and try some of the great SHU-themed flavors! The shop is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m.
If you are looking for something to do in a weekend when there is no football to watch on TV, there are a number of great events happening on campus. Tomorrow is Pack the Pitt with the women’s game at 4 p.m. and the tipoff for the men at 7. If you are more into the arts, check out Craig Cramer, University of Notre Dame organ professor and artist-in-residence, who will perform in the chapel Saturday evening. Or head over to the Edgerton for Theatrefest, which features plays written, directed and performed by SHU students and a performance by the Awkward Handshakes improv group. That show takes place both Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Whatever you do, stay warm and have a fun!