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Honors College dean to leave at end of term

2 April 2014 By Paige Sudol, Staff Writer No Comments

Over spring break, the University announced that the Dean of the Honors College Joseph McGinn, was leaving at the end of the semester.

Last semester, the Assistant Dean of the Honors College, Erin Mountz, also announced that she was leaving to take another job at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The announcement of McGinn’s leaving is allowing students and staff in the Honors College to reflect on McGinn’s time at Towson.

Bethany Pace, the Director of Academic Support and Co-Curricular Programs for The Honors College, says she has enjoyed working with him since she began working at Towson in May of 2012.

“He’s great with emphasizing global education in the Honors College, and I’m learning how to incorporate this,” Pace said.

As an honors orientation leader for three years and a mentor in the Freshman Development Group (FDG) program, later known as Freshman Honors Group (FHG) program, senior Alicia Huber also worked closely with McGinn.

“Dr. McGinn was passionate about fostering a sense of community among Honors College members, which showed in everything he said and did. One of his biggest contributions was piloting the FDG/FHG program, an idea brought from his previous position. The idea of the program was to help new Honors students transition to Towson and explore areas that interested them such as community service and discussions,” Huber said.

McGinn became dean of the Honors College in 2011. Previously, he was the director of the Global Honors program at Lock Haven University. According to McGinn, he chose Towson because he was attracted to its excellent reputation and was already well acquainted with members of the Honors community, such as Mountz. He knew Mountz through regional and national honors councils while he was at Lock Haven.

“The opportunity was too good to pass up,” McGinn said.

McGinn recently accepted a position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maine at Farmington. Pace said she is excited for him to have this new opportunity and believes he is well suited for it.

“It’s a much smaller setting, so it’s a totally different experience from Towson. The University of Maine at Farmington only has about 2,000 students total,” Pace said.

McGinn only has good things to say about his three years at Towson University.

“I have no regrets. The students, faculty and staff were all a joy to interact with,” he said.
During his time at Towson, McGinn had numerous responsibilities as dean of the Honors College. These included recruiting students, awarding scholarships, developing Honors courses, working with the Honors living and learning community and assisting with Honors Convocation.

He notes that his work in the Honors College has greatly prepared him for his upcoming academic endeavor.

“Being the dean of the Honors College is almost like running a smaller university within the University. The Honors College works with faculty across the entire University, so I’ve gained a breadth of experience,” McGinn said.

According to Pace, the search for a new dean will begin soon. Once a new dean is hired, a new assistant dean will also be found to take Mountz’s position.

Mountz left Towson this past December to take a position as assistant director of the Honors College at the University of Maryland, College Park.

“This process has been halted until the dean’s position is filled,” Pace said.

Huber notes that, because she is graduating, she feels less sad about McGinn’s departure.

“I only hope that the efforts Dr. McGinn made to improve the Honors College here at Towson will be built upon by the new Honors College staff members,” Huber said.

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