Vargas, Parker-Diaz Earn ATU-Ozark Student Awards

Jessica Vargas
Jessica Vargas
Alison Parker-Diaz

Jessica Vargas of Fayetteville and Alison Parker-Diaz of Ozark received the top two annual student awards at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus during a commencement ceremony at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Friday, May 10.

Vargas received the 46th annual Bob Adams Outstanding Student Award.

She graduated from ATU-Ozark in spring 2024 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in cardiac sonography.

Vargas opted to attend ATU-Ozark Campus with a goal of becoming a cardiac sonographer and an understanding that certain resources and mentorship would be required to achieve that ambition.

“ATU-Ozark not only offered substantial financial assistance in the form of scholarships and aid, but also enabled me to graduate without accumulating any debt,” said Vargas. “The most enriching aspect of my time at ATU-Ozark has undeniably been the meaningful interactions I’ve shared with my professors. Each one knows me by name, and I’ve been fortunate to foster personal connections with them every semester. However, the pinnacle of my college journey was the day I received my acceptance letter into the cardiac sonography program. It was a moment of validation, where I realized that the dedication I’d poured into prerequisite courses had culminated in this opportunity to transform my life.”

Parker-Diaz received the ATU-Ozark Campus Spirit Award.

She graduated from ATU-Ozark in spring 2024 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in air conditioning and refrigeration.

Parker-Diaz attributes her connection with ATU-Ozark Campus to fate, believing it chose her upon her move from Mexico to the United States. Beginning with her academic journey with a GED through the local adult education program, Parker-Diaz found her path intertwined with ATU-Ozark. She said her progress is due to the support and guidance of professors, staff and faculty.

“Their steadfast commitment speaks volumes about the value of investing in individuals and cultivating an environment conducive to growth and achievement,” said Parker-Diaz. “The world would undoubtedly benefit if more organizations embraced this level of dedication to empowering others to realize their full potential.”

Other ATU-Ozark Campus 2023-24 award winners announced during spring commencement included:

Faculty Award of Excellence in Teaching
Kenneth Floyd
Collision Repair Technology

Floyd began his career at ATU-Ozark in 2017. He holds an Associate in Applied Science degree in collision
repair technology.

Faculty Award of Excellence in Service
Chris Rambo
Law Enforcement

Rambo began his service to ATU-Ozark in 2009. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of
Science degree from Arkansas Tech University.

ATU-Ozark Staff Senate Service Award
Kristie Moore

Moore joined the ATU-Ozark staff in 2011. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American studies with minors in history and anthropology in 2000, followed by a master’s degree in library and information studies in 2004, both from the University of Oklahoma.

ATU-Ozark Staff Senate Excellence Award
Michael Smith
Computer Lab Technician

Smith joined the ATU-Ozark staff in 2021. He graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in
computer information technology from ATU-Ozark in 2016.

Learn more about ATU-Ozark Campus at

Kenneth Floyd
Chris Rambo
Kristie Moore and Michael Smith