Dawson Rountree was a Northwest Arkansas Community College student who did not know much about Arkansas Tech University until he attended a visit day on the Russellville campus in fall 2019.
Once this Bentonville resident with journalistic aspirations met Anthony Caton, head of the ATU Department of Communication and Journalism, he knew that Arkansas Tech was the right next step for him.
“(Caton) seemed like a dude I could learn a lot from,” said Rountree. “He was telling me how, if I wanted to, I could go into sports television or radio. He really got me, and I could tell (ATU) was somewhere I wanted to be.”
The opportunity to be close to family was another factor that caused Rountree to choose Arkansas Tech. His decision was cemented by the scholarship opportunities that were available to him at Arkansas Tech.
Rountree was randomly selected to receive a scholarship through a drawing conducted during the fall 2019 ATU visit day he attended, and NWACC later selected him to receive a transfer scholarship designated for students transferring to Arkansas Tech for the continuation of their education.
He fondly remembers receiving the e-mail after his name was drawn for the ATU scholarship.
“It got me really excited,” said Rountree. “Seeing that gave me a boost because I wouldn’t have to worry as much about tuition.”
Rountree enrolled at Arkansas Tech for fall 2020. He has made several connections through his roommates, and those new friendships have helped him adjust to his new surroundings.
“The people are my favorite part of Tech,” said Rountree. “I know COVID has stopped us from meeting a lot more people, but it’s going to be really fun.”
A junior broadcast journalism major, Rountree made his debut on the Arkansas Tech student television station on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
“My future goal is to have my own sports talk radio show,” said Rountree. “That’s the end goal. I am hoping to gain an internship with a local television or radio station. Becoming a beat writer would be another great first step.”
For now, Rountree is pleased with the outcomes of that fateful visit to Russellville during his sophomore year at NWACC.
“You want a place where you can get the most opportunities for experience,” said Rountree. “Here at Tech, I get a chance to be on TV on Tuesdays and host a radio show on Wednesdays. At a school like this one, you get the best of both worlds and more one-on-one with teachers. I’d say those are the most important factors.”
Visit www.atu.edu/admissions/transfer.php to learn more about transferring to Arkansas Tech.