Honors Program Staff & Core Faculty

In the Honors Program we are dedicated to serving our students. We have combined decades of experience in advising students from all schools & colleges, majors & minors, and backgrounds & circumstances. We consider it a privilege to be a part of your undergraduate career and will help you in every way that we can.

Even though you will be assigned an Honors advisor when you start in the Honors Program, and an Honors Thesis coordinator in your junior year when you start your project, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with any of us at any time, either through Orange SUccess, or by calling the front desk at 443-2759.

Honors Staff

Dr. Danielle Taana Smith

 

Danielle Smith

Dr. Danielle Taana Smith - Director

Professor Smith earned a BA in Russian Studies from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Saint Martin’s College and a PhD in Sociology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. In 2016, she served as an ERASMUS+ Scholar at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Social Work at Liepaja University, Latvia.

Dr. Smith served as Director of the Honors Program at Rochester Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2018, where her capacities included teaching and curriculum development. Her coursework focuses on global public health, environmental sustainability and issues of social justice and human rights.

Her core research areas include refugee migration and resettlement, reconciliation and reconstruction in post-conflict societies, and disaster response and management, with particular focus on Africa and its diasporas. Dr. Smith has presented her work nationally and globally. Her research and writings have been published in scholarly journals including Journal of Health and Social Policy, Global Public Health, Economic Development Quarterly, Development and Society, Journal of Black Studies and Liberian Studies Journal.

 Naomi Shanguhyia PhD - Associate Director

Naomi Shanguhyia

Naomi Shanguhyia - Associate Director

Naomi grew up in western Kenya and earned her B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees from Kenyatta University – Nairobi, before coming to the US in 2003 to pursue graduate studies. She attended graduate school at West Virginia University (WVU) where she earned her PhD in Geography with a specialization in human – environment interaction and development geography. Naomi received a NSF DDRI grant for her dissertation research which examined the impact of environmental and economic changes on rural land use and livelihoods in western Kenya. After graduating from WVU, she taught classes in introductory Geography, Gender Geography and Food Studies at the SUNY College at Oneonta before moving to Syracuse University (SU) to teach first year writing seminars as a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow. Prior to joining the Honors program in summer 2016, Naomi was an Academic Advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences at SU.

Karen Hall PhD - Assistant Director

Karen and Butters

Karen Hall - Assistant Director

Karen Hall was born and raised in the central New York area. Her father is an SU alum and she remembers sitting beside him in all sorts of weather watching football games in Archbold Stadium. She remembers, as well, feeling very grown up while using the Sci Tech Library to gather books for her tenth grade term paper.

Karen left New York for Ohio after graduating from high school. There she completed a BA in English with minors in Women's Studies and education at Denison University. After two years of various (tedious) jobs, Karen attended The Ohio State University where she earned her MA in English. In 1992, Karen returned to Syracuse and pursued a creatively diverse number of jobs, from computer programmer to loan officer to whole food grocery store manager to college professor to bookkeeper. In the midst of it all, Karen attended Syracuse University where she earned her doctorate in English. Karen's dissertation explored the inter-relationships between American popular culture and militarism, and she loves to say that she is a G.I. Joe specialist. She knows almost all there is to know about the 12" action figure introduced by Hasbro to the toy world in 1964 (the very year she was born!). She has published a scholarly article on G.I. Joe and was quoted in the New York Times after a reporter interviewed her on the topic!

Adam Crowley - Academic Advisor

Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley - Academic Advisor

Adam Crowley was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Missouri, Central New York, and Connecticut.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut and later returned to Central New York to attend the Syracuse University College of Law.

Before joining the Renée Crown University Honors Program, Adam was a lawyer for nearly a decade. He practiced corporate litigation at an international law firm based in New York City and public-interest law at Legal Services of Central New York in Syracuse. In addition to his legal career, Adam had brief stints working on political campaigns and substitute teaching in the Syracuse City School District. In his free time, Adam enjoys cooking, reading, and collecting vinyl records.

As an Academic and Scholarship Advisor, Adam helps students navigate the Honors curriculum and plan their thesis projects. He also works with the Center for Fellowship & Scholarship Advising, assisting students with their applications for nationally-competitive scholarships and fellowships.

Ali Cridge - Academic Advisor

Alison Cridge

Ali Cridge - Academic Advisor

Ali Cridge was born in Philadelphia and moved to Syracuse at the age of six. As a child she spent many happy times in the Adirondacks. At peace near mountains and snow, she attended Middlebury College in Vermont, and earned a B.A. in English (with detours in creative writing and film) and a minor in Political Science. Ali played Division III Tennis and studied abroad for a year in Bristol, England. S

he needed travel funds and found her coolest summer job fighting forest fires on a helicopter crew in Arizona, Idaho and Montana. Maybe life felt complete out West, because in her 20s she lived in Colorado and Montana (and in the back of a pick-up truck up the coast.) This was the decade that Ali worked as a paralegal, journalist, copywriter, writing tutor, communications consultant, and served OG coffee before people commonly used the word “barista.”

In May 2019, Ali earned an Executive Master of Public Administration with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Conflict Resolution from Maxwell, and serves as a volunteer facilitator for PARCC. Ironically, she swore she’d never live her adult life in Syracuse, but can now claim a 20-year career at Syracuse University—first mentoring students in Athletics and then advising students in A&S. Now, as an Honors advisor, Ali enjoys supporting students across academic disciplines and from all walks of life.

Blythe Scherrer - Functional Business Analyst

Blythe Scherrer - Functional Business Analyst

Blythe Scherrer - Functional Business Analyst

Blythe Scherrer is the information architect and 'data guru' of the Honors Program. Because Honors students come from all  schools and colleges, Honors requires a more complex 'data and web footprint' at Syracuse.  Her job is ensure that all the processes and systems that comprise the Honors 'digital space' run smoothly, that students can access the information they need, and that information about students is always available to the Honors advisors.  In addition to supporting the information management needs of the program, Blythe serves as a Thesis coordinator and advising resource for students from the iSchool or IST dual programs, or any student who wants to incorporate technology into their Honors Capstone.

A Seattle native, Blythe graduated with a bachelor's degree in Marine Zoology from the University of Washington in 1999, but became preoccupied with developing a database and website to showcase her undergraduate thesis project, so decided to embark on a career in information management instead.

Over her career, Blythe has supported the business of managing complex information and processes in the software startup space, cancer genomics research, automotive engineering, and finally higher education at Syracuse University.  She earned her Master's Degree in Information Management from the iSchool at Syracuse University in 2015.  Blythe teaches database development and design (IST 359) to undergraduate students at the iSchool. You can access her iSchool teaching profile here.

Laura McCall - Administrative Specialist

Laura McCall - Administrative Specialist

Laura McCall - Administrative Specialist

Laura McCall joined the Honors Program in March 2019 as the Administrative Specialist. Laura coordinates special events for Honors, recruits and trains student workers in the Honors office, and is the point-person for our business operations.  Laura also supports students by assisting them with the administration of their Thesis project funding budgets. One of her greatest contributions in the Honors program thus far has been the purchase of the new student lounge recliner chairs in the summer of 2019.   If you’ve attended one of our cafés or catered events, enjoyed the recliners with a cup of coffee in the lounge, and/or received help with your thesis budget, you have encountered Laura’s work.

Laura is a graduate student enrolled in the vocal pedagogy program at Setnor School of Music where she also teaches voice.  Her fascination for language and art song has led her to exploring Scandinavian music and she is currently working on a graduate thesis project involving the Swedish-Italian school of singing.  She holds a bachelor’s in vocal performance from Roberts Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in vocal performance from Ithaca College.

Honors Core Faculty

The Honors Core Faculty help shape the program's curriculum, policy development, and strategic planning. Their academic vision guides the Honors Program in matters crucial both to the larger Honors faculty and to Honors students. They are an extraordinary group of scholar-teachers, accomplished in their disciplines and dedicated to the Honors Program. Each teaches in Honors, participates on working groups and oversight committees, or advises Honors students.

 

Pamela Brandes

Professor of Management

Pamela Brandes

Pamela Brandes

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Rick Burton

David B. Falk Endowed Professor

Rick Burton

Rick Burton

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Melissa Chessher

Professor, Chair - Magazine, News & Digital Journalism

Melissa Chessher

Melissa Chessher - Newhouse

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Elisa Dekaney

Professor, Music Education
Associate Dean, Research, Graduate Studies, and Internationalization

Elisa Dekaney

Elisa Dekaney

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Marcelle  Haddix

Chair of Reading and Language Arts; Dean's Professor

Marcelle Haddix

Marcelle Haddix

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Can Isik

Interim Dean - Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Can Isik

Professor Isik

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Sinéad MacNamara

Associate Professor, School of Architecture

Sinéad Mac Namara

Professor Sinéad Mac Namara

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Ramesh Raina

Professor, Biology and Department Chair Department of Biology

Professor Ramesh Raina

Professor Ramesh Raina

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Steve Sawyer

Professor, Director of the Doctoral Programs, School of Information Studies (iSchool)

Steve Sawyer

Professor Steve Sawyer

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Eileen Schell

Professor, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Eileen Schell

Professor Eileen Schell

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