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College of Humanities and Social Sciences Recognizes Most Outstanding Graduates during Convocation Ceremony


JONESBORO -- The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Arkansas State University recognized 28 outstanding graduating students as recipients of college and departmental awards for 2012-13 during its annual honors banquet Tuesday evening, according to Dr. Lauri Umansky, dean of the college.

The top student award, Chancellor’s Scholar, was presented to Jessica Ashley Smith of Marked Tree, a double-major in political science and English. Smith recently completed a senior honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Rollin Tusalem on American foreign policy in the Middle East. The Chancellor’s Scholar is the graduating student with the highest cumulative grade point average in the college.

Ryan B. Kimbrough of Jonesboro, who is majoring in world languages and cultures with an emphasis in Spanish, received a 4.0 Graduate Award in recognition of his academic record.

The college also presented awards to Luna Unnold-Cofre of Jonesboro, a double-major in political science and international business, recognizing her for receiving the Distinguished Service Award and her nomination for the R. E. Lee Wilson Award, and to Aaron Hattle of Lepanto, an English major, for his Student Undergraduate Research Fund Award.

Receiving awards as outstanding students in the Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography and their degree programs were Hannah D. Shults of Gassville, BA, criminology; Monica N. Campbell of Jonesboro, BA, sociology; Mikayla K. Ryan of Walnut Ridge, BA, geography; Lori Leigh Hall of Hot Springs, MA, criminal justice; and Brooke Elizabeth Vavricka of Yakima, Wash., and Kimberly Dawn McCarty of Goodman, Miss., MA, sociology.

In the Department of English and Philosophy, winners and their respective programs were Brittany Einhorn of Cabot and Erin Flagg of Manila, BSE, English; Jessica Ashley Smith of Marked Tree, BA, English; Mitchell T. Kiefer of Paris, BA, philosophy; and Lindsay Penn of Smithville, MA, English.

History Department recognitions went to Laci Long of Salem, BSE, Social Science; Connor Scarborough of Little Rock, BA, history; and Nathaniel Conley of Mountain View, recipient of the Dr. John Galloway Award for outstanding MA history student.

The Political Science Department’s outstanding students included Cole Pace of Jonesboro and Jessica Smith of Marked Tree, BA, political science; Jose Ignacio Ochoa of Yakima, Wash., MA, political science; and Kyla Pitts-Zevin, Lenexa, Kan., master of public administration (MPA).

In the Department of World Languages and Cultures, those honored and their programs were Ryan Kimbrough of Jonesboro, BA with emphasis in Spanish; Jory Neff of Blytheville, BSE with emphasis in Spanish; and Yun Bin Shine Park of Seoul, South Korea, BA with emphasis in French.

Heritage Studies Ph.D. recipients Cindy L. Grisham of Benton, Mo., James H. “Kimo” Tichgelaar of Columbus, Ohio, and Marjorie Jo Hunter of Marion were honored for completion of their degrees. Rachel Miller of Little Rock, Elista Istre of Lafayette, La., and Moriah Istre of Lafayette, La., three students who completed their Ph.D. comprehensive candidacy exams in heritage studies, were honored as well.

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