Nearly 300 U of A Students Receive National Recognition in 2019-20

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Approximately 300 University of Arkansas students received nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, grants and internships during the 2019-20 academic year for a total of more than $2.8 million. 

A reception is normally celebrated in the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center in the late spring, but due to COVID-19 concerns, the celebration is virtual this year. Students as well as their faculty and staff mentors received an online booklet (that readers can access here), celebrating their successes with congratulatory videos from Jim Coleman, provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas, and Suzanne McCray, vice provost for enrollment and director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.

“I look forward to this event each year. It is a true celebration of students and faculty partnerships,” said Jim Coleman, “I missed not having the event this year like so many others that we have had to cancel, but not the celebration. The published booklet points to our students’ many, many successes — impressive scholarships earned, internships received, team championships won. I invite you to open its pages.  You will be impressed by what you see. Congratulations go to all these ambitious students who are high reaching and the faculty who support them.”

These awards at the state, regional and national levels were earned on the basis of academic achievement, research, leadership and community engagement.

Students received a long list of individual awards, including well-known national scholarships like the Jack Kent Cooke, Barry M. Goldwater, Gilman, J. William Fulbright, and Critical Language Scholarships as well as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships.

They were also finalists for the Harry S. Truman, Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall, and Stephen A. Schwarzman Scholarships. U of A students also competed successfully on a variety of academic team efforts and received competitive internships across the country.

A small cohort of faculty and staff members also received the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards Gold Medal for their significant support of students as they applied for national and international opportunities. One department is also selected each year for its collective contribution to student research and competitive efforts. Faculty, staff and departments can only receive the Gold Medal once. A full list of past Gold Medal recipients is available on the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards web page. 

“I want to congratulate the faculty and staff who received these Gold Medals. They provide exceptional support year-in and year-out for students as they apply for competitive awards, internships, and post-graduate programs both nationally and internationally,” said Suzanne McCray. “We are pleased to recognize their efforts.”

Office of Nationally Competitive Awards Gold Medals

2020 Faculty Gold Medals:

  • Lisa Bowers – College of Education and Health Professions - Human Resources, Rehabilitation, and Communication Disorders
  • Ken McCown – Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design - Landscape Architecture
  • Timothy Muldoon – College of Engineering - Biomedical Engineering
  • Jill Rucker – Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Agricultural Education - Communications and Technology
  • Bret Schulte – J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences - School of Journalism and Strategic Media
  • Julie Trivitt – Sam M. Walton College of Business - Economics

2020 Staff Gold Medals:

  • Anne Raines – senior director for Academic Initiatives, Learning Commons, and Writing Support
  • Judy Schwab – associate vice chancellor for administration, emeritus

2020 Departmental Gold Medal:

  • Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Department Head:  George Wardlow

Special recognition also goes to all the faculty and staff mentors recognized by students as key support, to the department and colleges, and to the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards staff including Breanna Carter (graduate assistant), Jonathan Langley (associate director), and Emily Wright (associate director) as well as generous support from other offices and programs including the Office of the Provost, Associated Student Government, the Teach for America Program, the Office of Study Abroad, the Graduate School and International Education, the Office of Sustainability, and the Honors College.

For students and faculty interested in learning more about these opportunities, additional information on competitive awards is available on the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards website or they can contact the office at

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 fewer than 3 percent of colleges and 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.


Suzanne McCray, director
Officie of Nationally Competitive Awards


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