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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dean Robin Sronce Visits Honors Seminars

Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean SAU College of Business (CoB)

Dr. Sronce, SAU's relatively new Dean of Business (second year) visited the Honors Seminar classes today. She came to SAU from Drury University in Springfield, MO. She called herself an organizational theorist and said her doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University was in organizational theory with a minor in sociology. She previously worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and is a Packer's fan.

She came to SAU, partially at least, because of the enthusiasm she perceived among students, faculty, and staff. She said she's still undecided about whether the climate is better here than in Green Bay. But, she added, they are completely opposite.

Business, she explained, applies theories to the world for profit (most of the time) and most business people do work for the good of society despite how Hollywood often portrays it practitioners. She claimed that most follow the rules and that they are "capitalists not pirates."

She urged honors students to come visit the Blanchard Business Building and to enjoy its now working fountain (while that lasts ;-) She showed them the CoB's vision and mission statements and said that those are where all plans must begin. She went on to cover some of the CoB's student programs: ENACTUS and PBL and also showed pictures of a recent student visit to a shale extraction operation in nearby Haynesville, LA. There, she stated all had to wear hard hats and fire-resistant coveralls. Interestingly, she added, the home office of that company employs four times as many accountants as engineers. Other trips are planned soon including one to Little Rock to visit banks and insurance companies. She pointed out that internships are very helpful to students' education and urged all in the audience to seek those out.

Dr. Kardas asked her to describe a typical day as dean. She said she was akin to being the CEO of the unit and listed many of her responsibilities including meeting with faculty, scheduling classes, dealing with accreditation, many meetings, and fund raising. Currently, there is a Dean for Day contest underway in the CoB; the winner gets to be dean and Dr. Sronce will take the winner's place in classes.

Dr. Sronce urged the seminar classes to consider taking a minor in business. She also invited them to the ongoing Backpack to Briefcase program where they could learn interview skills among other things. She revealed a new program under development in International Business that will require students to spend some time overseas and to acquire some language skills. She also mentioned the CoB's Career Closet which is a large collection of clothing suitable for interviews and presentations. She concluded by saying she strongly supported the Honors College and hopes that many of her audience will consider majoring, minoring, or just taking courses in the CoB.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Welcome Class of 2021

Here are two pictures of our new class. The first is unposed, the second is posed. A list of their names follows. The SAU Honors College welcomed them Sunday 26 August at the annual matriculation ceremony. Dr. Trey Berry, SAU's president welcomed them and their families. Dr. Adbel Bachri, Dean of Science and Engineering was our keynote speaker. A reception followed.




Kofoworola Afolabi 
Kira Barone 
Leah Bernard 
Aidan Brown 
Alyssa Brown 
Sarah Campbell 
Sarah Cook 
Brianna Davis 
Mackenzie Downs 
Bailey Easley 
Peyton Fussell 
Kenzie Glass 
Kristie Glass 
Virginia Goodwin 
Emily Graeter 
Breanna Hall 
Kristopher Johnson 
Samir Kc 
Anish Khadka 
William Lacalle 
Kaitlyn Lancaster 
Thomas Langley 
Madison Marcotte 
Randi Markham 
Melanie Martin 
Aamiyah McFadden
Zoie McVay 
Brandon Means 
Mackenzie Mitchell 
Shakhriyorkhon Mukhitdinow 
Hannah Myers 
Andrew Nadeau 
Duyen Nguyen
Emily Overton
Celine Parker
Joseph Peck
Cecilia Quesada 

Audrey Sanders 
Austin Savell 
Rachael Schaefer 
Suprina Shrestha 
Anna Smith 
Cameron Sorenson 
Patrick Stevens 
Sullivan Stockwell
Kel Vin Tee
Audra Tibbit
Issah Traylor
Josey Webb
Gillian Wells 

West Sarah York

Friday, August 3, 2018

Noah Alfryji Graduates

Noaf Alfryji 3 August 2018

Noaf came to Southern Arkansas University as an ESL student from Saudi Arabia. His English was adequate he said, but not at the level required for serious academic work. He quickly passed his ESL test and then enrolled in the SAU Honors College.

Some four years later he is graduating with a degree in nursing. He plans to return to Saudi Arabia with his wife and three children, two of whom were born in Arkansas. There he will work at the Prince Mohammed Medical City.

We wish him continued success and hope to see him again soon. BTW, his freshman bucket list included buying a vintage sports car. We'll wish to see a picture of it.

Monday, April 30, 2018

LPA Outstanding Students

On April 25, 2018 several SAU Honors College students were named as the outstanding student in their respective departments.

Ethan Edwards won two awards: Outstanding Student in Behavioral and Social Sciences and was the overall winner in the College of Liberal and Performing Arts

Dean Langerbein and Ethan Edwards

Jeanette Oladji, SAU Honors College graduate, also won two awards: Outstanding Student in the Master of Public Administration and the Outstanding Graduate Student

Dean Langerbein and Jeanette Oladji

Justin Caldwell won the Outstanding Student from the department of Performing Arts and Mass Communication

Sarah Mickey and Justin Caldwell

Gabrielle Davis won the Outstanding Student from the department of History and Political Science:

Paul Babbitt and Gabrielle Davis

Monday, March 12, 2018

Going Medieval in Dallas

Honors College students and staff visit Medieval Times in Dallas

The Honors College spent most of Saturday 10 March on the road to and from Dallas. In between they attended the 2 pm show at Medieval Times. That show included a very tasty roasted chicken, corn on the cob, potatoes, and dessert.

We got to watch a lot of well-trained horses, jousting, and some pretty hokey medieval "combat." We wondered what backstage was like and appreciated the dung removing squires.

It was a great trip. We also appreciated their shout out at the beginning: "We welcome the SAU Honors College Muleriders."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Taylor McNeel Rocks in Spanish

Taylor McNeel just before her presentation in Havana at Universidad 2018 Meeting

Taylor McNeel rocked on Thursday 15 February in Havana and in Spanish! That was at her session on Internationalization. She presented the results of her 9-week stay in Mexico in the Summer of 2017. There, she taught children aged 3 to 18 about agricultural topics. After she presented she received some good feedback from the audience.
Taylor plans pursue a career in agricultural policy, trade, and international agriculture and/or possibly graduate school this fall after she graduates in May. Hopefully, she'll be able to return to Cuba in 2019 and continue her work there as part of SAU's academic exchange program with the University of Artemisa. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Honors College Report

Honors College Report
31 January 2018

  • Director Kardas, Assistant Director Wingfield, GAs Amgain & Edeniyl, Student Worker Nash. Director Wingfield's employment status will soon be changed from classified to unclassified.
  • Six SAU personnel: Dr. Berry, Dr. Wang, Mr. Ochs, Petr Kandidatov, Dr. Kardas and honors student Taylor McNeel will visit Havana in February to make presentations at Universidad 2018 meeting. All are on the program. Some time will be spent at the University of Artemisa, our host and partner institution in Cuba. Dr. Berry will be part of a rectors' (university presidents) on the democratization and inclusion in the university. His talk will cover our first-generation students and our African-American student. Kardas, Wang, and Ochs along with Cuban colleagues Margarita Gonzalez and Able Castro will report on the murals painted on each campus. Kardas, Wang, and Gonzalez will cover the logistical hurdles successfully overcome while Ochs and Castro will talk about painting the murals. Kandidatov will speak about SAU's ESL program and investigate the possibility of hosting Cuban students. Finally, McNeel will report on her summer project in Mexico.
  • Honors faculty and students will travel to Boston in November 2018 to attend the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council. Kardas, Wingfield, and student Laura Nash will present research on students' beliefs on what they consider to be the two most important college courses to take. Nash will also replicate a study on why students seek to travel overseas. Other honors students are also planning to submit work to the Council.
  • Future Honors College travel plans include an overnight trip to Medieval Times in Dallas.
  • Future SAU travel plans include a trip to China in May 2018 and another to Italy in May 2019.
  • In May the Honors College graduated 33 students.
  • The total enrollment of the Honors College is 151. That does not include 12 students placed on honors academic suspension, it does include 3 students placed on honors academic probation (e.g., GPA < 3.25).
  • Applications for enrollment in the Honors College are arriving from high school students at the usual pace and thus far 8 have been accepted. The College also accepted 4 current SAU students, those are not reflected in the enrollment figure above.
  • The Honors College provided partial funding for several student projects: to Yonghu Dai and Juping Wang for Spanish language videos for honors sections, and to Kate Sheehan for aquarium supplies for an honors student project.
Honors Research
  • Kardas, Wingfield, and Nash will submit a faculty poster to NCHC titled: Honors' applicants perceptions about the two most necessary college courses. This research emanated from the College's application process. One of it essay prompts is: 1. What two classes should every college student take? Why? We noticed that a majority cited courses in financial planning. Coincidentally, faculty from the SAU College of Business contacted us and asked if Honors College would be interested in a full honors course in Financial Planning. So, plans are now underway to create such an honors section.