The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 by Dr. David Rankin, president of SAU. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director and continues to serve as a faculty member and advisor. 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 over 160 honors students and graduated 28 (a record number) in 2013-2014. Anyone interested in applying to the Honors College or seeking further information should contact the director, Dr. Edward P. Kardas at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 870 904-8897.
David Wingfield and Deborah Wilson in the SAU Honors Office
Congratulations to David Wingfield for being named a finalist in the first annual NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence.
Here is the citation that accompanied his nomination:
David Wingfield, Southern Arkansas University – Finalist
“The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 and David Wingfield has
been its administrative assistant since the beginning. He has seen the
Honors College grow from a small handful of students to a cohort that
now exceeds six percent of our overall student body. David eased my
transition as the second director by gentle suggestion and totally
competent administration. It would be difficult to run the Honors
College without him and impossible to replace him. Students call him
"Dr. David" and he is always quick to respond to their requests and
problems. He especially has a soft spot in his heart for international
students whether they are in honors or not. On his own time, he has
driven them to the airport, opened his home to them, and learned and
prepared some of their own cuisine. We are only a two-person shop but he
carries well more than his share. He is more than my right-hand man, he
is the soul of our program.” –Edward Kardas, Southern Arkansas University
One of the advantages to joining the SAU Honors College is early registration.
Last week, Honors College staff registered most of its honors students for courses for the two Summer semesters and the Fall semester.
Honors students are invited to link to a Web page and to sign up for a five-minute appointment AFTER they consult their PACT-8 schedules and meet with advisors from their major field.
The Honors College does not advise students, but it does place them in the courses after they have consulted with their academic advisors.
Honors students complete the process quickly IF they remember to bring the Short ID for each course. Honors staff, using the command-line version of POISE can then enter their courses quickly, in some cases in less than a minute.
The early registration process also serves another important function. It allows honors students the opportunity to meet with honors staff twice a year and to catch up with each other.
First row (L to R): Kody Kasper, Siye Lu, Taryn Sorsby; Second Row (L to R): Keifer Cooley, Emily Bowling, Sawyer Sams, President Rankin. Not pictured: Zachary Pinson
The Honors College graduated seven students in December. Six of them are pictured above, however Zachary Pinson left campus early to join the United States Air Force and could not be in the photo.
The students above never actually posed for the picture. Instead, they were individually photographed and later PhotoShopped into a composite by Lera Black. Dr. Rankin was also photographed and agreed to let us include him in the group shot as well.
Congratulations to our recent graduates! Good luck in the future and don't forget to support your dear old Honors College in the future.
Honors College will graduate nine students in December
Three students, Casey O'Hara, Addison Ochs, and Kara O'Neal attended the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council in November. They presented their honors project: Building a Saltwater Aquarium.
Dr. Kardas also attended the meeting and presented a poster on the partnership with Empowered.com.
Last week Dr. Rankin paid his last visit as president to the Honors Seminar class. He spoke about the serendipitous moments in his career including his decision to found the Honors College.
Honors College t-shirts are now available at $12 each. See or call David Wingfield, Nelson 200/x4375.
The SAU Research Committee funded an Honors College proposal: Database for Honors Research. That project will collect published research in honors and store them on a database, served from the Honors College office, enabling scholars to more easily access research on honors education.
SAU enrollment in honors this fall was 213 students.
Dr. David Rankin paid his annual visit to the Honors Seminar class today. It was likely his last visit as SAU's president.
Rankin spoke about how a fellow president inspired him to create the Honors College shortly after the completion of what is now the Honors Hall. The SAU Honors College was a fasttrack project that began operations shortly afterward, thanks in large part, to faculty buy in and cooperation.
He told students how he backed into an academic life following a lecture he gave in graduate school and a suggestion from a professor that he think about teaching finance.
A chance meeting with Louis Blanchard led to an offer by Imon Bruce, SSC's president, to come to Magnolia. Rankin accepted Bruce's offer (at $8,040 per year!) and the rest is history.
Rankin stated he never imagined he would get the opportunity to serve as SAU's president and, now, 14 years later he is ready to step down. He quoted Kenny Rogers, "You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."
Rankin spoke briefly on the presidential search saying that there will be a period of transition, "to pass the baton" was the metaphor he used. He will work with the new president to ensure that there is no gap in leadership.
Later, he opened the floor for questions and comments. Students asked if the honors stipend might be raised, if the cafeteria could serve more fruits and vegetables, and if the library could have longer hours.
Hopefully, SAU's next president will be as committed to honors education as Dr. Rankin has been. The SAU Honors College is his child, a fact that will never be forgotten.
Thank you, Dr. Rankin, for all you have done for SAU and the Honors College.