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Professor Just Down the Hall

UC Riverside Professor Will Live At Residence Hall

New “Resident Faculty” Program Part of Service to Top Academic Achievers

(October 8, 2003)

Susan Antebi, assistant professor

Susan Antebi, assistant professor

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2003) -- A newly hired assistant professor at UC Riverside will interact with students more than just in class. In fact, they might even run into her as she picks up the mail and the newspaper.

Susan Antebi, assistant professor of Hispanic Studies, has just moved into an apartment at the Pentland Hills residence hall. Her new living arrangements will put her in close contact with students, the latest benefit offered by the University Honors Program to UC Riverside’s highest academic achievers.

Founded in 1988 with a grant from the Ford Foundation, the University Honors Program offers personalized attention and opportunities for community service to UC Riverside’s top academic students. These students, currently numbering about 350, attend special seminars designed to be smaller, more personal, and contain more direct interaction with enthusiastic faculty members.

“This is the first time that UCR has had a faculty member live in the residence halls,” said John Fischer, director of the University Honors Program. “Having a faculty member literally living among them, available for informal meetings, and coordinating informal academic interactions, provides a very important role model and resource for the students.”

Fischer said that mentoring relationships are important, especially for students who may be dreaming of becoming professors themselves. He said the University Honors Program helps maintain a small liberal arts environment even at a large national research university like UCR.

“I think it is the most meaningful opportunity we at UCR can provide our students--the opportunity to take classes and then to do research with their professors in small classes and one-to-one contexts,” he said. The Resident Faculty program takes this one step further -- helping to break down the walls between the students' academic lives and their residential situations.” In addition to special seminars, honors students get to register early for classes, which helps them land a schedule they like.

Antebi, who earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University earlier this year, studies late 20th century Spanish-American prose. She said at Harvard, as at several other private universities, there is a tradition of faculty living near residence halls, so she feels right at home. UCLA also has a program that puts faculty members in the residence halls, so this is a growing within the UC system.

“I’ll be available to talk to students about academic matters in more informal settings,” said Antebi, who receives the housing free in return for her work coordinating informal academic presentations, asking for other faculty members to come in as visitors to talk about their research. Also scholars who come from other universities will meet with small groups of honors students in informal settings.

“The program is designed specifically for honors students, but it is open to everyone,” Antebi said. “We hope that this will be the first step in a larger faculty presence in the residence halls here at UCR.”

The University Honors Program is holding an Open House, 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Pentland Hills Honors Facility. Further information is available by phone at (909) 787-5323 or on the Web at

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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