It was another incredibly busy week on campus with a variety of exciting events taking place. I want to start with an update on the Winter Guard and their performance at the 2015 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, last weekend. In their class, there were three rounds of competition with just the top 15 making it into the finals out of 72 competing programs. SHU finished 13th in the finals, besting many other prestigious programs and universities such as San Diego State, University of Central Missouri, Towson, East Carolina and James Madison. Please join me in congratulating the team, coaches and the design and tech staffs. Well done, all!
I want to encourage faculty and staff to join me on Monday, May 4, in serving the students their traditional late-night breakfast to mark the end of classes. It is a rewarding experience, and the students enjoy seeing you there.
Last Friday, Biology Professor Jennifer Mattei was a guest on WNPR’s Where We Live hosted by John Dankosky. She contributed to a discussion of horseshoe crabs by sharing an update on Project Limulus. You can listen to the interview here.
Saturday morning was the “Praying with Merton” event in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. To commemorate the 100th birthday of Thomas Merton, guests gathered to reflect on the Easter season and on the life of Merton, who was a spiritual guide for millions.
Also on Saturday, our students joined students from Fairfield University and the University of Bridgeport to help clean up Seaside Park in Bridgeport. On Thursday, members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity cleaned up debris behind Roncalli Hall and the Wellness Center. Not only are these the activities of good neighbors, but they were also a great way to celebrate Earth Day, which fell on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, not all of you students spent the weekend respecting our neighbors as there were several parties in the North End neighborhood immediately adjacent to campus that attracted our good friends at the Bridgeport Police Department. Not only were our neighbors disturbed by noise, but the area was littered with refuse. The previous weekend, our Greek Life students worked hard to put on a great Community Day in the North End. Now our neighbors there are more likely to remember these out-of-control parties than the great day they had playing games with their children. I hope this trend does not continue and that we close out the year in a fun, but respectful, way.
For those who did not get to see our students’ recent performances of Sweeney Todd, which were fantastic, this highlight reel will give you taste of all that you missed and remind you not to stay home next time.
On Monday, we were honored to welcome Jack & Suzy Welch to the Martire Center for a question-and-answer session and a book signing for their latest publication, The Real-Life MBA. They spoke to a full house of students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests. They were very impressed with the new home of the Jack Welch College of Business. We hope they will come back often.
On Monday and Tuesday, more than 80 students, staff and faculty participated in the Hijab challenge to wear a head scarf for the entire day. The event was co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Awareness Club and the ESL department, and I’m told that some students found the experience difficult, others found it liberating and still others thought it was a great solution to a bad hair day. Most importantly, it was an opportunity to step into the shoes of another culture and open the door to greater understanding.
Tuesday evening was the annual Dancing with Heart event. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there were more dancing duos than ever before. It was a fun time with some great performances. Congratulations to overall winners, student Cory Rivera and staffer Natasha Sousa! And thank you to all who showed such great school spirit, including Rob Gilmore, Cynthia Conte, Father David and a host of others.
Wednesday was the "Teaching Innovations – Faculty Showcase” event where faculty members presented some of the innovative and experimental things they are doing in the classroom as part of our focus on high-impact practices. The 24 topics ranged from capturing human motion for digital animation and using a 3-D printer for active learning to wireless presentations and video-based syllabi. Expect to hear a lot more about these exciting techniques in the future.
Wednesday also saw Kappa Sigma’s Haircuts for Heroes event where military style or shaved haircuts were offered for $5. What a creative way to support members of the military!
Yesterday, Jean-Claude Knebeler, the Luxembourg Consul General in New York City, was at the Martire Center to speak with undergraduate students who are planning to study abroad in Luxembourg in May and June. This is the second year he has been willing to give some of his valuable time to prepare our students to have the best possible overseas experience.
Today was our annual Academic Festival, which featured research projects that students have been working on all year with faculty advisers. Participants came from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Business and the College of Health Professions. Again, the topics were fascinating. How can you not be intrigued by “SWOT Analysis of Dunkin’ Donuts,” “A Portrait of Victorian Women Through Vampire Literature” or “Corporate Scandals: The Unintended Consequences”?
Also today, a group of students from our “Exercise and Aging” class was at the Watermark at 3030 Park Ave., to provide services and support to the facility’s fitness director during a health fair there. I love the combination of learning while providing a service to our friends and neighbors.
Both today and tomorrow, we are hosting the final of our Admitted Student Days for the class of 2019. Over the course of this semester, we have offered several of these events for accepted students—both here and offsite—and the response has been very positive. Many times, we have been told that this final visit to campus is the deciding factor in students choosing Sacred Heart. Tomorrow’s event begins with a continental breakfast at 10 at the Pitt Center. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend and meet the students and their families. As always, I know I can count on all of you to be welcoming and helpful to our guests.
Our busy week continues into the weekend with lots of activities to attend. Be sure to stop by the Pitt Center tonight to show your support to the Relay For Life Committee. The theme of the year is Game Night, and it should be lots of fun. Tonight is also the SHU Love Pops Concert, which is always a great time. Or you can see the movie Alien, which is being screened by the Honors Living and Learning Community. All are welcome. The Dance Ensemble’s annual recital is tomorrow afternoon, and the SHU Dance Company is presenting “The Movies” tomorrow evening. On Sunday, the Chamber Ensembles will present classical, contemporary and popular music.
Your Pioneers are also in action over the weekend. Tomorrow the SHU Rowing Invitational takes place at Beacon Point Marina in Shelton, and the men’s lacrosse team celebrates Senior Day in a match against Saint Joseph’s. The women’s lacrosse team’s Senior Day is Sunday against Saint Francis. Go Pioneers!
Have a great weekend, everyone!