College of Arts & Sciences: Responding to student need for healthcare expertise

College of Arts & Sciences: Responding to student need for healthcare expertise

Faced by student demand for careers and expertise in all health-related fields, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the School of Nursing (SON) are expanding their efforts to work together.

The goal of the Integrated Nursing and Health Studies Initiative (INHSI) is to provide opportunities for students to increase their understanding of the healthcare sector and develop basic health literacy skills in preparation for careers in the growing healthcare industry. Former CAS Dean Robbin Crabtree and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lynn Babington (former dean of SON) co-chaired the development of the project.

Whether a student’s interest is in direct health services, marketing, business, communication, biotechnology, information services, or education, INHSI provides resources for students to develop their academic and professional knowledge.

For example, through the Health Studies Scholars program, interdisciplinary groups of undergraduate students and faculty members team up and work together for two years on a collaborative research project that is focused on a health-related problem.

Dr. Shelley Phelan, professor of biology at the College, and Dr. Eileen O’Shea, associate professor of nursing, are the faculty co-facilitators of INHSI.

New CAS initiatives for the coming year include launching a new interdisciplinary program and minor in health studies.

College of Arts & Sciences Highlights
• CAS students attended conferences or had works published 262 times. In addition, 284 students participated in research projects in the last academic year; 224 students had internships; and 109 graduate schools accepted graduating seniors into their cohorts.

• Faculty continue to make headlines for contributions to their fields of expertise. Psychology Professor Dr. Linda Henkel’s research on photo-taking and memory went viral, appearing in over 250 news outlets and close to 100 social media outlets, including NBC News, The Guardian, FOX News, and Slate.

• CAS faculty published 237 articles, book chapters, and other publications in the past academic year. In addition, 11 books were published. Faculty gave 361 presentations at professional meetings, invited talks, and exhibits/performances. External funding from federal or foundation organizations included $640,500, with $1,662,799 in grant funds pending.

• The College led the 40th anniversary of undergraduate women graduating from Fairfield and the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Studies Program (now called Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies). Sister Simone Campbell, attorney, religious leader, and “Nuns on the Bus” organizer, spoke at the keynote event in May 2014.