Psychology and Child Development Professor Named Director of University Honors Program
By Sophie Lincoln
Professor of Psychology and Child Development Jasna Jovanovic has been named the new director of the University Honors Program, starting Sept. 1, 2021.
Cal Poly’s Honors Program was founded in 1999 with the mission to provide “an academically enriched learning experience for the university’s most outstanding and highly motivated students,” according to their site.
The program also offers curricular and extracurricular programming designed to reach this goal.
Jovanovic will succeed Gregg Fiegel, who directed the Honors Program for more than seven years. Fiegel will return to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department on a full-time basis.
Prior to obtaining her new role with the Honors Program, Jovanovic was the chair of the Psychology and Child Development Department for six years.
“I stepped down because I felt like my work was done, I accomplished what I wanted to and I wanted to give somebody else the opportunity for a leadership position,” Jovanovic said.
While Jovanovic had initially planned to return to teaching, when she saw the University Honors Program Director role had opened, she decided to take her experience there instead.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to really get in there,” Jovanovic said. “I think the program is strong, but I’m sure there’s room for new initiatives and that is what is exciting to me.”
One of Jovanovic’s responsibilities as the new director will be conducting an institutional review to determine the success of the program.
In addition to conducting the program’s first ever institutional review, some of Jovanovic’s other objectives include gathering data on the demographics of the Honors Program, supporting underrepresented students in the program and starting an alumni advisory board to help fund the program.
“One thing I would like to figure out is, who does it? Who does the program attract?” Jovanovic said. “My sense is that it may not be attracting as many underrepresented students or first [generation] students, and so, I’d like to understand how we could do a better job of attracting those students.”
Jovanovic will serve as the new director for a two-year term, after which she may reapply.