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students gather with their professors and supervisors for the SOLV project dealing with mapping murals in Midway

Changing Lives On Campus and Beyond

Our students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences think like no one else can. They connect the dots between art and chemistry, math and philosophy, biology and political science -- and everything else in between. The power of the ideas that come out of our college literally cannot be contained by our classrooms, so we're taking them into our community, where we're going to change the world.

In the dynamic and modern world, successful leaders have an open mind, exhibit empathy and bounce between the targeted goal and the big picture. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we teach our students to think in uncommon ways by educating them dig into the complex factors at the root of today's most challenging problems. Our students have the smarts to change the world, but they need you to take them to the top.

By supporting programs like our SOLV initiative, you'll be connecting the most influential, talented and powerful people in our community who can help create and enact social and economic change. Your support of research and community engagement programs will cure diseases and reduce poverty. Your backing of our students and faculty will make the College of Arts and Sciences the go-to place for problem-solvers and innovators who are ready to tackle the world's biggest challenges.

Contact

Jennifer Snyder

Director of Development, College of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Snyder
Phone Number
651-962-6932

We Can SOLV It Together

Really big ideas can't be constrained by four walls. In the spirit of innovation and transformation, the College of Arts and Sciences has created the SOLV Initiative. It's an agile think tank that moves beyond campus and into the community we serve for the common good.

Our collaborative efforts focus on three primary areas where we can make an impact:

By combining arts and humanities with the natural sciences, students and faculty members pursue applied-research projects that use innovative concepts and designs to demonstrate how the arts and humanities improve culture, society and productivity.

Addressing questions and issues of human and environmental health, the Sustainable Communities and Ecosystems focus area provides opportunities for faculty members and students to collaborate on innovative applied research across disciplines.

Guided by the values of civility and reasoned debate within Catholic intellectual tradition, the Civility and Public Discourse focus area is dedicated to repairing and creating new pathways for civil discourse through applied research, public lectures and forums, and scholarship that sparks discussion around critical questions of civil engagement and civic participation.

SOLV is a trifecta. It’s a perfect alignment of the academic pursuit with community partnering and the desire to contribute to the common good. Teachers, students and community members are all invested. This is what makes our university so special.

Dr. Yohuru Williams, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Dean Williams smiles while greeting someone at a graduation ceremony

Meet the Dean

An inspiring leader with a passion for community engagement and impact, Dr. Yohuru Williams is committed to taking the groundbreaking work of our students and faculty well beyond the classroom and into the spaces where it's needed most. Since being named dean in 2017, Dean Williams has spearheaded an innovative vision for the College of Arts and Sciences that meets the needs of our changing society while remaining grounded in Catholic intellectual tradition, on which the college was founded. Through projects like the SOLV Initiative and the Awakening and Empower programs, Williams' vision for the College of Arts and Sciences ensures that our liberal arts mission will foster within our students the pursuit of truth and knowledge, critical thinking, artistic expression, communication skills and the value of life-long learning.

People have been awakened to our community’s problems, and it also has sparked their desire to reach out to our peers. This study abroad experience is something that changed my life and drives what I want to do moving forward.

Maggie Martin ’20, Rome Empower program alumna
A photo of the Trevi Fountain at night in Rome, Italy

01 Broaden Their Horizons

Study Abroad Scholarships

Study abroad is a transformative experience for students. While their scholarships and financial aid can follow students across the ocean, these scholarships help bridge the gap and cover travel expenses, a common barrier for students traveling abroad. 
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A professional volunteer photography coach mentors ThreeSixty Journalism students

02 The Power of Voice and Storytelling

ThreeSixty Journalism

ThreeSixty Journalism is an award-winning, immersive and inclusive multimedia and college success program for high school students. Supporting ThreeSixty Journalism facilitates pathways to higher education for traditionally underrepresented communities. 
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A table filled with pictures of past O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award winners

03 Historic and Contemporary Bonds

The Center for Irish Studies

The Center for Irish Studies advances teaching and scholarship in Irish Studies for students, faculty and friends of the university. It enriches the dimensions of education at St. Thomas while affirming the many historic and contemporary bonds between the university, Ireland and the Irish-American community.
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ThreeSixty has made my dreams of college a reality. I am so excited to be at St. Thomas in the fall and just know that at the end of the long (but fun) four years I will be doing something I truly am passionate about in a field that needs more people of color and females.

Heidi Sanchez Avila ’23

Areas of Need

Empower Study Abroad

The Empower Study Abroad -- or SOLV Global -- program takes our big ideas where they're needed most around the world. Support global faculty research or sponsor a student who is presenting at an international conference. Whether it's disaster relief or agricultural revolution, you can ensure that our liberal arts students make an impact well beyond the Twin Cities.

Access and Support

Access to education is the most powerful way to break the cycle of poverty, and the College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing scholarships to underserved populations and first-generation college students in order to break that cycle. Our goal is to ensure that no one is left behind in our education system, and your support of scholarships will change the lives of students today and empower our students of the future.

Student Diversity

Diverse perspectives don't just create more thoughtful students -- they create more empathetic people. We're committed to attracting students of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds through scholarships for first-generation college students, students of color, and those with the highest financial need. In conjunction with Dougherty Family College, we're diversifying our student body in order to create richer experiences for all of our students, in and outside of the classroom.
Contact Jennifer Snyder for more information