Honors College Selects 21 Incoming Students for Path Program

Incoming Path Scholars pose for a group shot while hiking at Devil's Den State Park.
Photo by Xavier Smith

Incoming Path Scholars pose for a group shot while hiking at Devil's Den State Park.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Honors College has selected 21 outstanding new freshmen to participate in the Honors College Path Program, a mentoring and scholarship initiative that supports exceptional students from underrepresented populations.

Established in 2014, the goal of the Path Program is to recruit and mentor talented high school students  and help them achieve academic success at the University of Arkansas and join the Honors College.

“The incoming Path Scholars are a diverse group of students from across Arkansas and surrounding states,” said Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, director of the Path Program. “These students have proven themselves to be high-achieving academically and demonstrated a commitment to giving back to their community.”

Thanks to a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, 11 incoming Path freshmen who plan to major in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will each receive a renewable scholarship of $4,500 ($5,500 if they join the Honors College).

The 10 students who plan to study other disciplines will also receive academic scholarships of up to $5,500, thanks to $5.5 million in endowment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and gifts of $100,000 to $250,000 from former Honors College Dean Bob McMath and his wife, Linda; Lee and Beverly Bodenhamer; and Nick and Carolyn Cole. These scholarships will be renewed based on continued engagement with the Path Program and satisfactory academic progress.

“This is the third cohort of Path Scholars to receive funding,” Delgado Solorzano said. “The NSF grant was originally for two years, but we were able to request an extension for a third year.”

The incoming Path Scholars have already arrived on campus and are participating in a two-week intersession program, during which they will take a one-hour course that introduces them to college. Faculty and administrators across campus will offer guest lectures to help them adjust to college life.

“This group of Path Scholars will have a unique start to their college career,” Delgado Solorzano said. “In the weeks before arriving on campus, the students began engaging virtually with each other to start building their cohort community, proving that they understand the benefits and support available through the Path Program.”

All Path Scholars benefit from shared housing, academic success advising, and peer and professional mentoring, as well as study abroad, research and internship opportunities.

The Path Scholars already participate in a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities, from playing in orchestras and marching bands, to interning at J.B. Hunt to ROTC, track and field, volleyball and soccer.

These students will join an impressive group of young scholars: The Path Program boasts a 91 percent on-time graduation rate since its first group graduated in 2018.

University of Arkansas Path scholars, Class of 2023

  • Jaslyn Dalrymple of Gravette, engineering major
  • Alexia Dillard of Conway, pre-med major
  • Jordan Gaston of Jonesboro, engineering major
  • Kayli Heigelmann of Bearden, exercise science major
  • Rondarius Howard of West Memphis, business major
  • Jaden Jackson of Morrilton, engineering major
  • Edwin Lopez-Roman of Clarksville, engineering major
  • Kenia Martinez of Siloam Springs, pre-med major
  • Galilea Martinez of Neosho, Missouri, engineering major
  • Ahmad Pace of Pine Bluff, mathematics major
  • Madison Price of Alexander, agribusiness major
  • Maria Quintero of Lonoke, engineering major
  • Gian Cortez Roberts of West Helena, engineering major
  • Trinity Robinson of Fayetteville, engineering major
  • Jennifer Sandoval of Springdale, interior design major
  • Jessica Soto of Fayetteville, exploring major
  • Honor Swan of Hot Springs, chemistry major
  • Elizabeth Vega of Rogers, exploring major
  • Amelia Ward of El Dorado, psychology major
  • Eliza Williams of Fayetteville, exploring major
  • Cole Yocham of Harrison, engineering major


About the Honors College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and brings together high-achieving undergraduate students and the university’s top professors to share transformative learning experiences. Each year the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman fellowships that provide $72,000 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 and 100 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.


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

Hiba Tahir, editor
Honors College
479-575-5848, ht005@uark.edu

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


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