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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dr. Mark Milewicz named dean of UNCP’s Honors College

Dr. Mark C. Milewicz has been named dean of UNC Pembroke’s Esther G. Maynor Honors College. He began work in July.

Mark MilewiczAn Alabama native, Dr. Milewicz comes to Pembroke from Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga., where he was a professor of political science and director of the honors program. At UNCP, the new dean will be responsible for curriculum, budgeting, programming, advising and recruitment for the Honors College.

Dr. Ken Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said he is pleased to have Dr. Milewicz join the university in an important role.  “Mark is a very engaging and committed individual,” Kitts said.  “I am impressed with his vision for the honors college and look forward to working with him to create expanded opportunities for students in that program.”

From his office in Old Main, Dr. Milewicz said he has found UNCP to be a friendly place. “I have enjoyed my time here; the people are friendly and the weather has even cooled off a bit,” he said. “I am very excited to be here, and I am excited about being part of the honors college here at UNCP.”

Dr. Milewicz was founding director of the Honors Program at Gordon College, a school with an enrollment of 5,200. Beginning in 2008, the program grew each year and had more than 60 members when he left.

“I’ve had quite a lot of experience with honors colleges, and I’ve enjoyed working with them, even as a graduate student,” Dr. Milewicz said. “Building the program at Gordon College was a lot of work – a great challenge – but very enjoyable. It was very gratifying to leave that program on what I believe to be solid footing.”

UNCP’s Esther Maynor Honors College has 35 new and 70 existing honors students returning for the fall. With an eight-member faculty advisory council, the college offers honors courses, programming outside the classroom and a living-learning residential community. The challenges of leading an honors program are many.

“You have to be a utility infielder in this role,” the new dean said. “One day you work on budgets and the next recruitment strategies and so forth.”

Working with the faculty is very important, Dr. Milewicz said. “You have to be in tune with every aspect of the academic environment,” he continued. “The support and enthusiasm of the faculty is crucial to an honors program, and I feel that support here.

“The college is very fortunate to receive a significant level of support from the chancellor and provost also,” he said. “We feel very fortunate.”

The Honors College at UNCP is a robust aspect of our campus community, Dr. Milewicz said, noting the strong leadership of past directors and a diverse student membership.

“At this time, we seem to be going in the right direction,” Dr. Milewicz said. “Our entering freshmen have some of the strongest academic credentials we have seen and are a cross section of student athletes, nursing students, and young scholars representing a variety of disciplines from across campus. I’m very impressed with the individual students and their accomplishments.”

Dean Milewicz said that while the last recruiting class is a good one, he will continue to build on recent gains with creative recruiting strategies. An honors program should be visible and active across campus, he said.

“I hope to create frequent opportunities, both on campus and off, for students to be part of the Honors College,” Dr. Milewicz said. “A good variety of programs attracts diverse students.”

Dr. Milewicz will teach an honors course each semester, and a significant slice of his time will be devoted to advising honors students on their senior project.

“In conjunction with the faculty, I will also direct senior research projects,” he said. “The capstone project is a significant academic exercise, and we have a responsibility to help students navigate that process and to succeed.”

Dr. Milewicz earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Alabama. His academic specialty is political theory and American politics. His book, co-authored by Dr. Phillip Bridgmon and titled “ePolitics: Technology in American Government,” was published in 2004. He has published and presented numerous papers and written two articles on the U.S. Constitution and world terrorism.

Active in the American Political Science Association and its Southern and Georgia chapters, Dr. Milewicz is also a member of the American Association of University Professors and Alpha Epsilon Lambda professional honor society.

In 2011, he was named a Governor’s Teaching Fellow and won a President’s Faculty Development Grant to support his research. In 2007, he won the Artinian Award, the Southern Political Science Association’s professional development award.

For more information about the Esther G. Maynor Honors College, please call 910.521.6841 or email honors@uncp.edu.

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