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 over 175 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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Students Receive Electronics Kits

UNO Ultimate Starter Kit from RoboLinking

Two honors students, Seth Loftin and Ryan Eppinette, each recently received an electronics kit to use in their physics lab couse under Dr. Gary Boucher.

In an e-mail, Dr. Boucher wrote, "After giving thought as to what I could do with these students as an extra, I decided that a digital electronics approach would fit with the theme of circuits in the course.  It is also something I have taught many times at LSUS.  My suggestion to both of the students, and they like the idea, is to purchase an Arduino project kit from Amazon, and teach them how to use a microprocessor/microcontroller to do various circuit functions."

As most faculty who teach honors courses at SAU know, the Honors College has funds designated to elevate contract honors courses to honors level. Dr. Boucher's course is a good example of that process.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Seminar Hosts Three Visitors

The Honors Seminar hosted three distinguished visitors in 2015, President Trey Berry, VPAA/Provost Ben Johnson, and Chair Deborah Wilson.

 Dr. Trey Berry, President, Southern Arkansas University

Dr. Berry retold the story of the Hunter-Dunbar expedition that explored the Ouachita River at the behest of Thomas Jefferson in the earliest years of the 19th Century. That expedition was one of several to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. (Others included the Lewis & Clark expedition and Pike's expedition.) Berry brought the original journal kept on the Hunter-Dunbar expedition and the compass given to it by President Jefferson. As always, he brought out those items slowly near the end after earlier promising to "rock their world." He did it again. Those artifacts are housed at Ouachita Baptist University.

 Dr. Ben Johnson, VPAA/Provost (Interim), Southern Arkansas University

Dr. Johnson spoke about the history of the American university. He did so from the context of his position as VPAA/Provost noting that, historically and currently, different forces pulled at the mission of universities. He reminded us that the University of Arkansas, the state's land grant university, was not founded until 1871 or nine years after the passage of the Morrill Act. In 1862 Arkansas was at war with the Union. The land grant universities emphasized practical knowledge, e.g., Agriculture and Mechanics, hence many were designated as A&Ms. Other historical forces included teaching the liberal arts, and after Sputnik in 1957, a greater emphasis on science and technology.

Dr. Deborah Wilson, Chair Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Southern Arkansas University

Dr. Wilson reflected on her past involvement with the Honors College, especially on her work with students in her contract courses. She told of taking those students to the meetings of the NCHC in Phoenix, Boston, and New Orleans. After becoming chair, she regretted not being able to attend NCHC meetings in Denver and Chicago in spite of having students who worked with her attend them. She reported that contract students were lucky in that they were able to engage more deeply with her as they built datasets, coded the data, analyzed them with SPSS, and presented their results both locally and at NCHC. Travel, she said, helps distinguish honors students from others who may be competing for space at professional schools and graduate schools. She vowed to make time to attend the next meeting of NCHC to be held in Seattle in 2016.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Honors College Graduates Three

The SAU Honors College graduated three students tonight: Prajit Hamal-Thakuri (Summa Cum Laude), Jeannette Oladji, and Melissa Day. Our best wishes go out to them for their accomplishments and we know they will do well in their future endeavors.

 Prajit Hamal-Thakuri
Bachelor of Business Administration

 Jeannette Oladji
Bachelor of Science

Melissa Day
Bachelor of General Studies

Friday, November 20, 2015

Langerbein best of chess field

Dr. Helmut Langerbein ponders his next move in today's speed chess match.

Mr. Kumar Kranthi, visiting chessmaster from India, declared Langerbein as the best of his opponents today.

Langerbein lamented that Kranthi had stymied one of his early moves by a bishop and that the rest of the match revolved around that move. Langerbein said he could never regain the advantage.

Five other players competed but none were able to best Kranthi.

CLICK HERE to see a short YouTube of serial play early in the matches.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Emerging Writers Read Their Original Works

Honors students about to read their original works, (L to R): Clai Morehead, Rae Jett, Kayla O'Neal, Kara O'Neal, and Talia Burton. (Not pictured honors graduate: Majesta Miles.)

SAU Honors College students were well represented at tonight's meeting of the Emerging Writers Club held in the Gallery of Brinson Hall.

Also reading works were SAU students: Johnson Abayomi Adams, Logan Anderson, Joshua Ayres, Sam Connelly, Carrie Huff, Ashley Lawrence, Angel Marshall, Arica-Ann Norzagaray, Serena Stradiota, and Hannah Trout.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Morehead, Hardy, and O'Neal at NCHC

Clai Morehead (top photo) and Zachary Hardy and Kayla O'Neal (bottom photo) discuss their posters with others at the 2015 NCHC meeting in Chicago

Three students, Clai Morehead, Zachary Hardy, and Kayla O'Neal attended the 50th meeting of the NCHC held recently in Chicago. Morehead's poster presented original research on the relationship of selfie taking and narcissism. O'Neal and Hardy's poster described the development of a board game designed to teach players about ancient civilizations.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Taylor McNeel wins national FFA presidency

SAU Honors College student and Hallman Scholar, Taylor McNeel (leftmost) after winning the national presidency of the Future Farmers of America (FFA)

Kudos go to Taylor McNeel from Vilonia, AR for her successful campaign to win the national presidency of FFA. Taylor has been a whirlwind of activity and success since first stepping on to the SAU campus.

This latest success will surely not be her last. All of us in the Honors College applaud her determination and grit.