U of A Honors College Selects Its 15th Class of Fellows

The fellowship selection process includes an on-campus interview with Honors College faculty.
Photo by Russell Cothren

The fellowship selection process includes an on-campus interview with Honors College faculty.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Honors College has selected 78 exceptional students — 63 of them from Arkansas — to receive prestigious Honors College Fellowships. This class, one of the strongest in recent memory, includes 24 National Merit Scholars. These students achieved an average high school GPA of 4.18 and boast an ACT score of nearly 34, placing them in the 99th percentile nationwide.

“More than 80 percent of our new fellows hail from Arkansas and over a quarter of them will be first-generation college students,” said Noah Pittman, assistant dean of the Honors College. “These students are being recruited by top schools from coast to coast so we are very proud of our ability to attract the best scholars every year. Their intellectual curiosity and commitment to service will undoubtedly make them leaders in our community.”

The Honors College Fellowships were made possible by a portion of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation’s $300 million gift to the university in 2002. The fellowship application process is rigorous. Students must score at least 32 on the ACT exam and have a 3.8 grade point average to apply, and Honors College administrators review each student application for evidence of intellectual curiosity, leadership potential and community involvement. The selection process also involves a writing test and campus interview for finalists in early March.

The members of this distinguished class are pursuing interests in biomedical engineering, history, biochemistry, food science and music, among others, and have earned a wide variety of honors during their early years. Some have already begun to engage in research: William Baker of North Little Rock, for example, worked with researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to test the effectiveness of a drug to reduce the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. He was one of five fellows to be named on the Arkansas Times All-Stars Team, along with Amrit Kannan, Anastasia Mills, Abigail Pickhardt and Dylan Thompson.

The Honors College fellowship of $70,000 largely covers tuition, books, room and board, and registration over four years, granting these students the freedom to pursue original research, study abroad and other academic interests. The fellowship funds can also be combined with other scholarships and grants, such as the more than $1 million in study abroad and research grants that the Honors College awards to students each year.

Including this latest group, a total of 1,095 students have benefited from the Honors College Fellowship program. Recent fellows include Truman Scholars, Goldwater Scholars and even an NCAA Division I national champion in the indoor pole vault. Alumni are building careers in competitive fields like engineering, medicine, teaching and criminology.

The University of Arkansas Honors College Fellows Class of 2020, with their high school and hometown: 

  • Zachary Angel, Episcopal Collegiate School, Little Rock
  • William Baker, Episcopal Collegiate School, North Little Rock
  • Audra Beneux, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Tyler Bishop, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Isaac Bodemann, Lakeside High School, Hot Springs
  • Kason Brewington, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Hot Springs
  • Hannah Brletich, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Kyle Burns, Conway High School, Mayflower
  • Samuel Carroll, Lakeside High School, Hot Springs
  • Kaylee Chambers, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Olivia Chambers, Rogers High School, Rogers
  • Nathan Clark, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Cynthia Cochran, Thomas A. Edison High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Seth Coggin, Brentwood High School, Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Travis Cumming, Bryant High School, Mabelvale
  • Anna Cunningham, Dewitt High School, Dewitt
  • Narisse Darbeau, Alfred M. Barbe High School, Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Harrison Dawson, Conway High School, Conway
  • Trey Deal, Crossett High School, Crossett
  • David Desrochers, Conway High School, Conway
  • Christian Dye, Van Buren High School, Van Buren
  • Mason English, Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock
  • Mary Fairley, Plano West Senior High School, Plano, Texas
  • Jennie Finch, LISA Academy North, North Little Rock
  • Nicholas Foster, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Brenna Frandson, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Garret Gardenhire, Beebe High School, Beebe
  • Jared Gary, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • Adam Goertz, Freestate High School, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Conlee Hale, Russellville High School, Russelville
  • Kaitlyn Harp, Van Buren High School, Alma
  • Haley Harrison, West Fork High School, West Fork
  • Rex Hearn, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Benton
  • Eleanor Henson, Lake Hamilton High School, Hot Springs
  • George Hill, Rogers Heritage High School, Rogers
  • Samia Ismail, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Fort Smith
  • Luka Ivandic, Lake Hamilton High School, Hot Springs
  • Kimble Jennings, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • Alec Johnson, Mammoth Spring High School, Mammoth Spring
  • Alexander Johnson, Olathe North High School, Olathe, Kansas
  • Emily Jordan, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Kathryn Judy, Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas
  • Amrit Kannan, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Hollyn Karounos, Bentonville High School, Rogers
  • Kaleb Kassaw, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Cannon Kern, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Arianna Kiaei, Episcopal Collegiate School, Little Rock
  • Savannah King, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • William Klaviter, Hoffman Estates High School, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
  • Austin Kreulach, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Andrew Larey, Lake Hamilton High School, Royal
  • Kevin Le, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Brady Martin, Arkansas High School, Texarkana
  • Anastasia Mills, Benton High School, Benton
  • Rachel Murphy, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Fayetteville
  • Carson Oldham, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Clayre Parson, Lees Summit West High School, Lees Summit, Missouri
  • Abigail Pickhardt, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Ryan Pohlkamp, Catholic High School, Little Rock
  • Jake Price, Bryant High School, Benton
  • Dennis Reavis, Sapulpa High School, Sapulpa, Oklahoma
  • Bailey Riggs, Bergman High School, Lead Hill
  • Luis Rodriguez, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • Bobbie Sandidge, Bryant High School, Alexander
  • Faith Schrader, Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville
  • Kira Simonson, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Zac Smith, Nixa High School, Nixa, Missouri
  • Garrett Story, Springdale High School, Springdale
  • Hudson Surber, Owasso High School, Owasso, Oklahoma
  • Dylan Thompson, Sheridan High School, Hensley
  • Abigail Thurstenson, Siloam Springs High School, Siloam Springs
  • Taylor Tilmon, Bentonville High School, Rogers
  • Terah Trail, Trinity High School-Euless, Bedford, Texas
  • Susan Tucker, Episcopal Collegiate School, Little Rock
  • Sara Venier, Liberty North High School, Liberty, Missouri
  • Esmeralda Verdin, De Queen High School, De Queen
  • Joshua Vines, Conway High School, Conway
  • Lucy Woodbury, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville

About the Honors College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and unites the university’s top undergraduate students and professors in a learning environment characterized by discovery, creativity and service. Each year the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman fellowships that provide $70,000 over four years, and more than $1 million in undergraduate research and study abroad grants. The Honors College is nationally recognized for the high caliber of students it admits and graduates. Honors students enjoy small, in-depth classes, and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students’ academic interests, with interdisciplinary collaborations encouraged. Fifty percent of Honors College graduates have studied abroad – three times the national average – and one hundred percent of Honors College graduates have engaged in mentored research.

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 that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Noah Pittman, assistant dean of recruitment and Retention
Honors College
479-575-3974, npittman@uark.edu

Anthony Blake, editor
Honors College
479-575-7678, ab026@uark.edu


Wash Your Hands! In New 'Short Talks,' Gibson Explains Effect of Soap on Respiratory Viruses

In the new episode of Short Talks From the Hill, Kristen Gibson explains how soap destroys respiratory viruses such as coronavirus and offers tips for handling potentially contaminated surfaces.

Essen Selected as Walton College Employee of the Quarter

Eric Essen, instructional designer in Walton College's Graduate School of Business, has been named employee of the fourth quarter by the Sam M. Walton College of Business. 

Glen Dunn Named Global Campus Employee of the Year

Dunn, the manager of technology services, was recognized for his exceptional leadership and hard work during the dual crises of extensive flood damage at Global Campus and COVID-19.

U of A Team Publishes Guide on Navigating College and the Path to Adulthood

A new book, The Science of College: Navigating the First Year and Beyond, written by a team of U of A researchers, professors and higher education professionals, explores what it means to be a college student and young adult in today's society.

SKY Club Presents Session on 'Overcoming Feelings of Loneliness' by Guest Speaker Nina Sanyal

The SKY Club presents 'Overcoming feelings of loneliness' by guest speaker Nina Sanyal, who will talk about overcoming loneliness during an online session at 7 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 5.

News Daily