Honors dean’s mission is student enrichment

by | Jan 23, 2024 | Foundation

Honors Institute Dean Tim Krason’s Raymond Campus digs in Jenkins Hall are a good reflection of the diversity of programs and students he serves.

A welcoming place for students – Honors, international and Phi Theta Kappa members – his office is lined with literary and travel books and whimsical art given to him by students over the years.

He came to Hinds in 2008 as a young English instructor, became involved with Phi Theta Kappa and today oversees three Honors programs, the Raymond Campus PTK and international travel opportunities, including to Bridgwater & Taunton College in England. In essence, Krason helps provide enrichment experiences for students, including recently reviving the Kaleidoscope program that focuses on international culture.

“I think the thing I most appreciate about my job is the ability to give students the cultural experiences and the academic rigor that they otherwise would not have,” he said.

Krason is integral to a longtime student and employee exchange Hinds has had with Bridgwater & Taunton College in England, a relationship that was put on pause during the pandemic, but Krason helped revive in 2022. The goal of the exchange is to learn about each other’s programs and cultures.

A group of students from the college in England will be visiting the Hinds campuses in spring 2024, typically in April. But a group of Hinds students are scheduled to go visit England in March for spring break 2024.

Another component of the Honors Institute is teaching students leadership skills. The leadership curriculum is a partnership between Honors and Hinds Connection led by Dean of Enrollment Services Kathryn Cole. The curriculum “keeps them competitive and helps them gain the experiences they will need to be leaders in future college and work experiences,” Krason said. “And, of course, it exposes them to many scholarship opportunities.

“Our Honors program gives students academic enrichment for the whole student, not just core curriculum classes. We bring them leadership curriculum that develops them as individuals and gives them actual opportunities to lead.”

His current front burner focus is the Yellowstone project that would give Hinds biology students an opportunity to do field research with scientists and other students.

“We are so excited about our biology students getting this opportunity,” he said. “We have a group going to Yellowstone in June 2024.”

He is constantly working to create student enrichment experiences such as attendance at Catalyst conferences, the annual PTK event for fellowship, recognition and networking.

“Those are the best moments working for Hinds – being able to give students enrichment and leadership opportunities,” he said. “Those experiences help to give our honor students a competitive edge when they are entering a four-year university, or when they start a career.”