Creative Current 2023-2024 | Page 7





This spring , Jacksonville University opened the doors on its STEAM Institute , a 30,000-squarefoot facility dedicated to interdisciplinary science , technology , engineering , the arts , data science and mathematics studies on its Arlington campus .
The institute is among the first of its kind in the country – a standalone space dedicated to STEAM studies , housing unique learning spaces for students in the sciences , engineering , arts and math . The main disciplines that use the space include students in animation , computing sciences , cybersecurity , data science , engineering , film , fintech , and graphic design . Students in the STEAM Institute will develop highly-valued skills in today ’ s workforce : creativity , collaboration , critical thinking and communication .
“ The facility brings to our campus a dynamic and future-forward learning environment that will transform the student experience ,” said Dr . Timothy Snyder , dean of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities , which will play a central role in the curriculum and experiential learning activity at the STEAM Institute . “ The strategic design and interspersion of learning environments in engineering and design , cybersecurity , financial investments , data science , software development , film and animation will encourage a range of creative endeavors and approaches while building a community of innovators and problem solvers .”
At the forefront of the project are spaces unique to Jacksonville University and other institutions in the state , including a CyberRange simulation training center and FinTech Lab . A new undergraduate major and a master of business administration concentration in FinTech , or financial technology , which launched in the fall , complement the creation of the new space . The interdisciplinary program offers students courses at the intersection of finance , computer science , business analytics and data science . This innovative offering is the first of its kind in Northeast Florida , a burgeoning hub for FinTech companies such as FIS , Black Knight , Deutsche Bank , SoFi and more .
“ The future of higher education is at the intersection of disciplines ,” said Dr . Barbara Ritter , dean of the Davis College of Business & Technology and Director of Career Services . “ The interdisciplinary initiatives housed in the STEAM Institute will allow us not only to advance knowledge , but also to meet our industry partners ’ needs and the desires of future students .”