Archives for January 2013

Miss Tech Deadline Next Week

Young women interested in the Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant have one week to enter the compete.

The deadline to enter is Friday, February 8, and the Miss Tech Pageant is set for Friday, February 22 at the Witherspoon Building auditorium on the Arkansas Tech campus.

In addition to winning the crown, the 2013 Miss Tech will garner a prize package that includes a Tech scholarship.

The Delta Zeta Sorority at Arkansas Tech sponsors Miss Tech, and it is an official preliminary to the Miss Arkansas Pageant.

Dr. Jim Collins, professor of horticulture, serves as pageant executive director and master of ceremonies.

Contact Jim Collins at (479) 968-0632 or for more information.

Be sure to log back on for more on the pageant.

Suns Picked to Repeat as GAC Tennis Champs

Great American Conference women’s tennis coaches have identified Arkansas Tech University as the preseason favorite to win the 2013 GAC championship.

The Golden Suns swept the regular season and postseason GAC women’s tennis titles during the league’s inaugural year in 2012. Tech was 17-5 overall and 6-0 in the GAC last season.

Arkansas Tech collected four first-place votes and a total of 24 points in the preseason GAC women’s tennis balloting.

East Central University (2nd, 21 points), Harding University (3rd, 17 points) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University (4th, 14 points) are predicted to be the Golden Suns’ top competition in 2013. East Central received two first-place votes.

Ouachita Baptist University (5th, 8 points) and Henderson State University (6th, 6 points) filled out the remainder of the poll.

Arkansas Tech will begin its spring 2013 tennis season on Saturday, Feb. 16, with a noon non-conference match at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

The Golden Suns are coached by Abby Davis, who is in her ninth season as head coach at Arkansas Tech. Davis was the 2012 GAC women’s tennis coach of the year.


Video Contest Ends Friday

Arkansas Tech University wants to know why you love Arkansas Tech.

The university is hosting a video contest and is asking current students to create a video about why they love their university.  Video submissions may range from a minimum of 30 seconds to a maximum of two minutes.

Participants are encouraged to be creative with their submissions and to explain why they believe Tech is a special and unique place.

Winning entries will be posted on the university YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Those wishing to submit a video have until 5 p.m. on Friday to turn in their entries to the Office of University Relations, which is located in Room 212 of the Administration Building.

The winners will be announced on Thursday, February 7.  First place will receive $300; second place, $200; third place, $100; fourth place, $75; fifth place, $50.

On Monday, February 4, five finalist videos will be posted on the university Facebook page, and fans will be able to select a fan favorite from the videos.  The video with the most likes by Friday, February 8, will receive a $50 gift card to the Arkansas Tech bookstore.

Entry packets are available online (PDF) and may also be picked up in the Office of University Relations.  For more information about the contest, email Carrie Phillips at

“Caraway Hall Girls” Pay It Forward

More than 50 years ago, Arkansas Tech student Wanda Jean McDaniel — better known as ‘Mac’ to her friends — took several classmates residing in Caraway Hall under her wing and tutored them in mathematics.

On Wednesday, those classmates paid Mac’s gift forward.

Lou Nell McCraw Davis (photographed, right) and Shirley Drewry Dodd (photographed, left), members of the Arkansas Tech Class of 1959, represented their fellow “Caraway Hall Girls” of the late 1950s by surprising current Arkansas Tech student Heather Gordon Neumeier of Russellville (photographed, middle) with a $600 book scholarship during a morning class at Corley Hall.

The one-time scholarship was collected by the “Caraway Hall Girls” in memory of Wanda Jean McDaniel Langrell of Knoxville, who passed away at the age of 75 on Nov. 8, 2012.

“Wanda Mac worked very hard when she was a Tech student,” said Davis. “She worked in the dining hall, and she wanted to work more than one meal per day if she could get it. That wasn’t easy. She mostly paid her own way through college, and she was such a down-to-Earth, practical person. I think she would be so glad for someone to have this little boost to help them take care of themselves.”

After graduating from Arkansas Tech in 1959, Langrell went on to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas. She taught for 32 years in the schools at Wilson, Lepanto, Greenbrier and Lamar.

“She’d be thrilled,” said Dodd when asked what the scholarship would mean to her late friend. “She believed very strongly in education. Mac was always there to help us if we needed it. I think she would be very honored that we, as a group, remembered her with this book scholarship.”

Neumeier is on course to graduate from Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in math education in December 2014.

“It means a lot,” said Neumeier when asked about the book scholarship. “The extra money for books will be a big help.”

The chain of events that led to the scholarship for Neumeier started with friendships that were forged on the third floor of Caraway Hall more than a half-century ago. Davis said that as time went by and life became more hectic it was challenging to maintain those relationships.

So, with everyone retired and more time on their hands, the “Caraway Hall Girls” reunited at Arkansas Tech Homecoming 2009. Many of those former Caraway Hall roommates from the late 1950s have returned for Homecoming every year since.

“It’s called love,” said Dodd when asked how friendships can endure for more than 50 years. “That’s the only thing it could be. They are extensions of my family. They are my sisters.”

Their recent Homecoming reunions have been marked by the same sound that filled Caraway Hall during their days as students — laughter.

“We laughed at everything back then and did crazy, silly things,” said Davis. “It’s fun now to hear what they’ve accomplished and how their kids did. We’ve all gone through ups and downs, but we still laugh.”

For more information about making a charitable donation through the Arkansas Tech Foundation, call (479) 968-0400 or visit

Whiteside Re-Appointed to Board of Trustees

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has appointed Leigh Burns Whiteside to a second five-year term on the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees.

Whiteside is a 1974 Tech graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. She was appointed to the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees by Gov. Beebe for the first time in 2008.

The decision by Gov. Beebe to re-appoint Whiteside will allow her to continue to serve as an Arkansas Tech trustee through Jan. 14, 2018.

“Mrs. Whiteside is an exemplary member of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees and we are pleased to know that she will continue to serve in that capacity for the next five years,” said Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown. “She is a tireless advocate for our students and a devoted alumna. The volunteer service rendered by trustees such as Mrs. Whiteside is critical to the success of Arkansas Tech University.”

Whiteside and her husband, 1973 Tech graduate John Whiteside, reside in Russellville. Mr. Whiteside served on the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2005-07. They are members of the Arkansas Tech Green and Gold Club.

Both of the Whitesides’ children — Ashley Whiteside Rabun and Casey Whiteside Brock — graduated from Tech.

Mrs. Whiteside taught in the Russellville School District for 21 years. She formerly served on the Board of Trustees for the First United Methodist Church in Russellville, and she volunteers at Manna House, an outreach program for families that is overseen by the First United Methodist Church. Mrs. Whiteside is a past member and president of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for women in education.

Joining Whiteside on the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees during the 2013 calendar year are Charles Blanchard of Russellville, Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, John E. Chambers III of Danville and Tom Kennedy of Little Rock.