Archives for June 2013

Newton Baking Her Way Through College

Arkansas Tech University student Leah Newton is paying her way through college one loaf of bread at a time.

One Nerd Bakery is a business that Newton, 17, has built over the past year by selling her baked goods at farmer’s markets and other events in downtown Russellville.

“I use local products when I can,” said Newton, who grows many of her ingredients in her own garden. “Many of them are gluten free and vegan. Downtown is so important to me. It would be great to own a bakery down here one day.”

Newton says that she grew up in the kitchen. Her specialty is Mediterranean bread, which has sun-dried tomato and pesto in it along with other basic ingredients. She also enjoys making cakes, which are available by special order.

“She is such a great kid,” said Leah’s mother, Kathy Newton. “She has a natural talent for baking. We never knew the bread would take off like it has, but I am so proud of her. Her customers’ money isn’t wasted either because she made all A’s last semester.”

After she earns her degree from Arkansas Tech, Leah hopes to attend pastry school in Chicago.

“It gives me a huge sense of pride knowing that I am paying my way through college with my business,” said Newton. “I grew up home-schooled so I haven’t been in a classroom in years. It was weird at first because I wasn’t used to it, but I like it better now.”

Newton continues to learn and develop new products as she gains experience. She debuted one of her most recent creations, a strawberry yogurt cake muffin, during a recent event in downtown Russellville.

“This is amazing,” said One Nerd Bakery customer Jaime Valdez. “I want to go back and buy the rest of them.”

Arkansas Tech Hosts K-12 Summer Institute

Hundreds of Arkansas educators will travel to Arkansas Tech University next month to take part in the annual College of Arts and Humanities K-12 Summer Institute.

The institute will take place July 8-12 at Rothwell Hall.  The summer institute, which is part of the College of Arts and Humanities K-12 Initiative, is designed to offer Arkansas public school educators content-driven professional development.

“The goal of the institute is to assist educators by providing access to meaningful content and help teachers improve their depth of knowledge in their content field,” said Dr. M. Diane Gleason, assistant professor of history at Arkansas Tech and K-12 Initiative liaison.

The more than 200 teachers taking part in the 2013 institute will have access to professional development in several content areas.

“The leadership team has worked to identify topic and content areas that would be beneficial to educators and help drive student learning in their classrooms,” said Gleason.  “We are pleased with this year’s program and believe it will be of use to teachers.  Some of the content areas covered during the institute include Shakespeare, American poets, Arkansas history, world art, world history and world music.”

In addition to the annual summer institute, the College of Arts and Humanities K-12 Initiative seeks to assist educators throughout the year with their content needs.  During the academic year, public school educators are able to request DVDs on content areas for either personal enrichment or for classroom use.

“Teachers are able to request a DVD on topics where they need additional content,” said Gleason.  “The initiative then works with Arkansas Tech University professors to help provide the needed content.”

Since the initiative began in 2011, Arkansas Tech has provided more than 600 DVDs to Arkansas public school educators.

“I believe this overwhelming response indicates the need for content-driven development,” said Gleason.  “Arkansas Tech is honored to be able to assist educators in this manner, and we hope to continue to serve as a bridge between higher education and the public schools.”

Dr. H. Micheal Tarver, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, created the initiative to serve as an outreach program that connected interested public school educators with the resources necessary to provide intensive content coverage.

“Both the summer institute and the DVD program serve the mission of the initiative,” said Tarver.  “The initiative represents a partnership between Arkansas Tech and public schools throughout the state, which offers positive outcomes for all those involved in fostering expanded opportunities for student learning.”

Much of the success of the initiative, Gleason credited to the College of Arts and Humanities faculty and leadership.

“Without the support of Dean Tarver and the rest of the College of Arts and Humanities faculty, we would not be able to provide this level of content to educators at no cost,” said Gleason.

Learn more about the K-12 Initiative.

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech University College of Arts and Humanities.

Shoptaw Honored During Reception

Arkansas Tech University honored longtime university employee Merrell Shoptaw, photographed right, with a retirement reception Thursday afternoon in the Williamson Hall Dining Room.

Shoptaw, director of computer services, has served at Arkansas Tech for 35 years.

Dr. John Watson, vice president for Academic Affairs, presented Shoptaw with a plaque.


Rehabilitation Science Advisory Committee to Meet

Several rehabilitation professionals are meeting at Arkansas Tech on Friday to take part in the Rehabilitation Science Advisory Committee meeting.

The committee meets annually to review the curriculum of the rehabilitation science program at Arkansas Tech and offer suggestions to strengthen the program.

Dr. Lyman Harris, program director and professor of rehabilitation science, says the annual meeting benefits Tech in several ways.

“The members of the advisory committee help to ensure Arkansas Tech faculty and students are well-versed in the latest rehabilitation and human services trends throughout the state.  This up-to-date information helps students to be as prepared as possible when they enter the workforce or continue their education in graduate school,” said Harris.  “As part of our national accreditation through the Council on Rehabilitation Education, the committee must meet regularly to evaluate and critique the program. This meeting helps fulfill that requirement and shows that Arkansas Tech is committed to ensuring the quality of the program.”

Members of the advisory committee include Arkansas Tech faculty members, current Tech students, program graduates, representatives from the state’s graduate level rehabilitation training programs and both local and state agency representatives.

Arkansas Tech was the first university in the state to offer an undergraduate rehabilitation program.  The Arkansas Tech program is the only accredited program in Arkansas, and it was one of the first eight in the nation to gain accreditation.

Learn more about the Rehabilitation Science program at Arkansas Tech.


Bookstore to Conduct Inventory

The Arkansas Tech University Bookstore on the Russellville Campus will close at noon on Thursday to conduct end of year inventory.

The bookstore will also be closed on Friday.

Regular business hours will resume beginning Monday, July 1.

Visit the Arkansas Tech Bookstore website.