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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Early Registration for Honors Students

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.

Friday, February 6, 2015

December Honors Grads

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.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Honors College Report

Honors College Report
3 December 2014

Activities and News:
  • The 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 
  • 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.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rankin's Farewell Visit to Honors Seminar

Dr. Rankin makes a point about the SAU Budget

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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NCHC Poster 2014

Two attendees at the 2014 NCHC annual meeting read SAU's poster

Kardas' poster "Developing and Assessing an iPad App for Honors General Psychology" was part of NCHC's first-ever Faculty Poster Session.

The poster detailed SAU's experience in developing an iPad app with in partnership with a technology firm (, now part of Qualcomm).

Friday, November 7, 2014

On Our Way to NCHC 2014

Casey O'Hara, Addison Ochs, and Kara O'Neal at DFW

Our trip began badly. Expedia booked us on a nonexistent flight and failed to e-mail us that the flight was no more. So, we arrived early for our 1:20 pm flight only to discover that we had just missed the morning flight by half an hour.

American rebooked us for a 6:10 pm flight. We had to kill time in Texarkana; we ate at Jimmy Johns and then saw movies. Kara and the Kardas' saw Mazerunner while Addison and Casey took in Fury.

After, we walked around the mall before catching our late plane. In Dallas, we had a two-hour layover so we dined at Pappacitos before catching our fully booked flight to Denver.

We arrived in Denver just after 10 pm MST. Hopefully, the rest of our trip will be less eventful. There is a meeting of the Research Committee Friday. On Saturday, all will be in action with the students presenting at breakfast and Kardas presenting a poster from 1 to 3.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Honors College t-shirts

Michelle Beavers models the 2014 Honors College t-shirt

If you have not yet heard, the 2014 Honors College t-shirts are in. If you ordered one, come pick it up at the Honors Office. They are $12.

If you DID NOT order one, e-mail Kiley Anderson at: