‘Meeting of Hearts’

Dr. Hui-Ching Chang, center, with the incoming class of UAlbany's Honors College. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 1, 2016) — Dr. Hui-Ching Chang jokes that she’s a matchmaker.

The new dean of the Honors College is in the business of matching exceptional students with exceptional opportunities, whether it’s the right coursework or research project, a volunteer role in the community, a career-building internship, study abroad option or a fellowship.

Chang came to UAlbany on Aug. 16, 2016, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was with that institution’s honors college as associate dean for academic affairs.

An honors college, she explains, is a supportive and tight-knit community of academically gifted students, who live and study together while pursuing degrees across a wide variety of disciplines. That creates the feeling of a smaller college, with close interaction with faculty and advisors, while still offering students the breadth of coursework and scholarly opportunities of a large major research university.

“The way I see it, it’s really the true spirit of education,” Chang. “We want students to succeed, to do their best.” She added that the Honors College has an excellent foundation that she hopes to build on.

More than 125 freshmen entered UAlbany’s Honors College this week, joining 367 existing Honors students, the majority of whom live in State Quad. Chang has an apartment in State, in Steinmetz Hall where the freshman live. She said she’s looking forward to having students knock on her door and come in to talk.

Chang also has an office in the Student Engagement suite at LC31 near the concourse entrance to the library, and she plans to have office hours and study areas there and at State Quad.
Chang said she likes the fact both the students and the faculty that teach honors courses come from the University’s full range of subjects and schools. “Faculty members from all disciplines, students from all backgrounds — it’s a meeting of hearts,” she said.

“Dr. Chang joins a team dedicated to furthering the goals of undergraduate education on our campus, and together with faculty, staff and students, will serve to enhance and expand our Honors College offerings and broaden the scope of our reach regionally, nationally and internationally,” Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Jeanette Altarriba said.

Chang, whose background is in intercultural communications, has also been named a tenured professor in the Department of Communication. She holds a Ph.D. in intercultural/interpersonal communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Journalism, Zaporizhzhya National University, Ukraine.

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