Gahagans, Paradise, Tutam Recognized by Sponsored Programs Office
Shelly Gahagans and Tom Paradise have been named recipients of the 2018 Sponsored Student Programs Appreciation Award. Doctoral student Mahmut Tutam also received special recognition. The awards ceremony was held on April 4.
The award recognizes faculty and staff members who have facilitated an aspect of the sponsored student process, encouraged or mentored sponsored students and exemplified outstanding contributions to the sponsored student program.
Gahagans serves as a nonresident tax coordinator in the university's human resources office. In her role, she helps sponsored students navigate and comply with the U.S. tax system.
"I cannot tell you how much this honor means to me," Gahagans said. "Thanks to everyone who was part of this selection. I am truly touched."
Paradise is a geosciences professor in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. He has mentored and advised several sponsored students and is an international education advocate for the university.
"Dr. Paradise has been effortlessly supportive and committed to our sponsored students and mentors them each and every step of the way, enabling them to successfully complete their degree," said Gloria Flores Passmore, director of the Office of Sponsored Student Programs. "He has always been available to our office whenever we have visitors on campus and has served as an exemplary ambassador for the University of Arkansas."
In addition to honoring outstanding faculty and staff, the sponsored students set to complete their studies at the University of Arkansas in spring and summer 2018 were recognized. Industrial engineering doctoral student Mahmut Tutam received special recognition for his efforts in coordinating a formal agreement of cooperation between the University of Arkansas and Erzurum University in Turkey. Tutam will serve as a faculty member at Erzurum University, after he completes his graduate degree in spring 2018.
Students who attended the awards ceremony said they enjoyed studying at the University of Arkansas. They said their time on campus and in the Northwest Arkansas community has given them unique experiences and allowed them to meet new friends and learn more about the world and its cultures.
"I have been able to get to know outstanding professors who have become my mentors," said Shadia Rassoul Jaramillo, a sponsored student from Panama majoring in architecture. "I wouldn't change these past five years for anything in the world."
Sponsored students are those who are funded by foreign governments, the U.S. government, domestic and international agencies, private companies and corporations. These international students, upon completion of their degrees or study abroad experience, return to their home countries and serve as important links between the United States, Arkansas and the University of Arkansas in business, government, education and industry.
The appreciation awards event was part of a two-day sponsor visit program hosted by the Office of Sponsored Student Programs. The event provided an opportunity for representatives from sponsoring organizations and embassies to become more familiar with the University of Arkansas campus and students.
Sponsoring organizations and governments that were represented during the two-day event were AMIDEAST, Laspau, the Institute of International Education and the Education Attaché from the Turkish Consulate's Office in Houston.
Gloria Flores Passmore, sponsored student programs director
Graduate School and International Education
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