By Salvador Nevarez
Mon February 3, 2014
San Rafael, California -- With a diversity of majors, the school of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) is the cornerstone of liberal arts here at Dominican University of California.
The school of AHSS integrates the liberal arts into a fundamental learning experience. Dean, Nicola Pitchford, PhD, believes the AHSS to be the “home of a large part of Dominican liberal arts.” The school of AHSS offers majors in art, art history, communications, dance, design, history, humanities and cultural studies, gender studies, international studies, literature, music, political science, psychology, and religion.
Dr. Pitchford has been Dean of the school of AHSS at Dominican University of California for three years. While at Dominican, she has enjoyed her position as Dean, stating she “loves working with the faculty.” Although, she also admits she longs to be in the classroom to participate in the teaching environment once again.
The school of AHSS offers many events that contribute to the enrichment of Dominican University students. Currently, the Humanities and Cultural Studies department features The Roots of Women’s Leadership Lecture Series, which will be held on February 8th, 2014 from 10:00am-3:00pm at Creekside. This will be the third and last session in cooperation with the International Association of Sufism. It’s a partnership which creates “interfaith conversation and conflict reduction” states Dean Pitchford. Along with the Lecture Series run by the Humanities and Cultural Studies department, there is also the student run talent showcase, Soul Candy, an interdisciplinary event that interconnects academics and art that is held once per semester.
Dean Pitchford asserts that the main goal of AHSS is to “get the message out to prospective students, families and the community that the liberal arts are both enriching and practical.”
In alignment with Dominican University ideals, the school of AHSS provides a readiness in the world for context and critical analysis, communication skills, and humane thinking.
The benefits of a liberal arts degree have recently been in doubt, but Pitchford believes that liberal arts majors gain more in the long run in comparison to their business/science counterparts, making them more desirable to potential employers. The school of AHSS will continue to offer a liberal arts education as a valued opportunity for practical and enriching skills necessary for real world readiness.
For all these reasons, the school of AHSS remains a cornerstone of Dominican University of California liberal arts education.