Two departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences enter the fall 2009 semester with new names that better represent their program offerings.

"The changes reflected in these two departments provide opportunities for growth and innovation," said Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. "We are excited and pleased about the possibilities."

The Department of Theatre and Cinema, formerly Theatre Arts, has expanded to include additional faculty members and courses formerly in the communication department. The merger brings together academic and creative studies that more closely align with realities of the professions in today's world and provides expanded training for students interested in these creative industries.

The restructured department remains in the School of Performing Arts and Cinema, along with the Department of Music, within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The Department of Religion and Culture, formerly Interdisciplinary Studies, focuses on research, teaching, and engagement in the humanities and social sciences. The department encourages students to consider the necessary interconnections between culture and religion by engaging with multiple dimensions of the human experience. The department emphasizes the diversity of this experience through the study of topics such as religious violence in the medieval and contemporary worlds, secularism, globalization of Appalachia, and gender and Islam.

All of these intellectual pursuits prepare students to understand and engage ethical-political change throughout their lives. The department houses the undergraduate major in Interdisciplinary Studies and a graduate certificate in Liberal Arts, and it is a contributing department to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. granting Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program.

Share this story