University of Pittsburgh Honors College Names Its First Faculty Fellows
The University Honors College (UHC) has named its initial cohort of honors college faculty fellows. Forty-six faculty members from across the University accepted the new designation. Three of the inaugural members named are McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members:
- Harvey Borovetz, PhD, Distinguished Professor and former Chair (2002-2013) in the Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, the Robert L. Hardesty Professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
- Steven Little, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and Associate Professor and CNG Faculty Fellow in the Departments of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering, Immunology, and Ophthalmology
- Ellen Cohn, PhD, Associate Dean for Instructional Development in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in Pitt’s Department of Oral Biology in the School of Dental Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, and in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute
The appointment, renewable for 3 years, recognizes faculty “who contribute something substantial on a regular basis,” said UHC Dean Edward Stricker, who noted that UHC has no faculty of its own, nor can faculty be appointed to it, and there are no plans to change that.
The designation carries with it no financial compensation. “It’s simply an honor, recognizing them in a public way that people had contributed significantly, and we hope they will continue to do so,” he said.
Dr. Stricker said the initial cohort “is not an exhaustive list of all faculty to contribute,” nor is it a list of “best” faculty, whatever the measure might be.
Rather, the fellows program recognizes their devotion to UHC and support of its values of academic attainment, intellectual curiosity, and generosity of spirit. “I really appreciate what they’re doing,” Dr. Stricker said.
“These are good people, in addition to being smart and industrious,” he said. “They’re not only talented and happy to work hard, but generous — they get satisfaction from helping others. Not that they’re simply willing to, they’re happy to,” Dr. Stricker said. “I want that to be the honors students, too. I want them to be good people, aware of their responsibility as members of their communities.”
He said the number of faculty fellows will grow, envisioning that eventually 1-2 percent of the University’s approximately 4,000 faculty could be invited.
Dr. Stricker envisions new cohorts being named each fall, either by UHC leaders or by a subset of fellows themselves. In addition to gathering at receptions at the University’s annual honors convocation and commencement, a third reception recognizing the fellows would be held early in the fall term, he said.
UHC faculty fellows will serve as ambassadors, encouraging other faculty to get involved with UHC, and advocating for the honors college in their schools and departments. With the designation they may feel even more empowered to speak up on behalf of UHC, the dean said.
Fellows also will be advisers to UHC leadership. Dr. Stricker said he envisions faculty meetings once or twice a year, in addition to regularly seeking fellows’ input and recommendations for improving the honors college. “It’s inconceivable that I’m the only one who thinks about these things, or has the correct perspective,” he said.
“Some of the best ideas are going to come from them.”