Archives for October 2017

ATU Student Wins National FFA Talent Contest

When Noah Davis performed “Stay” at the Tech’s Got Talent semifinals during Homecoming 2017 week at Arkansas Tech University, no one in the room knew how far that song would take him a mere 10 days later.

Davis’ singing and piano playing on the Rihanna hit earned him the top prize at the 90th National Future Farmers of America Convention and Expo talent competition in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, Oct. 27.

The ATU freshman from Hot Springs performed the song before an estimated crowd of 6,000 during the contest finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday night. His victory earned him the opportunity to perform again the next day before a crowd of 10,000 at Lucas Oil Field.

“First of all, I love Rihanna,” said Davis. “She is such an artist, and all of her music is amazing. It’s already a slower song, so it transferred well to playing piano. It’s one where you can show your emotion and get the crowd involved with the song through the way you emote the words of the song. I thought if I was going to be in front of a big crowd and behind a piano, a really good way to have stage presence is to sing an emotional song. If the crowd doesn’t get into what you are singing, or if they don’t know the song, they don’t react as well.”

Davis first became involved in music as a child through his church.

“It’s been a part of me since I can remember,” said Davis. “It’s stress relief, and it’s art. It’s a way to express yourself. I love taking a song and making it completely new by doing it a whole, brand new way that I’ve never heard before.”

That’s exactly what he did for his performance in the National FFA finals by taking a 2013 pop hit and adding his talent on piano to make the song his own.

“I was extremely surprised,” said Davis when asked about the moment his name was called as the winner. “The other finalists were so talented. It could have gone any way. They did a phenomenal job in the final three, so when they called my name I was taken aback by it. I was overwhelmed, and we had that moment where we were hugging because we were all happy with whatever place we got and excited for each other.”

Davis has been involved with FFA since eighth grade. He credits the organization with helping him build his leadership skills and much more.

“My communication skills…meeting people…interpersonal skills…(FFA) really is such a giving organization to the people who are involved in it,” said Davis. “To be able to share my passion for music and my passion for agriculture all in the same organization really was cool for me.”

Davis is studying nursing at Arkansas Tech.

“Tech is an amazing campus,” said Davis. “It’s not so huge that you pass people you don’t know all the time, but it’s not so small that you feel like nothing is happening. You meet so many people. The academics are amazing. My teachers are wonderful. They really strive to help you be successful, and I really like that about our teachers. There are opportunities in arts, academics, campus ministries, everything…if you want to be involved, (Tech) has somewhere for you to get involved.”

With a national title to his credit, Davis is evaluating how far he might be able to go in the music industry. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of auditioning for the NBC singing competition “The Voice” or finding another route to make a career out of his passion.

“Winning the national contest definitely gives me confidence to pursue it more,” said Davis. “It started out as a hobby, but I think anything you are willing to give 100 percent to, you can make a career out of it. I’m a kid from a little town in Arkansas, and I didn’t expect to make it that far in the competition, much less to win. Just because you don’t think you can doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.”

Photo courtesy National FFA Facebook page.

Student-Inspired Theme for Thursday Dinner

Arkansas Tech University student Baily Atchison has been selected to lead planning for the Arkansas Tech University Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration fall dinner series event on Thursday, Nov. 2, at Williamson Hall Dining Room.

Atchison, who is from Paris, Ark., has planned an Italian-themed meal for members of the Arkansas Tech campus community and residents of the surrounding area. Reserved seating times are available from 6-7 p.m.

Reservations may be made by calling (479) 968-0378 or by sending e-mail to

Cost for the Nov. 2 meal will be $19.95 per person (plus tax). All gratuities are invested in the Walters-Williams Scholarship.

Below is the menu for the Thursday, Nov. 2, dinner at Williamson Hall:

Tomato and Basil Crostini (Toasted French Baguette Topped with a Mixture of Fresh Diced Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Roasted Garlic, Olive Oil, Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Balsamic Drizzle)

Creamy Italian Tortellini Soup (A Rich and Creamy Soup Made with Sweet Italian Sausage and Cheese Tortellini in Chicken Broth)
House Salad (Iceberg and Romaine Lettuce Topped with Tomatoes, Carrots, Red Onions and Crunchy Croutons; Served with Choice of Dressing)

Chicken Parmesan (Fried Parmesan-Herb Breaded Chicken Breast Topped with Fresh Marinara Sauce and Melted Italian Cheese; Served with Spaghetti)
Italian Pork Chop (Pan-Fried Pork Chop; Served with Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Vegetables with Madeira Sauce)

Chocolate Cannoli (Crispy Cannoli Filled with a Blend of Chocolate and Sweetened Ricotta Cheese)

Wonder Boys Win, Stay Tied for First Place

Arkansas Tech University quarterback Ty Reasnor completed 24-of-35 passes for a season-high 288 yards to lead the Wonder Boys to a 38-10 Great American Conference win over East Central University on Saturday at Norris Field in Ada, Okla.

With the win, Arkansas Tech (7-2 overall, 7-2 GAC) kept pace with Ouachita Baptist University (7-2, 7-2) and remained tied with the OBU Tigers for first place in the GAC standings with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Three first-half touchdown passes by Reasnor helped the Wonder Boys take a 21-10 lead at halftime.

He threw scoring strikes of 15 yards to Chris Eastburn and nine yards to Jackob Dean in the first quarter as well as an 18-yard touchdown toss to J.V. Davis in the second quarter.

Arkansas Tech’s Bryan Allen had a 27-yard rushing touchdown at the 12:17 mark of the third quarter, Eric Perez made a season-long 43-yard field goal with 7:59 to go in the third period and Reasnor notched a 12-yard rushing touchdown with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

Perez was 5-for-5 on point after touchdown kicks on Saturday, giving him 138 career made extra points and surpassing the previous school record of 134 made PATs established by All-American Paul Peletz from 1997-2000.

Allen finished with 15 carries for 78 yards. Dean collected five receptions for 107 yards. Cua’ Rose (11 tackles) and Gio Williams (10 tackles) led a Tech defense that limited ECU to 316 yards of total offense.

Arkansas Tech won at Norris Field for just the second time since 1929. The Wonder Boys were 1-4 in their five most recent trips to Ada before Saturday.

ECU’s Ontario Douglas carried 22 times for 111 yards, three of which came in the second half.

ATU will return home to close out the regular season with GAC contests against Southeastern Oklahoma State on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Harding University on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Both games will begin at 2 p.m. at Thone Stadium Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville.

Making a Mess for a Good Cause

Ten members of the Arkansas Tech University College of Natural and Health Sciences faculty voluntarily had pie smashed in their faces on Wednesday, Oct. 25, to benefit the Susan G. Komen Cancer Fund.

Students made donations totaling more than $850 to earn the privilege of giving their esteemed faculty mentors an up-close look at dessert.

The honor for most money raised in his or her name went to Dr. Scott Kirkconnell, professor of biology.

Kirkconnell, who will retire following 36 years on the ATU faculty at the end of the fall 2017 semester, is photographed receiving a pie in the face from student Grace Rice.

Other faculty members who participated in the fund-raising effort included Dr. Douglas Barron, Dr. Cynthia Jacobs, Dr. Christopher Kellner, Dr. Robin Lasey, Dr. Eric Lovely, Dr. Ivan Still, Dr. Joseph Stoeckel, Dr. Bruce Tedford and Dr. Tsunemi Yamashita.

Learn more about the ATU College of Natural and Health Sciences.

eTech Offers Revamped Faculty Course

The College of eTech invites full-time Arkansas Tech University faculty members to participate in a newly re-designed certification course during the spring 2018 semester.

The new-look course will be a six-week hybrid class that will include three face-to-face meetings. Participants will learn about best practices for teaching and learning online.

Application deadline for the spring 2018 eTech certification course is Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at 5 p.m. The course will be limited to 16 full-time faculty members. Selection will be based upon strength of application. Previous online teaching experience is not required.

Visit to view a video with more details, download the application for the program and learn more about the course.

Faculty members seeking additional information may contact Dr. Hanna Norton, dean of the College of eTech and professor of journalism, at