Dr. Jason Molitierno Named as Director of Honors Program
Sacred Heart University has named Dr. Jason J. Molitierno, an associate professor of mathematics, the new director of the Thomas More Honors Program. The program uses student-centered techniques to develop critical thinking, research and communications skills while offering members a wide range of extracurricular learning and cultural activities.
Dr. Molitierno will lead a program that belongs to and follows the standards of the National Collegiate Honors Council. It encourages active and engaged learning in honors sections of the University’s Common Core. Members track their intellectual development and other accomplishments in an Honors Portfolio and present research in their major at an annual conference. Scholars from every academic discipline are welcome, and they are, typically, active in a number of University programs including community service, student cultural offerings and athletics.
According to Dr. Claire Paolini, dean of SHU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the new director will bring both an intellectual rigor and a deep appreciation for the needs of these students. “In his eight years at SHU, he has been active on the Honors Committee and in the University’s Math Club, so he has taught and worked with a number of these students before. He will oversee the Honors curriculum, assessment, committees and activities.” Molitierno earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics — with a minor in American history — from Connecticut College, and he holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut. He is a lifelong resident of Watertown, Conn.
He noted that “having the opportunity to work with these gifted and exceptionally dedicated students is definitely exciting. We have a great many enhancements planned for the year to come,” he explained. “Notable among them is the establishment of a living-learning experience called Core Communities. This will integrate the living experience of resident students with their academic program by grouping students in residence halls while emphasizing two key themes: ‘Ecology and the Environment’ and ‘Social Justice.’
“This integration of living and learning will provide a richer, deeper experience for the participants. Core Communities is a cutting-edge model of education that can help students improve their level of academic achievement while building community and deepening and enriching the college experience.”
The Thomas More Honors Program encourages its members to serve as leaders in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual life of the University, effectively allowing students to become teachers. Honors courses are more student-directed, and members have greater access to resources to enhance their studies. In addition to a rigorous academic core, the participants engage in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including theatrical and musical programs, museum outings and lectures. In April, the SHU Honors Program hosted an intercollegiate symposium on campus
The program is named for St. Thomas More, the 16th-Century English author, statesman and martyr who was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935.