Two of the candidates serve as faculty for the university. They are Dr. Shannon Baker, associate professor and History Department Chair and Dr. Kim McCuistion, associate professor and interim dean for the Honors College. The remaining candidates include Dr. Minh Nguyen, professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies at Eastern Kentucky University and Dr. Thomas Spencer, director of Honors Student Affairs and Academic Affairs at Eastern Illinois University.
The candidates each shared with the selection panel why they best suit the position of Honors College Dean. In their extensive resumes, the educators put forth their best efforts.
“As a professor and chair, I constantly strive to create communities where people can be their best selves and reach their full potential. Indeed, this is the mission statement for my career. That focus defines a primary role of Dean of Honors College, I would look forward to mentoring students, and developing students’ leadership skills through interdisciplinary service learning projects. I would also work to create more stand-alone honors sections for Honors College students,” Baker said.
At the Honors College, students are benefitted with more in-depth experiences with faculty. Endless opportunities within courses and research programs are offered, as well as leadership training. The academic achievement earned will also be recognized once reaching graduation.
“I have been serving as the Interim Dean of the Honors College…I believe that my experiences in teaching, research, and service while on faculty, in addition to the administrative I have gained over the past two and a half years, have prepared me to step into this leadership role full-time,” McCuistion said in her cover letter.
“[The position] fits my qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities perfectly, and I am writing to express my interest in and enthusiasm for the position…I am confident that I possess the requisite intellect, temperament, and character to provide dynamic, innovative, and visionary leadership to the Honors College at Texas A&M University-Kingsville,” Nguyen stated in his address to the committee.
“Honors education has the power to improve student learning and open new horizons. I have a firm grasp of the principles of Honors education. Over the last eight years at both Eastern and Northwest, I have worn all of the hats, being intimately in recruitment, curriculum development, student advising, budget management, scholarship selection, and retention,” Spencer said in his cover letter.