Sept. 8, 2023
headshot of interim dean pollard

Franke Honors Wildcat Alumni & Friends,  

Welcome to the start of a new academic year! As Interim Dean here at the Franke Honors College, I am so grateful to be part of this amazing college. The Honors Village is again filled with the hustle and bustle of our incredible students moving in and starting classes. I, along with our dedicated faculty and staff, am excited to continue our work in providing innovative education and research opportunities for our students conducted in a welcoming, collaborative, and inclusive environment. We are committed to elevating the student experience so they can discover the best version of themselves and grow into the leaders of tomorrow.  

As we strive to offer the best education possible for our students, I want to share some exciting news with you. This fall, Franke Honors launched The Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII), inspired by the University of Technology Sydney - UTS TD School. BCII is a dual degree program designed to complement how students think within their primary major and helps prepare them to face society’s present and future challenges through experiential learning, engaged critical thinking, and transdisciplinary study. As the year progresses, we’ll share more information on how this program evolves and its impact on our students. We are beyond excited to finally make this innovative program a reality for our students!   

I am proud to announce some key changes and additions to our faculty and leadership that will improve the work we are doing to serve our students. I have appointed Jennie McStotts as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Jennie has been serving as chair of our faculty and has been increasingly taking on more leadership responsibilities within the college. In this new role, Jennie will continue to provide guidance to our amazing academic programs, assist in managing our academic budget, and collaborate closely with our advising team to provide the best learning experiences for our students. I am also thrilled to announce that Dr. Nadia Alvarez Mexia will be joining Franke Honors full-time as an Assistant Professor of Practice and Assistant Director of Learning Development and Community Involvement. Nadia is a change-maker who brings a unique and powerful perspective to Franke Honors. She is an immigrant, bilingual, and award-winning educator with twenty-seven years of career in Higher Education. We're also very excited to welcome Dr. Hsain Ilahiane who will be joining Franke Honors and The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences this fall as a joint hire at the rank of Professor. Hsain is a Cultural Anthropologist whose areas of theoretical interest include development, poverty, globalization, applied anthropology, economic anthropology, and political ecology. These new hires speak to the positive momentum we are building in Franke Honors.  I feel an enormous amount of gratitude to be working in a college that has such talented staff and faculty.   

As always, we love to share the stories of our incredible alumni and I know you will enjoy learning about Dimitri Ververelli and how he discovered his passion in our fall Franke Honors Alumni Spotlight

Speaking of our alumni, we are excited to announce that we will be holding our second Franke Honors Wildcat Wednesday Alumni Mixer on October 4! Join fellow Wildcats to enjoy a drink, play some games, and win prizes in our raffle. This event is our way of connecting and celebrating our recent graduates and alumni. We also ask that you save the date for our Franke Honors Alumni Tailgate on the University of Arizona Mall! Stop by our tent for food and drink to celebrate with us and fellow Franke Honors alumni and friends.  

Finally, we are always looking for ways to engage and recognize our community of alumni and donors whether it's volunteering your time, mentoring current students, nominating yourself or someone else for an alumni/community award, or sharing your own amazing story! You are part of our Franke family, and we want to stay connected and celebrate you any chance we get.  

Thank you for your support and partnership with the Franke Honors College. Together, We Are Franke Honors Wildcats!  

John Pollard , PhD
Interim Dean, W.A. Franke Honors College