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.

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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Honors College Report

Honors College Report
6 October 2017

  • Director Kardas, Assistant Director Wingfield, GAs Amgain & Edeniyl, Student Worker Nash.
  • Three honors students and Director Kardas will travel to Atlanta in November to make presentations at National Collegiate Honors Council meeting.
  • Six SAU personnel: Dr. Berry, Dr. Wang, Mr. Ochs, Dr. Kardas and honors students will visit Havana in February to make presentations at Universidad 2018 meeting. Students will receive partial financial support from the SAU Foundation for both trips.
  • Dr. Kardas led a trip to Paris in May 2017 with several SAU students (honors and regular) and community members.
  • AGRI honors student Laura Nash visited Cameroon this past summer with three other students and the Boumpjes.
  • Gabrielle Davis attended the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program at Arkansas State University (ASU) Office of Diversity.
  • Taylor McNeel spent nine weeks in Mexico teaching youth (in Spanish!).
  • Drs. Paulson and Bryant are recruiting for a trip to China in 2018.
  • This year's entering class was the largest ever (N = 65)
  • The May graduating class was the largest ever (N = 32)
  • The current Honors College enrollment is the highest ever (N = 168)
  • Honors students will register early for courses in the Spring and Summer semesters during the last full week in October. Kardas and Wingfield will meet individually with each student to enter their schedule into POISE.
Honors Events
  • Faculty and students from Appalachian State University and SAU will present accounts of their visits to Cuba.
  • Dr. Kardas served as host to Rector Carlos Eduardo Suarez Ponciano in August. They visited both SAU farms, Magnolia Hospital, Southern Aluminum, the Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Parnell Vann.
  • GA Amgain will soon activate new Linux hardware for domain: That server contains archived Honors College material and runs original routines that aid in honors administration.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Freshman Steak Dinner 2017

Seen at the Freshman Steak Dinner

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017 Entering Class

We welcome our largest class ever. SAU is growing and so is the Honors College

Nash Visits Cameroon

Laura Nash

We had adventures trying to retrieve our money transfers from the banks. The roads were very rough and had seemingly chaotic drivers everywhere. I had the pleasure of tasting some foods outside of my comfort zone: pangolin, porcupine, and goat!

I visited a small scale and a large-scale palm tree plantation and observed their different practices. I visited a research facility which had 5 different departments of study. The entomology sector had over 10,000 insects native to Cameroon encased. All soil testing for Cameroon, and several other parts of the continent, occurs at the IRAD facility.

At the rubber tree plantation, Hevecam, we observed the entire process from seeding to shipment all in one place. They were an Indian owned company whose practices were very good for sustainability. They had 33 schools on their land and housing for employees and much more. I also visited the Cameroon Department of Agriculture, where we learned their objectives and goals for their country as well as how to achieve they plan to achieve them. I traveled to 2 villages to pass out medical supplies and school supplies.

My group also paid for workers to come and fix the wells so that the people had easier access to cleaner water. I took my baths with boiled water mixed in another bucket that had cold water. I visited the ocean in Kribi for a night and it was beautiful! I sang and danced with the locals and just got a true experience of their culture. It was such an amazing trip and I would love the opportunity to go again!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Meet the Honors College Staff

  1. From L to R David Wingfield, assistant director; Laura Nash, student worker; Bosede Edeniyi, graduate assistant; Ishwor Amgain, graduate assistant.
The crack SAU Honors College staff pauses briefly to pose for a picture prior to the 2017 Matriculation Ceremony.

David Wingfield has been with the Honors College since Day 1 and is the glue that holds the ship together. He can solve nearly any problem.

Laura Nash is in her second year as our student worker and has already traveled to Cuba and to Cameroon in pursuing her studies in agriculture and accounting.

Bosede Edeniyi is our newest staff member having joined us in summer 2017. She's from Nigeria and is studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Ishwor Amgain is from Nepal and is our technical guru. He handles all of our Web-based efforts and much more.