In the News
The Honors College is home to students from all seven undergraduate colleges and schools and includes challenging courses and academic enrichment, such as research, international study, internships and service learning.Shannon Blanton, Ph.D., has been named the inaugural dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Honors College. Blanton comes to UAB from the University of Memphis, where she was professor of political science and vice provost for undergraduate programs, responsible to the provost for leadership and oversight of all undergraduate programs. Blanton has 19 years of experience as university faculty, department chair and vice provost. The UAB Honors College is an academic community of intellectually curious and engaged students and talented faculty who use their knowledge to make the world a better place. The Honors College is home to students from all seven undergraduate colleges and schools, and includes a mixture of challenging courses and academic enrichment, including undergraduate research, international study, internships and service learning. “After an intensive search we are pleased to announce that Shannon Blanton will be the first dean of UAB’s Honors College,” said UAB Provost Linda Lucas, Ph.D. “The Honors College offers exemplary students a challenging academic environment and close-knit community, and demonstrates every day UAB’s commitment to knowledge that will change the world. We look forward to the fresh vision and future success that Dr. Blanton will bring to students and faculty here at UAB.” The Honors College is home to students from all seven undergraduate colleges and schools, and includes a mixture of challenging courses and academic enrichment, including undergraduate research, international study, internships and service learning. At U of M, Blanton was engaged in strategic planning and represented the central administration to undergraduate students with concerns about academic issues. She served on key standing university committees, including serving as chair of the University Undergraduate Council; oversaw the honors program, international programs and services, and advising centers; and coordinated and supervised programs that support undergraduate education, including learning communities, early intervention programs, academic preparedness courses, academic coaching and undergraduate research. Blanton played a key role in developing student and faculty exchange partnerships with foreign universities and promoting study-abroad programs. She oversaw budgets, delivery and evaluation of programs and services, and hiring and management of staff and special program faculty for the programs and centers under the aegis of her office. “UAB has a history of excellence in its honors programs, and a vision for its Honors College as being among the best in the country,” Blanton said. “I am truly delighted to be joining UAB as the inaugural dean, and I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students to develop and enhance the Honors College.” With more than 900 students, the UAB Honors College offers small class sizes, intensive academic advising and endless opportunities for academic enrichment. Honors College students pursue majors in all undergraduate divisions, hold leadership positions across campus, and volunteer and serve in the Birmingham community and around the world. The students receive priority course registration and have access to honors residence hall communities.