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.

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.

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