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Announcing Matt Matsuda, New Dean of Honors Program


A member of the History Department since 1993, Professor Matsuda teaches and researches Modern European (particularly French) and Asia and Pacific comparative questions and has written books about memory and historical thinking, empire and emotions, including his most recent book, Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific (Oxford UP, 2005). He is currently working on a general study of civilizations and encounters in the ocean-world of the Pacific. Professor Matsuda served as undergraduate vice chair from 2003-2006, and served as program director and coordinator of all History Department Honors candidates. He also teaches seminars on global social entrepreneurship, and received the Rutgers Faculty of Arts and Science Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Teaching in 1997.

Since 2007, Dr. Matsuda has been the College Avenue Campus Dean, where he continues in his role to articulate, promote, and support the mission of the university—“Jersey Roots, Global Reach”—in the context of intellectual community building and historic traditions. To his new position as Dean of the Honors Program of the School of Arts and Sciences, Professor Matsuda brings his commitment to teaching and to serving students—to the quality of the intellectual and cultural life that students experience. I am thrilled that he will be joining us and that he will be leading our innovative work with the most academically accomplished students in SAS.

At the same time that we welcome Matt, we are sorry to say good bye to the current Dean, Sarolta Takács, who contributed so much to the establishment of the Honors Program during the formation of the School of Arts and Sciences.  She chaired the Implementation Sub-Committee on the Honors Program beginning in the spring of 2006 and became the first Dean in 2007, overseeing the transformation of the college honors programs into one new program.  I want to thank her for the remarkably creative work she has done over these past three years to develop and expand honors programming and to engage faculty from across the disciplines in the process. Sari will be going to be the Dean of Sage College in Albany, New York, where we know she will make the same sort of transformative difference she has made in SAS.

As a scholar, teacher, and dean, Sari’s successor, Matt Matsuda has gained a wealth of experience.  His deep commitment to enriching undergraduate education will be a wonderful boon to the continuing development of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program.  I welcome him to his new role and look forward to many years of productive collaboration.

Professor Matsuda's Byrne Seminar on social entrepreneurship, The Business of Doing Good: Combining Entrepreneurial Spirit with Social Activism, was recently featured in Rutgers FOCUS: Students Learn to Make a Difference and Make a Living.

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