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Spring 2019 Newsletter

Portrait of Elisabeth Mermann Joswiak

A Message from Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak

Gonzaga University provides an exemplary liberal arts education, and the College of Arts & Sciences serves as the educational unit that supplies that foundation to all undergraduate students, no matter what their major.

Translated from the Latin artes liberales, and referring to the education of those with a mind free from parochialism, liberal arts education traces back to classical antiquity. The scope of the liberal arts originally comprised the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and later grew to include arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and music—the quadrivium.

Today’s manifestation is even more comprehensive and includes the social sciences (political science, sociology, psychology, and others), the humanities (art, philosophy, language, religion, etc.), and the natural and formal sciences (mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics).

These disciplines instill in students not only the knowledge intrinsic to each area, but also qualities and skills not always gained through technical training. Courses in international studies foster global competency by introducing students to different political structures, cultures, economic systems, and more; themes examining ethical responsibility are woven into disciplines throughout the College, leading to self-reflection and the respect of human dignity; and creativity is sparked not only by practicing the fine arts, but also by research—in the sciences, the humanities, and social science.

The classroom environment in the College encourages candid dialogue, a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, a free exchange of ideas, and the critical analysis essential to success in today’s workforce. We are proud to offer these ideals to our students.

This edition of the College of Arts & Sciences newsletter is a celebration of the liberal arts. We share with you how the Computer Science & Computational Thinking major integrates technical foundations in computer science with the liberal arts, the story of how one student is maximizing her time at Gonzaga with two majors and three minors, why it’s wrong to underestimate the value of a liberal arts degree, and how the College responds to some of the more erroneous myths about the liberal arts. 

Thank you for playing your role in the College of Arts & Sciences’ story.