Graham, Robinson Named NUFP Fellows

Arkansas Tech University seniors Suede Graham and Hailey Robinson have been selected for a fellowship designed to create opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented populations to pursue careers in higher education student affairs.

The program was initiated by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) during the 1989-90 academic year. It is named the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP).

Graham and Robinson were both nominated for the honor by Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Arkansas Tech.

As NUFP Fellows, Graham and Robinson will receive on-campus mentorship, access to special programming at the NASPA annual conference, invitations to apply for paid summer internships and a chance to attend a leadership institute hosted by NASPA.

A vocal music education major from Clarksville, Graham is president of Student Activities Board at Arkansas Tech. He won the 2013 Tech Idol singing competition and participated in the 2015 On Track trip to Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Calif.

Graham also traveled to San Antonio, Texas, earlier this year for Alternative Spring Break, a program that connects college students with local service organizations in an effort to assist the less fortunate.

“One of the things I am most passionate about is leadership and service,” said Graham. “In the past year I’ve had an opportunity to work with (Arkansas Tech Office of Campus Life staff member) Emily Bradley a whole lot, and I love working with her. I love seeing all the things that happen with that. I am a big people person. I love to help people. I really want to push myself to give back, so if I could find an assistantship that is geared toward service I’d like to pursue it.”

Graham holds membership in Presidential Leadership Cabinet and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He has served the campus community as an orientation leader and summer ambassador.

“I’ve narrowed my choices for graduate school to four or five options, and on many of their applications it asks if I was a NUFP Fellow,” said Graham. “I’m able to say yes I am, so I think that will open a lot of doors to networking within the student affairs world. I really want to change students’ lives the way my mentors have changed mine. All of the NUFP Fellow scholars are part of a Facebook group, and it’s great to have 200-plus colleagues who are in the same field and have the same passion for student affairs.”

A product of Okmulgee, Okla., Robinson is majoring in sociology and communication. She is active in the African-American Student Association.

“I chose to pursue this fellowship because I felt like it would be a gateway into my future,” said Robinson. “I have heard such great things about NASPA, and I really wanted to be a part of this great group of professionals. I knew this fellowship would open up doors for me that probably would not be opened any other way, and I was also aware of the great learning opportunities that were sure to follow.”

Robinson has served as an orientation leader and assisted in planning for International Women’s Week and Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations on campus. She was selected to the 2015 Arkansas Tech Homecoming court.

“This fellowship will give me the added resources and opportunities that I would not have had before,” said Robinson. “NASPA will give me the opportunity to network and gain experience at a rate quicker than my competitors if I so choose. NASPA is an all-encompassing organization that is there to support young professionals in all aspects. With that and the furtherance of my education, I believe that I will be beyond prepared to start my career.”

Editor’s note: It was learned on Monday, Nov. 30, that a third Arkansas Tech student — Jocelyn Flores — has been selected as a NUFP Fellow. Check back with in the days to come for her story.

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