Honors College Selects 22 New Students for Path Program

Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, director (center front) and Michelle King, assistant director (at far left) with 2018 class of Path scholars.
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Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, director (center front) and Michelle King, assistant director (at far left) with 2018 class of Path scholars.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Honors College has selected 22 outstanding new freshmen to enter the Honors College Path Program this fall. The Path Program is a mentoring initiative that recruits talented high school students from underrepresented populations and helps them achieve academic success at the University of Arkansas.

For the first time, all of the incoming Path freshmen will receive scholarships, thanks to nearly $1 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation and additional private support from U of A donors.

“These are bright students with tremendous potential, and we are excited to see them grow over the next four years,” said Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, director of the Path Program. “Being able to provide scholarships through the NSF grant and generous contributions from our donors helps us to attract talented students to the University of Arkansas.”

The National Science Foundation has awarded $999,847 in grant funding to the University of Arkansas’ Path to Graduation Program, which aims to increase the number of low-income students, especially those from rural regions of Arkansas, who graduate with a degree in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Fourteen of the incoming Path students will receive annually renewable NSF Path STEM Scholarships of up to $5,500 if they participate in the Honors College.

The eight Path freshmen pursuing interests in other disciplines will receive academic scholarships of up to $5,500 as well, thanks to lead gifts from Nick and Carolyn Cole, Lee and Beverly Bodenhamer, and former Honors College Dean Bob McMath and his wife, Linda. These scholarships will be renewed based on continued engagement with the Path program, commitment to leadership and honors status.

The incoming Path cohort has already started a five-week summer bridge program. The students will have the opportunity to work with top Honors College faculty on a one-hour, discipline-specific introduction to research. They will also form groups centered on specific research interests, led by faculty mentors, that will continue into their first semester as freshmen at the University of Arkansas.  All Path students benefit from shared housing, academic success advising, peer and professional mentoring, and study abroad, research and internship opportunities.

The incoming Path freshmen have a wide range of academic and extracurricular interests. Ben Silver, for instance, was named the top cadet at his high school and has served as second in command with his local JROTC unit. Jayla Jefferson is an incoming marketing major who completely revived her high school’s homecoming celebration. The students hail from rural regions throughout Arkansas, and more than 40 percent are the first in their family to attend college. This year’s freshman cohort boasts an average high school grade point average of 4.021.

The Path Program has already developed a strong track record, with many of its students joining the Honors College. The first class of Path students, who enrolled in 2014, all graduated in four years, achieving an impressive 3.443 GPA.

The University of Arkansas Honors College Path students of 2018, with their high schools, hometowns, and majors are:

  • Jeremy Camp, White Hall High School, Pine Bluff, physics
  • Malcom Campbell, Nashville High School, Nashville, chemical engineering
  • Elijah Conley, Melbourne High School, Melbourne, political science
  • Tanner Fletcher, Stilwell High School, Stilwell, Oklahoma, electrical engineering
  • Piper Fuller, Tahlequah Senior High School, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, chemical engineering
  • Zadrian Goodwin, Monticello High School, Monticello, marketing
  • Mckenzie Hale, Rogers High School, Rogers, Marketing
  • Xavier Hendrix, Batesville High School, Batesville, computer engineering
  • JaCoby Hurst, Marion High School, Marion, business management
  • Jayla Jefferson, Parkview Magnet High School, North Little Rock, marketing
  • Hannah Grace Marino, Valley View High School, Jonesboro, chemistry
  • Payton Mask, Highland High School, Highland, computer engineering
  • Dawson Mathis, The Academies of West Memphis, West Memphis, biology
  • William Matthews, Arkadelphia High School, Arkadelphia, computer science
  • Isabella McPherson, Farmington High School, Farmington, biology
  • Jocelynn Osornio, Rogers Heritage High School, Rogers, nursing
  • Oliver Pegg, Russellville High School, Russellville, biology
  • Jennifer Sanchez, De Queen High School, De Queen, civil engineering
  • Paiton Scrivner, Magnet Cove High School, Hot Springs Village, biomedical engineering
  • Ben Silver, Cabot High School, Austin, civil engineering
  • Gehrett Thompson, Berryville High School, Berryville, computer science
  • Rachel Wilson, Leonard High School, Leonard, Texas, computer science

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 them 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.

Contacts

Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, Director of the Path Program
Honors College
479-575-3874, xdelgad@uark.edu

Katie Wilson, Associate Director for Student Success
Honors College
479-575-4884, klw038@uark.edu

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu

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