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Matthews Memorial Scholarship Endowed for Nursing Program


JONESBORO — In honor of the late Dr. Rebecca Matthews, the College of Nursing and Heath Professions at Arkansas State University will award the first-ever scholarship for the accelerated nursing program. Dr. Matthews’ husband David created the scholarship because of his wife’s passion for the students in the program.

The only requirements to receive the award is for students to be within the program and have a financial need.

Matthews served as an associate professor of nursing at A-State for nine years. She resigned from the university in 2015 due to health reasons and died in January 2016.

"I have written many things about Rebecca Matthews while she served our college and since her death,” said Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. "She was an excellent role model for both students and faculty.  The college is better now because of her work but we miss her immensely.  We are thankful to David for this lasting tribute."

As a faculty member, Matthews immersed herself in continuing education activities to enhance her teaching skills and knowledge. She was deeply involved in community service as a Red Cross board member, a member of the Total Life HeathCare committee, chaired the Jonesboro Community Transportation Board, board president for the Better Life Counseling Center. Matthews also provided expert testimony regarding safe sleep environments for infants 0-12 months to reduce incidents of sudden Infant death syndrome (SIDS).

As a strong leader, Matthews led a group from Arkansas State to visit China during her tenure. She also accepted leadership roles in the college, including the Faculty Research Awards Committee, documenting nursing accreditation standard, chairing the school of nursing goal plans and was named president of Arkansas Nurses Association (ARNA) District 6.

Dr. Rebecca Matthews
Dr. Rebecca Matthews