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Founding Director Gorovitz selects staff, faculty to revitalize Honors program
Syracuse University’s Renee Crown University Honors Program has announced the appointment of Founding Director Samuel Gorovitz, Deputy Director Eric Holzwarth and a group of core faculty. The appointments follow a three-year process of review leading to a transformation of the honors program at SU.
“This new honors program is a dynamic answer to the Academic Plan’s call for greater success among SU’s best students,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “Honors students and faculty should expect an intense and engaging intellectual experience.”
The Fall 2004 semester will see the first cohort of students who will encounter the new program’s requirements and opportunities, which constitute “a thorough reconceptualization of the program,” according to Gorovitz.
The process began in 2001 when Freund moved the program into The College of Arts and Sciences, charging The College to administer the program on behalf of the University. Dean Cathryn Newton then commissioned an external review by a distinguished panel of leaders from other honors programs and followed that review with a series of internal reviews. This process led to the recommendation that the new honors program should require its students to demonstrate breadth, depth, global awareness, a sophisticated level of literacy and articulateness, collaborative capacity and commitment to service.
The program was renamed in 2002 to honor Trustee Emeritus Renee Schine Crown ’50. Crown’s family gave a substantial gift as part of this honor; the gift supports the costs of student research projects.
“With its talented and dedicated staff joined by the new core faculty, the program will serve its students more powerfully than ever,” says Gorovitz. “It will also help infuse the campus with increasing intellectual energy, creativity and ambition.”
In addition to appointing Holzwarth-formerly assistant dean of The College of Arts and Sciences-to the new full-time position of deputy director, Gorovitz has selected a group of core honors faculty to hold quarter-time appointments with the program. They will be involved in programmatic planning, advising and teaching, and oversight of curricular implementation.
“The initial cohort of core faculty is luminous, and is clear evidence of the University’s commitment to the excellence of its honors program,” says Gorovitz. Initial appointments include:
- Hubert (Hub) Brown, chair of the communications department in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, who has 12 years of experience in commercial and public television as a reporter and documentary producer. He teaches courses in broadcast news writing, race/gender and the mass media, and political and government reporting.
- Eletta S. Callahan, an award-winning associate professor of law and public policy in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, with strong interdisciplinary interests including environmental law and managerial ethics.
- Gerardine M. Clark, professor of drama, a highly regarded actress, playwright, director and mentor who has been chosen as a Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence.
- Sandra N. Hurd, interim dean of the Whitman School, professor of law and public policy, director of Learning Communities for Academic Affairs, and a long-time supporter of the Honors Program.
- Johanna Keller, director of the new Goldring Arts Journalism Program based at the Newhouse School and a nationally distinguished commentator on and advocate for the arts.
- Jim Spencer, professor of chemistry, newly appointed director of the Soling Program and leader of the SU Brass Ensemble.
- Larry Wolf, professor of biology, an expert on behavior and ecology with a long-standing involvement in the Honors Program and commitment to involving undergraduates in serious research projects.
Gorovitz-professor of philosophy and former Arts and Sciences dean at SU who was also, until recently, the Dearing-Daly Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University-will join the core faculty, as will others still to be named. There will be regular participation by College of Law faculty, who will teach undergraduate seminars to honors students beginning in the Spring 2005 semester. Dean Hannah Arterian will be first to do so.
“The Renee Crown University Honors Program, with its bold new curriculum and lustrous new core faculty, has already forged strong links across the schools and colleges on campus,” says Newton. “With such intense faculty support and participation, this ambitious new program will surely thrive.”
Among the first honors activities planned for the fall are a welcome dinner during Opening Weekend, which will also constitute the first class meeting of the first-year seminars; and a barbeque for
all honors students on Sept. 4, hosted by the recently formed Honors Student Association.
In addition to his duties at SU, Gorovitz will serve as bioethicist in residence and visiting professor of philosophy at Yale University for 2004-05. He will be at SU for part of each week, however, and has appointed Chris Kyle, associate professor of humanities in the history department, as a special assistant to ensure seamless and continuous leadership during the year ahead.
For more information on the Renee Crown University Honors Program, visit http://honors.syr.edu.