Fairfield University Celebrates Opening of Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab

Fairfield University Celebrates Opening of Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab

Pictured left to right: Scott and Susie Fredrickson '82, Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and College of Arts and Sciences Dean, Richard A. Greenwald, PhD.

The new state-of-the-art facility will provide College of Arts and Sciences students and faculty with a physical and digital gathering space for interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and instruction.

The Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab will not only serve as a home for College of Arts and Sciences research, but a hub of transformative education that will bridge across disciplines and schools, breaking down silos and educating new generations of students with the power of what a liberal arts education can do.”

— Richard A. Greenwald, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

An enthusiastic crowd comprised of Fairfield University faculty, staff, and senior leadership gathered in the main lobby of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library on Friday, September 6, 2019, for a special dedication ceremony celebrating the grand opening of the College of Arts and Sciences’ new Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab.

Established through the generosity of Fairfield Stagmates Scott and Susan Fredrickson ’82, the state-of-the-art lab will provide College of Arts and Sciences students and faculty with a physical and digital gathering space for interdisciplinary research and instruction. Equipped with mobile workstations, HDTV screens, specialized computer software, and two sizable seminar rooms, the all-new facility offers ample space for hosting interdisciplinary workshops and classes, highlighting faculty and student digital research, and facilitating the exploration of digital solutions to global issues – whether qualitative, quantitative, scientific, creative, or at the intersection of diverse fields.

Fr. Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., vice president of mission and identity, opened the ceremony by referencing a recent challenge issued by Reverend Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the Jesuits, to “focus our energies on accompanying young people in the creation of a hope filled future.” Upon discussing the many ways the innovation lab’s digital and collaborative activities will address this challenge both creatively and responsibly, he offered a blessing, asking God to give faculty and students “boldness and restlessness and rigor and delight in using all that is available to them in our digital culture to advance knowledge, extend learning, and to build together a new culture of mutual care and personal, social responsibility.”

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Richard A. Greenwald addressed the ever-evolving nature of academia and spoke about a digital revolution taking place in social sciences and humanities education. He asserted that these disciplines are not only adapting to big data and technology, but are embracing it, and as a result, transforming their fields, subjects, and methodologies.

“We in the College have been blessed by a wonderful group of faculty and students who have embraced this new technology and made it their own,” Dr. Greenwald added. “What we were lacking was a space or place of our own where we could collaborate, conspire, partner, and expand the boundaries of knowledge. Thanks to the generosity of Scott Fredrickson and his wife Susan, we now have that space.”

Before leading the ceremonial unveiling of the Fredrickson Family honorary plaque, Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, echoed Dr. Greenwald’s sentiments by expressing his gratitude to the Fredricksons for their commitment to helping Fairfield approach knowledge in new and different ways, and continue to serve as the model of the modern, Jesuit Catholic University. 

Following the plaque unveiling, attendees were invited to take a tour of the innovation lab’s workspaces and seminar rooms, as well as participate in digital research presentations conducted by College of Arts and Sciences faculty and students. 

According to Dr. Greenwald, “The Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab will not only serve as a home for College of Arts and Sciences research, but a hub of transformative education that will bridge across disciplines and schools, breaking down silos and educating new generations of students with the power of what a liberal arts education can do.” 

Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab Dedication

Fredrickson Family Innovation Lab Dedication

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Last modified: 09-12-19 12:00 AM

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