Honors College Staff
Edward J. Harpham
Dean of the Honors College and Professor of Political Science
Dr. Harpham is the Dean of the Honors College and Associate Provost at The University of Texas at Dallas, overseeing its many activities. A Professor of Political Science, Dr. Harpham teaches courses in political theory, American government, Texas politics, and public policy. With Wendy Harpham M.D., he has developed a sequence of honors readings tutorials that explore the history, philosophy, and practice of medicine. Dr. Harpham is a previous winner of the Chancellor Council's Outstanding Teaching Award. He sits on the Board of the Archer Center in Washington D.C. and serves as the faculty advisor for the Archer Internship Program. He has published extensively on the role that economic ideas play in modern political thought and their impact upon public policy. His more recent work focuses on the role that emotions and passions play in modern political thought. He is the co-author with Anthony Champagne of the bestselling textbook Governing Texas. Dr. Harpham also works closely with the McDermott Scholars Program. Visit Dr. Harpham's homepage to learn more about his research and courses.
Ph.D., Cornell University
Douglas C. Dow
Associate Dean of the Honors College and Clinical Professor of Government and Politics
Douglas C. Dow is the Associate Director of Collegium V, and Clinical Professor of Government and Politics. He also heads the Office of Distinguished Scholarships, recruiting and advising students applying for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. Dr. Dow teaches courses in political theory, American politics and Texas government, Constitutional law and history, ethics and technology, and film and politics. His research interests include the history of political thought and language, human rights, and jurisprudence.
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
Professor of Computer Science
Ravi Prakash is a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas. His areas of teaching and research include wireless and sensor networking, mobile computing and distributed computing. He is the recipient of multiple research grants from federal agencies and industry including the NSF CAREER award and the NSF Major Research Infrastructure award. He has served the technical and university community in his roles as an editor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Mobile Computing, as the President of the IEEE Dallas section, and as a member of the UT Dallas Faculty Senate and Academic Council.
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Senior Lecturer in Neuorscience
Eva LaDow is a Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience with Collegium V. She did her Ph.D. at the University of California San Francisco, focusing on neuronal signal transduction and synaptic plasticity. During her postdoctoral fellowship at the Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease, she performed a high content analysis drug-repurposing screen to find potential therapies for ALS. Dr. LaDow teaches courses related to neurobiology, including Cellular Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology.
Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Christina Thompson is a lecturer in Chemistry with Collegium V. She obtained her PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she focused on synthetic organic chemistry and completed the first total synthesis of the natural product Dykellic Acid. From there she went to work at Abbott Laboratories, designing and developing new drugs for Schizophrenia. Dr. Thompson teaches introductory organic chemistry lecture and lab, and works in Dr. Smaldone's research lab developing new materials for energy storage. She is also part of a team at UT Dallas developing Polycraft World, a mod for the popular game Minecraft, designed to teach polymer chemistry and energy science through enhanced game play.
Director of the Terry Scholars Program
Blythe Torres is the Director of the Terry Scholars Program and has worked in higher education for 18 years. Prior to her arrival at UT Dallas, she was the Manager of the Education Division in Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She accepted the position as Director of the Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) Program at UT Dallas in 2004 and soon thereafter was asked to oversee the implementation of the Terry Scholars Program while continuing her role as Director of AES. In 2010, she transitioned full-time into her current position. She is a member of two national scholarship organizations and has served on several committees within the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA). She has been invited to speak at the NSPA national conference on multiple occasions, lecturing on topics such as the management of large-scale merit-based scholarship programs and the unique enhancements of the UT Dallas Terry Scholars Program.
Assistant Provost and a graduate of the University and oversees the National Merit Scholars Program and the Prodigy Scholars Program, advises the UT Dallas Model United Nations team, and serves as a McDermott mentor. He teaches principles of macroeconomics and microeconomics in the honors program. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics. His research agenda joins law and economics to study contracts and corporate governance. A McDermott Scholar, Mr. Seeligson graduated from UT Dallas with a Degree in Mathematics and continues to be active in the UT Dallas alumni community.
Assistant Dean of the Honors College
Valerie Brunell is the Honors Program Coordinator for Collegium V and the administrative officer for the Honors College. She has worked in higher education for over 10 years. She works closely with Dr. Harpham on the programming, planning and financial operations of the honors college and its various programs including advising Collegium V students and the UT Dallas Model UN team. She is a graduate of University of California at Irvine where she received her Master's degree in Chemistry. She is a former academic advisor for Natural Science and Mathematics at UT Dallas, earning the Advisor of the Year Award in 2010. She also advised students in the Psychology and Psychobiology Department at Binghamton University.
Sheila Kelly is the Honors Program Specialist for Collegium V. She is a graduate of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, where she received her Bachelors in English Literature. She also holds an Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas and is the former Director of Student Affairs for a private French school. Her office is located in GC 2.216B. She can be reached at 972-883-4297.
Rachel Clark is the Program Specialist for the Terry Scholars Program. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas where she received her Masters in Public Administration. She is the former Administrative Coordinator for CitySquare, a nonprofit organization in Dallas, Texas. Her office is located in GC 2.216. She can be reached at 972-883-4284.
M.P.A., The University of North Texas
Operations and Data Controller
Hannah Frank is the Operations and Data Controller for the Honors College. She graduated as a McDermott Scholar from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2008 with a B.A. in Literary Studies and Art and Performance. Hannah completed two years of service with the Peace Corps in Ghana, followed by a year of service as an AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader based in Vinton, Iowa. She has recently returned from three years as Technical Advisor and Data Manager to the South Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Program, supported by The Carter Center.
Wendi Kavanaugh is the Administrative Assistant for the Honors College. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University - Commerce were she received a B.S. in Radio and Television. She has a M.A. in Humanities, Aesthetic Studies and an M.F.A. in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is the former Membership Outreach Manager for the Dallas Museum of Art. Her office is located in GC 2.216. She can be reached at 972-883-4295.