ATU Creates Plan for Community Engagement

Arkansas Tech University has joined Campus Compact, a group of more than 1,100 colleges and universities dedicated to civic education and community development, by creating its first civic action plan.

The civic action plan provides a framework through which ATU will coordinate its community and civic engagement initiatives, both in and out of the traditional classroom, in support of student success.

“Our goal is to improve the educational opportunities of our students, while engaging with and supporting our community,” said Dr. Julie Mikles-Schluterman, associate professor of sociology at ATU and co-chair of the institution’s civic action planning committee. “We want to create a mutually beneficial relationship that encourages a sense of civic and social responsibility in our students. We already have a large number of faculty, staff and students who are involved and serve others. Campus Compact and our new civic action plan provide a university-wide structure for those who want to improve our local communities and beyond.”

Megan Toland, assistant professor of journalism at ATU, co-chaired the civic action planning committee with Mikles-Schluterman. Additional committee members included Dr. Douglas Barron, assistant professor of biology; Aubrey Holt, interim associate dean and director for campus life; Kara Johnson, coordinator of leadership and service; Dr. Michael Rogers, associate professor of political science; Dr. Kim Troboy, professor of management information systems; and Dr. Jessica Young, assistant professor of physics.

The new ATU Center for Community Engagement and Academic Outreach will be charged with implementing the university’s civic action plan. Mikles-Schluterman will serve as the initial director of the center.

In addition to creating the ATU Center for Community Engagement and Academic Outreach, other cornerstones of the civic action plan include an annual community engagement symposium, an on-campus living and learning community for students interested in community engagement and interdisciplinary, project-based academic courses.

According to the document drafted by the civic action planning committee, the implementation of the civic action plan will draw upon several ongoing initiatives, including academic courses that incorporate service learning hours, classes that employ the $100 Solution program, LEAD Academy, Alternative Spring Break, study abroad opportunities and the work of service-oriented student organizations such as Because We Can.

For more information about Arkansas Tech’s Campus Compact civic action plan, send e-mail to

ASBTDC Success Story: Emily Young

Emily Young is a serial entrepreneur.

After founding a graphic design business called The Brainstorm Agency in 2014, it didn’t take her long to catch the business bug.

She teamed up with her parents to open Dog Ear Books in 2016. A bookstore that hosts live music, open mic nights and other events, Dog Ear Books is located in Russellville Downtown. It recently received the 2018 Best New Downtown Retail award from Main Street Arkansas.

Young is now working on her next project, an arcade in Russellville Downtown.

“The Garage Arcade will be a place where old school nostalgia meets new school experiences,” said Young. “We’ll have a wide range of 80s and 90s arcade games, snacks and an all-around cool place to hang out. You can come spend your lunch break with us or hang out all day. There will always be something new to play and cool people to hang out with.”

Young’s investment in the community has been reciprocated. She raised nearly $5,700 from 39 backers on an Indiegogo campaign supporting the arcade project. The money she raised allowed her to purchase her first two video game consoles, which contain about 150 games.

Each project has a common starting point — the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center regional office at Arkansas Tech University.

“ASBTDC has helped me think about aspects of my businesses that I would have thought of way too late, if at all, on my own,” said Young. “They’ve helped guide me through parts of starting up a business that either I knew nothing about or didn’t even know how to approach. Their guidance has saved me from a lot of stress, and starting a business is inherently stressful. They just make it a little bit less so. From business plan adjustments to who to contact about possible food preparation, they are knowledgeable and helpful the whole way.”

Visit Dog Ear Books and The Brainstorm Agency at 301 W. Main Street in Russellville or online at and Watch for more about The Garage Arcade on Facebook at

Learn more about the ASBTDC regional office at Arkansas Tech.

PRHA Lunch Series Prepares for 2018 Debut

An Arkansas Tech University tradition will make its 2018 debut on Thursday, Feb. 15, when the ATU Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration begins its spring lunch series at Williamson Hall Dining Room.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The meal, which includes soup or salad, one entrée, one dessert and beverage, will cost $9.95 per person plus tax (cash or check only).

Reservations are suggested for parties of five or more to ensure group seating. To make reservations, call (479) 968-0378 or send e-mail to

Below is the menu for the Williamson Hall lunch on Thursday, Feb. 15:

Soup or Salad (choose one)
Loaded Potato Soup
House Salad (Dressing Choices: Ranch, Italian, French or Raspberry Vinaigrette)

Grilled Turkey Panini (Served with French Fries and Pickle Spear)

Dessert (choose one)
Brownie à la Mode
Turtle Cheesecake

Choirs to Perform Sunday at Witherspoon

Arkansas Tech University will present its Concert Chorale and Chamber Choir for a concert entitled “Let My Love Be Heard” on Sunday, Feb. 11.

The performance will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Witherspoon Auditorium, 407 West Q Street in Russellville. Admission will be free and open to the public.

The ATU Concert Chorale will perform pieces composed by Samuel Barber, Rene Clausen, Christopher H. Harris, Morten Lauridsen and Jake Runestad.

Works by composers R. L. De Pearsall, Johannes Brahmsz, Claude Debussy and Eric Whitacre are on the program for the ATU Chamber Choir, which will also perform “And So It Goes” as arranged by Bob Chilcott.

Dr. Christopher H. Harris is director of choral studies at Arkansas Tech. He will conduct the choirs during Sunday’s performance. Brian Conatser will serve as collaborative pianist.

A guest performance by the Russellville High School Choir will also be included in Sunday’s concert.

Learn more about the ATU Department of Music.

Arkansas Tech SWE to Perform “Standards”

Arkansas Tech University will present its Symphonic Wind Ensemble for a concert entitled “Standards” at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4.

The performance will take place in Witherspoon Auditorium, 407 West Q Street in Russellville. Admission will be free and open to the public.

Pieces scheduled for performance include “Alpina Fanfare” by Franco Cesarini, “First Suite in E-Flat” by Gustav Holst, “Holy Roller” by Libby Larson, “March Militaire Francaise” by Saint Saens and “Symphony in B-Flat” by Paul Hindemith.

For more information about the ATU Department of Music, visit