ATU Students Come Through for Local Kids

When the last bicycle was delivered and the other volunteers began to disperse, Hattie Standridge had a moment to look around and take measure of what she and her fellow Arkansas Tech University students had achieved on behalf of the 2018 Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

“It’s been very exciting and gratifying to be able to help out,” said Standridge, an ATU graduate student from Sulphur, Okla., graduate assistant in the ATU Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and resident director at Caraway Hall. “It was exciting to be able to visit with everyone on campus who was willing to adopt an angel. As the people were bringing in the gifts, they were in awe of how many people we were able to help. We’re truly inspired to continue to help, and hopefully we can use that to reach out to people in the future. The little boy that I sponsored is 8 months old. You can do so much for them, but I also want the parents to know that we care about their families as a whole.”

The ATU student-led effort to support the Salvation Army Angel Tree program yielded the sponsorship of 150 children. Their holiday wishes will come true due to generosity of Arkansas Tech students, faculty and staff. The ATU outreach represents approximately 40 percent of the local children who will be served by the program this year.

“As a recipient myself years ago for my kids, it means the world,” said Capt. Andrew Thorson of the local Salvation Army. “There are so many people who absolutely cannot afford to purchase these kinds of gifts for their kids. Being able to see the tears in their eyes and the gratitude when they pick up the items is beyond amazing and very heartwarming.”

This marks the third consecutive year that ATU students have led an effort to support the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. Helping Halls, another annual partnership between ATU and the Salvation Army, has provided 3,300 holiday meals to neighbors in need over the past 12 years.

“Students don’t always have the best funding themselves as they go through school and work at the same time,” said Thorson. “So as I look at this floor filled with toys and bicycles, it is simply amazing because I know what those students are going through, too. For them to take time away from work and school to help us with such a huge program…it’s overwhelming to see what they do. It’s a wonderful partnership that we have built up over the years.”

ATU Honored for Supporting Toys for Tots

Larry Morris and Bill Hefley from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program presented Arkansas Tech University with a certificate on Tuesday, Dec. 11, recognizing contributions by students, faculty, staff and other members of the ATU community to the 2018 toy drive.

Joshua McMillian, chief of the ATU Department of Public Safety, and Jennifer Wortham, administrative assistant in the ATU Department of Public Safety, accepted the certificate on behalf of the university. The ATU Department of Public Safety serves as the annual on-campus drop-off point for donations to Toys for Tots.

Founded by Major Bill Hendricks of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1947, Toys for Tots has collected and distributed more than 500 million toys during its 71-year history. Approximately 40,000 Marines, Marine Corps League members, veteran Marines and volunteers are involved in the drive’s annual campaigns.

Toys collected at ATU in advance of the 2018 holiday season will be distributed to children in Pope and Yell counties.

Photographed (from left-to-right): Larry Morris, Bill Hefley, Chief Joshua McMillian and Jennifer Wortham. 

Student, Pro Journalists Gather at ATU

Arkansas Tech University’s Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapter and the statewide professional chapter of SPJ co-hosted an ice cream social and panel discussion at Doc Bryan Student Services Center in Russellville on Dec. 3.

Professional journalists Drew Brent, Jennifer Ellis and Tammy Keith spoke about cultivating sources, fact checking and their roles in helping journalists break a big story.

Brent is a reporter at The Courier in Russellville. Ellis is zoned editions editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, while Keith serves as senior writer for niche publications at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Ellis is also president of the Society of Professional Journalists Arkansas Pro Chapter.

Learn more about Arkansas Tech SPJ.

ATU Upward Bound Collects Toys for ACH

Students involved in Upward Bound programs at Arkansas Tech University collected and donated more than 200 toys to the Angels of Gold toy drive in advance of the 2018 holiday season.

The donated items will become part of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital toy closet. This marks the 13th consecutive year that students in the Upward Bound programs at ATU have contributed to the toy drive as their fall community service project.

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that serves high school students with identified class, social and cultural barriers to higher education as defined by TRIO, a federal initiative created in 1965.

Students selected for the program must meet income guidelines as set by the federal government and/or be a potential first-generation college student.

The Upward Bound classic program at ATU serves students from the public high schools in Atkins, Dover, Hector and Lamar. ATU’s Upward Bound math and science program is for public high school students from Danville, Dardanelle, Two Rivers and Western Yell County.

Visit to learn more about the Upward Bound programs at ATU.

Photographed (from left-to-right): Arkansas Tech University Upward Bound students Brian Vang of Western Yell County, Sarah Soundara of Danville, Lissette Ventura of Danville, Anabel Galvan of Two Rivers, Kurt Penka of Dover, Mackenzie Watkins of Hector, Macy Brewer of Lamar, Keely Pack of Atkins, Kaylee Freeman of Hector and Luke Weber of Dardanelle.

AGS Applications Open for Faculty, Students

Eligible individuals interested in participating in the 40th Arkansas Governor’s School as a student or faculty member may apply online.

Information and applications are available at More information may be acquired by sending e-mail to

Deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2019, for faculty members and Jan. 31, 2019, for students.

Arkansas Tech University will host the 40th Arkansas Governor’s School July 7-Aug. 3, 2019, in Russellville.

Founded in 1979 by Gov. Bill Clinton, Arkansas Governor’s School serves 400 selected students from around the state during the summer before their senior year in high school.

Student applicants should demonstrate the intellectual, social and emotional maturity required to thrive in an environment that emphasizes theoretical and process-related learning. Students will apply in one of nine disciplines: visual art, choral music, instrumental music, drama, English/language arts, mathematics, natural science, social science or cybersecurity.

Educators in all Arkansas public and private schools as well as all Arkansas institutions of higher education and all state directors of gifted programs are invited to apply for faculty positions.

AGS Area I faculty members will teach in one of the following disciplines: visual art, choral music, drama, instrumental music, English/language arts, mathematics, natural sciences, social science and cybersecurity. AGS Area II faculty members will focus on the nature of knowledge. AGS Area III faculty members will foster the personal and social development of students. All AGS classroom activities are designed to be open, experiential and grade-free.

Dr. Robin Lasey, director of the ATU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and associate professor of chemistry, will serve as director of Arkansas Governor’s School. She has 11 years of experience leading summer science camps for K-12 students.

Arkansas Tech is the third-largest university in the state with more than 12,000 students as of fall 2018. More than 93 percent of ATU students are from the Natural State.