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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

Christopher McClinton of Fayetteville earned a certificate in radiation oncology this summer from the University of Kansas.

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS

UNIVERSITY

The Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia presented Madagascar on Nov. 16-19 at Harton Theater.

Students from this area who were involved in the production include Timothy Starr of Van Buren, playing Alex the Lion; Darby Taylor of Barling, playing Gloria the Hippo and working as part of the set construction and electrician crew; Simon Tursky of Van Buren, playing Zoo-keeper Zeke and serving as part of the male ensemble; and Mikayla McCoy of Rogers, serving as the makeup designer.

UALR

University of Arkansas at Little Rock students were selected as inaugural recipients of the undergraduate research signature experience awards for spring 2018. Each of the recipients will receive up to $1,000 to cover the cost of materials for this one-semester signature experience in research or creative works.

Local recipients include Robert Hill of Bella Vista, Katie Matthews of Benton-ville, Nigel Spears of Fort Smith and Pablo Centeno of Fort Smith.

HARDING UNIVERSITY

Denise Avila of Rogers and Madison Knipe of Springdale each received a white coat during the Harding University College of Pharmacy’s white coat ceremony Aug 18. The ceremony represents the student’s educational transition from the general studies of the undergraduate level to professional pharmacy education and a doctor of pharmacy degree. Cloaking a student in the white coat symbolizes the student’s active participation in providing health care.

PEO

P.E.O., Chapter CD, a philanthropic and educational organization for women recently presented Jaclyn Henry with a grant from the club’s program for continuing education. Henry is a senior at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., and plans to graduate in May with an associate’s degree in nursing.

JBU

Jessica Wilson, an associate professor of creative writing at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, received the 2017 Emerging Public Intellectual Award from The Center of Christian Scholarship. The $5,000 award, sponsored and adjudicated by Cardus, the Action Institute, the Center for Public Justice, the Henry Institute and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, recognizes emerging scholars in Christian academy who are making a public impact.

One of the major contributions Wilson is making is through her work to complete Flannery O’Conner’s unfinished novel, Why Do the Heathen Rage for publication. Approved for the honor by O’Connor’s estate in 2015, Wilson received a grant from Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought, funded by the Templeton Religion Trust, to complete the work. O’Connor’s unfinished novel as it deals with suffering. Wilson will submit the novel to O’Connor’s estate by June 1 and will present her research at the annual Table Conference on “Suffering and Flannery O’Connor.”

Selected as one of four vesiting fellows per semester, Wilson is residing at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., for the fall 2017 semester and incorporating this year’s theme “Suffering and the Good Life” into her scholarship, research and writing.

GRANTS TARGET

SCHOOL ABSENCES

The “Make Every Day Count” mini-grant program, a joint initiative from Arkansas Community Foundation and the Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, recently invited schools to share plans for preventing chronic school absence to help ensure student success in grade-level reading. Previous research by campaign representatives indicates students who are chronically absent in the early grades are more likely to struggle with reading and less likely to graduate from high school. Currently, only 37 percent of Arkansas third-graders can read on grade-level and preventing chronic school absence can increase this key number.

Grants were awarded to five local schools that are creating specific goal-oriented programs to intervene:

• Booneville Elementary School — $1,000 for its “Attendance Matters” program to reduce the school’s chronic absence rate from 15 percent to 12 percent.

• Central Junior High School, Springdale — $1,000 for the “Be Cool at School” program to reduce the percentage of students at risk for chronic absence from 23 percent to 17 percent.

• Jones Elementary School, Springdale — $1,000 for its “Make Every Day Count” program to reduce the school’s chronic absence rate from 10.5 percent to 8 percent.

• Monitor Elementary School, Springdale — $1,000 to reduce the kindergarten chronic absence rate from 22 percent to 20 percent, with a specific goal of targeting uninsured students.

• Valley Springs Elementary School — $877 for their “P.A.W.S. for Good Attendance” program to reduce the school’s chronic absence rate from 9 percent to 7 percent and the kindergarten chronic absence rate from 16 percent to 12 percent.

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