Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spotlight - Interview with Kurt Krause, Coordinator of Experiential Learning at the Pioneer Center for Student Excellence

Can you tell us a little about your background?

Prior to coming to TWU, I spent fourteen years with UNT’s Internships department, helping students find internships prior to graduation. I’ve lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for many years (I even graduated from Denton High back when it was the only high school in town), so fortunately, I have quite a few professional contacts whom I’m now reaching out to in order to provide those same opportunities for TWU students!

What do you do as Coordinator of Experiential Learning?

The term Experiential Learning, oddly enough, means exactly what it says: learning from experience, or as we say at TWU, “Learning by Doing”. In my role as the EL Coordinator, my goal will be to work with companies and agencies to post internships, summer research, as well as job shadowing opportunities for TWU students, and then work with those students to secure those positions.

Why is experiential learning important?

It has always been the case that classroom learning can be enhanced when a student is engages in meaningful work within their field of study. When you add intention, reflection and assessment to those experiences, it makes it even more meaningful to the student.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”          --Mark Twain
This quote helps me remember that trying to drastically change my behavior seldom (never) works out well—it also helps explain why so many New Year’s Resolutions don’t last past January!

Does the Pioneer Center have an online presence? Facebook? YouTube, etc?

We are in the process of creating a Facebook page, and as we begin conducting workshops, we will often record them for those students who are not able to attend in person. For now, the best way to find us online is through our website:

As many of our students know, we like to have fun in Health Studies. We have held themed orientations complete with alter egos such as Mo Solo, Hoda Fett, and Dee Dee Wan Kenobi from our Star Wars orientation. We also had a Mission Impossible orientation with passports and top secret missions. Sometimes we even make up code names for each other.  Who would your alter ego be or what would your code name be?

These questions just got really personal, didn’t they? As pedestrian as it sounds, I guess I have to admit that I’d love to be the action hero—the one who can take out eight armed bad guys with nothing more than a Swiss Army knife.  The truth, however, is I know I’d actually be one of those eight armed bad guys—for example, I never have any illusions that I could survive a zombie apocalypse more than a day or two!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Yes—my direct line is (940) 898-4105 . . . call me and let me know how I can help!

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