associate provost for academic innovation
director, Helen P. Denit Honors Program
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
M.A., University of Georgia
B.S., B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology
Brian Etheridge's C.V. (.pdf)
I was the first in my family to have the luxury of going off to college and charting my own destiny. I began college in a practical (and lucrative) major with plans for a practical (and lucrative) career, but all that changed after I started taking university courses. Put simply, my university experience transformed me: it opened my eyes to a broader world, a larger set of ideas, and a greater range of experiences than I had ever thought possible. When I graduated from college, I was a different person. To be sure, I had developed a skill set that would serve me well in life; but equally importantly I had developed an outlook and perspective that would enable me to continue to deepen my understanding of the world. I knew then that I wanted to play a role in helping others have the same kind of transformative experiences as I did, and so I continued my educational journey, eventually obtaining a doctorate in history.
This basic motivation—enabling students to have significant learning experiences that can have life-changing effects—has shaped my academic career. I first got involved in honors education because I wanted to have the opportunity to work with those students who were interested in making the most of their college experience. As an honors administrator over the last several years, I have worked with faculty and staff in providing enhanced learning experiences for our interested and most capable students. I have also collaborated with our faculty and staff to position our honors program as a space where they can try out new ideas and approaches to helping our students get the most out of their education.
Our new Office of Academic Innovation (OAI) strengthens this commitment to our students, faculty, and staff. We have a shared understanding of our role as advocates for the central mission of the university: to provide the university's students with relevant, meaningful, high quality educational experiences that contribute to their personal, civic, and professional growth and development. Through collaboration with university partners, we contribute to this larger goal by supporting, coordinating, and institutionalizing creative and innovative approaches to teaching, student learning, curriculum and program development, and the promotion and demonstration of student achievement.
In addition to my administrative work, I am a prize-winning historian of American foreign relations. I have published widely on the intersection of foreign relations and culture, with a primary focus on the ways that nation-states try to tell their stories to foreign peoples to facilitate their foreign policy objectives, a practice commonly known as public diplomacy.