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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
July 7, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Selects Tim Haggerty To Lead Its Nascent Humanities Scholars Program

Timothy J. Haggerty
PITTSBURGH—Historian Timothy J. Haggerty has been named the director of the Humanities Scholars Program by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Humanities Scholars Program is a rigorous, four-year interdisciplinary program open by invitation to H&SS applicants. Besides taking seminars together throughout their undergraduate careers, the students have the option to live in the same dormitory cluster their first year at Carnegie Mellon in order to create a vibrant community of scholars. The program was launched in 2003, and 40 students currently are enrolled, including 17 incoming freshmen. During the 2003-04 academic year, the Humanities Scholars Program was led by Michael West, a teaching professor of French, whose leadership was critical in shepherding the program through its inaugural year.

"The program fosters excellent undergraduate work in the humanities. Carnegie Mellon is interested in developing H&SS as a place where the humanities are explored in ways that are different from traditional liberal arts schools, but that also don't take place at large, comprehensive universities," Haggerty said.

Haggerty earned his master's and doctor's degrees in history from Carnegie Mellon, and since 2000 he has been the associate director of the university's Center for the Arts in Society. He became acting director of the Humanities Scholars Program in September 2004. Previously, he worked as an assistant professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University, and he also has taught at Carnegie Mellon, Carlow University and St. Vincent College. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in city planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

"Tim Haggerty has provided outstanding leadership to the Humanities Scholars Program over the last year. He has a wonderful ability to inspire students and is exceptionally talented in shaping and leading new initiatives," said H&SS Dean John Lehoczky. "Tim's work with the Center for the Arts in Society has added a new dimension to the Humanities Scholars Program, and he is an ideal person to develop humanities research experiences for these students."

Haggerty said his goal is to expand the program to 80-100 students. He wants to integrate humanistic research throughout the curriculum and add a research seminar for seniors that he will supervise. Third-year students now will be able to receive research grants thanks to a donation from Carnegie Mellon alumnus Howard L. Ellin that will create a fund modeled on Carnegie Mellon's Small Undergraduate Research Grant program. In 2003, alumni Kim and Eric Giler established the Kim and Eric Giler Humanities Lecture Fund, which pays for visits by outside scholars and internal workshop events for students in the Humanities Scholars Program.

"The humanities are where we engage in public discourse. The humanities offer a sense of empowerment that one can take on discussions that inform our civic and public lives," Haggerty said.

The Humanities Scholars Program is part of the university's Humanities Initiative, a bold program to strengthen and broaden the humanities at Carnegie Mellon. The initiative also includes the Humanities Center, a collaborative research and education center between the university's four humanities departments, and the Center for the Arts in Society, which is a joint effort between H&SS and the College of Fine Arts.


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