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UMD Names Susan J. Dwyer Executive Director of the Honors College

February 9, 2016

Alana Carchedi 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland has appointed Dr. Susan J. Dwyer as Executive Director of the Honors College. In her new role as Executive Director, Dr. Dwyer oversees all aspects of the Honors College, including establishing expectations for intellectual engagement, overseeing curricular and co-curricular activities, working with a faculty advisory committee, and maintaining regular communication with Honors students.

"I am delighted to welcome Professor Susan Dwyer, who brings vision, passion, and experience to this position,” says William A. Cohen, associate provost and dean for Undergraduate Studies. “It will be exciting to witness her intellectual leadership of the Honors College, which promises to grow even stronger as a magnet for extraordinarily gifted and ambitious students at the University of Maryland."

Dr. Dwyer joined the faculty at UMD in 2009 as associate professor of philosophy, and she holds an affiliate appointment in the Women’s Studies department. She has held various leadership positions in the Department of Philosophy and the College of Arts and Humanities, including chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; chair of the Committee on Programs, Courses, and Curricula; and director of Undergraduate Studies. Prior to joining UMD, Dr. Dwyer was associate professor and chair of philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she served for three years as a member of the Honors College Advisory Board. Dr. Dwyer has also taught at McGill University and at the United States Naval Academy.

She specializes in areas of moral philosophy, constitutional law, and feminist theory.  She is an internationally recognized expert on moral psychology, known, in particular, for her measured approach to research at the intersection of the cognitive and brain sciences and philosophical treatments of moral judgment. She is also well regarded for her work on three major applied ethics issues: problematic speech and free speech, abortion, and national reconciliation after great injustice.

Dr. Dwyer has been an Honors College Faculty Fellow at the university for the past six years, and has earned three recognitions during her time at UMD. In 2011, she received the UMD General Education/CORE Teaching Award; in 2012 she was named a Philip Merrill Presidential Mentor; and in 2015 she was named GEMSTONE Mentor of the Year for the Class of 2017. 

“Because the University of Maryland is a crucible for great ideas and a leader in translating research of all kinds into teaching and into innovations beyond academia, we offer our students a world-class 21st century education,” said Dr. Dwyer. “Our outstanding faculty, our commitment to inclusion and diversity, and our proximity to the Nation’s capital consistently attract the brightest young people to our campus each year. At the helm of the Honors College, I am honored to work with exceptional students, committed faculty and excellent staff to make a substantive contribution to the intellectual and moral development of the young people in whose hands our futures lie.” 

Dr. Dwyer earned her Ph.D. in philosophy, with a graduate minor in linguistics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She received a B.A. and a B.A. Hons. 1st Class from the University of Adelaide, South Australia.