2018 Honors Convocation Speaker

The keynote speaker for the 42nd annual University of Pittsburgh Honors Convocation is Brian A. Primack.

Brian A. Primack is dean of the University Honors College; holder of the Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Endowed Chair; and director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health at the University of Pittsburgh.  Primack graduated from Yale University magna cum laude in 1991 with degrees in English and mathematics. After teaching in West Africa for a year, he returned to the United States and received his master’s degree from Harvard University, where he focused on adolescent development, psychology, and education. During this time, he also served as dean of students at a large academic summer program for teens. At that program, he also taught courses in cryptography, African art and culture, mathematical art, and comedy writing. He subsequently accepted a full scholarship to Emory University School of Medicine, from which he graduated first in his class in 1999.

After completing his residency training in family medicine and his PhD in multidisciplinary social sciences, Primack developed a research program centered around the interface of media communications, technology, and health outcomes. Over the past 15 years, he has amassed more than 200 scholarly publications that have been cited in international news sources such as The New York Times, NPR, U.S. News & World Report, the BBC, Cosmopolitan magazine, and The New York Times International Edition.

He has received multiple awards for research, teaching, and overall achievement, including the highest awards for emerging researchers offered by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He also was featured as a main-stage speaker at the 2014 TEDMED conference in San Francisco, Calif.  Primack now combines his commitment to education, his passion for academia and research, and his dedication to holistic development of emerging adults as dean of the University Honors College.