Welcome to the new year, honors students, faculty, staff and other friends. I write to you as the new interim director of the Honors Program. I am an associate professor in the Department of English, and I've been a member of the Miami faculty for 5 years. I've taught in the honors program and served on the advisory committee for several years. Although there is much to learn, I am excited to take up the challenge of directing this extraordinary program, a program dedicated to meaningful and excellent educational experiences.
Having served on the University Honors Program Advisory Committee for two years, taught several honors courses, and advised honors students on their projects, I remain committed to advancing honors education and the experiences of high-ability students. I would like, in particular, to encourage interdisciplinary inquiry and promote undergraduate research experiences across the university, including the social sciences and the humanities. These initiatives will require not only time but also creativity, and I believe they will make this program even stronger and more successful than it already is. These initiatives join several others: a web-based interface to streamline our students’ experiences, centralizing e-communication through the HUB, and more.
As many of you know, our curriculum has become more expansive and diverse with courses and intensive co-curricular programs from almost every department and program on campus, and our program has shifted from a standard GPA and course-based set of requirements to a portfolio, outcomes-based and individualized program. Today, the University Honors Program receives over 1,800 applications annually for an incoming class of 400-500 students, and our average student has earned a 31 ACT score and is ranked in the top 6% of their graduating class. Retention rates for the program have soared, and we have expanded our residence halls to two large first- and second-year halls with robust educational and social programming. Our students are accepted into professional and graduate schools at extraordinary rates, and they have earned prestigious fellowships for post-baccalaureate study. This past year alone, for example, our students won Goldwater, Astronaut, Beckman, and Fulbright Scholarships.
I'm looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the new year, to meeting more students, gathering perspectives, and GETTING TO WORK!
Interim Director of Honors Program