BY CLAIRE LAYTON
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven Honors staff members work in the Infirmary building to advise Honors students, plan events, counsel Honors student organizations and better the 58-year old program.
Of these staff members, advisor Miranda Sims is the newest addition and business manager Fran Green has been working for Honors the longest.
Miranda Sims joined the Honors staff in November 2016. Prior to becoming an Honors advisor, Sims received her Master’s degree in Music from the University of Florida and then worked as an academic advisor and career coach for Heavener School of Business’ Online Business Program. Although music is not the focus of her job, Sims said the skills she acquired from her degree come in handy every day.
“One of the biggest things that helps me is when I have that conversation with students about how their major doesn’t equal their career, I can speak from experience,” Sims said. “Musicians have to be really into teamwork and getting along with people, and that really helps me out as well.”
Sims’ favorite part of the job is getting to know students. Sims said she prefers certain aspects of her new job over her old one. “This is just a very different environment, because it is less phone and email and more actually seeing students,” she said.
Fran Green, who after 15 years of service as the Honors office manager, has worked in the Honors office longer than any other staff.
“So many things have changed,” Green said. “I have worked for three different directors. The location of Honors has changed from being on the first floor of Tigert, then to the basement of Tigert, then all the way to Hume, and now here in the Infirmary. Now Honors offers more courses, there are more student involvement opportunities, admissions criteria have changed and more.”
Green has many responsibilities in the office, including accounting and handling fiscal matters, but she said interacting with Honors students is her favorite part of her job.
As for tips for current Honors students, both Sims and Green agree that a key to student success is to take advantage of the opportunities exclusive to Honors students and to get involved early and often. Sims added that time management is frequently an underdeveloped skill, especially for new freshmen.
“One thing that I see a lot with students is just trying too many things. It can be hard to find a balance,” Sims said. “Just put yourself out there and don’t feel like you have to stick with the same things you’ve always done.”