SAU Honors College

The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 by Dr. David Rankin, president of SAU. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director and recently retired from SAU. The Honors College seeks and admits qualified students who seek to pursue a serious academic program with equally gifted peers and committed teachers. Honors classes are small and provide academically enriching opportunities for students and the faculty who teach them. Currently, SAU enrolls nearly 170 honors students and graduates about 66% of admitees in four years or less. Anyone interested in applying to the Honors College or seeking further information should contact the director, Dr. Edward P. Kardas at or at 870 904-8897.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Pandemically Speaking: May 2020 Honors College Grads

The SAU Honors College congratulates its 26 Honors Graduates for May 2020. Obviously, these outstanding students did not receive the usual accolades of graduation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, they completed their coursework and earned the distinction of "Honors College Graduate." Many also received the status of Summa Cum Laude* (9), Magna Cum Laude" (6), and Cum Laude# (8). Those have been indicated below. Again, congratulations to all. We hope you will have outstanding lives and careers and remember fondly your days at the Honors College and at SAU.
  • College of Liberal and Performing Arts
    • Spanish/Spanish Education
      • Chinedu Okeke*
      • Shatina Hunter*
    • Art & Design
      • Katie Graham*
    • Theatre
      • Ta'Ru Harris*
    • Political Science
      • Sydney Parham#
    • Criminal Justice
      • Jackson Calvert
  • College of Science and Engineering
    • Biology/Biological Science
      • Camille Tedder"
      • Sarah Glover#
      • Macey Long#
    • Chemistry: Professional Biochemistry
      • Whitney Austin"
      • Yassamine Ghazzali#
      • Victoria Hardin"
    • Computer Science: Gaming and Animation
      • Connor Fahrenwald
      • Kameron King
      • Murugan Aziztitu"
    • Engineering
      • Lucas Blake*
      • Mukhitdinov Sakhriyorkhon#
      • Moriah York"
    • Nursing
      • Sharon Regis-Iheduru*
  • College of Education
    • Exercise Science
      • William Lindsey#
    • Elementary Education
      • Amy Vallery*
      • Courtney Ensminger#
      • Morgan Morris*
  • College of Business
    • Accounting
      • Samantha Hawthorne*
      • Oliva McClure"
      • Mara Nolan#

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Honors College Report

SAU Honors College Annual Report
28 April 2020
SAU Honors College
·       To date we have admitted 33 students
o   We expect to have a class of near 60 total
·       In May, we will graduate 30 students
o   Unfortunately, we will not be able to honors them with a reception as in the past or with a graduation ceremony
·       Current students are mostly coping with their honors projects
o   Some have had to virtualize their projects using electronic methods instead of face to face methods
·       Over the summer the Honors Seminar class (HC 1013) will be converted to online form in case that is needed. If taught online it will include many opportunities for peer to peer and faculty/student interaction.
·       Another summer project will examine how to present honors classes (full and contract) online. That is also a focus of the Honors Arkansas group (see below) and the National Collegiate Honor Council (NCHC).
·       Dr. Kardas and Dr. Thrasher (Director, NPC) and honors student Kelvin Tee each have poster presentations accepted for the NCHC’s annual meeting which will be held in Dallas in November. Hopefully, they will be able to attend in person.
Honors Arkansas Annual Meeting:
  • This new group of Arkansas Honors Colleges and Honors Programs voted to cancel its in person meeting in July at Mt. Magazine State Park.
  • Instead, the meeting will be virtual and will be held on July 31, 2020
  • The group is well represented at the November NCHC meeting, topics are:
·       Honors online as a concept
·       Community College pipelines to honors (The SAU and NPC poster)
·       Governor's Research Teams
·       Civic Engagement Teams
·       Being adaptable in new environments
·       How Arkansas institutions are doing in the crisis
  • The group also discussed potential admission changes due to Covid-19
·       SAU is keeping its current admission system
·       UAF will likely stay with it current testing.
·       UCA is moving to test optional for HC for fall of 2021
·       UALR is moving to test optional for HC for fall of 2021
·       UALR has study abroad requirement for honors. Will be exempting / flexible about this requirement.
·       National Park requires community service and not a problem as those students are helping with crisis response.
·      The NCHC is mobilizing online resources and materials and sharing those with its members

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Cuba, Suit, no Tie

Rector Ponciano (left) and Ed Kardas (right) at Universidad 2020 in Havana

Seems a lifetime ago that Jeffry Miller, Chinedu Okeke, and I were in Havana for the Universidad 2020 conference.

I wore a suit but eschewed the tie I borrowed. It was just too hot and muggy that February day.

Hope everyone is safe and hunkered down now. Don't know when anyone will travel again.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

SAU and NPC Sign MOU for Honors 2 + 2

The SAU Honors College welcomes its newest honors 2 + 2 partner, National Park College.

With this addition the Honors College now has four two-year partners. These 2 + 2 memoranda enable students from those two-year colleges to earn honors credits during their time there and then transfer those credits towards SAU's 24 hour honors credit minimum.

These 2 + 2 programs benefit students and their respective schools. Without them transferring into the SAU Honors College would be nearly impossible because, with only junior and senior years left, those students would have difficulty in reaching the honors credit minimum.

The new Honors Arkansas group fully supports two-year honors programs and is working to implement such MOUs statewide as part of its mission to:

  • stop brain drain
  • attract new out-of-state honors-qualified students
  • make honors education more important to statewide leaders by collecting data on honors in the state
  • create a common pipeline from the two-year schools to the honors colleges  

Friday, December 13, 2019

December Grads 2019

The Honors College graduated four students this fall.

 Above are nursing grads (L to R) kTiffany Williams, Serena Nix, and Jennifer Rhinehart. All are nursing students and all have jobs to report to soon (in Minden, LA, Springhill, LA, and Texarkana, TX.

Above is psychology grad Neha Shrestha who has had a remarkable undergraduate career. She currently serves as Arkansas student representative to the Southwestern Psychological Association. In the fall she will begin graduate study in counseling at the SAU Graduate School.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Travelers: Webb and Shrestha

Josey Webb

Josey Webb and Neha Shrestha recently spoke to the Honors Seminar classes about their travel experiences.

Josey went to Italy (Venice, Florence, Assisi, and Rome) in June with the EF trip partially funded by the SAU Foundation. She saved up for months to match the Foundation's contribution. It was her first time to travel any distance away from Arkansas and she was worried about not finding us at the Little Rock airport. Once she arrived, however, she easily found us. Little did she know that Atlanta and JFK awaited her.

She made new friends on the 10-day trip and took many, many pictures. Venice was her favorite she said. She also loved the food and the gelato. She also saw gypsies for the first time and had to watch out for pickpockets.

She enjoyed the three hotels, the night life, and the difference in culture. She did manage to find a Church of Christ in Rome on Sunday. She was surprised to run into a group from Henderson State there. So there were a bunch of Arkansans at that worship service.

Neha Shrestha

Neha is from Nepal but now qualifies as an honorary Arkansan having spent nearly four years here. She's a psychology major and presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) in Albuquerque.

She too had to scrap, scrimp, save, and put together enough money to make the trip. Fortunately, she, too, benefited from the SAU Foundation's largess, that, along with contributions from Psi Chi, and the Honors College put her over the top.

Neha learned about SWPA's governance structure and how it included student representation. So, she ran for the office of student representative for Arkansas and won. Congrats.

Travel is part of the honors experience and students should try to avail themselves of those opportunities when the arise.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

2020 Honors College Poster

 Here's our new poster for 2020. Many thanks to A M Arefin Khaled for making it and putting up with our many changes.

Yes, we know we appropriated the Science Building but we'll give it back :-)