ATU Alumna Bounds Selected to Team USA

Arkansas Tech University alumna Kaitlin Bounds will represent her country as a member of Team USA at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships track and field competition in London, England, July 14-23.

Bounds, who was diagnosed with autism at age 4, will be among 50 athletes representing the United States of America in the event. It will be the first major international track and field competition since the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

The selection comes on the heels of two gold medals won by Bounds at the 2017 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in Los Angeles, Calif., in early June. She was victorious in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs at Drake Stadium on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles.

A resident of Russellville, Bounds, 25, earned four letters as a member of the Arkansas Tech cross country program. She was named All-Gulf South Conference in 2010 and was a multiple academic all-conference honoree, earning recognition for her classroom performance in both the GSC and the Great American Conference.

Bounds graduated from ATU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.

Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Paralympics, a division of the nonprofit United States Olympic Committee, states on its website that it is “dedicated to becoming the world leader in the paralympic movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with paralympic-eligible impairments, including physical disabilities and visual impairments.”

Hudgens, Cooper Receive Tech’s Top Honor

Hal Cooper of Russellville and Col. George T. Hudgens of Silver Spring, Md., were inducted into the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction during spring 2017 commencement ceremonies at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

Cooper was inducted under the Distinguished Service category. Hudgens entered under the Distinguished Alumnus category.

Established in 1964, selection to the Hall of Distinction is the highest honor ATU may bestow upon an individual.

Cooper was director of bands at Arkansas Tech from 1979-2011. He is one of five individuals to hold that title during the more than century-long tradition of instrumental music at Tech. Cooper has served as president of the Southwest Division of the College Band Directors National Association, president of Arkansas Phi Beta Mu and district governor of Kappa Kappa Psi college band service fraternity.

“When Mr. Cooper arrived at Arkansas Tech in 1979, he was following in the footsteps of legends,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “By the time he completed his 32-year tenure as director of bands in 2011, he had placed his own indelible mark on our instrumental music program. Mr. Cooper earned a place alongside Marvin Williamson and Gene Witherspoon in a distinguished group that our current director of bands, Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, refers to as the ‘founding fathers’ of Tech bands.”

Cooper was named Arkansas Bandmaster of the Year in 1988, and he achieved membership in the American Bandmaster Association in 1992.

Hudgens, who became the first African American graduate in Arkansas Tech history in 1963, went on to a distinguished 29-year military career that included serving as a commander in Vietnam and leading counterterrorism efforts as inspections branch chief in the U.S. Army Office of the Inspector General at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

He retired at the rank of Colonel following a career that included serving as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee for former president George W. Bush and as Deputy Director of the Inaugural Committee for former president William Jefferson Clinton.

“When I arrived at Arkansas Tech in 2014, one of the conversations we started as a university community was the importance of grit…that quality that allows a person to persevere in pursuit of his or her goals regardless of the circumstances,” said Bowen. “I do not believe I have encountered a member of the Tech community who has more grit than Colonel George T. Hudgens.”

Nominations for the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction may be made by any graduate of Arkansas Tech, any current or former member of the faculty or administration of Tech, any currently enrolled full-time student at Tech or any member of the Hall of Distinction. Nominations may not be made by a family member of the nominee. The nomination deadline is Oct. 1 of each year.

No incumbent member of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, faculty, staff or administration is eligible for nomination for any category of the Hall of Distinction.

For more information about nominating an individual for the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction, visit, call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to

Photographed, from left: Col. George T. Hudgens, Dr. Robin E. Bowen and Hal Cooper. 

Program-Specific Grants Can Help Students

Nuclear technology, information technology and criminal justice students on the Arkansas Tech University campus in Russellville are encouraged to apply for their share of $8.5 million in grants through a new program offered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Arkansas Future (ArFuture) Grants will cover tuition and fees for eligible students in qualifying associate degree and certificate programs at public higher education institutions and includes requirements for mentoring and community service.

Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at (479) 968-0399.

Application Deadline for fall 2017 ArFuture Grants is July 1, 2017.

For more information about the grants, visit

Apply for the ArFuture Grant.

Learn about similar opportunities for students at ATU-Ozark Campus.

Tech Top 100 Announced

Arkansas Tech University has released the top 100 images from the Spring 2017 semester.

The photos are taken at various campus events during the semester and are designed to be representative of the overall campus experience.

The images are posted to the university’s Flickr site.

Top 100 Photos: Spring 2017

Freeman Joins Tech as HR Director

Bob Freeman took office as the new director of human resources at Arkansas Tech University on Monday, June 5.

Freeman brings 29 years of human resources experience to the position, including 18 years in the private sector and 11 years in higher education.

“I believe Bob will provide outstanding leadership in our Office of Human Resources and be a valued member of our ATU family,” said Bernadette Hinkle, Arkansas Tech vice president for administration and finance.

Freeman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Coe College (Iowa) and a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from St. Ambrose University (Iowa).

Learn more about the ATU Office of Human Resources.