Greetings! I am excited to join the SAS Honors Program as the new Academic Dean. After 4.5 years of service, Dean Jennifer Jones has decided to return full time to the History Department, where she will teach a new graduate course and finish a book on gender and the Enlightenment. On behalf of the entire SASHP community, we thank Dean Jones for her wonderful leadership.
As a professor of physics and astronomy, I have already worked with the Honors Program by teaching interdisciplinary honors seminars, being a faculty mentor, and serving on the summer reading selection committee. Now as Dean I am thrilled to work with the amazing leadership team and the wonderful array of students, faculty, and alumni who create such a vibrant honors community at Rutgers.
On June 23, new and continuing SASHP students came together at the Werblin Recreation Center for the annual peer mentor picnic. Superbly organized by Dean Jenny Kim-Lee and Emily Wolfrum, the event was centered on Marvel’s Avengers but also went old-school with a dramatic rock/paper/scissors showdown. To see more, check out the event on Instagram.
This fall, the SASHP will build our mission course around our summer reading, Lisa Ko’s The Leavers (2018). Ko’s novel explores a series of pressing social and political issues through the experience of Deming Guo, an 11-year-old boy in New York City whose Chinese mother is deported. Not knowing what happened, Deming is adopted by a well-meaning American couple who change his name and move him to a small town in upstate New York. Although set against the backdrop of contemporary debates over immigration, the novel raises a set of eternal questions about what it means to cross borders and achieve a sense of belonging. Lisa Ko will join the SAS Honors Program for our Summer Reading Celebration and Induction Ceremony, open to all incoming Honors Program students, on Friday, August 30 at the College Avenue Student Center.
There is much more to come, so watch this space. In the meantime, I hope your summer is restful and productive (in the appropriate balance), and I look forward to seeing you back on campus in the fall.
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