Webster unveils College of Humanities and Social Sciences with fair-like get-together

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On Sept. 22, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences had a kickoff event to celebrate and introduce the college to students.

Anyone walking by the Mary Ann Lee Plaza from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. was welcomed with pizza, cookies, a swag table, a giant inflatable Gorlok and yard games such as bean bag toss.

The event comes after the university’s decision in the spring to separate the College of Arts and Sciences into two schools: the College of Science and Health (CSH) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).

Photo by Maggie Detchemendy. Danielle MacCartney, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, gets pied in the face by a student.

Interim dean of the CHSS Danielle MacCartney said the split was an initiative from faculty supported by University administrators, who wanted to define distinct identities and concentrate on the disciplines in the “arts” side.

“College of Arts and Sciences everywhere are generally a big group that have a wide variety of . . . different kinds of specializations. So the faculty really wanted to focus on what makes science and health special, and what makes humanities and social sciences special,” MacCartney said.

Director of Operations Kimberly Jackson said the split is “an opportunity for each individual college to create and foster their own identity” as well as promote community and networking.

Faculty and staff from several departments attended the event on Sept. 22 to welcome students and answer questions about the change.

“Having two different colleges helps us to provide students with a little bit more focused education in those areas and allows us to collaborate a little bit better across departments,” Joseph Zlatic, associate professor of law, crime and social justice said.

Chair, director and associate professor of legal studies Robin Jefferson Higgins said that the college wanted to be seen.

“We have some important programs, we know that everyone is into science and STEM, but you’ve got to realize that all these other programs still play a valuable part in just overall education,” Jefferson Higgins said. “When you talk about history, politics, legal studies and law, crime, social justice, women, gender and sexuality studies, criminology and criminal justice, they play a huge part in our society.”

MacCartney said the newly established CHSS planned the kick-off to build community among the students and faculty.

“Students are part of who we are and what we’re doing, we wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for students, so we’re hoping that they can see themselves in the activities that we’re doing and that we’re planning,” MacCartney said.

“[It’s] an opportunity for them to come get to know more about our new college, to get to meet some of our faculty and staff and that we’re here to support and give you the best education that we can possibly give you,” Jefferson Higgins said.

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Lifestyle Editor | + posts

Kate McCracken (she/her) is the lifestyle editor for the Journal. She is a double major in Philosophy and History, minoring in Professional Writing. She has always loved to write and create stories, and she wrote her first book at age 10. Aside from writing, Kate also enjoys photography, environmental/animal activism, paranormal investigation and oneirology, the study of dreams.