Dr. Nancy Enright, associate professor of English and Catholic studies, will succeed Dr. Anthony Sciglitano as the director of the University Core, effective on Sept. 1, 2017.
A statement from the Office of the Provost on Sept. 5 announced the appointment, made “upon the recommendation of the Search Committee.”
“Dr. Enright has been instrumental in the development of the Core and in teaching in the Core,” Dr. Karen Boroff, interim provost and executive vice president, said in the statement. “She brings excitement and expertise to this position as Seton Hall moves forward to make the Core one of the best core curricula to be found at the Catholic colleges and universities in our country, and, indeed, one of the best signature academic experiences for any undergraduate student anywhere.”
While the search process began in spring 2017, Enright didn’t muster up the courage to apply until the middle of the summer. After that, she was in Venice when it came time for the interview with the search committee, meaning what was supposed to be a face-to-face meeting turned into a conference call. Despite her unconventional application process, she was able to secure the appointment to be the director of the program she feels so passionately about.
“We are a Catholic university, and one of the things that makes Seton Hall different from perhaps any other university is that we have that foundation in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the Core grows out of that,” Enright said. “But it’s not like we just look at Catholic texts either. We’re looking at sort of a conversation of texts in these Signature courses that all look at these important questions about life, about meaning, about good and evil.”
Enright joined SHU’s faculty full time in 1988 and received tenure in 2007. She’s been heavily involved in the development of the University Core from its inception and has served as coordinator of the Journey of Transformation course since 2013, among other prestigious positions. In 2015, Enright received Seton Hall’s highest honor, the Bishop Bernard McQuaid Medal.
Enright explained that she attended the seminar at which discussions about the University Core first began in May 1998.
“It was exciting to begin this new program, and it is still exciting to be a part of it,” Enright said.
According to the statement, when Enright is not at Seton Hall, she offers English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction for refugees through Catholic Charities and South Orange and Maplewood. She is also a member of the Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Newark.
Sciglitano will return to teaching in the Department of Religion after spending years as director of the Core.
“Dr. Sciglitano has been instrumental in the advancement of all aspects of the Core during his tenure,” Boroff said in the statement. “He has left his tremendous imprint on the development of the Core courses, the training of the Core instructors and the Core Fellows and the experience of Service Learning.”
Boroff said in an email that since the announcement of Enright’s appointment, many of Enright’s colleagues have told Boroff “how gifted [Enright] is and they look forward to working with her.”
Enright said that when considering future plans for the University Core, which she described as constantly evolving, she takes on a “students first” mentality because of her love for Seton Hall students.
Among those plans are a speaker series and a pre-assessment for first year students who are going to take Journey of Tranformation to better measure their academic progress.
Samantha Sellars, a junior elementary and special education and English double major who took the Children’s Literature course taught by Enright, said in an email that Enright is the right fit for the job because she’s “very open minded and spiritual.”
“Dr. Enright encouraged me and my peers to search deeper and try to gain a better understanding of literature. She also showed us how literature can be connected to our personal lives and sprituality,” Sellars wrote. “I firmly believe that she will bring about a new way of thinking that promotes confidence and intellect amongst the students here as they undergo the University Core.”
“I feel very closely connected with the Core,” Enright said. “I really am committed to it.”
Brianna Bernath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.