Walton Awards Banquet Recognizes Alumni, Student Achievement

Chris Polychron and Sarah Langham
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Chris Polychron and Sarah Langham

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Sam M. Walton College of Business recognized two exceptional alumni and more than 40 students for outstanding achievement at its annual awards banquet.

Walton College presented the awards at its 23rd annual awards banquet on Thursday, April 14, at the Fayetteville Town Center. Alumni awards presented Thursday night:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Polychron, executive broker, 1st Choice Realty, Hot Springs
  • Outstanding Service Award – Sarah Langham, assurance senior manager, HoganTaylor LLP, Fayetteville

Chris Polychron, a Realtor for 28 years, is an executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, specializing in residential and commercial brokerage. Polychron served as the 2015 president of the National Association of Realtors, which represents more than 1 million real estate agents involved in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. He has advocated for federal policy initiatives that support and strengthen the ability of Americans to own, buy and sell property.

During his presidency, Polychron launched an enhanced Realtor Safety Program to empower and inform real estate professionals of the prospective risks associated with their profession.

Polychron has served on the association’s board of directors since 2002. He was elected president of the Arkansas Realtors Association in 2003. In 1996, he was named Arkansas Realtor of the Year and served as president of the Hot Springs Board of Realtors.

Before launching his real estate career, Polychron was president of Grand National Bank in Hot Springs from 1979-84. Polychron received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in marketing from the Walton College in 1967.

Sarah Langham graduated with a B.S.B.A. in accounting in 2005 and a Master of Accountancy in 2006. She started her accounting career as an intern and then staff member in the Rogers office of Ernst & Young, where she served large public clients. She joined the Fayetteville office of HoganTaylor LLP in December 2007 and is currently an assurance senior manager there. During her tenure at the firm, she has provided assurance services for a wide range of publicly and privately held clients in various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, retail, real estate, airport and non-profit organizations. She is responsible for career advising for staff and senior team members. Each summer she leads training on a variety of technical, managerial and leadership topics for members of her firm.

Langham has served on the Walton College Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council since 2011 and co-chairs the Student Recruitment and Career Development committee. Her favorite Walton volunteer experience is the Extreme Makeover: Resume Edition, where she has the chance to review resumes and interact with students. She also serves on the board of the Peace at Home Family Shelter, which she joined in 2010.


  • Outstanding Graduating Senior – Hannah Birch
  • First-ranked Senior Scholars – Samuel Adams, Hannah Birch, Taylor Douglas, Tyler Ho, Tu Le, Nicolas Lema Severich, Riley Nelson, Zachary Noelke, Ryan Pinter, Andrew Pisechko, Elizabeth Pittman
  • Senior Scholars – Julie Bishop, Benjamin Brooks, Weston Cartwright, Frederic Daugherty, Mai Do, Cole Dodson, Warren Franzetti, Lauren McArthur-Fernandez, Jaci Miller, Alyssa Mueller, Rachel Reece, Joshua Stone, Colette Terhune, Kelsey Wheelhouse
  • Ralph Treat Outstanding Cooperative Education Student Award – Alexandra Cubbage     
  • Presidential Scholar Award – Thomas Selig
  • Sam M. Walton College of Business Student Leadership Award – Elizabeth Tanner
  • Doyle Z. Williams Student Leadership Award – Wheeler Richardson
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Award – Kelsey Wheelhouse


Walton College recognized outstanding seniors in these departments:

  • Accounting – Benjamin Fly, Johan Noren, Meera Patel, Salena Young
  • Economics – Elizabeth Pittman
  • Economics, Arts and Sciences – Taylor Scriber
  • Finance – Samuel Adams, Hannah Birch, Heather Blalack, Brendan Colligan, Wynn Lemmons, Jackson Mourot, Riley Nelson
  • Information Systems – Cesar Daniel Avila, Timothy Cavell
  • International Business – Tanner Bone
  • Management – Flavia Deschandt Araujo, Madeline Knecht, Natalie Marinick, Alyssa Mueller
  • Management, General Business – Leanna Cotton
  • Marketing – Connor Ahrendsen, Sydney Arend, Makenzie Craft, Lucia Maschler, Rachel Reece  
  • Retail – Evan McClay
  • Supply Chain Management – Cynthia Cooper, Tyler Ho, Ryan Pinter, Rachel Stoehr 


graduate student awards

Walton College presented awards to outstanding graduate students in these programs:

  • Master of Business Administration – Caitlin Murphy, M.J. Orellano, Tara Shaw
  • Master of Accountancy – David Hunter Bauer
  • Master of Information Systems – David Bruce, Lauren Locke


About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


David Speer, director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-2539, dlspeer@uark.edu


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