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Inspired by Professor Harp, Dr. Kallsnick Endows Scholarship


JONESBORO – As an upcoming biological sciences and pre-dentistry student in the early 1970s, Sam Kallsnick was particularly inspired by one of his professors at Arkansas State University.

Fast forward 50 years, and Dr. Sam Kallsnick is winding down his successful career as a dentist in Lee’s Summit, Mo.  Remembering the positive influence Dr. George Harp had at a critical stage in his life, Kallsnick is establishing an endowed scholarship at A-State to honor Harp, emeritus professor of environmental biology.

Kallsnick, a native of Hot Springs, recalls studying with Harp and working with him on a research project that the professor ultimately published.  His most distinct memory from the experience is how Harp pushed him to be the best he could be.

After graduation from A-State in 1971 with a zoology degree, Kallsnick completed dentistry school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1975.  In private dental practice for 45 years, he is planning to retire soon and expressed a desire to establish a scholarship to assist future students and honor a great mentor.

"I look forward to this scholarship becoming a reality.  I am proud to assist the students at Arkansas State University, and to honor the impact of Dr. Harp in my life, and in the lives of countless others," Kallsnick commented.  "The Dr. George Harp Honorary Scholarship will be awarded to a pre-professional student in the College of Sciences and Mathematics who intends to pursue dentistry."

Kallsnick has committed a total of $28,000 for the scholarship, with $25,000 forming the base of an endowment fund and the remaining $3,000 being designated for annual awards while the endowment accrues interest.

Harp, a faculty member at A-State from 1967 until retirement in 1999, was touched by Kallsnick's gesture.

“I was humbled when I learned that Dr. Kallsnick is funding a scholarship in my honor. Education was and continues to be of great importance to me," Harp noted.  "Dr. Kallsnick was exceptionally motivated as a student, and that obviously continued through his career in dentistry.”

Full-time students with a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply, but preference will be given to pre-professional students, especially those intending to pursue dentistry.

Harp's wife, Phoebe, who also taught at A-State for many years, had a similar reaction.

“The establishment of a scholarship by Sam Kallsnick in the name of my husband, George, is a wonderful honor. As George’s strongest supporter, I deeply appreciate Dr. Kallsnick recognizing my husband’s hard work and dedication to education and research.”

In the view of Dr. Lynn Boyd, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, the significance of the gift goes well beyond the endowment.

"Knowing that Dr. George Harp had such a positive influence on Sam Kallsnick’s life is a true inspiration for all of us in the college.  Faculty work hard every day to make a difference in our students’ lives," she explained.  "It is wonderful to see how this benefitted Dr. Kallsnick.  In turn, this scholarship is going to benefit other young people who have their own goals and aspirations."

Dr. Kallsnick clearly understands this, she continued, and his generous gift is greatly appreciated.

"We know how hard the pre-professional students work at their studies.  It takes a lot of time and dedication to perform at the level that is required for acceptance into professional schools," Boyd added.  "Students often don’t have the time to take on outside jobs, and they have to spend a great deal of time performing community service and shadowing.  Therefore, scholarships are critical for our pre-professional students."

Information about giving to Arkansas State University is available through University Advancement in the Cooper Alumni Center, advancement@AState.edu or (870) 972-3940.

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George and Phoebe Harp
George and Phoebe Harp


Dr. Sam Kallsnick
Dr. Sam Kallsnick

Harps conducting field research
George and Phoebe Harp conducting field research, about 1999