Archives for May 2017

Wonder Boys Reach NCAA National Semifinals

Eighth-seeded Arkansas Tech University upset No. 1 seed Barry University by a single stroke in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., on Thursday morning.

With the win, head coach Luke Calcatera and the Wonder Boys are among the final four teams with a chance to win the 2017 NCAA Division II national title in men’s golf.

Arkansas Tech will face Lynn University in a national semifinal match beginning at 12:30 p.m. CDT.

Follow live updates from the Tech-Lynn match.

The Wonder Boys are represented at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships by senior Austin Smith of Russellville, junior Luke Cornett of Drasco, junior Putter Srinoon of Bangkok, Thailand, freshman Jonathan Echberg of Skanderborg, Denmark, and freshman Ryan Spurlock of Little Rock.

Wonder Boys Advance to NCAA Match Play

An improbable comeback has made Arkansas Tech University one of the final eight teams standing in pursuit of the 2017 NCAA Division II national championship in men’s golf.

The Wonder Boys will face Barry University in the quarterfinals of match play at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla., on Thursday, May 25.

Follow live statistics from the ATU-Barry match.

The event began Monday through Wednesday with 54 holes of stroke play competition. Only the top eight teams in stroke play would keep their national title hopes alive by advancing to the match play portion of the championships.

Arkansas Tech was 18th among a field of 20 teams after it posted an opening-round team score of 299. A second-round 293 lifted the Wonder Boys three positions to a share of 15th place, but they were still outside the cut line entering Wednesday’s final round of stroke play.

ATU kept its season alive with a score of 289 on Wednesday, the best final-round total among the 20-team field. The Wonder Boys edged out the University of North Alabama by a single stroke — 881 to 882 — to advance to match play.

Ryan Spurlock (T-32nd, 77-72-71-220), Jonathan Echberg (T-32nd, 75-73-72-220), Austin Smith (T-40th, 74-74-74-222), Luke Cornett (T-40th, 76-74-72-222) and Putter Srinoon (T-80th, 74-75-80-229) are Arkansas Tech’s representatives at the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships.

Smith, a senior from Russellville, made a birdie on the final hole of stroke play to seal Tech’s berth in the top eight.

The Wonder Boys are coached by Luke Calcatera.

Wildland Fire Academy Continues at ATU

More than 230 professionals representing organizations in the public and private sectors have spent the last two weeks participating in the 2017 Arkansas River Valley Wildland Fire Academy on the Arkansas Tech University campus in Russellville.

According to the academy web page, the mission of the Arkansas River Valley Wildland Fire Academy is to “provide professional wildland fire training that meets the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Standards.”

This spring marks the 20th consecutive year the event has taken place at Arkansas Tech. Instruction is provided by officials from state and federal agencies.

This year’s Arkansas River Valley Wildland Fire Academy includes representatives from the United States Forest Service, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, Arkansas State Military Department, National Weather Service, Nature Conservancy and a variety of private contracting organizations and fire departments.

The program is operated under the auspices of the ATU Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration.

Learn more about the Arkansas River Valley Wildland Fire Academy.

Students Invited to Appear in TV Commercial

Arkansas Tech University students who wish to appear as extras in a new television commercial promoting the institution are invited to report to Hindsman Tower at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31.

Students are asked to dress as they would for an average school day. Dinner will be provided as a thank you for participation.

Harris to Take Leadership of ATU Choirs

Christopher H. Harris has been selected to serve as the next director of choirs at Arkansas Tech University.

Harris will assume those responsibilities beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. He will succeed the retiring Gary E. Morris, who served as director of choirs at ATU from 2002-17.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Harris is a conductor and choral composer. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Southern University and began his career teaching in Houston, Texas. His choirs received numerous sweepstakes awards in state competition and invitations to perform with the Bay Area Chorus and as a demonstration group at the Texas Choral Directors Association Convention.

While living in the Lone Star State, Harris founded the Houston Master Singers. He remains affiliated with that organization as its artistic director. He is a former assistant director for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild.

Harris went on to earn his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Ithaca College (N.Y.). He will receive his Doctor of Philosophy degree in choral conducting and choral music education from Florida State University in August 2017.

A published composer, Harris won the eastern and national divisions of the 2013 National Association for Music Education composition competition and the grand prize in the 2016 Ithaca College choral composition competition. His music has been performed internationally by mixed, men’s and treble choirs of varied ages and abilities.

Harris has performed as guest soloist for concerts with the Texas Southern University Choir, the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, the Houston Symphony Chorus, the 2013 Oswego School District production of Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem,” the choirs from Florida State University and the Tallahassee Community Chorus.

Visit to learn more about the ATU Department of Music.