Arkansas Tech University staff member Nichole Edwards was presented with the 2022 Dr. V. Carole Smith Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award during a ceremony hosted by the ATU Black Faculty and Staff Organization at Doc Bryan Student Services Center Lecture Hall.
Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, a Master of Science degree in college student personnel and a master’s certificate in academic advising from Arkansas Tech. She has served as an advisor in the ATU Student Support Services program since 2012.
“I am so surprised and honored to be the recipient of the Dr. V. Carole Smith Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award,” said Edwards. “There are so many people on this campus who go above and beyond for their students each and every day and I am just one of the many here at Arkansas Tech. I just come to work, do my job and support my students in whatever way they need. I am here to listen, give advice and sometimes help pick up the pieces when things fall apart, but I don’t feel that I do anything out of the ordinary…especially not anything that would earn me this kind of recognition from the ATU Black Faculty and Staff Organization. They have been so kind to give our African American students on campus the support they seek over the past few years. The letters I receive from students are thanks enough.”
The namesake of the award, Dr. V. Carole Smith, has served on the ATU faculty since 2004. She is professor of curriculum and instruction in the ATU College of Education and vice president of faculty concerns for the ATU Black Faculty and Staff Organization.
“To be the first to receive this award that is named after such an influential woman here at ATU means so much to me,” said Edwards. “I am beyond blessed to work with the students I work with in a department that truly cares. Dr. (Tennille) Lasker-Scott did a good job keeping this a secret and surprising me at the academic excellence awards. I would like to thank every member of the Black Faculty and Staff Organization for the recognition. I am just so thankful for my students and so happy to know that I am making a difference each and every day even when I can’t see it.”
Funded through a federal TRIO grant, ATU Student Support Services assists and retains eligible students in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree and ensure good academic standing of the participants they serve.
Participants in the TRIO SSS programs are low-income, first-generation college students and/or students with disabilities.
Learn more about ATU’s Student Support Services program at www.atu.edu/sss.