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 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 or at 870 904-8897.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sci-Port and Louisiana Boardwalk Trip

SAU Honors College students pose at Sci-Port, Shreveport, LA

The Honors College sponsored its first field trip of the year on Sunday 21 September 2014 with a short jaunt to Shreveport, LA. The first stop was the Sci-Port science museum. Unfortunately, the IMAX projector failed to work while we were there but a good time was had nonetheless.

After, all bused across the Red River to the Louisiana Boardwalk. The weather was perfect a cold front having passed through a couple of days before. All enjoyed shopping and eating.

Next trip? The Honors College may sponsor a trip to the movies next, our beloved Cameo Theatre is now a thrift shop. Watch this space and your e-mail for the date.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Honors College Report

Honors College Report
9 September 2014

Activities and News:
  • The Honors College admitted 61 new students, a record number. Total enrollment is now 170, also a record.
  • The annual Matriculation Ceremony will be held on 21 September 2014. The invited speaker will be Dr. JuJuan English, Chair of Nursing at UAPB.
  • A number of honors students took advantage of extramural educational opportunities:
    • Taylor Mills-NCSU REU;  
    • Taylor McNeel-Congressional Intern, FFA Visit to South Africa; Academic All-American (Cross Country)  
    • Michelle Beavers-Molecular Biology Research Internship, New Zealand;  
    • Rachel Wetherington-SRHC poster;  
    • Morgan Johnson-Pop Culture Association, Chicago;  
    • Lauren Morehead-INBRE, Fayetteville;  
    • Subir Shakya, Deana Hughes, Joy Tan, Taylor Duke, and Taryn Sorsby-NCHC 2013, New Orleans;  
    • Kara O'Neal and Casey O'Hara, Arkansas Academy of Science;  
    • Addison Ochs, Casey O'Hara, and Kara O'Neal-NCHC 2014, Denver. 
  • In May and August 2014, 28 honors students graduated, a record number.
  • Honors 2 + 2 program now includes: College of the Ouachitas, SAU Tech, and South Arkansas Community College
Goals for 2014-15
  • Send more students on extramural internships
  • Add two more schools to Honors 2+2
  • Increase inter-class community through Honors College activities (e.g., field trips and cook outs)
  • Name the Honors College
  • Raise $2000
  • Achieve full Honors College status as defined by NCHC Site Visit
  • Develop a database for research about honors
  • Promote self-generated community service activities
  • Integrate Honors College more deeply into student government and student activities 
  • Increase Honors College stipend to $500/semester (from $300)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Subir Shakya at LSU

I copied Subir Shakya's picture from LinkedIn. Looks like he's quite at home already at LSU.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Honors Meeting

SAU Honors College students 2014

The Honors College hosted its annual meeting last night to welcome new students, to introduce staff, to review last years highlights, and to remind all of important events and procedures. This year the Honors College enrolled 61 new students, a record. Below is the agenda for the meeting.

Honors College Meeting
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Honors Staff Introduction: David Wingfield, Vu Tran, Mireille Zoa

Extramural Education:Reports from students who traveled other places to further their education.  
  • Taylor Mills-NCSU REU;  
  • Taylor McNeel-Congressional Intern, FFA Visit to South Africa; Academic All-American (Cross Country)  
  • Michelle Beavers-Molecular Biology Research Internship, New Zealand;  
  • Rachel Wetherington-SRHC poster;  
  • Morgan Johnson-Pop Culture Association, Chicago;  
  • Lauren Morehead-INBRE, Fayetteville;  
  • Subir Shakya, Deana Hughes, Joy Tan, Taylor Duke, and Taryn Sorsby-NCHC 2013, New Orleans;  
  • Kara O'Neal and Casey O'Hara, Arkansas Academy of Science;  
  • Addison Ochs, Casey O'Hara, and Kara O'Neal-NCHC 2014, Denver. 

The SAU Foundation now has travel funds for student work like that above. Several honors students received such funds.

Travel: A large group went to the Arkansas Arts Center in 2013 and another will visit Sci-Port in Shreveport on 13 September 2014.

Pool Party Cancelled (rain) :-(

Honors College t-shirts: See Kiley Anderson about Honors College t-shirts!

Adoption Agency: We want peer mentors for new students. Su-Ann Tan will administer the program. Every new student should have a peer mentor soon.

Shreveport Sci-Port Trip: Is Saturday 13 September 2014. Watch your e-mail to get a seat. Remember, those who request a seat and who fail to attend (barring emergencies) will not be eligible for further trips for six months.

Matriculation: The annual Matriculation Ceremony speaker will be Dr. JuJuan English, Chair of Nursing at UAPB. It will be held on Sunday 21 September at 2 pm in Reynolds Hall. A reception will follow. Feel free to invite family and friends.

Honors Hours: You must complete 24 honors hours in order to graduate as an Honors College Scholar. Do NOT wait until your senior year to complete a large number of hours.

Contracts: You should have made all contracts with faculty for honors hours completed by today! Once you designate a contract course for honors credit you cannot revert back to the non-honors class.

Let's review the contract class process:
1. Contact your instructors to see if they will offer such a course.
2. See David Wingfield to be sure the course will be listed.
3. Get a blank contract form from David Wingfield and have the instructor fill it out.
4. Return (or have the instructor return) the form to the Honors College office.
5. Courses cannot be listed or enrolled in following the 11th class day.

iPads: Due to several requests for other types of tablets a poll will be conducted in Honors Seminar tomorrow to collect information on possible changes to this program. Others wishing to take the poll should contract Dr. Kardas ASAP.

Late Night Study Hall: The Bruce Center Late Night Study Hall is open for all SAU students. Thank Daniel Ibinola for spearheading the effort that led to its creation last semester.

HCA: Honors College Association is an SAU organization. HC graduate Chris Harris got it going. We need volunteers to re-organize and re-energize it.

Lounge/Study Room: The Honors Lounge (Nelson 200) will be open from 9 to noon and 1 to 5 every school day. Please feel free to drop by during those hours. The Lounge features cable TV, Apple TV, a PC, and a wireless printer that is iPad ready. It also offers free cold water and snacks. The Lounge may also be used after hours by prior arrangement. A small private study room is also available in Nelson Hall.

Publicity: Always remember to identify yourselves as Honors College students when being interviewed or reported upon. Also, Lera Black is working on our latest Honors College poster. Look for it soon.

Welcome our new students!

Noaf         Alfryji
Calla         Bassett
James      Blann
Ethan       Bolick
Cobyn      Brakebill
Jeffery     Brannam
Chevy      Brock
Jeremy    Brown
Taylor      Burdick
Mattison Carter
Melissa   Chandler
Amanda Chewning
Chikaodiri Chukwu
Mariana Ciurcina
Dakotah Cooper
Amanda Crye
Gabrielle Davis
Everett    Delora
Sabin       Dhaugoda
Ahoueffa DissouOgoula
Ethan       Edwards
Ryan        Eppinette
Delora    Everett
Ceesay    Fofana
William   Gardner
Manisha  Gc
Tyler        Gentry
Jasmine  George
Alexander Haagenson
Logan      Hampton
Hannah   Hathcock
David       Hinton
William   Jackson
Emily       Jett
Marissa  Johnston
Renee      Jorgensen
Stacy       Lawrence
Andrew   Legrand
Seth         Loftin
Shiraj       Manandhar
Dawson  McGonagill
Jordan     Newby
Obidigbo Nzeribe
Elijah Reading
Stephanie Rhodes
Kennedy  Richard
Joshua     Roberts
Miranda Robinson
Zachary  Sandlin
Jordan     Schroeder
Savanna  Scott
Deanna   Senn
Joy            Senn
Shiva       Shrestha
Aliyah      Smith
Garlon     Swistok
Darby      Taylor
Tian          Tong
Cyrus       Tucker
Jessica     Williams
Allyson    Yu
Mireille   Zoa

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Taylor Mills REU scenes

Taylor Mills writes about her NSF REU below. REUs are excellent vehicles for extramural education. Consider applying for one next year. Even better, they are (mostly) fully funded.--Ed K.

After wasting three long summers as an undergrad, I finally got the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to fellow honors student, friend, and now-SAU alumni Subir Shakya, I found out about the Research Experience for Undergraduates program funded by NSF. I applied to five different universities hoping to become an intern at University of Louisville in Louisville, KY and at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. I was elated when NCSU was the first to accept me into their REU program! What made the news even more exciting was that I was born in the state and I spent most of my summers there with my dad and his family. It had been almost 4 years since I last visited.

As a first time flyer, I was very much nervous--only thinking about the bad things that could possibly happen to an airplane! However, once I landed in Raleigh and was driven to the NCSU campus, all those nerves disappeared and I was once again very excited to get things rolling!

The first week consisted of biotechnology boot camp or in less intimidating terms polishing up some lab skills and learning new but simple lab techniques such as calibrating micropipettes and doing DNA electrophoresis. After the first week, we were sent to our labs to meet with our mentors. I worked with an assistant professor who had previously worked in the life sciences department at Duke University, a biomathematics graduate student, and a retired biochemist from Slovakia.

The focus of my project was on plant stem cells which are the same stem cells that are normally talked about in animals. I spent two months understanding how certain mechanisms that function in plant stem cells were being regulated. Not only did I learn a great deal about stem cells in general, but I learned about genetics on the molecular level, applying mathematics to better understand biological processes, and I used a fancy instrument known as the confocal laser scanning microscope.
Of course when the lab work wasn’t too demanding, I made time for fun and random conversations with my lab mates who were from Puerto Rico and Brazil.

Another first for me was being able to present a poster at an undergraduate research conference. Hopefully, I will have another opportunity to present my research and poster at the Mid-South Undergraduate Research Conference here at SAU in October. But I will share my full experience in my internship class at the end of the semester.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Walmart to the Rescue

Walmart shopping carts

The Magnolia Walmart made the 2014 Move In Day much easier thanks to the loan of five shopping carts.

Students, parents, and Move In Day volunteers were able to check out the carts for free from the Honors College Tent.

The Honors College also provided much needed bottles of water for the participants. Dr. Wilson, as usual, was her yeowoman self, working tirelessly to carry in the wide variety of personal effects modern students require. David Wingfield checked students in and made sure the carts were returned to the Honors College tent. Dr. Kardas picked up the carts from Walmart and then returned them. He told the cart man at the store not to worry about scratching his old, green, work truck.

Thanks again, Magnolia Walmart, you made a hot, hard day a lot easier.

Friday, August 8, 2014

C. J. Heaton Graduates

Caitlyn Heaton

Caitlyn Heaton graduated today and has already begun to work a a junior high school social sciences teacher (teaching world history) in Pine Bluff. Congratulations!