Hunt, Gahagans, Anderson Receive Collis R. Geren Awards

2020 Collis R. Geren Award recipients Valerie Hunt, Shelly Gahagans and Karl Anderson
University of Arkansas

2020 Collis R. Geren Award recipients Valerie Hunt, Shelly Gahagans and Karl Anderson

Three members of the University of Arkansas community have earned the 10th annual Collis R. Geren Award for Excellence in Graduate Education. The Graduate School and International Education gives the award annually to faculty and staff who demonstrate exceptional commitment to graduate education.

Valerie Hunt, Shelly Gahagans and Karl Anderson are the 2020 award winners.

Hunt, associate professor of political science, is the university faculty award recipient. She was chosen for demonstrated dedication to graduate education through her service on the Graduate Council, Academic Appeals Committee, and as a marshal at the all-university commencement ceremony twice per year. A nominator said Hunt is "a tireless advocate for students who serves ably as the associate director of the interdisciplinary Public Policy program."

The Public Policy program is described by Hunt's nominator as "one of the strongest and most diverse graduate programs on campus thanks to her excellence in teaching and mentoring of graduate students."

Gahagans, the nonresident tax coordinator in Human Resources, is the university staff award winner. Gahagans was selected for her integral part in on-boarding international students and guiding them through the regulations that pertain to employment and fellowships/scholarships.

Her nominator noted that Gahagans joyfully greets students in a time that they are so stressed about employment on campus. "She is concerned about the welfare of each student and scholar — she takes time to find out about their lives and families," her nominator added.

Anderson is the recipient of the Graduate School and International Education staff award. His nominator described Anderson as a "compassionate, considerate and inspiring leader of his team." As assistant director for international recruiting and outreach, Anderson has "worked tirelessly to help boost international recruitment while always reminding his staff the importance of transparency and ethics when advising prospective international students," according to a nominator.

Anderson was selected for his ability to approach problems with creativity and a sense of duty that sets an excellent example for his team.

"While constantly barraged by a flood of questions and worried concerns from international prospects and students, he still manages to maintain composure and serve as the driving force behind international student enrollment on our campus, year after year," his nominator said. "He truly has a heart for providing international students with an exemplary experience and education."

Dean Kim Needy will present the awards at a Graduate School Virtual Award Ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, June 19. 



Amy Unruh, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education


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