Great Leaders: Ed Noack

Ed Noack believes his time in the Honors College was a wise investment. Read more of Ed's Honors story...

Ed NoackWhy did you choose Honors?

I initially chose the Honors College because the University of Houston was a good decision financially, and the scholarship package I received made it even more appealing. As I began exploring my options for college I researched the University of Houston College of Engineering and learned of its great reputation. Through my research, I realized the value the Honors College would play in my collegiate career by giving me the best of both worlds—a small program within the much larger, diverse university setting.

How did the Honors College prepare you to become a great alumni leader?

The Honors College provided a nice liberal arts balance to the very heavy science and math education I received in engineering and the Human Situation was a great introduction into the Honors College educational model. One of the benefits the Honors College offered came from having all of these smart and talented people in one room. The intellectual collaboration and discussion in and out of class propelled us all to participate fully and, therefore, to reach mutual success.

What was the most profound take away that has resonated throughout the years?

I would say that my Human Situation experience has resonated the most throughout the years. It forced me to think “big” thoughts, to contemplate things like fatalism, to debate the roles free will and fate play in our lives. We come of age in college. To be confronted with a class that forced me to challenge everything the moment I became a freshman was a profound experience. I found that being forced, in class, to challenge my beliefs, my knowledge, and my history also forced me to question my personal life view and incorporate the lessons I learned into new social constructs and belief paradigms.

What's your favorite Honors memory?

My first retreat! It made me fully open my eyes to how large the world really was as compared to my personal experience up to that point. As freshmen at retreat, we had to loosen the grasp of our control temporarily. By taking this first step into our college journey, we were able to embrace the beginnings of this new worldview. 

About Ed Noack

Ed Noack graduated from the University of Houston in 1993 with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He has worked for The Dow Chemical Company since graduation in a variety of roles in manufacturing, engineering, supply chain, Mergers & Acquisitions, and business management. He received a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin in 2004. He and his wife Michelle, a marketing director at Dow, live in Midland, Michigan.