Chancellor Inaugurates Honors Endowed Professors

The first Renee Crown Endowed Professors were inaugurated by the Chancellor on January 13 in a ceremony held at the Goldstein Faculty Center. Heidi Hehnly, associate professor of biology, is the Renée Crown Honors Professor in the Sciences and Mathematics, and Karin Nisenbaum, assistant professor of philosophy, is the Renée Crown Honors Professor in the Humanities. Through the professorships, Hehnly and Nisenbaum will each serve a term of three years, teach Honors courses, and guide Honors students in their thesis research projects.

Karin Nisenbaum
Renée Crown Professor in the Humanitiess
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Heidi Hehnly
Renée Crown Professor in the Sciences and Mathematic
Associate Professor of Biology

Hehnly’s 2022-23 Honors course, Light Microscopy and Illustration in Cell and Developmental Biology, focuses on fundamental principles in cell and developmental biology, such as mechanisms of embryonic development, cell division, tissue formation and maintenance, and the display of cells through imagery.

In 2022–23, Nisenbaum is teaching two Honors classes: Introduction to Ethics, in which students confront difficult moral decisions and consider how different philosophers would approach these decisions; and Philosophy and Literature, in which students consider the literary style of selected philosophical texts such as Plato’s Republic and the philosophical significance of foundational literary works such as Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

n April, Professors Hehnly and Nisenbaum will host the first Renée Crown Honors Symposium. The symposium panelists are Angela Breitenbach, a philosopher who teaches at Cambridge University, and Suzanne Anker, a contemporary visual artist and bio art pioneer based in New York City. Breitenbach and Anker’s engagement on campus will expose students to scholars at the forefront of interdisciplinary research in the sciences and humanities.

For the feature story, visit

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