Fulbright College Faculty Members Honored at 2018 Retirement Reception

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After more than 92 years of combined service, three faculty members in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences recently retired following the successful completion of their final academic year.

The trio were honored at the 2018 Fulbright College Faculty Retirement Reception, along with a colleague who was commemorated posthumously for his lasting contributions to the college and community.

"It was wonderful to be able to honor these colleagues after decades of service and dedication to Fulbright College," said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College. "We could never have become who we are without each of them. This is a huge debt, and one that we can never repay. Their contributions are inspiring, they have had positive influences on thousands of lives, and they will always be an inspiration to us." 

This year, Fulbright College celebrated:

  • John Hehr, Department of Geosciences
    Fun Facts: He joined the university in 1977 and served as department chair from 1978-1987 and as associate dean from 1988-2010 — a combined total of 31 years of administrative service alone. Additionally, he has served on numerous committees, his research areas include climatology and severe storm occurrences, and he is the author or co-author of dozens of articles and monographs in these areas. He has also received over a million dollars in external funding for his research, and outside of work is known as an excellent dancer.
  • David Jolliffe, Department of English
    Fun Facts: He joined the university in 2005 and served as the inaugural holder of the Brown Chair in English Literature for 13 years. He has authored more than a dozen books, written dozens more articles, and also created numerous outreach programs in Arkansas, such as the Latin/X Youth Theatre project, curriculum with TheatreSquared, and extensive work with literacy programs across the state. He also created a rapidly expanding program in rhetoric and composition, and has worked tirelessly to improve the university's general education core.
  • Boris Schein, Department of Mathematical Sciences
    Fun Facts: He joined the university in 1980 as a Distinguished Professor of Mathematical Sciences, is the author of over 150 articles, and has been invited to give research presentations at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including elite universities in Canada, Italy, Israel, Germany, Russia and the U.S. He is known as a tireless supporter of his students, and a remarkable number of his former students are now professors of mathematics in major universities and have very successful research and teaching careers.

Additionally, the college posthumously honored:

  • Kimberly G. Smith, Department of Biological Sciences
    Fun Facts: He joined the university in 1992 and is one of very few faculty members who won University of Arkansas Alumni awards in all three areas of teaching, research and service. He was promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2015, served as chair of the department from 2004-2008, and published over 150 refereed articles — many among the most cited articles in terrestrial ecology. His research, especially as it related to the health of Arkansas forests, wildlife and conservation, and his work with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will have enduring positive influences on the state and its citizens for many years to come.

Shields said that in April in the Department of Biological Sciences, Smith entertained a packed room with a humorous summary of his life and career.

"He called the lecture, 'Life in the Fast Lane: My Life as a Community Ecologist,' and ended the seminar with some great advice," Shields said. "Kim told us to 'be curious, be creative, challenge yourself to learn new things, learn the history of things that interest you, take students on field trips, take students abroad," and finally, to 'have fun doing what you do … I certainly did!'"

"Kim will always have a very special place in our hearts," Shields said. "And we thank him, John, David and Boris for their tireless service and incredible accomplishments, in the greatest and most noble pursuit of all — higher education," Shields said.


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu


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