Governor’s School Coming to ATU in 2019

Arkansas Tech University has been selected by the Arkansas Board of Education to serve as the new home for Arkansas Governor’s School from 2019 through 2021.

The decision was made during a meeting of the board in Little Rock on Thursday, Sept. 13.

“Arkansas Tech University is excited to begin its association with Arkansas Governor’s School,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “It will be our responsibility, in collaboration with our partners at the Arkansas Department of Education, to serve as proper stewards of this great Arkansas tradition. We look forward to applying our institutional strengths to ensure that Arkansas Governor’s School remains an enriching educational experience for many of the top high school students in our state.”

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. The 2019 Arkansas Governor’s School is scheduled for July 7-Aug. 3 on the ATU campus in Russellville.

The Arkansas Department of Education Gifted and Talented Programs administrator supervises Arkansas Governor’s School with assistance from an advisory council appointed by the governor.

Arkansas Tech is the third-largest university in the state with over 12,000 students as of fall 2018. More than 93 percent of ATU students are from the Natural State, and more Arkansas high school graduates choose to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Arkansas Tech than any other university in the state.

“ATU has extensive knowledge in providing for the educational needs of Arkansans, a track record of leadership in STEM education and decades of summer camp administration experience,” said Bowen. “We are also fortunate to be located in a community that is both friendly and safe. It is our belief that Arkansas Tech University provides a learning environment that welcomes all Arkansans and emboldens students to apply critical thinking skills in the pursuit of their truth.”

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.

“The Arkansas Governor’s School curriculum will maintain its traditional emphasis on arts and humanities,” said Bowen. “The effort to bring AGS to Arkansas Tech was led in part by Dr. Jeff Woods, dean of the ATU College of Arts and Humanities. However, ATU also has facilities that Arkansas Governor’s School participants can utilize to explore topics such as cybersecurity, alternative energy sources, biotechnology, genomics, computer science, mathematical fractals and game design.”

Nomination/application forms for rising high school seniors interested in attending Arkansas Governor’s School at Arkansas Tech University during summer 2019 will be available on the ATU website in the weeks to come.

Those seeking information in the interim may send e-mail to

Photographed (from left) are members of the Arkansas Tech University delegation who attended the Arkansas Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Sept. 13: Dr. Jeff Woods, dean of the ATU College of Arts and Humanities; Dr. Robin Lasey, director of the ATU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and associate professor of chemistry; Breanne Davis, Arkansas state senator representing District 16; Dr. Mark Gotcher, superintendent of the Russellville School District; Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president; and Dr. Mary B. Gunter, chief of staff in the ATU Office of the President. Not photographed, but also present to speak on behalf of ATU, was Russellville Mayor Randy Horton.