College adds three new majors

In the last two years, Saint Joseph's College has introduced majors in human resource management, political science, and Literature and American Culture.

The human resource management major focuses on how organizations can manage their human resources to perform more effectively. It prepares students for careers in recruiting and employment, compensation, benefits, training and labor relations.

"The best HR professionals have a broad base of business skills allowing them to function as business partners within an organization," says business administration professor Beth Richardson, who developed and will oversee the major.

The major combines traditional business courses with a strong internship program and the required human resource courses. Students will study recruitment and staffing, training, management and employee development, employment and union-management relations, wage and salary management, evaluation of employee performance, national and international human resource policies and programs, as well as organizational behavior, development and leadership.

The Literature and American Culture major is designed for studying literature within the context of contemporary culture and issues. The major is more rooted in social, political, and aesthetic issues than the typical English major.

"I think that students will find this major particularly relevant to contemporary life," says English professor Edward Rielly, who helped to develop the new field of study.

Different from programs found at other colleges, where the focus is often more historical and sociological, the new major offers an interdisciplinary perspective on society through the prism of fiction, drama, poetry, memoir and essay.

Rielly says literature on significant current issues abounds. "We will read literature for aesthetic elements such as plot, metaphor and symbol, but we'll also look at how that literature reflects aspects of American culture," Rielly adds. "As we analyze the texts, we'll consider such topics as American values, beliefs, history, ways of living and working and global concerns."

The Literature and American Culture major is more rooted in social, political and aesthetic issues than the typical English major.

Last fall, Saint Joseph's began offering a political science major, which focuses on political theory, American government, international studies and public administration. The major will provide background for careers in law, public administration, teaching, research, the non-profit sector, journalism, international service or business, government or elective office, and public service.

Michael Connolly and Andrea Vianello of the history department have guided this new program over the past year, and both are pleased at the degree of interest and the quality of the first group of majors. According to Connolly, student interest in political issues is sure to peak as the nation heads to next year's elections.

"We look forward to bringing on a full-time political scientist with expertise in public administration, research and archive skills, and political science methodology," he adds.