Archives for June 2018

Stone Collecting Awards at Miss Arkansas

Arkansas Tech University student Kelsey Stone is adding to her scholarship coffers during Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant week 2018.

Stone has captured the Combs ‘Caught Ya In the Act of Kindness’ Award, which carries a $500 scholarship, and the Overall Arrival Award, which includes a $750 scholarship.

She also tied for first place in the Thursday night preliminary competition for talent. Stone played piano and offered a vocal performance of “Rise Up.”

The final stage of competition will take place beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. KATV Channel 7 in central Arkansas, KFSM Channel 5 in northwest Arkansas and KAIT Channel 8 in northeast Arkansas will provide a live broadcast of the finals.

A 21-year old resident of Russellville, Stone was crowned Miss Arkansas Tech University 2017. She went on to win the Buddy Coleman Memorial Overall Talent award and finish in the top 15 at the 2017 Miss Arkansas Pageant.

She is back in the statewide competition in 2018 after winning the Miss Natural State preliminary. Her platform is “#FindYourGift: Realizing Your Potential.”

Daughter of Kim and Dee Stone, Stone is majoring in nursing at ATU.

Including Stone, four ATU students are among those competing at Miss Arkansas this week. Payton Marshall of Belleville (Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas), Madison Oswalt of Harrison (Miss Arkansas Tech University) and Rebecca Ward of Clarksville (Miss Johnson County) are also in the field.

Smith’s ATU Journey Leads Him to NASA

Arkansas Tech University student Justin Smith is spending his summer surrounded by some of the world’s foremost rocket scientists.

Smith is interning at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., the same facility that tested the rockets that propelled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon nearly a half-century ago.

Today, personnel at the Stennis Center are testing the engines that might one day make human exploration of deep space possible.

“At first, coming to the Stennis Space Center seemed to be slightly overwhelming,” said Smith, “but as a few days went by I realized that it is a very friendly environment to work in. Everyone is really nice and inviting.”

Smith is performing research for new technology and upcoming missions during his internship, which is being served under the direction of Dr. Ramona Travis, the chief technologist at the Stennis Center.

“It’s really cool to understand what a lot of the employees here at NASA are talking about based on what I have learned in the classroom,” said Smith. “I’ve even been able to pitch my own ideas based on some projects I’ve done in the various labs I’ve participated in at Arkansas Tech.”

A first-generation college student, Smith began his association with Arkansas Tech through the TRIO Upward Bound Classic program. He graduated from Dover High School in 2015 and enrolled at Tech, where he is majoring in majoring in mechanical engineering and physics.

Smith is on pace to graduate from ATU in May 2019.

“I would like to actually work at NASA as a full-time employee one day,” said Smith. “I really appreciate the opportunity to gain experience in my field so that I will easily find a career in aerospace and mechanical technology when graduation rolls around.”

Oswalt Values Miss Arkansas Friendships

By Thursday morning of pageant week, adrenaline is a valued resource for each of the 44 women competing for the Miss Arkansas crown.

Madison Oswalt of Harrison, Miss Arkansas Tech University 2018, had already been through the rigors of preliminary competition in on-stage question, evening gown and talent when she paused to reflect on all that has happened and all that is still to come.

“I feel like this week has gone amazing,” said Oswalt on Thursday. “I’ve done my best in every phase of competition. Consistency is so important at Miss Arkansas, and I’ve given it my best in all that I’ve done. I can only pray that my best will be just fine.”

Oswalt qualified for Miss Arkansas 2018 by winning the 63rd annual Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant on Feb. 16.

Daughter of Laurie and Ryan Oswalt, she captured the Kristen Hayes Dance Award, the Nona Dirksmeyer Memorial Award and the interview competition on her way to earning the Miss Tech crown at the age of 18.

Oswalt’s critical issue is “That’s Not Love.” Her talent at Miss Arkansas is a ballet dance to the tune of “O Fortuna.”

Now 19, Oswalt is making her second consecutive Miss Arkansas appearance. She reached the event in 2017 as Miss Ozark Mountain.

“There are definitely nerves coming in that first year,” said Oswalt. “The difference this year is that I knew what I was expecting coming into the week. There’s hardly any sleep, and you get pulled in many directions. I am more confident than I was a year ago.”

Her good feelings are bolstered by the camaraderie she feels among her fellow contestants.

“The friendships mean everything to me,” said Oswalt. “Some have a stereotypical judgment about the pageant world. When I walked into this organization, I was instantly welcomed with friendships, love and encouragement. That’s what I love to give and receive, and it’s what makes this organization special.

“My success comes from hard work and what I put into this organization,” continued Oswalt. “Everything I’ve done with my platform means so much to me. All the personal connections I’ve made and children I’ve visited with…that’s what Miss Arkansas is to me. The crown is a cherry on top, but the connections I make throughout the year are what is most important.”

Oswalt is a pre-veterinary medicine major at ATU. She is a member of the Golden Girls dance team, and she feels the support of her university through the efforts of Dr. Jim Collins, Miss Arkansas Tech University Scholarship Pageant executive director.

“The support of your executive director is so important,” said Oswalt. “I’m blessed to have Jim Collins as my director. In addition to the $8,000 in scholarships I received as Miss Tech, he has done so much work in gathering sponsorships to support me. I’ve had to pay very little because of the hard work he has done. I’m not in this alone. I couldn’t pursue this dream without my family and Jim.”

Including Oswalt, four ATU students are among those competing at Miss Arkansas this week. Payton Marshall of Belleville (Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas), Kelsey Stone of Russellville (Miss Natural State) and Rebecca Ward of Clarksville (Miss Johnson County) are also in the field.

Miss Arkansas 2018 will be crowned on Saturday, June 16, at Robinson Center Auditorium in Little Rock. The winner will advance to the 2019 Miss America Competition, which will conclude on Sept. 9, 2018, in Atlantic City, N.J.

ATU Hospitality Students Earn Scholarships

Twelve Arkansas Tech University students have been selected to receive Arkansas Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation (ATHEF) scholarships during the 2018-19 academic year.

Funding for the scholarships comes from special gifts to the Arkansas Tourism and Hospitality Education Foundation and contributions from industry members and families through the silent auction at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The Arkansas Hospitality Association and its partners have awarded $685,550 in scholarship awards since 1999.

Below are the ATU students selected to receive ATHEF scholarships for 2018-19:

  • Alyssa Brown of Mount Ida
  • Alex Clark of Alma
  • Allan Gammill of Eureka Springs
  • Gracie Hartzell of Dover
  • Cheyenne Hawes of Bethel Heights
  • Natalie Humphrey of Melbourne
  • Laura Lasker of Conway
  • Micah Norgaard of Russellville
  • Sydney Riggs of Flippin
  • LaCarl Smith of McAlmont
  • Kenzie Stone of Plainview
  • Karissa Webb of Dover

The scholarships are intended to provide opportunities for professional training as well as career advancement for students pursuing jobs in hospitality fields.

“With the ever-growing interest in the tourism and hospitality industry, the Arkansas Hospitality Association is dedicated to helping develop a skilled workforce to support the industry’s future growth in our state,” said Montine McNulty, AHA Executive Director. “The scholarships that are provided help these students gain further knowledge and skills that will, in turn, offer numerous opportunities and success in a growing and thriving industry. The Arkansas Hospitality Association is honored to be able to support these students as they pursue their education and life-long career goals.”

Campus Life Plans June Events for Students

The Arkansas Tech University Office of Campus Life has planned a series of June 2018 social and recreational activities for Tech students.

A valid ATU identification card is required for all activities.

Tech students may also check out outdoor recreation equipment such as hammocks, tents, bicycles, kayaks and canoes weekdays from June 5-Aug. 5, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Office of Campus Recreation office, 513 West L Street in Russellville.

For more information, call (479) 968-0276.

Night at the Garage Arcade
Wednesday, June 13, 5-8 p.m.
303 West C Street, Russellville
Unlimited arcade play and one free beverage with Tech ID.

Movie Night at UEC Theatres
Tuesday, June 19
3800 West Main Street, Russellville
Enjoy a late showing of either “The Incredibles 2” or “Ocean’s 8.” Tickets are limited and will be available in Doc Bryan Student Services Center room 233 beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 18.

Bowling Night at Sportsworld
Thursday, June 21, 7-9 p.m.
3700 West Main Street, Russellville
One free game and shoe rental with Tech ID.