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.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

NCHC 2018 Report

Five students traveled to Boston recently to attend the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) to present posters of their work at SAU.

The meeting was held in Boston, so in addition to their work at the conference they were able to take in some of the important historical sites including the Old North Church, Paul Revere's home, the Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and the Boston Public Library.

Another of Boston's famous sites is the berth of the USS Constitution, Old Ironsides. In the background is the Bunker Hill memorial.

The group left Little Rock on Wednesday 7 November. Below, they enjoy Starbucks drinks before going through security.

From L to R: Lowther, Murugan, King, Ghazzali, and Nash.

The convention hotel was in the midst of a labor dispute from UNITE HERE's Local 26 after talks broke down. Many of the conferences' participants voiced support for the strikers and the NCHC added a separate session to explain the dispute.

Picket line outside Boston Sheraton, one of seven Boston Marriott chain hotels where workers were on strike.

SAU Honors students presented at two student poster sessions:

From L to R: Kameron King, Azitutu Murugan, and Siobhan Lowther stand in front of their history game poster.

Yassimine Ghazzali is in front of her poster on the effects of simulated microgravity.

Senior Laura Nash poses in front of a poster by Kardas, Wingfield, and herself. This research looked analyzed SAU Honors College applicants' responses to the two new essay prompts recently introduced. One asks students to name the two college courses every student should take and the other asks about a social problem of interest to the applicant.

The analysis revealed that the answers to the question about courses showed statistical significance using a chi-square for goodness of fit. Students were more likely to pick courses related to personal growth than to more academic courses.

Laura Nash stands in front of the poster submitted to the Faculty Poster competition.

Dr. Kardas took advantage of the trip to Boston to visit Brittany Kamson, the EF representative in charge of planning the upcoming trip to Italy in May 2019. EF stands for Education First, a privately held company that offers student travel and other learning services throughout the world. SAU has partnered with EF previously on trips to the WWII European Battlefields, Greece, Cuba, China, now Italy.

EF Building in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Next year's NCHC meeting will be held in New Orleans and the Honors College hopes to take a larger contingent of its students because of our proximity to the Crescent City.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Grad School and Honors Seminar

Front Row (l to r): Suzy Toms, Amber Overholser, Neely Dobbins; Back Row (l to r): Connie Wilson, Kim Bloss, and Vanda Crank.

Kim Bloss, SAU's Graduate School dean (and interim Dean of Education) brought five colleagues with her to Honors Seminar today to share information about graduate programs at SAU and about graduate school in general.

Neely discussed the MAT program and teacher education in general. Toms spoke about SAU's graduate programs in Counseling and Crank told about programs in library and library media. Overholser covered the MPA (Public Administration) program, noting that it was for those interested in public service, politics, non-profits, in sum, programs interested in "the public good." Wilson told about the program in Educational Leadership.

Bloss introduced the speakers above and served as emcee. She also related information about SAU's other graduate programs: Computer Science, Business Administration, Gifted and Talented, HALE (Higher Adult, and Lifelong Education, Agriculture, HKRE, and Special Education.

After speaking about SAU's graduate programs, the emphasis switched to graduate schools in general. Speakers covered topics that included: the GRE, the sharper focus of graduate school, assistantships, funding, resumes, applications, and deadlines.

The classes asked many questions and many stated they would likely seek graduate education. Many thanks to all six for taking the time to meet with the honors seminar class.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Honors goes to Mr Smith

Nine honors students, Emily Overton, Taijee Bunch, Melanie Martin, Celine Parker, Rachel Schaeffer, Ian Frisby, Samir KC, Dakota Jensen, and Aryan Shrestha went to Texarkana last night to see the Frank Capra classic: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. (in glorious b&w in honor of the genre)

We took a van and were the only ones in the audience at the movie theater. The film was released in 1939 and covered the topics of governmental corruption and the press' complicity in not presenting the truth. Before the movie a quick quiz asked trivia questions and gave more information about the film. It turns out that the film was not well received by politicians and members of the fourth estate.

After, we trooped over to IHOP for a late night breakfast before coming back to SAU. All believed the trip was worthwhile and that the nearly 80 year old movie still rang true about the situation in Washington, only the media used has changed. Newspapers, so prominent in the film, have been almost completely replaced by social media and TV.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dean Robin Sronce Visits Honors Seminars

Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean SAU College of Business (CoB)

Dr. Sronce, SAU's relatively new Dean of Business (second year) visited the Honors Seminar classes today. She came to SAU from Drury University in Springfield, MO. She called herself an organizational theorist and said her doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University was in organizational theory with a minor in sociology. She previously worked at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and is a Packer's fan.

She came to SAU, partially at least, because of the enthusiasm she perceived among students, faculty, and staff. She said she's still undecided about whether the climate is better here than in Green Bay. But, she added, they are completely opposite.

Business, she explained, applies theories to the world for profit (most of the time) and most business people do work for the good of society despite how Hollywood often portrays it practitioners. She claimed that most follow the rules and that they are "capitalists not pirates."

She urged honors students to come visit the Blanchard Business Building and to enjoy its now working fountain (while that lasts ;-) She showed them the CoB's vision and mission statements and said that those are where all plans must begin. She went on to cover some of the CoB's student programs: ENACTUS and PBL and also showed pictures of a recent student visit to a shale extraction operation in nearby Haynesville, LA. There, she stated all had to wear hard hats and fire-resistant coveralls. Interestingly, she added, the home office of that company employs four times as many accountants as engineers. Other trips are planned soon including one to Little Rock to visit banks and insurance companies. She pointed out that internships are very helpful to students' education and urged all in the audience to seek those out.

Dr. Kardas asked her to describe a typical day as dean. She said she was akin to being the CEO of the unit and listed many of her responsibilities including meeting with faculty, scheduling classes, dealing with accreditation, many meetings, and fund raising. Currently, there is a Dean for Day contest underway in the CoB; the winner gets to be dean and Dr. Sronce will take the winner's place in classes.

Dr. Sronce urged the seminar classes to consider taking a minor in business. She also invited them to the ongoing Backpack to Briefcase program where they could learn interview skills among other things. She revealed a new program under development in International Business that will require students to spend some time overseas and to acquire some language skills. She also mentioned the CoB's Career Closet which is a large collection of clothing suitable for interviews and presentations. She concluded by saying she strongly supported the Honors College and hopes that many of her audience will consider majoring, minoring, or just taking courses in the CoB.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Welcome Class of 2021

Here are two pictures of our new class. The first is unposed, the second is posed. A list of their names follows. The SAU Honors College welcomed them Sunday 26 August at the annual matriculation ceremony. Dr. Trey Berry, SAU's president welcomed them and their families. Dr. Adbel Bachri, Dean of Science and Engineering was our keynote speaker. A reception followed.




Kofoworola Afolabi 
Kira Barone 
Leah Bernard 
Aidan Brown 
Alyssa Brown 
Sarah Campbell 
Sarah Cook 
Brianna Davis 
Mackenzie Downs 
Bailey Easley 
Peyton Fussell 
Kenzie Glass 
Kristie Glass 
Virginia Goodwin 
Emily Graeter 
Breanna Hall 
Kristopher Johnson 
Samir Kc 
Anish Khadka 
William Lacalle 
Kaitlyn Lancaster 
Thomas Langley 
Madison Marcotte 
Randi Markham 
Melanie Martin 
Aamiyah McFadden
Zoie McVay 
Brandon Means 
Mackenzie Mitchell 
Shakhriyorkhon Mukhitdinow 
Hannah Myers 
Andrew Nadeau 
Duyen Nguyen
Emily Overton
Celine Parker
Joseph Peck
Cecilia Quesada 

Audrey Sanders 
Austin Savell 
Rachael Schaefer 
Suprina Shrestha 
Anna Smith 
Cameron Sorenson 
Patrick Stevens 
Sullivan Stockwell
Kel Vin Tee
Audra Tibbit
Issah Traylor
Josey Webb
Gillian Wells 

West Sarah York

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