Archives for December 2015

Surprise Proposal Makes Graduate’s Day

LaSabra Robertson was among the final graduates to receive her degree during the 2 p.m. commencement ceremony at Arkansas Tech University on Saturday.

After her name was called, Robertson received her degree and congratulations from Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Arkansas Tech president. William Kiehl took her official graduation photo and she started making her way back to her seat.

Up until that moment, her commencement experience was very similar to that of the other 600-plus Arkansas Tech students who graduated at Tucker Coliseum this weekend.

She did not know that something extraordinary was about to happen.

Waiting in the corridor was her boyfriend, Anthony Maltbia. He had a ring, an important question and the gumption to ask that question in front of 3,000 people. Robertson said yes to Maltbia’s marriage proposal and the crowd cheered in approval.

Just like Robertson waited a long time on Saturday for her degree, Maltbia had waited a long time to ask that question.

“Four years ago when I first met her,” said Maltbia when asked when he first had the idea of proposing. “It’s been a long four years, but we’ve made it through. We were both going to Arkansas Tech, but I took this year off to get her and my son situated. Maybe I’ll be back.

“I’m very proud,” continued Maltbia. “You don’t know how many nights I would watch her study and lose sleep.”

Robertson didn’t lose any sleep over excitement from the proposal, but only because she had no idea it was coming on Saturday.

“I was extremely surprised, but happy,” said Robertson. “I was expecting it later…not today. It was a good surprise.”

Robertson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

“It was a lot, because being up late and studying late, especially having a son…(Anthony) really stepped up and helped me,” said Robertson. “Whenever I needed a break, he would make it possible. I couldn’t have done it without him.”

Aside from planning a wedding, Robertson has one other objective in her sights. She wants to repay Maltbia for his assistance by ensuring that he has an opportunity to complete his baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering.

“That’s my number one goal,” said Robertson.

Wonder Boys Take Down Florida Tech

It was a game of runs at the Clemente Center in Melbourne, Fla., on Saturday afternoon, and the last surge belonged to Arkansas Tech University.

The Wonder Boys (7-2) slipped past the Florida Tech Panthers 74-73 to complete a 2-0 trip to the Sunshine State and extend their winning streak to six consecutive games.

Arkansas Tech led 43-27 at halftime, but Florida Tech (9-3) outscored the Wonder Boys 34-12 over the first 13 minutes of the second half to earn a 61-55 advantage.

DeChriston McKinney sparked Arkansas Tech with five straight points to stop the Panthers’ momentum. The Wonder Boys tied the score at 68-68 on a fast break layup by Bryson Fletcher at the 2:09 mark.

Tyler Corley regained the lead for Arkansas Tech with a pair of free throws. Randy Echols answered with a jumper in the lane for Florida Tech to even the score at 70-70 with 1:11 left.

Two more Corley free throws gave the Wonder Boys the lead for good at 72-70 with 55 seconds remaining. A pair of Tobe Okafor blocked shots in the final minute helped Arkansas Tech maintain the advantage, and Andrew Guillory put it away for the Wonder Boys by making two free throws with three seconds to go.

Florida Tech’s Patrick Anderson set the final margin by making a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Corley finished with 17 points, while McKinney had career highs of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Their play helped Arkansas Tech finish with a 34-15 advantage in points off the bench.

Marquis Yates contributed 14 points and Fletcher notched 10 points. Guillory had eight points and a season-high six assists. Okafor finished with six blocked shots, two shy of the single-game school record set by Thiago Cordeiro with eight blocks against Delta State University in 2009.

Arkansas Tech finished with a 52-32 rebounding edge and a 16-3 advantage in fast break points.

Sam Daniel paced Florida Tech with 16 points.

The Wonder Boys will break for the holidays and return to action on Saturday, Jan. 2, against the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Tip-off for the non-conference game is set for 3 p.m. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live coverage.

Wonder Boys Roll Past Sharks 76-61

Andrew Guillory scored a season-high 19 points to lead Arkansas Tech University to a 76-61 non-conference men’s basketball win over the Nova Southeastern University Sharks at the Florida Tech Winter Classic in Melbourne, Fla., on Friday afternoon.

The Wonder Boys (6-2) limited the Sharks (4-5) to 36 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounded Nova Southeastern 48-27.

Arkansas Tech extended its winning streak to five consecutive games.

“(Nova Southeastern) did a good job in the first half of spreading us out,” said Wonder Boys head coach Chad Kline. “We’ve played 2-3 zone every possession this year, and they forced us to switch to a 3-2. We haven’t practiced that in a month, but we went over it during a timeout and our guys executed it. I was impressed with us on the glass. If you can hold teams to one shot per possession, you’ve got a pretty good chance to win. Our guys came ready to play.”

Included in Guillory’s big day was a layup at the 17:22 mark of the second half that put Tech in front 42-40. It was the beginning of a 16-3 Wonder Boys’ run that staked them to a 56-43 edge after Bryson Fletcher capped the surge by making a layup with 12:47 remaining.

Arkansas Tech built a margin as large as 22 points and maintained at least an 11-point lead the rest of the way.

Marquis Yates finished with 18 points for the Wonder Boys, while Fletcher and Thomas Alexander notched nine points apiece.

Tech’s Tyler Corley contributed eight points. Nick Wayman had six points and matched his season high with 10 rebounds.

Chris Page and Harrison Goodrick scored 12 points apiece for Nova Southeastern.

The Wonder Boys will face classic host Florida Tech at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, Dec. 19, in further action at the Clemente Center in Melbourne, Fla.

Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and will have live coverage.

Follow Commencement Weekend

Arkansas Tech University will award approximately 640 degrees during commencement ceremonies at the John E. Tucker Coliseum Friday and Saturday.

Commencement exercises will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday for students in the Graduate College.

On Saturday, undergraduate students from the Russellville campus will be honored during two ceremonies.

Students graduating from the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business and the College of Education will be recognized during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Students from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the College of eTech and all graduates earning an associate degree will be honored during the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Members of the Tech family will be able to follow commencement on social media using the hashtag #ATUGrad.

Additionally, the ceremony will be streamed for those unable to attend. Access the live stream.

Visit the Office of the Registrar website for more information on commencement at Arkansas Tech.

    Dr. Collins Takes Top Prize in Contest

    When it comes to tacky holiday sweaters at Arkansas Tech University, the Department of Agriculture is the undisputed and undefeated champion.

    Dr. Jim Collins, professor of agriculture, earned the overall top prize in the second annual Arkansas Tech faculty and staff ugliest holiday sweater competition at Baswell Techionery on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

    Collins also won for most creative homemade sweater, while Dr. Justin Killingsworth, assistant professor of agricultural education, won a preliminary round for ugliest sweater.

    When the time arrived to select the overall winner, the crowd and Killingsworth threw their support behind Collins, who has served on the Arkansas Tech faculty since 1983.

    Collins’ award marked the second consecutive year that a faculty member from the Department of Agriculture has won the top prize. Dr. Lucas Maxwell, assistant professor of agricultural education, was the winner of the inaugural competition in 2014.

    In the interest of fairness, Maxwell remained on the sidelines during the 2015 event. He committed his time and expertise to assisting Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Arkansas Tech president, in the judging process.

    No injuries were reported from the contest, and no one was harmed in the creation of the ugly holiday sweaters.