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Parsons, Burton Earn Top Senior Awards

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Dustin Parsons of Benton and Lauren Burton of Jacksonville received the top two honors available to students at Arkansas Tech University during the 2010 Student Leadership Banquet at the Chambers Cafeteria East Dining Room on Monday night. Parsons was presented with the Alfred J. Crabaugh Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding senior male student at Arkansas Tech. Burton received the Margaret Young Award, which goes to the most outstanding senior female student at Arkansas Tech each year.

Parsons served as president of the Student Government Association during the 2009-10 academic year. He has also worked with the Student Activities Board and the SGA Volunteer Action Committee.

“Arkansas Tech has made me strive to be better,” said Parsons. “I feel like I need to give back to people who have helped me out. One of the 4-H mottos that I learned in high school was to make the best better. I’ve used that as a life motto. If you’re not doing that, where are you in life?”

Parsons has served as president of the Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship and the College Middle Level Association. Parsons has also been active with student initiatives to benefit the Tech Loyalty Fund.

“This plaque symbolizes all of my years here and my accomplishments,” said Parsons. “It shows me that someone was watching and that nothing went unnoticed. It is a great honor to have this award and to follow in the footsteps of so many leaders and philanthropists. I’m honored to take this award.” Parsons is the son of Sherry and Terry Parsons of Benton. He is majoring in agriculture business at Tech and will graduate in May. Burton has served as an officer in both the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Board at Arkansas Tech. She was also elected an officer in Zeta Tau Alpha and a member of the 2009 Homecoming court. “It’s just an amazing feeling,” said Burton. “I’ve worked very hard for Tech, and it has given back to me tremendously. It’s such a good note to leave on, and I am very appreciative of the award.” Burton has also been active in Gamma Sigma Alpha, the Miss Tech Pageant, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, intramural sports, and the Volunteer Action Committee. She has earned a spot on the Dean’s List in multiple semesters. “There have been lots of learning experiences at Tech that have made me a better person,” said Burton. “I have so many great memories and I’ve loved every bit of my four years here at Tech.” Daughter of Sherry and Rick Burton of Jacksonville, Burton will graduate from Tech in May 2010. She is majoring in management and marketing with a minor in speech.