Arkansas Tech Mourns Loss of Cody Simmons

Arkansas Tech University student Cody Simmons, 29, died on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

“Students, faculty and staff are reminded that counselors are available in the Arkansas Tech Health and Wellness Center (479-968-0329) for those who need their services,” said Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robin E. Bowen. “Cody’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Simmons was a resident of Atkins. He earned a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree from ATU in 2016 and was continuing his education in pursuit of a coaching endorsement.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, at Lemley Chapel, 1401 N. Church Street in Atkins. Visitation is from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, March 24, at Lemley Chapel.

Arkansas Tech will install a mailbox at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center for students, faculty and staff who wish to send a note of sympathy to Simmons’ family.

The mailbox will be located on the first floor of the Pendergraft Library and Technology Center near the circulation desk beginning on Monday, March 27. It will remain in place until the end of the day on Friday, April 7, at which time the notes of condolence will be picked up and delivered to the family.

A Different Type of Spring Break for Students

Ten Arkansas Tech University undergraduate students are participating in Alternative Spring Break 2017 in Austin, Texas, this week.

The students were selected through a competitive application process to travel to the state capital of the Lone Star State and participate in a variety of service, leadership and educational opportunities.

According to the ATU Office of Campus Life, the 2017 Alternative Spring Break is focused specifically on the issue of health and body image issues in the United States.

“Students will be working with organizations in the Austin, Texas, area that work to support or educate the local community on these concerns,” states information on the ATU Office of Campus Life website. “Students will have the opportunity to work with local community organizations to learn more about the theme, as well as give their time and energy into supporting the efforts of these organizations.”

The students participating in ATU Alternative Spring Break 2017 are:

  • Jerry Anderson
  • Jaylissa Hampton
  • Christina King
  • Jessica Lyons
  • Sarah Nash
  • Khalil Oumimoun
  • Samantha Rendon
  • Paige Rotenberry
  • Tahmid Shantanu
  • LaShawna Sims-Navarre

Kara Johnson, coordinator of leadership and service in the ATU Office of Campus Life, and Hailey Canada, graduate assistant for campus life, are leading the students on their journey.

Learn more about ATU Alternative Spring Break.

IPDA Nationals at Tech This Weekend

More than 400 college and university students representing 35 institutions of higher learning will visit Arkansas Tech University in Russellville for the 2017 International Public Debate Association (IPDA) National Debate Tournament and Convention Thursday, March 23, through Sunday, March 26.

The national championship tournament will feature eight preliminary rounds of debate in four IPDA individual divisions: novice, junior varsity, varsity and professional. IPDA team nationals will be held on Thursday, March 23.

The competitions are open to spectators. Those interested in viewing debates may report to the Doc Bryan Student Services Center Rotunda at 1605 Coliseum Drive in Russellville for information about specific events.

Daily hours of competition are as follows:

  • Thursday, March 23: 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24: 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25: 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 26: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

IPDA states on its website that its mission is to “provide an opportunity for individuals to develop their advocacy skills in a forum that promotes appropriate and effective communication.”

The 2017 IPDA National Debate Tournament and Convention is hosted by the Arkansas Tech University debate and forensics team. Dr. Gabriel Adkins, associate professor of communication, serves as the team’s advisor.

Statement from President Dr. Robin E. Bowen

“Several members of the Arkansas General Assembly have raised concerns about the Arkansas Tech University Department of Diversity and Inclusion. The ATU Board of Trustees and our administration have worked with them to address their concerns. This collaborative effort has resulted in providing a positive path forward to continue the department whose primary focus will be to attract, retain and graduate minority students. We will continue to work to ensure that all students are provided a safe, respectful institution where they can pursue and achieve their degree.

“The continuation of the Department of Diversity and Inclusion positions Arkansas Tech University to meet the diversity-related components of its accreditation through The Higher Learning Commission and alleviates concerns about accreditation arising in this area.

“On behalf of our 11,894 students, our faculty, our staff, our alumni and our future students, I express my appreciation to the legislators, ATU Board of Trustees members and administrators who worked together to reach this resolution in the best interests of Arkansas Tech University.”

Dr. Robin E. Bowen
Arkansas Tech University

Batson Takes Top Prize in 2017 Exhibit

Arkansas Tech University student Chelsea Batson was presented with the best in show award on Friday, March 17, for her entry in the 2017 Art and Architecture Exhibit hosted by the Arkansas Tech Museum.

Batson is a senior history major from Rogers. Her watercolor of the Stroupe Building will be purchased by the museum and become part of its permanent collection.

Tara Webb, a junior graphic design major from Alma, and Melissa Mayner, a junior art education major from Altus, received honorable mention awards.

All of the watercolor artworks submitted for the exhibit will remain on display through April 26 in the Arkansas Tech Museum, which is located in the Techionery at at 1502 North El Paso Ave. in Russellville.

Each year since 2009, a structure on campus has been selected as the focal point of the Art and Architecture exhibit. The Stroupe Building was chosen for the 2017 show.

The Art and Architecture exhibit is a collaborative effort by the Arkansas Tech Museum and the Arkansas Tech Department of Art. The participating students for 2017 are classmates in a course taught by David Mudrinich, professor of art at ATU.

The series was inspired by the 1968 watercolor paintings of six campus facilities by Arkansas Tech student James Gowing for the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association calendar.