Honors Dean and Coordinators
Scott R. Furtwengler, Honors Program Dean
Scott Furtwengler grew up in Highland, Illinois, a small town thirty miles east of St. Louis. He attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he earned an undergraduate degree in English and Master of Arts in American Literature. He then served for nine years as associate director of the SIUC University Honors Program. Since then, Scott has served as director of the Honors College at Miami-Dade College, Kendall Campus; associate director of the Chancellor’s Honors Program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; and as the assistant director of the Honors Program at the University of North Florida.
A founding board member of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors, Scott has served on several selection committees in addition to preparing students for the application process for major scholarships such as the Rhodes Scholarship, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, and the Morris K. Udall Scholarship.
His research interests include; areas of psychology (cognitive, educational); cognitive neuroscience; human performance; leadership development; student success, cinema studies; literature. He is also a writer, a musician, and formerly a high school volleyball and basketball coach.
Scott is pursuing a PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Houston, exploring the affects of expectancy response and non-cognitive traits in academic and human performance.
Ben Fraser, Honors Program Coordinator, Central campus
Ben Fraser attended Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas where he earned a Master of Arts in Political Science. He attended the University of Houston Main Campus for his undergraduate work where he met his wife of seven years. Together, they live in Spring and have one daughter and are expecting another addition to the family very soon.
Doug Simmons, Honors Program Coordinator, North campus
Although he hails from Walnut Creek, CA (near San Francisco/Oakland) and lived in Sacramento and San Diego, Mr. Simmons spent the majority of his life in Texas. He went to a high school in northwest Houston and attended college at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and Sam Houston State in Huntsville. When not reading about American history, or other histories, his interests become more eclectic, encompassing everything from theology and philosophy, to good music and food/drink. He can also be found in the weight room from time to time.
Walter Thompson, Honors Program Coordinator, South campus
Walter Thompson is the honors program coordinator and professor of physics and astronomy at San Jacinto College South Campus. He earned a B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas and a Master's degree in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University. While earning his graduate degree, he performed research on galaxy evolution and the large-scale structure of the universe at the Space Telescope Science Institute (home of the Hubble Space Telescope). He has been a full-time instructor of physics and astronomy since 2004 at several institutions, including Towson University, Harford Community College, and San Jacinto College, and also teaches at the University of Texas Medical School’s Summer Medical and Dental Educational Program. Outside of the ropes, he loves to cook, compete in triathlons, and travel the world with his wife Melissa.
Janna Barton, Honors Program Administrative Assistant
Janna Barton is the administrative assistant to for the Honors Program. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her position. She has over twenty-three years’ experience as an administrative assistant, over eighteen years in higher education. She was hired in 1999 as a Division Administrative Assistant for the Associate Dean of Humanities at San Jacinto College. She has also worked for the Art, Language Skills, Math, Science, Music, Drama, English, Communications, College Preparation, and Social Sciences departments. She is recently married and enjoys watching her son play baseball.