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University Establishes New School of Computing, Graduate Programs

Responds to increased demand for computing talent

School of Computing Professor Frances Grodzinsky, left, works with students on their senior project proposals during a class.

Sacred Heart University is establishing a new School of Computing that will house undergraduate programs in computer science, information technology and game design and development.

In addition, it will offer a new computer engineering program that is expected to start in fall, 2017, as well as graduate programs in computer science and information technology, and cyber security.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in computer science enrollment, and there’s a huge demand for these programs in the marketplace,” said Robin Cautin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We’re making a huge investment to reflect the University’s commitment to academic excellence and really distinguish ourselves among Catholic institutions in the Northeast in regards to STEM, and to engineering  in particular. “

Professor Domenick Pinto, chair of the computer science department, will lead the new school. “Our department had put together a strategic plan this summer and, based on our breadth of programs, we set a goal to become a School Of Computing in the future,” Pinto said. “I was very pleased that the University decided to make this a reality so soon, and I am especially honored that I have been asked to be the director.

“I have been chair of the computer science program for 29 years and have been at SHU for 40 years. I am often asked if I plan to retire soon. I have no plans to retire; I still feel as though I’m effective in the classroom and I truly love my job. This position holds the perfect balance of challenges and rewards in terms of student success and, after all, student success is what it’s all about.”

Pinto said the new school will position SHU as a leader in the computing field. “I am so proud of the faculty and all their accomplishments,” he said. “I’m especially proud of the students and their achievements academically and professionally as alumni. We strive for academic excellence in all our programs and, based on that, our school will stand out in the Northeast as one of the best.”

The Princeton Review has recognized SHU over the years as having one of the best game design and development programs, Pinto noted.

Rupdendra Paliwal, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “As demand for computing talent continues to rise, establishment of the School of Computing represents our strong commitment and prioritized initiatives to expand academic offerings in the fields of computing. With enhanced resources, we will continue to develop cutting-edge curricula to give our students competitive advantage.”

In the following months, SHU will conduct a search for six new, tenure-track professors to serve as faculty in the computer engineering program. Students who earn degrees in computer engineering will qualify for jobs in research labs and manufacturing firms. Their education will enable them to design software and computer equipment, test computer hardware and instruct programmers on how to write code for software.