Oswalt Values Miss Arkansas Friendships

By Thursday morning of pageant week, adrenaline is a valued resource for each of the 44 women competing for the Miss Arkansas crown.

Madison Oswalt of Harrison, Miss Arkansas Tech University 2018, had already been through the rigors of preliminary competition in on-stage question, evening gown and talent when she paused to reflect on all that has happened and all that is still to come.

“I feel like this week has gone amazing,” said Oswalt on Thursday. “I’ve done my best in every phase of competition. Consistency is so important at Miss Arkansas, and I’ve given it my best in all that I’ve done. I can only pray that my best will be just fine.”

Oswalt qualified for Miss Arkansas 2018 by winning the 63rd annual Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant on Feb. 16.

Daughter of Laurie and Ryan Oswalt, she captured the Kristen Hayes Dance Award, the Nona Dirksmeyer Memorial Award and the interview competition on her way to earning the Miss Tech crown at the age of 18.

Oswalt’s critical issue is “That’s Not Love.” Her talent at Miss Arkansas is a ballet dance to the tune of “O Fortuna.”

Now 19, Oswalt is making her second consecutive Miss Arkansas appearance. She reached the event in 2017 as Miss Ozark Mountain.

“There are definitely nerves coming in that first year,” said Oswalt. “The difference this year is that I knew what I was expecting coming into the week. There’s hardly any sleep, and you get pulled in many directions. I am more confident than I was a year ago.”

Her good feelings are bolstered by the camaraderie she feels among her fellow contestants.

“The friendships mean everything to me,” said Oswalt. “Some have a stereotypical judgment about the pageant world. When I walked into this organization, I was instantly welcomed with friendships, love and encouragement. That’s what I love to give and receive, and it’s what makes this organization special.

“My success comes from hard work and what I put into this organization,” continued Oswalt. “Everything I’ve done with my platform means so much to me. All the personal connections I’ve made and children I’ve visited with…that’s what Miss Arkansas is to me. The crown is a cherry on top, but the connections I make throughout the year are what is most important.”

Oswalt is a pre-veterinary medicine major at ATU. She is a member of the Golden Girls dance team, and she feels the support of her university through the efforts of Dr. Jim Collins, Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant executive director.

“The support of your executive director is so important,” said Oswalt. “I’m blessed to have Jim Collins as my director. In addition to the $8,000 in scholarships I received as Miss Tech, he has done so much work in gathering sponsorships to support me. I’ve had to pay very little because of the hard work he has done. I’m not in this alone. I couldn’t pursue this dream without my family and Jim.”

Including Oswalt, four ATU students are among those competing at Miss Arkansas this week. Payton Marshall of Belleville (Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas), Kelsey Stone of Russellville (Miss Natural State) and Rebecca Ward of Clarksville (Miss Johnson County) are also in the field.

Miss Arkansas 2018 will be crowned on Saturday, June 16, at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. The winner will advance to the 2019 Miss America Competition, which will conclude on Sept. 9, 2018, in Atlantic City, N.J.

ATU Hospitality Students Earn Scholarships

Twelve Arkansas Tech University students have been selected to receive Arkansas Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation (ATHEF) scholarships during the 2018-19 academic year.

Funding for the scholarships comes from special gifts to the Arkansas Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation and contributions from industry members and families through the silent auction at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The Arkansas Hospitality Association and its partners have awarded $685,550 in scholarship awards since 1999.

Below are the ATU students selected to receive ATHEF scholarships for 2018-19:

  • Alyssa Brown of Mount Ida
  • Alex Clark of Alma
  • Allan Gammill of Eureka Springs
  • Gracie Hartzell of Dover
  • Cheyenne Hawes of Bethel Heights
  • Natalie Humphrey of Melbourne
  • Laura Lasker of Conway
  • Micah Norgaard of Russellville
  • Sydney Riggs of Flippin
  • LaCarl Smith of McAlmont
  • Kenzie Stone of Plainview
  • Karissa Webb of Dover

The scholarships are intended to provide opportunities for professional training as well as career advancement for students pursuing jobs in hospitality fields.

“With the ever-growing interest in the tourism and hospitality industry, the Arkansas Hospitality Association is dedicated to helping develop a skilled workforce to support the industry’s future growth in our state,” said Montine McNulty, AHA Executive Director. “The scholarships that are provided help these students gain further knowledge and skills that will, in turn, offer numerous opportunities and success in a growing and thriving industry. The Arkansas Hospitality Association is honored to be able to support these students as they pursue their education and life-long career goals.”

Campus Life Plans June Events for Students

The Arkansas Tech University Office of Campus Life has planned a series of June 2018 social and recreational activities for Tech students.

A valid ATU identification card is required for all activities.

Tech students may also check out outdoor recreation equipment such as hammocks, tents, bicycles, kayaks and canoes weekdays from June 5-Aug. 5, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Office of Campus Recreation office, 513 West L Street in Russellville.

For more information, call (479) 968-0276.

Night at the Garage Arcade
Wednesday, June 13, 5-8 p.m.
303 West C Street, Russellville
Unlimited arcade play and one free beverage with Tech ID.

Movie Night at UEC Theatres
Tuesday, June 19
3800 West Main Street, Russellville
Enjoy a late showing of either “The Incredibles 2” or “Ocean’s 8.” Tickets are limited and will be available in Doc Bryan Student Services Center room 233 beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 18.

Bowling Night at Sportsworld
Thursday, June 21, 7-9 p.m.
3700 West Main Street, Russellville
One free game and shoe rental with Tech ID.

ATU’s Top 100 Images, Spring 2018 Edition

University Marketing and Communication (MARCOMM) at Arkansas Tech University has released the top 100 images from the spring 2018 semester.

Liz Chrisman, director of photography services in MARCOMM, compiles the top 100 photos from each semester and posts them on the ATU Flickr page.

The photos, which are captured at a variety of campus events and activities, are designed to be representative of the overall campus experience.

View the ATU top 100 images from spring 2018.

Top 100 Photos: Spring 2018

Dean Bean to Lead ATU College of Education

Dr. Phillip B. Bridgmon, interim vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech University, has announced that Dr. Linda Bean will be the new dean of the ATU College of Education.

Bean has served as interim dean of the college since Jan. 2, 2018. The interim tag will be removed from her title as of July 1, 2018.

She is succeeding Dr. Mary B. Gunter, who was dean of the ATU College of Education from 2015-17 and is now serving the university as chief of staff in the Office of the President.

A member of the ATU faculty since 2000, Bean is a two-time ATU Faculty Award of Excellence winner as the 2007 recipient in the teaching category and the 2009 recipient in the service category.

Bean holds a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University, a master’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas and a Doctor of Education degree from Oklahoma State University.

She is the reigning Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Arkansas and Region IV post-secondary teacher of the year.

Learn more about the ATU College of Education at www.atu.edu/education.