Most-Read U of A News Stories During 2020
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The most-read stories of 2020 included groundbreaking research, pandemic-related plans, a myriad of student honors, and the initial work to make the university a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.
The University of Arkansas news site, news.uark.edu, garnered more than 1.2 million views during 2020, and readers spent an average of 3 minutes reading each article.
But the most-read story, which reported the discovery of a new, apparently limitless source of alternating current, drew more than 160,000 readers from across campus and around the world.
Top Ten Stories by Readership
Here are the top 10 most-read stories of 2020, based on page views:
1. — Physicists Build Circuit That Generates Clean Limitless Power From Graphene — A team of University of Arkansas physicists found that the thermal motion of graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, induces an alternating current in a circuit, an achievement thought to be impossible. The team has since pursued commercial licensing for the discovery.
2. — University Mourns Loss of Chase Reel — A student in the Sam M. Walton College of Business and member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, Reel was killed in October during an apartment disturbance. Parice Bowser, director of Greek Life, described Reel as "a brave young man who valued brotherhood and was such a joy to be around."
3. — CARES Act Emergency Grants and Reduced Fees for Summer — After the U.S. Congress approved emergency funding to help university and college students, the university established a process for distributing $7.7 million among those in need. The university also reduced activity fees and left tuition flat for the fall semester.
Other pandemic-related headlines, in chronological order, included:
- Chancellor Provides Update Regarding Coronavirus Impact to Campus
- University's Coronavirus Update Site: Questions Welcome, Answers Available
- COVID-19 Update: First Employee Tests Positive; Grading Policy Amended
- Students to Receive Room and Board Credit; No Increase to Tuition and Fees
- Spring Graduates Invited to Attend Fall Commencement in December
- U of A System: Plans Regarding Reopening of Campuses, Divisions and Units
- Plans for Returning to Campus Announced-Phase I
- Chancellor Gives Campus Update on COVID-19 Safety Measures
- Provost, Deans Kick Off Series of Virtual Forums About Returning to Campus
- Campus Events Policy Added Ahead of Fall Semester
- Specifics Regarding Face Covering Requirements Added for Fall Semester
- COVID-19 Testing Available for Students, Faculty and Staff
- Controlling COVID-19 on Campus
4. Student Email Now in Office 365 Outlook — The change from using Google gmail to integrating student email accounts into the Microsoft 360 pantheon of products naturally brought in readers who wanted to see what changes to expect.
5. Professor Helps Free Death Row Inmate Who Spent 35 Years in Prison — Tiffany Murphy, associate professor at the U of A School of Law, spent seven years tracking down the evidence that would clear a wrongly convicted client, Karl Fontenot. She started while directing the Oklahoma Innocence Project and continued pro bono after she began teaching at the university.
6. Caffeine Boosts Problem-Solving Ability but Not Creativity, Study Indicates — Darya Zabelina, assistant professor of psychology, found that caffeine increases the ability to focus and problem solve, but it doesn’t appear to stimulate creativity. Her research illustrates one of the differences between convergent and divergent thinking.
7. 2020 Class of Razorback Classics Announced — The Arkansas Alumni Association announced its 2020 Class of Razorback Classics in February. The group represents the top 10 women and top 10 men who are graduating seniors, selected based on their academic achievement, leadership skills and co-curricular activities.
8. Honors College Selects 2020 Class of Honors College Fellows — The U of A Honors College selected 88 exceptional high school students, 72 of them from Arkansas, in June from almost 1,000 applications to receive the prestigious Honors College Fellowships.
9. Strategy Sessions Designed to Combat Racism, Build More Inclusive Campus — In June after the #BlackatUARK campaign, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion set about the work of building a better campus, starting with a series of campuswide strategy sessions designed to achieve transformative change in the areas of diversity and inclusion at the university.
10. 4,830 Graduates to Be Recognized With Commencement Site, Stadium Lighting — Even though the spring commencement was delayed to fall graduation ceremonies because of COVID-19, graduating students were recognized with a new commencement site and special lighting at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
More Top Headlines
The next 10 top-read stories during 2020 include:
The university's news site, news.uark.edu, and the Arkansas News email provide publicity about honors, research, events and similar news about and for the University of Arkansas campus. The email is sent to almost 37,000 recipients each weekday except for holidays. Academic departments and student organizations may submit articles via the news site's online submission form.
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% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Reportranks 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.
A new study suggests that exercise, even if not adopted until later in life, can slow the effects of aging.
In a historic first, Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell will become captain of Old Ironsides during a change-of-command ceremony today, Jan. 21, in Boston.
Namiko Bagirimvano has been named the director of Sponsored Student and Special Programs in the Graduate School and International Education.
The award, "The Paul Cronan Technology Teaching Excellence Award," will be awarded in 2022 with the winner recognized at the Fall 2022 Annual Teaching Awards Reception.
The EnergyTech University Prize challenges post-secondary students of all backgrounds to explore an energy technology and propose a viable business plan. Submissions are due Jan. 31.