Hendrix College to Lower Tuition by 32%

This fall, U.S. News & World Report listed Hendrix College on its 2021 Best Value Schools list among nationally ranked liberal arts colleges. For students entering Hendrix for the first time in the Fall 2021 semester, it will be an even better value. The College announced today that it will reduce tuition by 32%.

“Hendrix has one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country,” said Hendrix President Ellis Arnold. “Nevertheless, we know that there are students who would thrive at Hendrix but don’t apply because they’re concerned about the published price.”

In recent years, costs have risen dramatically at institutions across the country, including Hendrix. While rising costs are concerning, families rarely pay the full published cost of tuition after financial aid and scholarships are awarded, making the actual cost of attending college difficult to discern.

“By lowering our tuition, we want to let those students and families know that we hear their concerns and, most importantly, they can come to Hendrix,” said Arnold, adding that the College is able to offer generous need- and merit-based financial assistance thanks to philanthropic support from alumni and friends.

Hendrix will continue to offer competitive academic- and need-based scholarships and financial aid to students who apply and are accepted.

“We recognize that Hendrix is still a significant investment,” said Ryan Cassell, vice president for enrollment. “Reducing tuition is part of a comprehensive commitment to keeping Hendrix within reach for students and families.”

Among the available financial aid and scholarship opportunities is the Hendrix Tuition Advantage program, which matches the published in-state tuition and fees at the flagship university in a student’s home state, Cassell said.

State and federal grants, as well as outside scholarships, may further reduce tuition at Hendrix. In addition, the College offers a variety of ways to assist families in paying for education, including installment plans and access to loans.

With COVID-19 causing increased financial uncertainty for many households, it is a perfect time for Hendrix to be responsive to families’ cost concerns.

“For students who seek a high quality residential liberal arts experience, now is the time for us to assure families that Hendrix is within reach,” said Cassell.

Lowering tuition does not mean lowering quality, Cassell added.

Not only is Hendrix among the U.S. News & World Report Best Value Schools, the College is the publication’s only top 100 nationally ranked liberal arts college in Arkansas and continues to appear on the Most Innovative Schools list among national liberal arts colleges “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”

“The Hendrix Odyssey Program is a nationally recognized model for engaged learning, and the College continues to develop new curricular initiatives and other experiences that enhance the educational outcomes of Hendrix graduates,” said Cassell. “These opportunities increase the value of a Hendrix education, even as we lower tuition.”

To be considered for academic-based scholarships, students simply need to apply for admission, preferably by the November 15 non-binding Early Action I deadline. Families wishing to be considered for need-based aid should complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA by the selected admission application deadline. Families can begin submitting the 2021-2022 FAFSA in early October 2020.

Hendrix will also reduce tuition for its M.A. in accounting program for students who enter in Fall 2021.

Current students enrolled at Hendrix will continue under their current financial aid, scholarships, and tuition. Hendrix will further offer current students the option of a tuition-free fifth year (ninth and tenth semester). The College will provide returning students more information on this option in mid-October.

“We understand that it has been a challenging year,” said Arnold. “While we cannot undo the disruption created by COVID-19 for our current students this year, we hope that a tuition-free fifth year will allow them the opportunity to have a richer residential and learning experience at Hendrix.”

For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu/tuitionreset.

For prospective students and families interested in Hendrix, the College is currently offering in-person and virtual visit experiences. To learn more, see www.hendrix.edu/visit or contact Associate Director of Campus Visitation & Administrative Services Jenn McKenzie at mckenziej@hendrix.edu or 501-450-1362.

Let Us March On: Exhibition on Black Lives Matter in Arkansas Opens at Hendrix

Let Us March On, which documents and contextualizes the Black Lives Matter movement in Arkansas, will open at the Windgate Museum of Art on Friday, September 25, 2020, and will be on display through January 22, 2021. The exhibition will be on display in the Window Gallery, which is visible at all times from the exterior of the museum. A wide variety of virtual programs will accompany the exhibition, including virtual talks by the curator and participating artists, films, panel discussions, and podcasts. Guest curator for the exhibition is Stephanie Sims, Director of the Museum and Cultural Center at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The exhibition includes a rich mix of documentary photographs, artwork, artifacts, interactives, and narrative text. Let Us March On reveals how the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement motivated activism amongst youth and allies to advocate against racial inequality and police brutality nationwide. The exhibition looks at those stories from a local perspective but situated within the larger national and international movement, because change begins locally.

“When thinking of the Black Lives Matter movement we often focus on its national influence while overlooking its impact on our local community,” said Stephanie Sims, guest curator for Let Us March On. “Hundreds of Arkansans gathered and began marching and demanding justice for the victims and their families, as well as accountability from police departments. As the guest curator for Let Us March On, it is my mission to dismantle negative depictions of the movement by educating our audience on the importance of the movement’s activisms and advocacies.”

“Stephanie Sims has done an outstanding job of bringing the story of the Black Lives Matter movement in Arkansas to life in our Window Gallery,” said Mary Kennedy, director of the Windgate Museum of Art. “Through a variety of media, she has captured what the movement means for all Arkansans. We are grateful to her, the participating artists and photographers, the Exhibition Planning Team, and the contributors for allowing Hendrix College to organize this timely exhibition.”

For information about various programs and activities for Let Us March On, please follow @windgatemuseum on Instagram and @WMAatHDX on Facebook. For more information, contact Amanda Cheatham at 501-328-2383 or cheatham@hendrix.edu.  

About the Windgate Museum of Art

The Windgate Museum of Art is the new art museum located on the campus of Hendrix College. With a vision to be the premier teaching art museum in Arkansas, the WMA  presents outstanding art exhibitions, compelling educational programs, and invigorating social activities for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus. Free and open to all, the museum uses hands-on experiences to train students in all facets of museum work, including curatorial research, collection management, educational and social programming, marketing and communications, as well as all aspects of exhibition research, planning, installation, and evaluation. The Windgate Museum of Art is made possible with the generous support of the Windgate Foundation and the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Hendrix College Rises in U.S. News ‘Best Value’ Ranking

Hendrix College is once again listed among America’s Best Colleges for overall quality, value, and innovation. The College appears in multiple categories of the annual higher education rankings issued by U.S. News & World Report.

As in previous years’ U.S. News & World Report rankings, Hendrix remains the only top 100 nationally ranked liberal arts college in Arkansas.

On the 2021 Best Value Schools list among nationally ranked liberal arts colleges, Hendrix rose eight spots to claim the #32 ranking. Each year, the Best Value list considers the ratio of academic quality to price, the percentage of students receiving need-based financial aid (84% for Hendrix during 2019-2020), and the average institutional aid those students receive.

The College continues to appear on the Most Innovative Schools list, a result of nominations by presidents, provosts, and admissions deans of peer institutions in the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges category. This list recognizes schools for “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”

“We are excited to see Hendrix continue to be recognized among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for quality, innovation, and value,” said Hendrix President Ellis Arnold. “This recognition affirms our commitment to educating the whole person and to offering students an extraordinary experience that has life-long value.”

Other recent accolades for Hendrix include taking the top spot in Arkansas on Niche’s 2021 Best Colleges list and StateUniversity.com; as well as appearances in Forbes Top Colleges list; Money’s Best Colleges in America list; The Princeton Review’s 2021 Best Colleges list; the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 2019 Best College Values list; a profile in The Fiske Guide to Colleges; and a listing in The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education College Rankings 2020.

For prospective students and families interested in Hendrix, the College is currently offering in-person and virtual visit experiences. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu/visit or contact Jenn McKenzie, Associate Director of Campus Visitation & Administrative Services, at  mckenziej@hendrix.edu or 1-800-277-9017.

Hendrix College Biology Team Sees Initial Results of Collaboration with Arkansas Game & Fish for Urban Wildlife Study

Hendrix College Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Maureen McClung ’01 has been working with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) researchers and the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN) to launch a wildlife research project in the cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Maumelle. After planning and laying groundwork since the fall of 2019, the collaboration has yielded photos from its first field season, some of which were released when the project was announced in late August. 

The Central Arkansas Urban Wildlife Project involved placing a series of 30 cameras in public parks (a mix of city and state, urban and rural locations) to observe the variety of wildlife in the area. The cameras are active for four seasons each year during the months of January, April, July, and October. The goal of the research is to learn more about how wildlife — particularly mammals like raccoons, foxes, and deer — use urban green spaces. The group is already seeing evidence of animals like foxes and hawks managing rodent populations. Select images of the study’s first season were released near the end of August and can be viewed at the project’s website, which will be updated with each season.

Hendrix students Lauren Berry ’22 and Jaclyn Reifeiss ’23 received Hendrix Odyssey Program funding for the summer research project, and Tristan Hoerschelmann ’22 joined them when his Scott Henderson Fellowship through the AGFC was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It wasn’t what I had originally planned, but it was an incredible opportunity to gain valuable research experience and explore a potential career path,” said Hoerschelmann.

Together, the three biology majors worked with McClung and AGFC researchers on camera site selection, setup and maintenance — “which involved plenty of hiking around parks in June, from urban playgrounds to Pinnacle Mountain State Park,” McClung said — maintaining and retrieving the gear, downloading the images, and tagging the photos with species identification and notes about any interesting behaviors.

For Reifeiss, all the hot-weather hiking became worth it when the team began sorting through the first round of camera photos. “We captured images of bobcats, foxes, and deer, all in some of the most frequented parks of Little Rock,” she said. “Some of these animals I have never had the privilege of seeing in person, so finding out that these creatures are right in the backyards of some of our most populated cities is incredible.”

All three Hendrix students participating in the study are biology majors, and this project gives them real-world experience studying wildlife populations using remote data collection. In addition to developing scientific skills, the students also benefit from interacting with the various AGFC personnel who make up the team, including a field biologist, social scientist, geographic information systems (GIS) specialists, watchable wildlife coordinator, and administrative analyst. 

“This was my first time working on a research project that will contribute data to the scientific community,” Reifeiss said. “I was excited to have Odyssey funding this summer to support me while doing research — I feel like I was able to get a head start on my career in science.”

2020 Urban Wildlife study bobcat_web.jpg“It’s a great opportunity to conduct field research, but students also get to see different places their biology degrees could take them in a state agency like AGFC,” McClung said.

During this semester and the next, these students will help recruit more of their peers to join the project, giving it longevity.

“The goal is to keep the project running for the foreseeable future,” McClung added, “so this project represents a research opportunity for generations to come.” 

Hendrix Sleep Researchers Study ‘Nomophobia’

While “nomophobia” isn’t a recognized disorder, many people know the feeling: a panic that arises when they are out of mobile phone contact—or a similar response to just the idea of losing contact. 

A focus on nomophobia in a recent presentation at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s SLEEP 2020 conference in late August had radio DJs mentioning Hendrix College research in drive-time sound bites.

The presentation of preliminary results from a collaboration between researchers at Hendrix and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock revealed that in a sample of more than 300 college students, 89% experienced moderate or severe nomophobia. Greater nomophobia correlated to greater daytime sleepiness and more behaviors associated with poor sleep quality. What’s more, it means the common recommendation to decrease phone use around bedtime may not help people who experience nomophobia—limiting their smartphone use before bed might actually increase anxiety and make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Peszka, Jennifer-20101007-09510755web.JPG“The recommendation to curtail bedtime phone use, which is meant to improve sleep and seems rather straightforward, might need adjustment or consideration for these individuals,” said Dr. Jennifer Peszka, the Charles Prentiss Hough Odyssey Professor of Psychology at Hendrix College and principal investigator on the study. 

Co-investigators on this project are Dr. David Mastin and Dr. Bruce Moore of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and members of the UA Little Rock undergraduate student research team: Shalonda Michelle, Benjamin T. Collins, Nataly Abu-Halimeh, Monnar Quattom, Maya Henderson, Madison Sanders, and Jeremiah Critton.

Peszka’s Hendrix undergraduate team (Hayley Chunn ’21, Justin Lockhart ’19, Graham Harris ’18, Kelly Brice ’17, Althea Strozier ’17, Kristi Scott ’18, Adrian Shuler ’17, Amy Crump ’18, Jessica Bonumwezi ’17, and Alundra Dickson ’17) came up with the idea to explore nomophobia while considering the larger topic of how technology use in the two hours before bed affects “sleep hygiene,” or the behaviors and environmental variables that can improve sleep quality. 

“I always have a big question or project that we’re working on, but I encourage my student researchers to add components to the study that are of particular interest to them,” she said. “If it makes sense, and we can ask a good question that contributes to the literature about their topic, then we add it in. The students thought that ‘cell phone addiction’ might moderate some of the relationships we examined. That group of students were all pretty high on nomophobia themselves, so they were really interested in the outcome.”  

Peszka found it particularly interesting that the percentage of college students who report experiencing nomophobia has risen by about 12% since 2012, when the nomophobia scale was developed. 

“Nomophobia may very well be on a rapid rise,” she said. “That may not seem like a very interesting or concerning development, but here we found that severity of nomophobia was predictive of sleepiness, which can have a significant impact on daily life.”

Hendrix College Department of Physics Granted Membership in APS-IDEA Network

The Hendrix College Department of Physics has been accepted into the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (IDEA) network of the American Physical Society (APS).

APS is one of the largest professional organizations for physicists in the world. The APS-IDEA network is a new initiative meant to establish an international community of departments and organizations working to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

“The department wrote an application for a team that includes each faculty member, our lab manager, a senior student, and a sophomore student,” said Dr. Todd Tinsley ’98, professor of physics. “That application described the strides we have made in our department in creating a welcoming place for women, and we described the ways we want to broaden that work to include a more intersectional vision for diversity in our department.” 

In its application, the department specifically mentioned increasing attention to recruitment and retention of LGBTQ+ students and students of color, considering activities, events, and practices that acknowledge the diversity of physics majors and also help to foster a bond among those students and with the department, regardless of their individual identities.

Tinsley also credited Associate Provost for Faculty Development Dr. Leslie Templeton ’91 in the efforts that led to the department achieving the designation. “Her work as has been critical to our past successes and our thinking about the future,” he said.

The APS-IDEA Application Review Committee provided positive feedback to the Hendrix Department of Physics, applauding the department’s previous efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion, its significant support from the administration, and the proposed team’s makeup. The team is reflective of all the stakeholders in the department—faculty, staff, and students:

  • Julie Gunderson ’06, Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Jacob Nordin ’21, Senior Physics Major
  • Damon Spayde, Professor of Physics
  • John Steward ’94, Lab Manager
  • Todd Tinsley ’98, Professor of Physics, Department Chair
  • Mayra Velazquez ’23, Sophomore Physics Major
  • Ann Wright, Professor of Physics, Natural Sciences Area Chair

“On May 30, President Arnold challenged our community to ‘demonstrate our support of our students and our community, not just with statements on paper, but with acts of genuine love and support,’” Tinsley added. “Our department believes that the IDEA network is a way for us to focus on those acts, and our team is excited to get started on this work.”

‘Film Matters’ Partners with Hendrix College, Names Dr. Kristi McKim Online Editor

Film Matters, a magazine celebrating the work of undergraduate film scholars, has announced a new partnership with the Hendrix College Film and Media Studies program and Department of English.

Woman wearing scarf and sweater

Dr. Kristi McKim, chair of English and professor of English/Film and Media Studies, has been appointed online editor of Film Matters. In this role, she will guide undergraduate students in serving as joint authors and editors of Film Matters online, in cooperation with Film Matters home institution at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. With McKim’s guidance, Hendrix students will provide mentorship and peer review to fellow undergraduate authors worldwide through the drafting and editing process, while learning crucial publishing and project management skills on the job. Sophomores Sydney Boone, JaZmyn Shambley, and Sophia Stolkey—students who have studied film and writing in multiple courses and who hope for future careers in writing, editing, publishing, and film criticism—will comprise Hendrix’s first Online Editorial Board.  

“I am thrilled that this opportunity gives our Hendrix students a chance to gain precious experience as writers and editors,” McKim said. “It’s a chance for students to call for and curate what they want to read and learn, to gather work from students internationally, to generate a virtual home for undergraduate conversation about film and moving image media. Film Matters is singular in what it offers to students: the only international film/media undergraduate magazine of its kind. Film Matters’ ever-supportive editors-in-chief have been generous to entrust us with this charge, and I hope that our work will continue to earn this trust. Even as this work involves added responsibility, it is the kind of responsibility that yields community joy and pride. My English Department colleagues, and especially my comrade in Film and Media Studies, Dr. Joshua Glick, have been enthusiastic in supporting this opportunity for our students and in shaping future mentoring experiences with the magazine. I’m proud to lead this charge, and I’m grateful to share it with my colleagues and students, without whom none of this would be possible.” 

Published by students, for students, Film Matters includes features, reviews, profiles of film studies departments, articles that engage the undergraduate film studies community and prepare students for graduate study in the field, and resources and opportunities for undergraduate scholars. This partnership complements the focus on engaged learning provided through the Hendrix Odyssey Program, which offers a structured experience of active learning throughout students’ undergraduate education. 

McKim has been a longtime member of the Film Matters advisory board and has served as a guest editor in the past. At Hendrix, she has received multiple honors for her work with students, including the 2014-15 United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award and the 2019-20 Carole Herrick Award for Excellence in Academic Advising. She has written the books Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change and Love in the Time of Cinema, in addition to essays in a range of magazines and journals; her current project considers film as a natural history.  

“My own writing and teaching grow out of a love of experiencing films and reading books, which—in college and grad school, thanks to my peers and professors—helped me to find my own closest friends and truest self. As an undergraduate student, working together with my co-editor of our college literary magazine, I learned the power and intimacy of a friendship built through collaborative writing and shared inquiry,” McKim said. “Such opportunities that blend our learning with community, our professional interests with personal passions, are those that I always want to nurture in my students.” 

Starting in September 2020, current undergraduate students and recent alumni looking for online publication opportunities with Film Matters will now work with Hendrix College. Student writers, in addition to filmmakers seeking interview or review coverage, may email submissions or emails of interest/introduction to FilmMattersOnline@hendrix.edu.  

Three New Members Join Hendrix College Board of Trustees

The Hendrix College Board of Trustees announces three new members to fill open at-large positions. The new trustees, all of whom are Hendrix alumni, will begin their three-year terms at the Board’s October meeting.

Susan Farris DeBoard ’71 of Conway is a retired educator. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix, she earned a Master of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas in 1983. She spent much of her career teaching high school and served as a visiting instructor at Hendrix in English and German from 2007 through 2013. Her service to the College has included membership on the Alumni Association Board of Governors. DeBoard is not the first in her family to serve on the Hendrix Board of Trustees; her father, Bill Farris, was a Board member in the 1990s. She and her husband, Charlie, have three adult children, one of whom is also a Hendrix alumnus (Charles, class of ’91).

Luke Duffield ’91 leads Blackstone Construction in Russellville, Arkansas. A former Hendrix athlete who is passionate about the liberal arts, Duffield has supported several of the College’s athletics-related capital projects in recent years, and served on the committee for the recent Be Hendrix capital campaign, through which he provided support for the construction of the Dawkins Welcome Center. He is a member of the Russellville City Planning Commission, the Russellville Regional Economic Development Alliance Board, and a board member of Friendship Community Care and John L. Rankin Senior Living, a low-income housing project for seniors in Russellville. Duffield and his wife, Stephanie, have four daughters. 

Derrick Smith ’97 of Little Rock is an attorney with the Mitchell Williams Law Firm and serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice focuses on insurance regulatory law, government relations, and energy and utility law, where he represents clients in their interactions with Arkansas governmental entities and state insurance departments throughout the United States. He has previously served as chair of the firm’s Regulated Business practice. Smith has been named in The Best Lawyers in America for Administrative/Regulatory Law for 2016-2020 and one of the “250 Most Influential Leaders” by Arkansas Business in 2019. He is a member of the Pulaski Academy Board of Trustees and a former member of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and the Arkansas Lottery Commission. His past service to the College includes a term on the Alumni Association Board of Governors, of which he was President in 2003-2004, and as a member of the Be Hendrix campaign committee. He and his wife, Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, have one son.

“We are excited to welcome these three outstanding individuals to our Board of Trustees,” said Hendrix President Ellis Arnold. “Hendrix has enjoyed a long history of visionary board leadership, and I am confident our new members will continue that tradition and work with their fellow Trustees for the long-term success of the College.”

Hendrix Professor Kolev Joins Democratic Erosion Consortium

Hendrix faculty member Dr. Kiril Kolev recently became a member of the Democratic Erosion Consortium, a collaboration of academics from more than 50 colleges and universities working to understand threats to democracy in the U.S. and abroad. 

Man wearing dress shirt and suit jacket
Dr. Kiril Kolev

Led by Dr. Robert Blair at Brown University, the consortium seeks to promote a just and peaceful world through research, teaching, and public engagement. Its other members include more than 50 colleagues from the U.S. and abroad.

This fall, Kolev will teach his POLI 100 course, New Authoritarianism, using a consortium-wide syllabus. In addition, students in that class will participate in multiple engaged learning assignments:

  • Attending a campaign rally of their choice, then writing about the experience on a consortium-wide blog;
  • Engaging in assessment of the state of democracy in the U.S. at the beginning and the end of the semester, based on the readings and resources that the consortium provides;
  • Participating in the Democratic Erosion simulation, which immerses students in a fictional country undergoing challenges to its democratic model;
  • Using a state-of-the-art repository of data and narratives on the state of democracy around the world.

“Democratic erosion is a complex process that requires us to put the country we know best in comparative perspective,” Kolev said. “What the consortium offers is a blueprint for understanding what the United States is experiencing currently by learning about the broader world and the social-scientific theory and evidence we use to track governance and accountability. Perhaps more importantly, it pushes students to engage with their immediate communities, as well as peers at other campuses that are learning the same material. It is an excellent approach to raising awareness and interactions both locally and globally — something that defines the socio-economic and political reality of our time.” 

Kolev, an associate professor who currently directs the Hendrix Odyssey Program and chairs the Hendrix College Department of Politics, joined the Hendrix faculty in 2011. After graduating from Whittier College with a degree in economics, he earned his Master of Science and Ph.D. in comparative politics at Duke University. He has taught courses on political economy, democratization, elections, research methods, and contemporary global issues. Between 2017 and 2019, he held the James and Emily Bost Odyssey Professorship, which funded his recent research on election quality, electoral systems, and political clientelism.

“In the classroom, I tell students that the best skill they can develop in college is being evidence-oriented and balanced ‘translators’ of academic knowledge for a broader audience,” Kolev said. “We often get one or the other: opinions in the numerous echo chambers on ideological right and left; rigorous but inaccessible analysis in academic journals. I believe this course will strengthen my ability to teach how we can narrow the gap between the two.”