University of New Orleans Appoints New Director to Honors Program

University of New Orleans Senior Associate Vice President Merrill Johnson announced today the appointment of a new director of the UNO Honors program.

UNO Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Mostofa Sarwar will begin his new post in January, Johnson said. Sarwar is a resident geophysicist for oil and gas exploration whose research contributions have involved seismic inversion, a method of deconvolution called "wave scattering deconvolution" and cross entropy slant slack, a noise removal technique. Much of his published work focuses on seismic wave scattering and interpretation.

The University's Honors Program is designed to challenge academically astute students and offer a curriculum that will prepare them for success in their respective fields. Honors courses are offered in all five colleges and UNO's interdisciplinary studies program and reward students who have earned high academic achievements.

UNO honors students participate in small, challenging classes taught by select faculty and have the opportunity to contract with professors of regular classes to receive honors credit by fulfilling additional academic requirements, according to program literature. The senior honors thesis requirement allows students to pursue advanced independent study, under the guidance of an experienced thesis advisor. They are recognized at commencement and earn a variety of academic distinctions that they may carry with them throughout their lives. Past students have continued to law school or medical school or gone on to pursue graduate programs at UNO, the University of Chicago, Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia Universities.

Many UNO honors students also participate in accredited honors organizations, including the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), Southern Regional Honors Council (SRHC), and Louisiana Collegiate Honors Council (LCHC). Honors students also belong to the UNO Honors Council, a forum for social activities. Members contribute $10 in honors dues per semester to fund activities and operations including the College Quiz Bowl, a film series, production of a newsletter and Honors Council gatherings.

In leading the Honors program, Sarwar has his work cut out for him.

Carl Malmgren, a professor of English at UNO, has done "innovative and successful work with the Honors Program over the last 18 months," said Johnson in an email to the UNO community. "It is with mixed feelings — happy for him, sad for us — that I report that not only is Dr. Malmgren leaving the Honors Program, but he is retiring from UNO after many, many years of faithful service. We wish him well in retirement."