July 18, 2018

Jyotsna Kapur chosen as director of SIU’s University Honors Program

by Christi Mathis

Jyotsna Kapur CARBONDALE, Ill. — Jyotsna Kapur, a longtime Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty member, will be taking on a new role as director of the University Honors Program.

Under Kapur’s leadership, the program is set to become even more vital.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Kapur in growing the University Honors Program toward establishing an outstanding Honors College that attracts exceptional students to our campus from around the region, the country and the world,” Meera Komarraju, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said.

Program benefits students in many ways

SIU’s Honors Program is a university-wide initiative rewarding SIU’s most academically talented students for their scholastic achievements. It is open to undergraduate students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above.

Participants take at least one honors course or seminar each semester, created specifically for honors students, and one of the hallmarks of the program is small class sizes. Students pursuing the “Honors Degree” option also complete a senior honors project or thesis.

Honors Program students receive a number of benefits, including an honors designation on their transcripts, access to specialized and graduate level courses, early registration and first selection for University Housing.

Kapur will provide academic and administrative expertise

Kapur will begin her new position Aug. 1, replacing Lori Merrill-Fink, associate professor. Merrill-Fink retired May 31 after a decade as director.

Kapur brings to the position 19 years of teaching experience at SIU. She has also served as chair of the Department of Cinema and Photography, within the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts (MCMA), for three years.

As honors program director, Kapur will serve as the fiscal and academic leader of the program, overseeing its curriculum and coordinating instruction across campus. She will evaluate independent study projects for credit, oversee several lecture series, administer three honors scholarships and handle a variety of other duties.

She completed her doctorate at Northwestern University and also holds master’s degrees from Cornell University and Delhi University.

Award-winning research and teaching

Kapur has earned recognition from the college as outstanding teacher and outstanding researcher. Her research and teaching interests include the history and theory of the documentary, particularly with regard to contemporary practices and digital culture, as well as various facets of the global film and media industry, critical-cultural theory, contemporary Indian media culture, Marxist-feminist theory and neoliberalism, and issues involving labor, class, race and sexuality.

She has mentored undergraduate students in SIU’s REACH (Research Enriched Academic Challenge) and McNair Scholars programs and is looking forward to helping the honors program grow, enhancing students’ interdisciplinary experiences in the classroom and through exposure to research and creative activities.

Learn more about the University Honors Program online.