Leadership of the Honors College

From Elliot Hirshman, Provost and Diane Lee, Dean of Undergraduate Education

It is with great respect and appreciation for all she has accomplished as director of the Honors College that we announce that Anna Shields will return to a full-time associate professor position in the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication as of July 1, 2011. Shields came to UMBC in 2007 from Princeton University where she was a visiting associate professor of Chinese literature.

As director of the Honors College, Shields increased selectivity while maintaining the UMBC Honors College as one of the most diverse in the country. During her tenure, retention of students in the Honors College improved, setting a pace for the highest graduation-with-Honors-Certificate rate at UMBC to date. She worked tirelessly to fully implement the Honors College Faculty Fellows program and to increase advising and graduate school preparation for Honors College students.

Stepping down from her Honors College responsibilities will allow Shields to focus on teaching and research. She is a scholar of Chinese literature, specializing in Tang and Five Dynasties poetry and prose. Her first book, “Crafting a Collection: The Cultural Contexts and Poetic Practice of the Huajian ji (Collection from among the Flowers),” was published in the East Asian Monograph series of Harvard University Press in 2006. She is currently working on a second book entitled “‘One Who Knows Me’: The Literature of Friendship in Late Medieval China.”

She received her Ph.D. in Chinese from Indiana University in 1998, her master’s degree in East Asia studies from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree in French and comparative literature from Washington University in Saint Louis (1987). She is a fluent speaker of Chinese and French.

We would like to express the thanks and appreciation of the whole campus for all that she has contributed to the Honors College and UMBC. We look forward to her expanded engagement in teaching and scholarship.

We will begin the process of selecting an interim director in the near future. We will send an announcement to the campus regarding the process at that time.

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