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Finegan Selected as Director of Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP

Caleb Paul Stevenson Finegan, associate professor of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been selected to serve as director of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at IUP. Finegan began his new role January 21.

He replaces Janet Goebel, the founding director of the Cook Honors College, who retired from the position in Fall 2013.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Finegan in this new role,” Timothy Moerland, IUP provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said. “He brings many varied experiences to the position, and I believe he is an excellent fit to lead the Cook Honors College.”

Moerland said that, during the search, it was clear how much Goebel, the Cook Honors College’s inaugural director, has done to develop and advance the program. “We owe her a great deal of gratitude for her work.

In his role as director, Finegan is charged with providing the leadership, information, and support needed for the Cook Honors College to achieve ongoing success and continued improvement in academic excellence, student and alumni development, marketing, promotion and enrollment management, and resource development.

“I am excited to take on the responsibilities as the next director of the Cook Honors College,” Finegan said. “One of my primary goals is to help students, as best I can, to become passionate about their potential to create positive change in the world. I bring a strong student-centered approach to the table, and, to that end, my decisions about curriculum, recruitment, marketing, public relations, fundraising, advising, cocurricular activities, study abroad opportunities, leadership, and budget management will all be made with an eye toward what is in the very best interests of our present and future students.”

Finegan joined IUP’s History faculty in 2000. He served as director of the university’s Citizenship and Civic Engagement Initiative from 2007 to 2009 and, as founding director, led the Center for Civic Engagement and Student Leadership from 2009 to 2011.

Before coming to IUP, he taught at the University of Florida Gainesville and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

At IUP, Finegan has been responsible for initiating and directing the university’s Alternative Spring Break program, which matched students with service projects throughout the United States and abroad. He also developed and led a special study abroad program for students along El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route in Spain.

Finegan was one of 75 scholars worldwide invited to participate in the inaugural Pilgrimage Studies Workshop in Washington, D.C. in 2011. He also has been active in IUP’s Latin American Studies Minor, a program he founded.

He is a recipient of the IUP Distinguished Faculty Award for Service and the IUP Department of History Service Award. From the University of Florida, he received a Tinker Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies, a Gibson Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Samuel Proctor Teaching Assistant of the Year Award.

Finegan was selected for a Fulbright Scholarship in 1997, which funded research in Bolivia. He has written numerous publications and has been an invited presenter at many national conferences.

Finegan earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and master’s degree in Latin American studies from Vanderbilt University and his doctorate in history from the University of Florida Gainesville.

The Cook Honors College was founded at IUP in 1993 as a result of a gift from Robert E. Cook, a 1964 graduate of IUP. His multimillion gift was the largest in university history. He is also the primary benefactor of the Cook Honors College Achievement Program, which provides assistance for the college’s students to study abroad and undertake enrichment activities.

The first endowed honors college in Pennsylvania, it admitted its first class in 1996. The Cook Honors College annually enrolls 100 freshmen and includes a core curriculum and emphasis on community service. It has been recognized for outstanding academics in guidebooks and publications, including Donald Asher’s Cool Colleges for the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming and Just Plain Different.

Cook Honors College