Carnegie Mellon's Science and Humanities Scholars Program Selects William L. Alba as the Innovative Program's First Director-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Carnegie Mellon's Science and Humanities Scholars Program Selects William L. Alba as the Innovative Program's First Director

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has named William L. Alba to be the first director of the university's Science and Humanities Scholars Program, which is run jointly by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Mellon College of Science. Alba will start his new position Aug. 1.

The Science and Humanities Scholars Program (SHS) is a multidisciplinary program that enables talented students to develop an undergraduate curricular program that builds upon their interests and achievements in the humanities, natural sciences, mathematics or social sciences. Students can choose a major from either college, and first-year students have the option of living together in the same residence hall cluster. The SHS program was launched in 1999, and about 50 students have enrolled in the program each year.

"The heart of my own education and work has always involved the integration of the sciences and humanities, and to be working in those fields at a world-class university promises a great deal of excitement," Alba said.

For the past two years, Alba has been the associate dean of studies at Bard High School Early College in New York City, a cutting-edge institution that allows high school students to complete two years of college while they earn their high school diploma. Alba has taught science and the liberal arts at premier institutions including St. John's College, Bard College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Phillips Academy and the University of California at Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from U.C. Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Cornell University.

"A true mentor and scholar in many fields, William brings unique qualifications to this position," said Richard D. McCullough, dean of the Mellon College of Science. "His work at Carnegie Mellon will undoubtedly prepare students to enter a world that increasingly demands interdisciplinary leaders. The creation of this position adds critical strength to one of the university's elite programs."

Alba plans to focus on creating a more integrated curriculum for SHS students, including a seminar program for first-year students and a capstone experience for seniors. He also wants to strengthen the SHS lecture series and create an active alumni program for graduates.

"William Alba has an impressive record as an education innovator, and we expect him to use his creativity to enhance the SHS program and build its reputation as one of Carnegie Mellon's strongest undergraduate programs," said John Lehoczky, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

By: Lauren Ward