Seton Hall University

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michael Vigorito  

Michael VigoritoProfessor Michael Vigorito exemplifies servant leadership. Seeking neither the spotlight nor highly visible positions, he has and continues even in phased retirement to make enormous and often unsung contributions to the University. Dr. Vigorito has been an integral part of Seton Hall since joining the Department of Psychology in 1989. Throughout his tenure, he has maintained an externally funded and nationally recognized program of research, even as he distinguished himself as a dedicated, creative teacher and active contributor to service. As Dr. Vigorito is retiring from Seton Hall at the end of this semester, we take this opportunity to recognize his long-standing and selfless dedication to our community.

Highlights of Dr. Vigorito’s contributions include:

Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) from 1999-2008 and 2011-2021: IACUC reviews all proposals for use of animals in research at SHU and ensures compliance with government regulations. As chair, Dr. Vigorito organizes meetings to review proposals, helps researchers align proposals with IACUC requirements, coordinates annual inspections of campus animal facilities, and submits yearly reports to the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare to verify federal compliance. Dr. Vigorito served in this capacity for animal researchers at SHU and the Neuroscience Institute at JFK Hospital, whose researchers belong to the SHU IACUC. Dr. Vigorito has continued this work even on sabbatical, including spring 2020 during the pandemic. He helped develop laboratory reopening plans and maintained timely compliance with federal mandates, including inspections which remained in place throughout the lockdown. Even in phased retirement, without service obligations, he continues to assist the current chair transition into this role. None of this essential work is compensated with administrative assistance, a stipend, or course release/s.

Director of University Assessment Center, 2013-2015: Dr. Vigorito was the first director of this Center, which was created in 2013 with Middle States Commission on Higher Education Decennial Review underway. Dr. Vigorito worked with departments and programs to establish assessment mechanisms. Dr. Vigorito has served as the Psychology department representative to the University Assessment Committee for the past 8 years.

Teaching in the University Core: Dr. Vigorito's commitment to the University’s Catholic mission and goals includes his development and teaching of a highly popular Signature 3 Engaging the World course, Robotics and the Mind, which he coteaches with a faculty member from Math/Computer Science, first Dr. Bert Wachsmuth and later an adjunct faculty member whom Dr. Vigorito mentored. This course provides students a unique opportunity think about issues of religion and faith in a scientific context.

Lovelette Interdisciplinary Series presentation: in October 2018, Dr. Vigorito gave a presentation titled "What are the Prospects for Truth in the Liberal Arts? Disciplinary Engagements with Fides et Ratio and Ex Corde Ecclesiae" as part of the series. This talk was so well received that he was invited by the interim provost to speak to the University Board of Regents at their December meeting.

Dr. Vigorito has also served as member (2016-18) and Chair (2017-2018) of the University Rank & Tenure Committee, a dependable member of the Petersheim Academic Exposition Committee (1998-2016), and the ad hoc Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum Committee (2016-17), among many ad hoc committees. Esteemed by faculty and administrators alike for his fairness, generosity, intelligence, and reliability, Dr. Vigorito has frequently been elected and appointed to ad hoc committees of all kinds, from the University Academic Dishonesty Investigation Panel (2014) to a Provost's Committee to Review the Operation of the IRB. More recently, Dr. Vigorito organized a presentation at SHU’s 2019 Women and Gender Studies Conference; he invited and introduced Victoria Munro, Executive Director of the Alice Austen House on Staten Island. Dr. Vigorito movingly connected Alice Austen, the only female photographer to have a museum entirely dedicated to her work and an impactful figure in the LGBTQ community, to the history and work of SHU.

A regular marshal at graduation and presenter at TLTC events on online and hybrid teaching, Dr. Vigorito has been and continues to be an exemplary colleague, excellent in research, teaching, and service, and terrifically collegial to boot. We thank him for his long and extraordinary contributions to Seton Hall and wish him a long and happy retirement. We shall miss him dearly on campus.

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For more information, please contact:

  • Bernadette McVey
  • (973) 761-9655