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Students, faculty honored during commencement

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Kala Ann Jones of Greenbrier, who was awarded a physical therapy assistant Associate of Applied Science from Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus, looks back toward the audience during the 2012 Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 12, in John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville.

As finals week and its spring semester came to an end last week, Arkansas Tech University-Ozark held its 2012 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, in John E. Tucker Coliseum at Russellville.

For the fall and spring semesters, Arkansas Tech-Ozark had 207 candidates for an Associate of Applied Science degree and 290 candidates for a technical certificate.

Chancellor Jo Alice Blondin said, “Our campus has grown significantly, but the personal connections our faculty and staff make with each student has remained the same.

“When I look out and see the graduates, I know how hard many of them worked and balanced work and family responsibilities to earn their credentials. While graduations are always special, ours is especially moving when you recognize the sacrifices these graduates made.”

Two students were honored during the special student recognition portion of the program. Chris Tolbert of Ozark, who received a technical certificate in computer information systems, was awarded the Ozark Campus Spirit Award.

Robert Dean of Mountainburg, who received a paramedic/emergency medical services technical certificate, was awarded the Bob Adams Outstanding Student Award, which is based on academic performance, involvement in school and community affairs, and evaluation by classmates, instructors and the Student Government Association.

Also, two faculty members were honored with awards. Business technology instructor Clinton Hall of Ozark was presented the Faculty Award of Excellence for Service, and paramedic/EMS instructor Ritchie Powers of Russellville was awarded the Faculty Award of Excellence for Teaching.

Arkansas Tech University awarded more than 1,000 degrees in a 24-hour period on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, during spring 2012 commencement ceremonies on the Russellville campus.