Archives for January 2019

Kronberger Elected Chairman of ATU Board

Fritz Kronberger of Russellville will serve as chairman of the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees for a second time.

Kronberger was elected chairman by his fellow trustees during their first meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center. He will fulfill the duties of board chairman during the 2019 calendar year. He previously served in that role in 2009.

A graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in mathematics, Kronberger has spent his career in the oil and gas exploration business.

He has been closely associated with Arkansas Tech since Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed him to the ATU Board of Trustees in 2005. He served through 2010 and was appointed to a second term on the board by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2015. Kronberger’s current term as a trustee is due to expire on Jan. 14, 2020.

Other ATU Board of Trustees officers for 2019 are Tom Kennedy of Little Rock, who was elected vice chairman, and Eric Burnett of Fort Smith, who was elected secretary.

In other business on Thursday, Jan. 17, the ATU Board of Trustees approved:

*a request to establish a reserve fund for ATU farm operation capital needs and transfer any remaining unexpended external surplus from the current farm operating budget as of June 30 to this reserve account annually, prior to the year-end closing;

*an extension of authorization for ATU to fund salaries and programmatic costs on active federal grants through March 14, 2019, pending the resolution of the federal government shutdown;

*reconfiguration of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in economics and finance into a new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in finance effective fall 2019, with a focus on financial statement analysis, banking, corporate finance, real estate and investments;

*and a policy allowing full-time professional staff required to live in university housing as a condition for their employment to possess a pet (cat or dog) in accordance with board-approved guidelines.

Trustees approved the following new, full-time faculty and staff appointments:

*Charles Burks, football defensive coordinator, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Jonathan Collins, energy manager, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Tommy Crayton, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Lindelle Fraser, coordinator of graduate student support services, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Amanda Gardner, assessment specialist, effective Jan. 22, 2019; Dr. Mehmet Kelestemur, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for the spring 2019 semester; Lois Kimbriel, director of the CCAMPIS program, effective Jan. 7, 2019; John Moll, accounting supervisor, effective Jan. 22, 2019; Julie Schmalz, associate director of financial aid at ATU-Ozark Campus, effective Jan. 2, 2019; Kyle Shipp, football offensive coordinator, effective Jan. 10, 2019; Brandon Smith, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 16, 2019; Kylia Stewart, employer relations coordinator in Norman Career Services, effective Jan. 22, 2019; and Ryan Trevathan, assistant football coach, effective Jan. 11, 2019.

The board accepted these resignations:

*Bob Blake, Lake Point Conference Center facility director, effective Jan. 15, 2019; Philip Huff, instructor of cybersecurity, effective Dec. 31, 2018; Carolyn Ishee, major gifts officer, effective Jan. 11, 2019; Wilson Short, instructor of emergency management, effective Jan. 8, 2019; and Dr. Alvin Williams, associate professor of agriculture, effective Dec. 14, 2019.

The ATU Board of Trustees accepted the retirement of Dr. Mostafa Hemmati, professor of physics, effective May 31, 2019. Hemmati has served on the Arkansas Tech faculty since 1983. He has also provided leadership for the university’s program in undergraduate research.

Blanchard Honored for Decade as Trustee

Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robin E. Bowen and the ATU Board of Trustees recognized Charles Blanchard of Russellville for a decade of service as a board member on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Blanchard was first appointed to the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees by Gov. Mike Beebe in January 2009. He served as chairman of the board in 2013 and 2018. His second term on the board expired on Jan. 14, 2019.

During Blanchard’s decade of service, enrollment at Arkansas Tech increased by 61.4 percent to the current institutional record of 12,101 students. The university conferred more than 18,500 degrees and other academic credentials while Blanchard was an ATU board member.

Arkansas Tech constructed Rothwell Hall, Hindsman Tower, Baswell Techionery, M Street Residence Hall, the Multi-Sport Complex and Dr. Robert Charles Brown and Jill Lestage Brown Hall as well as the Student Services Conference Center and the Health Sciences and Wellness Building at its Ozark campus under Blanchard’s leadership.

His tenure also saw renovation projects to enhance Browning Hall, Caraway Hall, Chambers Cafeteria, Williamson Hall, the Techionery, the ATU baseball stadium and the Alvin F. Vest Student Union in Ozark as well as additions to McEver Hall and Corley Hall.

Creation of a new strategic plan, campus master plan, mission statement and vision statement for ATU were also among the highlights of the past decade. Milestones reached included the retirement of Dr. Robert C. Brown as the 11th president of Arkansas Tech and the election and inauguration of Dr. Robin E. Bowen as the 12th president of the university.

A resident of Russellville for more than 35 years, Blanchard is chairman and chief executive officer for First State Bank. He joined the bank and brought it to Russellville in 1999. Previously, Blanchard was with First National Bank of Russellville from 1981-98.

Blanchard is a former president of the Russellville Chamber of Commerce and was the 2001 Russellville Citizen of the Year. He has served as treasurer and campaign drive chairman for the River Valley United Way.

He is a past president of the Russellville Industrial Development Corporation and the Russellville School Board. Blanchard was chairman of the Arkansas Bankers Association in 2011-12.

Blanchard’s wife, Cynthia Blanchard, was a member of the Arkansas Tech faculty from 1981-2007. They have two grown children: Mary Pat Blanchard Hardman and Chip Blanchard.

Youth Spirit Clinic Planned for February 2

Arkansas Tech University will host a youth spirit clinic for children age 5-12 on Saturday, Feb. 2.

The clinic will take place in Hull Physical Education Building room 112 at 1301 N. El Paso Ave. in Russellville from 9 a.m.-noon.

Children attending the clinic will learn about cheerleading and dance from members of the Arkansas Tech spirit squads.

Clinic participants will receive a T-shirt and learn a routine that they will perform at halftime of the Arkansas Tech women’s basketball game that afternoon. Tip-off for the Golden Suns’ game against Southeastern Oklahoma State University is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Feb. 2.

Cost for the clinic is $30 per child.

Visit to register for the clinic. Call (479) 968-0276 or send e-mail to for more information.

ATU Hosts 2019 Event in Memory of MLK

Approximately 100 members of the Arkansas Tech University community celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a march and service project on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

In a matter of just 12 minutes, the students, faculty, staff and alumni in attendance assembled more than 1,000 personal hygiene kits by utilizing an assembly line system in the W.O. Young Building Ballroom.

The kits will be distributed to those in need by local organizations such as the River Valley Shelter for Battered Women and Children, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Arkansas River Valley, Main Street Mission, the Salvation Army and the Russellville Goodwill store.

“The life of Dr. King means, to me, a life of hardships and overcoming,” said Jay Anderson, an Arkansas Tech senior from Little Rock who is majoring in psychology and communication. “He was such an inspiration to people not only in America, but on an international level people are inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. For me, growing up we had days of reflection and service like this one. It humbles me, and even though a lot of people may not be aware of all the history, this gives them a chance to reflect and feel motivated because of it. Our community service symbolizes that there is always someone out there who needs help.”

The event, which was organized by the ATU Department of Diversity and Inclusion, also raised non-perishable food donations to benefit the Green and Gold Cupboard at Arkansas Tech.

Senior Natari Irvin of Jacksonville and junior Victoria Wilson of Little Rock offered remarks at Hindsman Tower in advance of the campus march.

“Being an African-American student here at Arkansas Tech University has made a big impact on where I’ve come from and where I am at now,” said Wilson, who has worked as a resident assistant and holds membership in Zeta Phi Beta sorority. “I’ve learned a lot about diversity. Being a part of this is something that is inspirational for me.”

Learn more about the ATU Department of Diversity and Inclusion.

2018 MLK Day Celebration & Service Drive | 1/15/19

2019 Senior Honors, Student Research Event

The 2019 Arkansas Tech University Senior Honors and Student Research Symposium will be held on Thursday, March 14.

The Student Research Symposium will be held in Doc Bryan Student Services Center Lecture Hall and the Senior Honors Symposium will be held in Chambers Cafeteria West Dining Room.

Those who wish to submit an abstract for presentation at the student research session of the symposium are asked to do so by Friday, Feb. 15. Presentations in all academic disciplines will be considered. Abstracts should be submitted electronically to Dr. Mostafa Hemmati at, and should be prepared with Microsoft Word 2010 in the following format:

  • The title of the research project should be typed in capitals at the top of the page. Skip one line and type;
  • Name(s) of the student author(s) and e-mail address(es). Underline the name of the presenter;
  • Name(s) of the faculty mentor(s) and e-mail address(es);
  • Name of the department;
  • Skip one line and type the abstract without indentation.

The abstract should not be more than 300 words. During the symposium, presentations will be judged by faculty members from Arkansas Tech University, and the top three presenters in each session (Honors Session and Student Research Session) will receive plaques within a week after the symposium.

For more information, call (479) 968-0340.