Dr. Stephen E. Fritz Joins Honors
The Honors College is pleased to introduce Dr. Stephen Fritz as our new Interim Dean. Dr. Fritz came on board on July 1st, and has already made strides since his arrival in promoting Honors and drawing positive attention to the College.
Members of the Texas Tech administration who selected Dr. Fritz felt that he was particularly well-suited for the position, having achieved such goals at previous institutions as orchestrating budget surpluses and successful capital campaigns, overseeing large growths in student enrollment, and creating a College Press at both North Carolina Wesleyan College and New England College.
In a faculty and staff meeting held during the first week of his tenure, Dr. Fritz announced that his plan for moving forward calls on all members of the Honors team, including administration, faculty, staff, and students, to work closely together to grow and improve the Honors College in terms of enrollment, retention, student involvement, and educational value provided.
Dr. Fritz began working toward these goals on the very day of his arrival on campus by scheduling visits to meet with the Deans of the ten other Academic colleges. In these meetings, he plans to outline the advantages to the entire university which the Honors College provides, and to encourage sustained cooperation between Honors and each of the other academic units on campus, including the strong connections the College has already built with the TTU Law School and the TTUHSC School of Medicine.
In addition to maintaining and strengthening relationships with leaders at the university, the new Interim Dean made it clear that that he will also take an active role in fundraising and recruiting initiatives for Honors, but that he intends, despite such a busy schedule, to be highly involved with the Honors student community by attending College-sponsored student activities and functions, and by getting to know our student leaders and representatives.
We look forward to assisting Dr. Fritz to accomplish the objectives he has set forth for the Honors College, and to work alongside him in continuing to offer an exceptional educational experience to our students.
Honors Recruits Top Scholars
On July 12th and 13th, 85 high-performing high school students came to Texas Tech to experience life on the campus as members of the Honors College. These academically-motivated rising seniors were hand-picked by the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions to attend Red Raider Experience based on their standardized test scores and class rankings as meeting the eligibility requirements for the Honors College. They were invited to attend the one-and-a-half day event which aimed to attract them to Tech by introducing them to our beautiful campus and facilities, and to encourage them to apply to the Honors College by introducing them to Honors faculty, staff, and students.
The new Interim Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Stephen Fritz, welcomed parents of the RRE attendees at a kick-off lunch in the Merket Alumni Center, while Honors staff and student Ambassadors interacted with the students throughout the camp, answering questions about the admissions and application process and about their experiences and involvement in the Honors community.
The event included several activities calculated to mimic student social life at Tech, including free time at the REC, an ‘Amazing Race’-style campus scavenger hunt, and an ice cream party featuring Cowamongus frozen custard. In between floating the Lazy River in the REC Leisure Pool and attempting to locate a life-size bronze statue of the 40th Governor of Texas on the campus, RRE attendees also participated in a few academic activities designed to simulate real Honors College student experiences.
Four different current events discussions, modeled after Friday Lunch Discussion in the College, were held to allow attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions on current topics. Each discussion was facilitated by an Honors Professor: Dr. Gary Elbow, Dr. Jim Brink, Dr. Michael Berry, and Dr. Wendell Aycock each led a small group discussion on topics ranging from “Violence in the Media” to “Crossing Borders.”
The student attendees of RRE met a second group of Honors professors while attending a mock Honors lecture, given by four faculty members in various fields. Dr. Dominic Casadonte gave an interactive Chemistry demonstration exploring triboluminescence using wintergreen Life-Savers. Dr. Micah Green (a TTU Honors College alumnus) presented information on some of the exciting new areas of research emerging in the Engineering field. Dr. Cathy Duran gave a topical lecture in the area of Strategic Management which included a student-led participation activity, while Dr. Jerry Koch gave his group of students an intriguing introduction to Sociology.
The two offices which worked together to plan Red Raider Experience, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions and the Honors College, felt that the event was a resounding success. Student Ambassador Breanna Goodwin, a senior Biology and Spanish major from Bonham, remarked that “RRE is one of my favorite opportunities to act as an Honors Ambassador – and it's also one of the reasons why I myself came to Tech. The attendees have a chance not only to experience mock Honors classes and the Lunch Discussion, but to get a feel for the energy and spirit of the Honors College here at Tech. It's been a blast every time I've been able to participate, although, sadly, my group has never won the campus Scavenger Hunt.”