Dave Fall Kick Off 2021
Dr. Furlow welcomes new UHP Students at the UHP Fall Kick Off in September 2021

UHP says Goodbye to Dr. Furlow

At the end of September 2021, Dave Furlow, Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior stepped down as the Director of the University Honors Program, Director of the First Year Seminars program, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

Farewell Messages to Dr. Furlow

"...Your encouraging words always made me feel like I belonged in UHP, and you created such a wonderful community for students to help each other learn and grow. I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of both your lab and your NPB course, where you taught me so many skills that I can use in my future career..." - Vincent Basas

"...Before I got to know you, I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to finish the honors program because I couldn't find any research that felt like a fit. Thank you for working with me to find a project that I enjoyed and making time every week to guide me through the process..."  - Ally Andre

"Dave, thank you for helping to make the thought of teaching UHP courses less intimidating, and a huge thank you for your role in making the SHAPE program possible!..." - Petr Janata

Dr. Furlow became Director of the University Honors Program (UHP) in 2015, just one year after it was restructured to merge the Integrated Studies Honors Program and the Davis Honors Challenge. Under his leadership, UHP became the four-year comprehensive program that it is today. Honors students now engage in meaningful academic experiences throughout their undergraduate careers, from lower-division honors sections of GE and prerequisite courses to a capstone senior project. 

Dr. Furlow has been instrumental in the creation of new interdisciplinary course offerings in the UHP Curriculum. He has helped foster unique collaborations between professors from different departments to bring courses like the Mellon-supported SHAPE (Science, Humanities and Arts: Process and Engagement) courses in collaboration with the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and the Davis Humanities Institute and the BioDesign Challenge, which he co-taught alongside Dr. Christina Cogdell (Design) and Dr. Marc Facciotti (Biomedical Engineering).

During his tenure as director, UHP also prioritized expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion both in recruitment and retention of students. The program has been recognized nationally as one of the top honors programs at research institutions for how well it reflects the campus’ overall underrepresented student population. The incoming first-year class is the largest and most diverse cohort to date, and the honors class of 2021 is the largest cohort to complete the four-year program. 

Dr. Furlow has also been involved with the alumni community and in 2019 led a celebration for 50 years of Honors at UC Davis. The program has made significant strides in building philanthropic investment and is approaching its goal of providing a recognized scholarship for every entering student. 

During his 6 years as Director, Dr. Furlow has been influential in the personal and academic development of our UHP students. He has served as a mentor to several students who have either taken his courses, worked in his lab, or completed their signature work with him. Dr. Furlow is known for truly caring about his students and going above and beyond to support and encourage them throughout their academic careers. 

He will also be missed in this role by the UHP staff and the faculty who have worked closely with him to teach UHP courses. 

Dr. Furlow has maintained an active research program investigating the control of gene expression by nuclear hormone receptors during development and continued to offer major-required courses in his home department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB). He began a sabbatical year in October, returning to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA where he has been a regular visiting scientist and summer course instructor. 

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