Honors College to Mark Anniversary With Feb. 25 Forum

Issue Date: 
February 20, 2012
The main stairway of Pitt’s Honors College on the 36th floor of the Cathedral of LearningThe main stairway of Pitt’s Honors College on the 36th floor of the Cathedral of Learning

Established by the University of Pittsburgh trustees in 1986 and dedicated during the University’s Bicentennial Celebration on Founders Day in February 1987, the University Honors College (UHC) will commemorate its 25th anniversary with a daylong forum, including presentations and musical interludes, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in Pitt’s Bellefield Hall. This event is being coordinated with Pitt’s 225th anniversary celebration, which begins with Honors Convocation on Feb. 24 and continues through the 2012 Homecoming festivities in October.

“We are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Honors College,” says Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “It is fitting that we do so in conjunction with this year’s special Honors Convocation on Founders Day, which observes the 225th anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh. The Honors College was dedicated on Pitt’s Bicentennial Founders Day in 1987 as a way of highlighting the values held throughout the University. Today, the Honors College continues to embody the educational ideals that make our undergraduate programs among the very best in the nation. It represents our dedication to quality and our commitment to continually challenge our students and strengthen our academic performance.”

“In the 25 years since its founding, the UHC has contributed substantially to the University’s mission regarding undergraduate education,” said Edward M. Stricker, dean of the Honors College and a Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience. “It has done so in many practical ways, which collectively help to enhance the University’s national reputation. But that’s not nearly the sum of it. The UHC also fosters the highest educational standards and values while providing numerous opportunities for students and faculty members to do their best work. And it prepares students to become learners and thinkers for the rest of their lives. In short, I view the UHC as emblematic of what the University of Pittsburgh and the whole institution of education stand for.”

UHC alumni and University faculty and students will deliver remarks on the spirit and ideals for which the UHC has stood in promoting quality undergraduate education, and they also will discuss the college’s role in the future of undergraduate education at Pitt.

Stricker will open and close the forum, and Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg will deliver introductory remarks. In recognition of the 25th anniversary, 25 Pitt undergraduates will introduce the speakers and facilitate the day’s presentations. Musical interludes will take place intermittently throughout the event.

Colin Stewart, managing director of the Bank of America in New York and son of the late G. Alec Stewart, founding dean of the UHC, will give the opening talk, titled “Community College: Observations on Place, Culture, and Companionship in Pitt’s Honors College.”

Additional speakers and the titles of their presentations follow:

Daniel Armanios (A&S '07, ENGR '07), Pitt 2007 Rhodes Scholar who also was a 2005 Truman Scholar and a 2004 Goldwater Scholar, PhD student in management science and engineering at Stanford University, "Faces of Development";

Paul Bové, Pitt Distinguished Professor of English in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and editor of boundary 2, “Words, College, and the Educated Mind”;

Mary Ellen Callahan (A&S, UHC ’90), Pitt trustee and chief privacy officer and chief Freedom of Information Act officer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “When Can You Expect Privacy? How Technology, Social Norms, and Case Law Impact Reasonable Expectations of Privacy”;

N. John Cooper, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School and professor of chemistry, “Once More, With Feeling! Reflections on Teaching Passionately”;

Janelle Greenberg, Pitt professor of history, assistant dean, and academic integrity officer in the Dietrich School, “The UHC Contribution to Undergraduate Research”;

Kathy Humphrey, Pitt vice provost and dean of students, “Students: What They Haven’t Seen, But What They Do See”;

Lewis Jacobson, Pitt professor of biological sciences in the Dietrich School, “Undergraduate Research—The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”;

Peter Koehler, Pitt professor emeritus of physics and astronomy and former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Dietrich School, “Looking Ahead: Some Challenges for the UHC to Take Up Next”;

Peter Machamer, Pitt professor of history and philosophy of science in the Dietrich School, “How Is Learning Possible in a Complex World Where There Can Be No Absolutely Correct Answers and Our Questions Are All Simpleminded?”;

James V. Maher, Pitt Distinguished Service Professor of Physics and Astronomy, senior science advisor, and provost emeritus, “Dreams for Pitt’s Future: Building on Pitt’s Recent Past”;

Nancy Pfenning (A&S ’78), senior lecturer in Pitt’s Department of Statistics in the Dietrich School, “UHC Connections: An Elevator Speech”;

Nicole Rudolph (A&S, UHC ’90), assistant professor of French at Adelphi University, “Classroom Learning *Is* Experiential Learning”;

Eric Shiner (A&S ’94), director of the Andy Warhol Museum, “What Makes Our World Go Pop?;

Cindy Skrzycki, senior lecturer in Pitt’s Department of English in the Dietrich School and business correspondent at the Global Post, “The Honors College: The Classroom as Catapult”;

Dick Thornburgh (LAW ’57), Pitt emeritus trustee, former governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, former attorney general of the United States, and former U.N. undersecretary general, and now of counsel to the international law firm K&L Gates in its Washington, D.C., office, “The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy: A New Dimension in Honors College Studies”; and

Nathan Urban (A&S ’91, ’98G), a 1991 Pitt Rhodes Scholar and the Dr. Frederick A. Schwertz Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences and head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, “Benefits of Diversity: Lessons From the Brain.”

Visit University Honors College for more information.