Professor Juan Antonio Alonso, current interim director of the Chattanooga State Global Scholars Program, will be the next director of the Innovations in Honors Program in the UTC Honors College, effective August 1, 2022.
Alonso is a Spanish-American academic who has served in multiple higher education institutions in the state of Tennessee since 2007. He obtained a master’s degree in Humanities at Universidad de Extremadura (2000) and a master’s in Applied Linguistics at UNED (2017). He is scheduled to defend his dissertation in UNED’s Spanish applied linguistics Ph.D. program early this summer. The focus of his research is how emotions and attitudes in the classroom influence students’ enrollment, retention and success in college Spanish language programs.
Professionally, he has accumulated 15 years of experience in Spanish language classrooms. He began serving as the interim director of the Global Scholars Honors Program at Chattanooga State beginning in January 2021. While serving there, he has developed and taught honors beginner Spanish I and II and honors Latino Cultures in the United States courses, implementing novel pedagogies such as Design Thinking and City as Text. He was also recently named to the Executive Board of the Southern Regional Honors Council.
Alonso has served as lead advisor for Chattanooga State’s Latino student leadership organization, helping to connect these leaders with the local community. These efforts helped him become the recipient of a La Paz Chattanooga Latino Leadership Award in 2016. He has been the program director and designer on the TNCIS study abroad program in Spain for the last five years. He brings to this position a wealth of experience and is firmly committed to honors education.
In August, Professor Owen Foster will have completed the third year of his three-year limited duration appointment as the first director of the Innovations in Honors Program. Foster has given greatly of himself as a creative force in the Honors College, as a mentor to students and as a source of tremendous expertise in innovation and creativity for the UTC community overall. The Honors College is beyond grateful for his dedication, his energy, his capacity for kindness and his commitment to opening minds and hearts whenever possible.