Message from Dr. James Simon

cas_simon_14Over half of all Fairfield University students focus their studies with us. We offer 15 departments and 17 programs. We are the home of the Core Curriculum, which unifies the education of all Fairfield undergraduates. And we benefit from 160 full-time faculty members and many more part-time instructors. ‌

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences, the oldest and largest of Fairfield's six schools. This is where you will find a rich array of courses and programs in the arts and humanities, the natural sciences and mathematics, the social and behavioral sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. Our expert and caring faculty will help you pursue your interests and educational objectives.

In order to help you make the most of your time here, let me offer the following advice and encouragement.

First, discover and follow your passions. Fairfield's curriculum offers you an opportunity to experiment and find out what excites you, what calls to you. Have confidence that if you follow your passions, you will be well prepared for whatever career you choose. However your professional journey unfolds and whatever life choices you make, you will find that you need preparation in many disciplines to solve any problem or reach any goal. Your future will require that you encounter, appreciate, and develop the ability to utilize vastly diverse perspectives and modes of inquiry, and that you can "go global" with your interests, abilities, and aspirations.

Use your core courses to explore is the first step in this journey of self-discovery. Rising from our Jesuit mission and the liberal arts educational tradition, the Core provides the foundations for your professional and personal success, community engagement and global citizenship, imbuing you with the value and habits of lifelong learning and reflective practice.

Second, take responsibility for getting what you want from your college experience. Fairfield University offers a top-quality education and many advantages derived from our beautiful campus, ideal geographical location, and impressive faculty, students, and alumni network. But none of these benefits will come knocking on your door - all require you to be curious and active. Get to know your classmates and professors. Take advantage of peer and faculty advising and mentoring. Get involved with residential learning communities. Seek answers to your questions and support for your needs.

You will get encouragement, assistance, and collaboration from our faculty and staff, as well as your peers.

Third, engage with opportunities outside of the classroom. Internships, research with faculty, community service and service-learning opportunities, and studying abroad are all occasions to cultivate awareness of the world beyond the classroom, to encounter diverse life experiences, to develop leadership skills, and to connect your formal academic study to other contexts. Today, check out the Classroom To Career materials on the university website in your major or a department of interest.

Your education is not bound by the walls and gates of campus or by the clock marking the beginning and end of class. As you discover the world beyond our campus, I hope you will learn to be guided as much by your compassion for and responsibility to others as you are by your own passions.

Finally, HAVE FUN! These are sure to be four of the best years of your life, a place to discover or engage in your academic passion and make life-long friends. Four years may seem like a long time, but as the seniors will attest, the years go by very quickly.

I look forward to sharing your journey with you.

James Simon, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences