By: Kasey Andrade
The Honors Program is pleased to announce Dr. Todd Harris as the program’s new Assistant Director. Check out the interview below to learn more about Dr. Harris!
1.) What do you want students to know about you?
I couldn’t be more pleased and feel more privileged to be taking on this role, as I believe that the Honors Program is one of BSU’s “crown jewels.” I was born and raised in Everett, MA and now live in Lynnfield, MA with my wife Laura (a second-grade teacher whom I met playing softball) and my daughter Abby (a second-grade student around whom my world revolves). Prior to my arrival at BSU in 2013, I had a 20-year corporate career, helping to build companies and doing management consulting for some of the largest companies in the world. My research focuses on how leaders, past and present, create and sustain lives of purpose, value and impact. For example, I am currently working on an article about important leadership lessons that can be drawn from the life of George Washington. Outside of work, I love sports, reading (I collect signed first-edition books), food (eating NOT cooking), travel, the arts and volunteering.
2.) What has your experience been with the Honors Program?
Exclusively positive! I’ve done a number of different things with the Honors Program, and enjoyed them all. I serve on the Honors Advisory Board, serve as the Honors Chair for the Management Department, have taught a Sophomore Honors Colloquium focused on leadership, been a Thesis and Contract advisor, and participated in Book Club and a blood drive, among others.
3.) As the Assistant Director, what do you hope to bring to the Honors Program?
I try to approach all of my work with integrity, humor, energy, a spirit of collaboration and fresh, critical thinking. I think the world of the Honors Program, its current staff and students, and I’m simply hoping to fit right in, listen and learn a lot, and have a positive impact as soon as possible.
4.) What was your most memorable experience as an undergrad?
I graduated from UMASS-Amherst in 1992 with a B.S. in Psychology. Given that I was the first person in my family to go to college, the day that I graduated and the pride that my parents took in that accomplishment are certainly very memorable. I also have wonderful memories of courses that I took that I didn’t have to but wanted to (and that were often out of my comfort zone) such as the Microbiology of Cancer and AIDS. On the personal side, I’ll always remember when one of my roommates senior year used laundry detergent in the dishwasher and flooded our apartment.
5.) What is your best advice for students?
Widen your circle of friends – spend time with people whose experiences and perspectives are different from your own. Find a mentor. This person could be a professor, a coach, a boss, etc. Pursue enriching experiences such as internships and study abroad. Cultivate both “narrow” competencies that are necessary for you to become an expert in your field, and “wide” competencies (e.g. communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, etc.) that are helpful in ANY field. Finally, we have many great courses over in the Ricciardi College of Business (RCOB). Given that you will likely spend time working for a business, taking a business course will help you understand what is going on.