The Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) recently announced the selection of Leah Horton as the associate dean for the college, per a press release issued to the university’s website on Thursday.

Horton, who started her new position on Thursday, spent two years serving as the interim program director to the University Scholars Program, the newest honors program offering at UCA. She also served one year as interim associate dean, overseeing recruitment and retention programming for both the Schedler Honors College and University Scholars Program.

“Dr. Horton brings with her fresh perspectives for preparing students to be socially and culturally responsible leaders,” said Patricia Smith, dean of the Schedler Honors College. “She joined the National Collegiate Honors Council community in 2018, and since that time, she has already consulted with two other institutions regarding implementing study abroad opportunities for honors students and the role of interdisciplinarity in developing student leaders.”

Selected after a national search, Horton is a career educator, having spent fifteen years teaching and serving as assistant chair of the UCA biology department. She has taught seminar courses in the Honors College since 2014 and served on the University Honors Council for the last nine years, helping to grow honors opportunities through the Honors in the Major Program.

“The Honors College at UCA has been an important part of my life since my freshman year in 1993,” Horton said. “The values and lessons I learned during my time as an honors student continue to shape my personal and professional life in countless ways. Returning to serve the students, faculty and staff of the Schedler Honors College and the University Scholars Program is such a joy, and I genuinely feel that I’ve come home.”

Horton earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies at UCA. She has a master’s in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology from Emory University. She earned a bachelor’s in chemistry at UCA and is also an alumna of the Schedler Honors College.

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