The Nazareth College Institute for Technology, AI, and Society (ITAS) will become a global leader in preparing students for in-demand jobs to create and improve technologies so that they lead to positive and just outcomes for businesses, organizations, and society. Nazareth’s approach emphasizes ethics, interdisciplinarity, and innovation.

The Institute includes an interdisciplinary collection of academic programs and faculty expertise, experiential learning for students, and community connections designed to benefit students as well as nonprofits and businesses facing AI challenges and opportunities.

Academic Programs | Why Nazareth? | People | The Need | Contact Us

Academic programs

Nazareth’s undergraduate opportunities:

Why Nazareth?

Nazareth College is part of the Public Interest Technology University Network — a partnership of 20+ universities and colleges committed to building the nascent field of public interest technology and growing a new generation of civic-minded technologists.

Nazareth’s competitive advantage lies in our ability to develop interdisciplinary programs with a strong emphasis on hands-on, practical experience. Nazareth is nationally recognized for civic engagement and experiential learning through our Weider Community Engagement office and our Center for Life’s Work. Students have personal career coaches starting in their first semester, and access to our NACE award-winning SPARK grant, which provides financial support for internships, research experiences, and study abroad. We are working closely with local, regional, and public and private partners to immerse our students in practical experiences early and often.

While other colleges teach coding and technology, the ethical and societal implications are part of every AI course at Nazareth. From its start in 1924, Nazareth has been committed to social justice, has evolved in response to societal/community needs, and has challenged students to be innovators.

Very few small colleges offer any artificial intelligence programs. Yet well-prepared professionals who understand societal implications are urgently needed to address the challenges, risks, and workforce needs.

Our People

Institute Co-directors

  • Yousuf George, Ph.D.
  • Dianne Oliver, Ph.D.

Core Faculty

  • Wendy Norris, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, uses project-based learning to teach students to apply computational thinking, human-centered computing, and ethical data science practices to real-world problems
  • Chelsea Wahl, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, specializes in technology and inequity, social psychology, work and organizations, and ethnography

Affiliated Faculty

  • Thomas Donlin-Smith, Ph.D. (religious studies)
  • Matthew Koetz, Ph.D. (mathematics)
  • Kimberly McGann, Ph.D. (sociology and anthropology)
  • Joseph Porter, D.P.S. (business and leadership)
  • Machessa Samz, Ph.D. (philosophy)
  • Mark Weber, M.B.A. (business and leadership)

Contact Us

Prospective students: Request information

Nazareth welcomes community partners:

  • Provide a project that a student team could tackle
  • Host an intern focused on artificial intelligence
  • Collaborate to address a business or societal challenge
  • Consult with College expertise

Contact the Institute:

Watch Videos

    Beth Paul
    Dianne Oliver
    Yousuf George

    The Need

    Technology is transforming the ways that people live, work, and govern.

    Hiring and Promotion

      Technology can help or hurt workers.

      Technology can help avoid unconscious bias in recruiting — but tech tools also can discriminate. Amazon had to scrap its resume-vetting software because it was based on data about current, overwhelmingly male engineers, so it consistently discriminated against women.

      Nazareth will educate future tech project managers about bias and how to avoid it in algorithms.

      Facial Recognition

        Dangerous inaccuracies & privacy violations or community protection?

        Facial recognition systems are increasingly being used by police, schools, and governments in multiple countries — outpacing laws. The systems are known to misidentify people of color, leading to false arrests and other inequities.

        Nazareth will educate future policymakers and advocates to raise questions to prevent unintended consequences and to create systems and policies that balance safety vs. privacy rights.

        Health Diagnosis & Treatment

          Who's excluded from the data that guides decisions?

          Machine learning can help pathologists diagnose cancer and help nurses triage patients. But who's accountable when diagnoses are wrong? Which decisions should be delegated to machines?

          Nazareth will educate future tech and health project managers to make sure technology doesn't hurt patients. Example: Algorithms that rely on studies that excluded elderly patients and pregnant women won't be accurate for those populations.