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Taylor Receives Distinguished Service Award Honor


JONESBORO – Blaise Taylor of Jonesboro is one of eight outstanding students who received a 2017 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) at Arkansas State University. He was honored at a recognition dinner, Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the Cooper Alumni Center.

The DSA acknowledgement comes during A-State’s Convocation of Scholars, an annual celebration of academic achievement that includes college and departmental awards and recognition events.

The Distinguished Service Award winners are recognized as the institution’s most-outstanding graduates because of their leadership, scholarship and citizenship. Faculty, staff, advisers to student organizations and other members of the campus community submit nominations for these prestigious awards.

All of the nominees have provided countless hours of service to the community, their classmates, their departments and colleges and to Arkansas State University. A committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and past Wilson Award recipients makes the final selections.

Dr. Shane Hunt, dean of the College of Business, nominated Taylor, who earned his undergraduate degree in August 2016 in business administration. He graduated magna cum laude with a grade point average of 3.832. He took only two-and-a-half years to earn his bachelors degree, and Taylor is working on his master of business administration degree. Once completed, he plans to become a sports agent.

Among his other academic achievements, Taylor was a perennial member of the Chancellor’s List always with a GPA of 3.667 or above. He also was listed on the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List twice and the A-State Athletic Director’s Honor Roll twice. In 2015-16, he was named a Top 10 junior in the College of Business. He is a recipient of the Strong-Turner 3.0 Society award.

Taylor has been selected to the Study Abroad program and will travel to London this spring. The decision was based on his academic success and community involvement.

Even though he graduated in 2016, Taylor returned to school and played as a graduate student on the Red Wolf football team. A three-year letterman, he was a starter at defensive back and return specialist. He earned numerous honors, including second-team All-Sun Belt Conference, College Sports Madness Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference punt returner, Phil Steele’s First Team All-Sun Belt punt returner.

Additionally, he was on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, an award named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, a quarterback at the University of Florida. The trophy is known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” and is presented annually by the All-Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.  The Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

As a campus leader, Taylor frequently participated in community service projects, both as a student and an athlete. He has done volunteer work at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, United Way, Special Olympics, St. Bernards Village and the NEA Health Clinic. He has also participated in an autism walk, the National School Breakfast Day and the Read to the Youth program in local elementary schools to promote literacy.

Taylor helped to prepare Thanksgiving baskets for deserving families, secured funds to purchase Christmas items for families, addressed local youth as part of the “Out of the Dark” alcohol awareness program. He is also heavily involved in A-State CARE and visits with at-risk students twice a week.