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Oakland University Honors College enrollment surpasses 2,000 students

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ROCHESTER, Mich., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in its history, Oakland University’s Honors College has a total enrollment of more than 2,000 students.

“Very few universities can trace their history back to the history of Honors Colleges across the nation,” said Graeme Harper, dean of OU’s Honors College. “Oakland is distinctive in that way, and all students who come to Oakland have a connection to the pursuit of aspirational goals and ambitions. That this year we reach a milestone with 2,036 students in our Honors College is so exciting, and it represents the quality of this university that we love.”

The Honors College enrolls students who wish to pursue academic excellence, growth opportunities and leadership. Students automatically qualify to join The Honors College if they possess a minimum GPA of 3.7 and a SAT of at least 1,200 or an ACT of at least 25. Students who have a GPA of at least 3.3 and an SAT of at least 1,000 or an ACT of at least 19 are eligible to apply to join The Honors College and their applications are considered on merit.

This year’s incoming Honors College class of 655 students is academically diverse, with more than 50 different majors and concentrations. They are widely distributed throughout the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and various schools.

  • College of Arts and Sciences – 204
  • School of Engineering and Computer Science – 121
  • School of Nursing – 51
  • School of Heath Sciences – 48
  • School of Business Administration – 33
  • School of Music Theatre and Dance – 26
  • School of Education and Human Services – 21
  • Pre-Med Concentration – 149
  • Undecided – 50

Over the past year, The Honors College saw a 59 percent jump in applications and a 15 percent increase in attendance at information sessions, key trends that have fueled the college’s record-breaking total enrollment.

“There is no better student than an Oakland University student,” Dean Harper declared. “We are the first choice of some of the highest-achieving students across this state of Michigan and well beyond too. A vibrant, growing Honors College tells a wonderful story. It is the story of OU’s success and of all the students who join the OU community.”

Learn more about Oakland University’s Honors College, by visiting

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Oakland University names Britt Rios-Ellis Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

ROCHESTER, Mich., Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Following a national search, Oakland University has selected Britt Rios-Ellis to serve as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. She will begin her appointment on January 4, 2021.

“The appointment of Dr. Rios-Ellis is the result of an extensive and rigorous national search that identified more than 500 prospects from public and private universities,” said Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz. “From her first interaction with the search committee, Dr. Rios-Ellis distinguished herself by her collaborative approach, her poise, her sensitivity and her impressive preparedness for the position.”

Rios-Ellis said she was drawn to Oakland because, “I felt a strong sense of connection with the OU community and the mission-driven way in which leadership, faculty and staff seek to transform students’ lives through quality education. OU’s focus on diversity and inclusive excellence is also a great match with my philosophy, life’s work and career focus.”

In her role as Founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at California State University, Monterey Bay, Rios-Ellis led strategic planning efforts, established Nursing and Social Work departments and co-founded the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program, the first program of its kind in the California State University system.

She also spearheaded the CSUMB’s Diversity Celebration Series to highlight contributions of diverse national leaders for Hispanic Heritage Month, World AIDS Day, African American History Month and National Minority Health Month.

A nationally recognized scholar and leader, Rios-Ellis has published and presented on various public health and education issues, particularly on HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. She served as co-chair of the National Latino AIDS Action Network, co-chair of the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research Hispanic Advisory Group and co-chair of the Sexual Health Workgroup of the Centers for Disease Control Health Resource Services Administration Advisory Council.

From 2005-2015, she served as founding director of the California State University, Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training, whose mission is to improve, promote and advocate for the health, culture, and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities. She was also named a past Woman of the Year by the National Hispanic Business Women’s Association.

Rios-Ellis earned a Ph.D. in Community Health, a master’s degree in Health and Fitness Management, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish, all from the University of Oregon.

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