Archives for December 2015

Wonder Boys Hope to Continue Winning Ways

Arkansas Tech University will go for its longest men’s basketball winning streak in almost four years when it hosts the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma for a non-conference contest on Saturday, Jan. 2.

The Wonder Boys have won six consecutive games. A victory over the Drovers would give Arkansas Tech its longest men’s basketball winning streak since January and February of 2012, when it won nine consecutive contests.

Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (7-2) vs. USAO Drovers (6-3)
When: Saturday, Jan. 2, 3 p.m.

Where: Tucker Coliseum, Russellville
Radio/Internet: KCJC 102.3 FM/
Series: USAO leads 3-2

About the Wonder Boys: Rebounding has been the most important factor in Arkansas Tech’s success so far this season. The Wonder Boys rank eighth in NCAA Division II in rebound margin (+10.1 rebounds per game). They were especially dominant on the glass during a pair of victories in Florida before the holiday break, out-rebounding Nova Southeastern by 21 and Florida Tech by 20 during the Florida Tech Winter Classic Dec. 18-19. Junior guards Marquis Yates (15.2 points per game) and Thomas Alexander (10.1 points per game) are Arkansas Tech’s leading scorers.

About the Drovers: Science and Arts of Oklahoma is a member of NAIA and the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Drover nickname is a result of the cattle drives that were once commonplace in USAO’s location of Chickasha, Okla. Junior guard Taran Buie (23.6 points per game) ranks fifth in NAIA Division I in scoring. He has previously played at NCAA Division I members Penn State University and Hofstra University. USAO has won its last three men’s basketball meetings with Arkansas Tech. This will mark the first game between the two sides since Dec. 2, 1987. All five of the previous meetings between the Wonder Boys and the Drovers were decided by nine points or less.

Read Winter 2015 Tech Action Online

The winter 2015 edition of Tech Action, the magazine of the Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association, is now available online.

The latest issue features a cover story about Rebecka Surtevall, a 2015 graduate of Arkansas Tech and one of nine finalists for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The winter 2015 Tech Action also includes photographs and recaps from Homecoming 2015, a listing of 2014-15 donors to the Arkansas Tech Foundation and a look back at the successful and recently completed seasons by Wonder Boys football and Golden Suns volleyball.

Access the online version of the winter 2015 Tech Action.

Tech Action is published three times per year.

If you are an alumnus or friend of Arkansas Tech who does not receive Tech Action via traditional mail and wishes to do so, call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to to update your mailing address.

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association.

Abdelrahman Selected VP for Academic Affairs

Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman has been selected as the next vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech University.

Abdelrahman has served as associate vice president for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M University-Kingsville since November 2011 and as a member of the faculty there since August 2010. He will take office as the chief academic officer at Arkansas Tech in June 2016.

“When we began our search for the next vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech University, it was our goal to locate a person who recognized the quality of our intellectual tradition and had the capacity to lead us to the next level of academic excellence,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Arkansas Tech president. “In Dr. Abdelrahman, we found that person. We look forward to welcoming him to our faculty, our administrative team and our community.”

Abdelrahman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics and telecommunications engineering from Cairo University in 1988. He went on to receive a Master of Science degree in engineering physics from Cairo University in 1992 and a Master of Science degree in measurements and controls engineering from Idaho State University in 1994.

In 1996, Abdelrahman earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in nuclear science and engineering from Idaho State.

He joined the faculty at Tennessee Tech University in January 1997 and advanced from assistant professor to associate professor to professor while building interdisciplinary programs that resulted in more than $8 million in external funding, more than 100 published articles and two patents.

During his time at Tennessee Tech, Abdelrahman was selected to be a visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.

Since transitioning to the role of associate vice president at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Abdelrahman has contributed to a more than 100 percent growth in graduate enrollment, increased funding for the institution and renewed shared governance through faculty-led research groups. He has also contributed to increased retention among undergraduate students.

Thomas Pennington, professor of legal studies, associate vice president and counsel to the president, served as chair for the vice president for academic affairs search committee. Other search committee members included Dr. Mary Gunter, dean of the College of Education and Graduate College; Mike Murders, chief academic officer at Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus; Dr. David Ward, head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences; Dr. V. Carole Smith, professor of curriculum and instruction; Brandi Collins, staff senate president; and Zach Schwartz, secretary of internal affairs for Student Government Association.

“On behalf of the university, I extend a special word of appreciation to the committee that led our vice president for academic affairs search,” said Bowen. “It was a thorough and transparent process with opportunities for all members of the campus community to offer input, and I say thank you to each individual who made that commitment of time and thought. I was especially impressed with the level of interest shown by our students.”

Abdelrahman will succeed Dr. AJ Anglin, who came to Arkansas Tech in January 2015 to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs.

As vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech, Abdelrahman will have primary responsibility for the leadership, administration and development of academic programs. He will also promote continued excellence within the faculty.

Additional areas of oversight include the university library, honors program, the Arkansas Tech Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, enrollment management, institutional assessment, international student services, the Arkansas Tech Center for Leadership and Learning, academic advising, registrar and information systems.

Flores Earns NUFP Fellow Recognition

Senior Jocelyn Flores of Fayetteville has become the third Arkansas Tech University student to earn a NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program (NUFP) award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for 2016.

As a NUFP Fellow, Flores will benefit from opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented populations to pursue careers in higher education student affairs.

She joins fellow Arkansas Tech seniors Suede Graham of Clarksville and Hailey Robinson of Okmulgee, Okla., as NUFP Fellow honorees.

All three will be mentored by Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Arkansas Tech.

“A lot of it was Dr. Hammonds,” said Flores when asked why she wanted to become a NUFP Fellow. “He was like ‘you should totally do this.’ I went through it, and I decided that if I didn’t get it, it was not meant to be. When I got it, it was nice knowing that I am valued in a way when it comes to student affairs. I want to have that same feeling when I am accepted into a graduate school.”

Flores finds comfort in having a support network of students with similar goals facing similar challenges as they prepare to transition from college to career.

“It will be really good for networking,” said Flores. “We have a Facebook page, and it sounds cheesy, but it’s really nice having people who are as passionate as me and super pumped about student affairs. When I check the Facebook page I see that they need help with something, and I realize I am in the same boat. It’s a support system and a great honor. I love what the program stands for. They are looking to student affairs as it relates to minorities, which is a big deal to me because I am a minority and a first-generation student.”

Flores has found success as an Arkansas Tech student, a fact that she credits in part to the assistance she has received from her peers.

“Any resident director that has stepped onto this campus has helped me,” said Flores. “The first year I had Barbara Braga, and I got really close to the resident assistant staff in Caraway Hall. They encouraged me to be an R.A., and freshman me didn’t know what I was getting myself into. That passion and love for student affairs came out. A really big mentor of mine is Chelsea Sepolio. She’s not here anymore, but we text on a weekly basis and she’s always been that person for me.”

In addition to her work as a resident assistant, Flores has also served the campus community as a freshman orientation leader and an officer with the Residence Hall Association.

As a NUFP Fellow, Flores will receive on-campus mentorship, access to special programming at the NASPA annual conference, invitations to apply for paid summer internships and a chance to attend a leadership institute hosted by NASPA.

“I’m that kind of person who wants to jump around and learn about every department on campus,” said Flores. “I really like student conduct. I’d like to be a dean of judicial affairs one day, but my big-time, ultimate dream would be to serve as president of a university. I know that’s a big dream, but I’m just going to go for it and see where I end up.”

Seniors Say Thank You

Dozens of students graduating from Arkansas Tech University over the weekend stopped to say thank you to those individuals who played a role in their collegiate journey.

Whether it was a special family member, a mentor or a favorite professor, several students paid tribute to those individuals who made an impact.

The messages may be viewed below and are divided up by each ceremony.

See photos from commencement.