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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
January 31, 2003

Award-winning Lecturer to Lead Carnegie Mellon University's Exciting New Humanities Scholars Program

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University principal lecturer Michael J. West has been selected to direct the Humanities Scholars Program, a bold new initiative that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will launch in the fall.

West, who teaches French, was the 1995-96 winner of Carnegie Mellon's William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award and the 1994 winner of the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award, given for distinguished teaching and educational service in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

"Michael is an outstanding educator and mentor with a wonderful record of accomplishment. He's a great choice to develop and implement the intellectual agenda of the program," said John Lehoczky, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Humanities Scholars Program will be a rigorous, four-year interdisciplinary program open by invitation to applicants in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The students will have the option to live in the same dormitory cluster their first two years at Carnegie Mellon in order to create a vibrant community of scholars. The program will be open to 20 freshman students each year.

The program will exemplify what sets the humanities at Carnegie Mellon apart from other institutions; namely, interdisciplinary research in a technologically rich environment with an open and forward-thinking stance towards the arts and the sciences.

The Humanities Scholars will be able to choose from among the university's degree programs, but they also will follow a four-year course of study involving comparative and in-depth research within and across disciplines.

The curriculum has been designed and will be team-taught by faculty in the university's humanities departments‹English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy. The program will culminate in the students' senior year with an independent research project and the Humanities Scholars Colloquium, in which students will share and discuss their research under the guidance of faculty.

The Humanities Scholars Program will foster an environment in which faculty from multiple disciplines collaborate on research and in designing courses, which will benefit all students. With the Humanities Scholars Program, Carnegie Mellon will take its place among the top institutions for the humanities in the nation.

"This is a very good moment for the humanities at Carnegie Mellon University because there's a lot of good support from the administration and I'm personally committed to increasing the visibility of the humanities on campus," West said.


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