Majors and Minors Fair helps students explore academic possibilities

Published by , Author: Megan Bush - Campus Life Editor, Date: October 6, 2016

The Majors and Minors Fair, sponsored by the Department of Academic Services, was held in the Smith Student Center Ballroom Thursday during common hour. The fair, which featured tables and presentations by representatives from every department at Slippery Rock, welcomed all students to explore and learn about all of the different majors and minors offered, such as programs in the art department, the English department and the physics and engineering department, to name a few.

One of the representatives for the art department, assistant professor of ceramics and drawing Tricia Bishop, said art classes are beneficial to most, if not all, college students because learning and becoming familiar with creative problem-solving can assist with many real-life situations.

“We try to help exploratory students find their way and round themselves out,” Bishop said.  “One of my favorite things about the art department is the openness of the program here; it’s designed so students can move around and feel their way through to find what the really connect with, instead of picking one in the beginning and being stuck with it.”

Bishop said the size of the department is another favorite aspect of hers.  Because the art department is on the smaller side of things, she said, it allows the professors to really get to know the students, and in turn, the students feel more like people and less like numbers.  Bishop also is a fan of how well she and her colleagues are able to work together as a team, and she thinks all of their strengths complement each other.

The English department was represented at the Majors and Minors Fair by Dr. Derek Pitard, a professor of literature.  Pitard said the English department exists to teach students the business side of things, as well as teach students how to read and write on an elevated level and in many different genres, including professional, critical, creative and editorial.

“Essentially, English majors take an immense amount of complex data and they arrange it and help others make sense of it,” Pitard said.

English majors are highly encouraged to get involved with at least one of the four journals published by and within the English department: SLAB, the Roxy, Rock Writing and RockScissorsPaper.  Along with the journals published at SRU, English majors are also encouraged to submit their work to other outside journals to start receiving recognition within their fields.

Representing the physics and engineering department was associate professor and chairperson of the department, Dr. Athula Herat.

“With the physics department, you can fly drones every day,” Herat said. “Although drones are cool, fun things, they also have real-life applications, like package delivery services and camera drones.”

Students in the physics and engineering department work with technological devices, along with other types of devices, and learn what they do and how they function.  In this day and age, when technology is prominent in culture, Herat said it’s important that students learn how to work the devices available to people.


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