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The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Get ExCITed about interdisciplinary research

Coming out of high school, one of our most important decisions as students was selecting a major. That one choice determined what kinds of colleges and universities we would apply to and provide focus for our next four or five years of learning.

As Drexel students, our various co-ops have provided us with real-world job experience that we likely wouldn’t have had elsewhere. We’ve learned that the world is not confined to the neat boxes our majors define for us. The ability to work on multiple types of projects in different areas of study is what helps working adults create new ideas and technologies.

After being on co-op and experiencing work environments that require us to dabble in multiple disciplines, many outside our own majors, the confines of our set curriculum can seem restraining. We’ve learned that the arts, science, technology and engineering are all disciplines that are most effective when combined.

This is why we are excited for the opening of the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies Center here at Drexel. The ExCITe center will allow multidisciplinary research teams from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, the College of Engineering and the College of Information Science and Technology to come together and create ideas in this “innovation incubator” that will propel us into the future.

This vehicle for implementing partnerships between areas of study will help transition us business-savvy Drexel students into a workforce that demands an array of skills from various disciplines. All students at Drexel — whether they are engineers, writers, nurses or designers — have something insightful to offer each other. This teamwork is exactly what the ExCITe Center seeks to promote. Drexel is yet again proving itself to be a proactive university with a faculty determined to expand its scope in ways that enrich its students.

While this is a great step forward, more work can still be done to allow valuable cross-disciplinary work to be performed as a day-to-day activity in Drexel’s undergraduate curriculum. Steps have already been made toward this in the past with offerings from the Pennoni Honors College, such as its “Custom-Designed Major” program, but there are no such options available to the general University population.

We hope that Drexel continues on this path of expanding our interdisciplinary programs, as they have the most promise of changing how we think about the world.