Freel, Freshman in Bumpers College, Earns Congressional Award Gold Medal

Ellis Freel is an agricultural leadership and poultry science double-major honors student from Bryant

Ellis Freel is an agricultural leadership and poultry science double-major honors student from Bryant

Ellis Freel, a freshman honors student in U of A's Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, has been awarded the Congressional Award gold medal.

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress' award for young Americans.

Freel is an agricultural leadership and poultry science double-major from Bryant, Arkansas.

Each level of the award - gold, silver or bronze - involves setting goals in four program areas. To earn a gold medal, recipients complete a minimum of 400 hours of voluntary service, 200 hours of personal development, 200 hours of physical fitness and a five-day expedition or exploration outing with a minimum of two years of activity. Gold medal winners must log 24 consecutive months of progress in the four areas.

"I am honored to be recognized for overcoming the challenge associated with the Congressional Award," Freel said. "I learned about myself, my community and qualities associated with success. I could not have accomplished this without the guidance of the leaders in 4-H. This award is evidence of the exceptional mentorship in the 4-H program as well as the opportunities available to not only develop yourself personally, but also engage in developing your community."

For the expedition/exploration component, Freel planned a five-day North Carolina wilderness adventure, but was forced to adjust due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"My favorite part, and the most intuitive and challenging part, was planning a trip to either a foreign culture or into the wilderness," she said. "We had to rearrange and reestablish some key stops we were going to make because of the pandemic. The trip taught me flexibility, perseverance, having a good attitude and responsibility."

Freel is a member of Arkansas 4-H and serves as the U of A Collegiate 4-H secretary/treasurer.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.

About the University of Arkansas: The U of A 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 U of A among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the U of A comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences


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