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New FCLC Majors Embrace Science, Arts, and Interdisciplinary Study


Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) is embracing interdisciplinary studies and strengthening its arts program with new offerings.

For the 2014-15 academic year, the college is adding majors in humanitarian studies, integrative neuroscience, and new media and digital design, and is enhancing the music major.

Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of the college, said the enrichment of the music major is exciting because it’s the last piece of the puzzle in FCLC’s arts curriculum, already known for its stellar acting, dance, and visual arts programs.

“It would be wonderful to bring together some of the different performing areas,” said Father Grimes. “By adding music to the mix, it gives us some really interesting possibilities in the future.”

Partnerships are a big part of many of the new programs. FCLC has initiated a relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center, located in the Time Warner Center, whereby students can join a jazz ensemble that will be coached by a professional musician, with rehearsals onsite at the center. There are also plans to start a chamber orchestra in January.

The humanitarian studies major, which had previously been offered as a minor, likewise relies on students interning with humanitarian nongovernmental agencies. In addition to the resources at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), Father Grimes noted that faculty members such as Jeffrey Flynn, Ph.D. (philosophy), Amir Idris, Ph.D. (African and African American studies), and Hector Lindo-Fuentes, Ph.D. (history), have a lot to offer in the area.

“The more we looked into what we already had in terms of faculty resources, the more it looked like we could easily offer a major and that there would be significant interest in the area,” he said.

Since FCLC is already offering a costume design concentration in the theater department, plans for a fashion studies minor are in development—a curriculum that will be enhanced by FCLC’s close proximity to Fashion Week (held every spring and fall at New York’s Lincoln Center). In 2011, Father Grimes attended a meeting of a newly formed student activities fashion group, and was pleasantly surprised that students delved deeply into an intellectual investigation of the subject.

“There was a very scholarly presentation on the history of fashion, from an anthropological standpoint, and it was very impressive,” he said.

Outside partnerships are also a large factor in the recently unveiled environmental science major; students on both campuses work with the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Integrative neuroscience and new media and digital design, meanwhile, will embody multidisciplinary approaches.

The neuroscience major, also offered at Rose Hill, is split into three tracks (cell and molecular, cognitive, and systems and computational), each focusing on a specific aspect of neuroscience. The new media and digital design major will draw from visual arts, business, computer science, and communication and media studies.

“It’s a movement into fields of study that are somewhat different from the discipline-based majors that we’ve had,” Father Grimes said.

For more information on the new programs, visit


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