Ouachita enters partnership with Leeds United College

Ouachita Baptist University has begun a working partnership with Leeds United College and Longford International College to explore collaborative educational opportunities ranging from guest speakers to internships to full degree programs. LUC and LIC are included in the educational division of Leeds United Football Club, which is based in Leeds, England.

“Ouachita has a long history of international engagement, including our first partnership with an overseas university in the 1970s,” said Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president for academic affairs. “We’re especially eager to explore how this partnership can provide access to exceptional high-impact learning experiences that deepen our students’ classroom knowledge and understanding.

The institutions anticipate a collaborative working partnership drawing on the strengths of each establishment for the benefit of students. Access to facilities and educational content are among the resources each institution brings to the relationship as future programs are considered. Leeds partnership

Ouachita’s working partnership with Leeds United College (LUC) and Longford International College (LIC), which are included in the educational division of Leeds United Football Club, will explore collaborative educational opportunities ranging from guest speakers to internships to full degree programs.

“We’re really pleased to launch this new and exciting partnership,” said Spencer Taylor, director of education at Leeds United. “It will be great to see the relationship progress over time, with all parties working together to create opportunities for young students to study and learn whilst also developing important research and initiatives.”

“We believe in the power of [soccer] and education together and how it can break down cultural barriers, bring people together and make a positive difference to the lives of many,” added Professor Vincent English, president of Longford International College. “Longford College is also delighted to be part of an innovative approach to education where the rigor of academia is balanced against the practical approach.”

LIC and LUC currently offer accredited diplomas and master’s degrees in such fields as business leadership, football business and sports performance.

“We also look forward to collaborating with our partners to consider unique graduate-level programs that take advantage of the strengths of our diverse institutions,” Poole added.

“We are encouraged by the opportunity to partner in new, creative ways as we seek to expand the reach of our mission globally through unique partnerships and programs,” added Dr. Monica Hardin, associate vice president for graduate and professional studies. “As higher education continues to evolve in a globalized world, international partnerships are vital and we look towards a bright future with LUC and LIC.”

Memorial gift honors Ouachita student Charlee Morrison, invests in cancer research at Ouachita

Ouachita Baptist University has received a gift from Russell and Patti Morrison in memory of their daughter, Charlee Morrison, a former Ouachita student who passed away in 2000 during her senior year at Ouachita. The gift will be used to enhance Ouachita’s first undergraduate research laboratory dedicated to cancer cell biology.

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of Morrison’s passing. Originally from Benton, Ark., she battled cancer from the young age of 13 and passed away due to complications on Oct. 30, 2000, in Little Rock. Morrison was a sociology major, a member of Tri Chi women’s social club and respected by her Ouachita professors and peers.

“She was always happy, even when she was hurting, and had the most positive outlook possible for her life,” said Emily Goode, a fellow Ouachita senior and friend, in a tribute to Morrison in the 2000 Ouachita Circle alumni magazine.

The same tribute reads, “Students at Ouachita will not likely remember the way that Morrison died, but the way that Morrison lived.”

“I immediately remembered the story about Charlee when I was informed of the Morrisons’ gift,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences. “Though I did not know Charlee personally, we are a small campus family, and we consider all students as ‘our own.’”

The monetary gift by the Morrisons will allow the Patterson School of Natural Sciences to create a cancer cell culture research experience for Ouachita students, a first for the university. This includes augmenting Ouachita’s existing molecular biology research facility and expanding the quality and quantity of research opportunities for students.

“Several hundred students will benefit, as well as several faculty members,” Knight said. “We have a small cohort of faculty already working in cancer- or cell biology-related research.”

“We have been working on this concept for a while,” said Nathan Reyna, associate professor of biology. “However, the gift has given us the leverage to enhance a facility that will ensure a large portion of our students will be able to participate in unique, class-based research experience.”

“Charlee would have been delighted to see this used toward an educational program,” said her father, Russell Morrison of Benton. “We’re fully aware of the importance of medical equipment and training which saves lives. Excellent medical training and equipment equals better outcomes for those that are struggling with life threatening diseases such as adult leukemia that threatened and finally took Charlee’s life.

“Charlee loved Ouachita Baptist and was so happy to be a student there,” he added. “I know she would be honored to share this gift.”

In 2018, Reyna led a team to create Ouachita’s Cell Biology Education Consortium (CBEC), a National Science Foundation-funded consortium that focuses on the development and modification of cell culture techniques that can be incorporated in the undergraduate classroom. Since that time, Reyna said the “development of novel research methods and the student demand for participation in these projects outpaced our resources and facilities.”

With the help of the Charlee Morrison memorial gift, the adaptation of Ouachita’s current research facility will allow for more Ouachita students to be involved in the research, Reyna explained, as well as “strengthen critical thinking skills in the classroom, facilitating the transition from student to scientist.”

“Ouachita is committed to undergraduate education through an active, inquiry-based, hands-on approach to learning in the classroom,” said Reyna. “The opportunity for students to conduct mammalian cell culture and cancer biology research using this new facility with current molecular techniques in class is consistent with our goal to integrate research into the classroom.”

For more information or to give, visit obu.edu/give and list “In memory of Charlee Morrison” in the special instructions field or contact Susan Warren, senior director of donor engagement, at warrens@obu.edu or 501-920-1042.

Ouachita’s Hamilton awarded $297,000 Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence grant

Ouachita Baptist University’s Dr. Sharon Hamilton, assistant professor of chemistry, has been awarded $297,431 in funding over the next two and a half years by the Arkansas IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) to support her research of incorporating proteins into novel modern wound dressings. Hamilton, who joined the Ouachita faculty in 2018, is working in collaboration with Dr. Suresh Thallapuranam, chair of bioinformatics research and professor at the University of Arkansas.

Hamilton’s research with Thallapuranam aims to accelerate the wound healing process by exploring the cellular responses to fiber mats and its release of larger molecules that aid in the healing process. She also will work alongside Ouachita students in the Department of Chemistry to conduct research during the academic year.

“This grant ensures that I am able to conduct high quality undergraduate research here at Ouachita,” Hamilton said. “It will allow me to provide our undergraduate researchers with projects that could significantly impact the fields of biomaterials, biomedical research and wound healing.”

Hamilton and Thallapuranam will work together in respect to their labs’ strengths; Thallapuranam’s lab will synthesize proteins, which will then be delivered to cells using nanofiber mats built in Hamilton’s lab at Ouachita.

“The mats we make in our lab contain materials that are designed to mimic features in the extracellular matrix in our bodies to encourage wound healing and cell growth,” Hamilton explained. “Overall, the goal of this proposal is to develop protein-loaded biomimetic fiber mats that promote positive cellular responses.”

“Dr. Hamilton jumped right in upon arrival at Ouachita and quickly established her research area,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences and professor of biology. “Students were quickly drawn to her research because it is so unique. Her research is pertinent for our pre-health profession students and I expect will be very popular.”

The application for Arkansas INBRE Research Development Grants is very competitive. According to the INBRE, only about 36 percent of applicants receive funding for their proposals.

“I was elated to learn that my proposal had been selected – and also quite relieved,” Hamilton said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to write and edit grants, so to have secured funding for the next two and a half years meant that I had a little bit of breathing space.

“It’s nice knowing that I have money to support my projects, and it allows me to take my time and explore other funding opportunities and agencies, as well as future project ideas,” she added.

Hamilton joined the faculty at Ouachita in 2018 and teaches several chemistry and CORE classes. In 2019, she received an Arkansas INBRE Summer Research Grant and an Arkansas Space Consortium Research Infrastructure Grant to support her development of a variety of synthetic polymers that mimic biopolymers found in the human body.

Hamilton earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in 2004 and her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2009.

According to its website, the Arkansas INBRE program was “created to expand the distribution of National Institutes of Health funding for behavioral and biomedical research.” It builds upon the Arkansas Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN), which “established a statewide network that links Arkansas institutions of higher education in support of a growing effort to build a biomedical research capacity in Arkansas.”

For more information about the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences, visit obu.edu/natsci. For more information about the INBRE grant, visit  www.inbre.uams.edu or contact Dr. Sharon Hamilton at hamiltons@obu.edu or (870) 245-5092.

Ouachita ranked “#2 Regional College in the South” and more by “U.S. News & World Report”

Ouachita Baptist University has been named “#2 Best Regional College in the South” for the second consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report. The university landed high honors in other categories in the region, as well, including #4 rankings for “Most Innovative” and “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and #5 for “Best Value.”

The U.S. News rankings come as Ouachita has its highest fall enrollment in 20 years and the highest four-year graduate rate on record for the institution.

“It’s exciting and gratifying to see this affirmation of the innovative educational models Ouachita has developed over the last several years,” said Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president of academic affairs. “From embedding undergraduate research into the curriculum to pioneering online and graduate programs that address critical needs for our state and region, we have expanded the university’s reach by capitalizing on the expertise and creativity of our faculty.”

The “Most Innovative” ranking is defined by U.S. News as “schools the public should be watching because of the cutting-edge changes the colleges are making on their campuses.” This ranking was determined by peer nomination. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans may nominate up to 15 schools already listed in the “Best College” rankings who they consider have a particular strength in the area. To be selected, a college also had to receive seven or more nominations.

“I’m especially pleased that Ouachita earned this distinction while simultaneously being recognized for outstanding undergraduate teaching,” Poole added. “Year after year our students affirm the quality of our faculty and the strong tradition of teaching excellence, grounded in personal relationships, that distinguishes their Ouachita educational experience.”

The “Best Undergraduate Teaching” ranking “focuses on schools where faculty and administrators are committed to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner,” said U.S. News. It also is chosen by peer nomination.

Additionally, Ouachita’s Hickingbotham School of Business was listed in the U.S. News “Best Undergraduate Business Programs” nationwide. The ranking is based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty members at peer institutions accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB); Ouachita is one of only nine private, undergraduate-only schools in the world to be accredited by AACSB. A school or program had to receive seven or more top-15 nominations to be listed.

The “#2 Best Regional College in the South” ranking includes both public and private colleges and considers peer assessment and average first year retention rate. In the South region, Ouachita trails only High Point University, a college in North Carolina with an enrollment of 4,590.

“These recognitions come as we begin the fall semester with the highest enrollment the university has seen in 20 years and are further evidence that Ouachita is rising,” said Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president. “They speak to distinctive qualities we are proud of – providing an excellent and affordable education, embracing innovation, and supporting our students in the classroom and beyond to meet their educational and career goals.”

The “#5 Best Value College in the South” ranking weighs academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid. Schools were scored based on factors including average discount and percentage of students awarded aid.

Ouachita also was included in U.S. News’ “A+ Schools for B Students” list, which recognizes schools with an environment where students of all levels are likely to succeed. Ouachita is one of only three colleges in the South and one of 17 regional colleges nationwide to be listed. The ranking considers, among other things, student GPA and the university’s freshman-to-sophomore retention rate.

Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., is in its 135th year as a Christ-centered learning community. Its seven academic schools include business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. For more information, visit www.obu.edu or call 800-DIAL-OBU.

Ouachita’s fall 2020 enrollment grows amid pandemic, highest since 2000

Even amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ouachita Baptist University’s fall 2020 enrollment has grown to 1,704, a 4% increase from fall 2019 and the highest headcount the university has seen since 2000. Newly released data also reflect a strong academic profile for incoming Ouachita freshmen as well as standout retention and graduation rates.

“As a Christian university, we genuinely believe every good gift comes from the Lord,” said Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president. “We’re thankful for our students and for the support of their families. In the midst of a pandemic, our already incredibly committed faculty and staff redoubled their efforts. Finally, we’re grateful to alumni, friends and Arkansas Baptists who provide difference-making support.”

The academic profile of this year’s freshman cohort is one of the strongest in Ouachita history. Among incoming freshmen, the average ACT score is 24.8, the highest on record, matched by only one previous freshman class. The class’ average high school grade point average (GPA) is 3.72, with more than a third achieving GPAs of 4.0 or higher. There also are 30 Arkansas Distinguished Governor’s Scholars in the cohort. A notable 23% of the class are first-generation college students, the first in their families to pursue an undergraduate degree.

“It’s in Ouachita’s DNA to provide an excellent educational experience that challenges and encourages those at the top of their class and those for whom higher education is a new endeavor,” said Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president for academic affairs. “We are proud that our personal and intentional approach to higher education creates a welcoming and supportive environment.”

Ouachita’s most recent outcomes data also reflects this strength of support for students. At 81.4%, this year’s freshman to sophomore retention rate is the second highest at Ouachita since 2010; the most recent average for all four-year universities in the state is 68%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In addition, the 4-year graduation rate for Ouachita’s 2020 graduating class is 60.5%, the highest on record for the university and well surpassing the most recent state average of 32% published by NCES.

The 1,704 total enrollment includes 1,496 residential students learning in-person on Ouachita’s Arkadelphia campus, 168 online and concurrent students and 40 graduate students.

The more than 200 off-campus and graduate students reflect strategic, non-traditional academic initiatives rising at Ouachita in recent years. Such programs have included growing fully online degree offerings; launching a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that includes two innovative RN-to-BSN tracks; establishing the first Master of Science degree in applied behavior analysis in the state; enrolling the first cohort in a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program for students pursuing careers as registered dieticians; and expanding concurrent enrollment offerings at Christian high schools across the state and region.

“Even as we’ve given energy to these new and growing academic initiatives, the challenge of returning to on-campus instruction for our residential students has been a significant priority for Ouachita in recent months,” Sells said. “Students and parents told us that what makes Ouachita distinctive is the on-campus experience. Thus, we put forth a herculean effort and significant expense to safely return to in-person learning, which continues to be our priority.”

Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., is in its 135th year as a Christ-centered learning community. Its seven academic schools include business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. It is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Niche.com and others. For more information, visit www.obu.edu or call 800-DIAL-OBU.

Ouachita hires Dr. Lewis Shepherd in full-time role to support students, faculty and staff of color

Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, announced today that Dr. Lewis Shepherd, Jr., will join the school’s executive leadership team as special assistant to the president.

Man wearing suit

Dr. Shepherd’s hiring represents the first-time in Ouachita history to have a full-time position devoted to advancing racial diversity.

“Ouachita, with minority enrollment 16.4% of the student body, is more racially diverse than any time in its history; however, there is more progress to make,” Sells said. “This historic commitment by our university will help make Ouachita a more welcoming and supportive campus for students, faculty and staff of color.”

Dr. Shepherd is a double graduate of Ouachita, having earned a bachelor’s degree in religion and a master’s degree in education. He earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

From 2009 to the present, Dr. Shepherd held senior leadership roles at Henderson State University focusing on student life, external relations and community engagement. He previously served 29 years in a variety of roles at Ouachita. Since graduating from Ouachita, Dr. Shepherd has been a bi-vocational pastor and has served since 2000 at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, the largest Black church in the community.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to return to my alma mater and in such an important capacity,” said Dr. Shepherd. “I want to help everyone associated with Ouachita and our community understand racial diversity and its impact.”

Ouachita’s current strategic plan has a goal to “expand campus diversity while improving support for minority students, faculty and staff.” It resulted in Dr. Sells establishing the Office of Multicultural Student Programs in 2017, which Dr. Shepherd will also oversee and expand.

“As a graduate of Ouachita connected with many of our alumni of color and as someone who has been the pastor of many black students, faculty and staff, I’m pleased with the progress that Ouachita has made,” Shepherd said. “I’ve worked closely with President Sells on community efforts since he came to Ouachita in 2016. I appreciated his June 1 statement that ‘Ouachita has more to do to advance racial justice and human dignity’ and I’m excited to help lead my university in this area.”

“Increased racial diversity represents intentional university efforts, contributes to a richer learning environment, and reflects changing demographics,” Sells said. “It’s also a priority for us as a Christian university because all people are created in the image of God.”

In addition to his career in education and ministry, Dr. Shepherd has been involved in numerous civic endeavors, including having served on the Arkansas State Police Commission, as past president of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce and as a founding member of the Arkadelphia Sunrise Rotary Club. He currently is chair of the Board of Directors of the Percy and Donna Malone Child Safety Center.

Ouachita establishes Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award for black students, Tyrese Allen and Dayja James named first recipients

Ouachita Baptist University has established the Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award, a new scholarship to recognize black students. Tyrese Allen of Savannah, Ga., and Dayja James of McGehee, Ark., have been selected as the scholarship’s first recipients and each will receive $2,500. A matching gift is in place to endow the scholarship, allowing it to be awarded annually for years to come.

Dayja James

The scholarship will honor students involved in Ouachita’s Multicultural Organization Reaching Equality (MORE) student organization who have demonstrated leadership, exemplified the university’s mission and shown promise to positively influence the world.

“This scholarship is another step by Ouachita to do more in advancing racial justice and human dignity by further investing in black student leaders,” said Ouachita President Dr. Ben Sells. “To receive the Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award will be an honor, as it is intended to recognize and develop leadership.”

Tyrese Allen

The award honors the living legacy of Arkadelphia native Annie Abrams – a civil activist, pursuer of social justice, educator, culture worker and museum curator – whose achievements include working alongside Daisy Bates to desegregate Little Rock Central High School, establishing the city’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. parade and leading the campaigns to rename High Street in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and 20th Street after Little Rock’s first black mayor, Charles Bussey.

Abrams was named to Arkansas’ Black Hall of Fame in 2010, and she is the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Award given by Coretta Scott King, the First Lady’s Women in Public Service Award and the Brooks Hays Award for Civil Rights Champions.

“It is an honor to be able to name this prestigious award after Annie Abrams, who served as an extraordinary civil rights activist and world-changing leader from Arkadelphia,” said Nicole Porchia, Ouachita’s director of Multicultural Student Programs. “This scholarship also is offering black students at Ouachita the opportunity to have some financial ease and be acknowledged for the wonderful and strong attributes that make them both a deserving individual and influential leader not just to the black community but the campus community as a whole.

“This is another step toward progress that will move our Ouachita community forward in understanding the importance of standing together in support of equality,” Porchia added. “It makes me proud to be a Ouachita alumna knowing that we, as a university, are moving in this direction.”

Allen, a senior biology and psychology double major, recently was voted as Ouachita Student Senate’s student body president for the 2020-2021 academic year. He also has served as vice president of MORE, where he coordinated much of Ouachita’s Black History Month campus events in 2020 and assembled a Tiger Serve Day team. 

James, a junior biology major, has been selected as president of MORE for the 2020-2021 academic year. She is involved in EEE women’s social club and has been actively involved in MORE since her freshman year. James also is a member of Ouachita’s Carl Goodson Honors Program.

“Tyrese and Dayja exemplify the leadership skills needed to make a positive impact and change on our campus,” Porchia said. “They are passionate about striving for justice and peace among all people and understand the importance of racial reconciliation.

“They both have shown us that they are a listening ear to the black community, but also that they recognize the importance of walking alongside others to make a difference; it is about unity,” she continued. “I consider them difference makers, and I know when they leave Ouachita, they will continue to lead in their communities.”

The Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award took shape earlier this month following a $1,000 gift by former Ouachita student Stephanie Rodgers and a matching gift of $25,000 from an anonymous donor to further grow and endow the scholarship. Rodgers’ gift came after a challenge given by North Central University President Scott Hagan on June 4 during the memorial service for George Floyd. During the service, held on NCU’s campus, Hagan announced that the Christian university would start a scholarship in Floyd’s name dedicated to inspiring young black leaders.

“It is time to invest like never before in a new generation of young black Americans who are poised and ready to take leadership in our nation,” Hagan said. He challenged other university presidents to made additional investments in scholarships.

Rodgers was watching the televised memorial service when she heard Hagan’s challenge. Both Ouachita and NCU are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), an organization with the mission “to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and help its institutions transform lives by relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.”

An advocate herself, Rodgers works as director of development for Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes in Little Rock. Growing up in the foster care system through the ABC Homes, Rodgers later attended Ouachita like her foster father, a Ouachita graduate.

“I knew that it was God tugging at my heart and calling me once again to stand in the gap, this time for black students at Ouachita,” Rodgers said. “Knowing the integrity of Ouachita, I jumped quickly knowing that I had to, in order to be the first to give.”

“I was inspired by my fellow Christian college president, as well as by alumna Stephanie Rodgers who, at her own initiative, made the first gift to Ouachita to establish a scholarship for black students,” Sells said. “In response to this, and adding momentum, an anonymous matching gift of up to $25,000 was given.”

After Ouachita received news of Rodgers’ and the anonymous donor’s gifts, MORE student leadership began working with university administration to name the scholarship, and a committee of faculty and staff members selected the first award recipients.

According to MORE student leaders, bestowing Annie Abrams’ name on the award makes the scholarship “more personal to the Ouachita community.”

“Annie’s achievements and works speak for themselves and act as a great example of the kind of recipient for such an award,” MORE student leaders wrote. “Two words that best describe her are ‘love’ and ‘action’: two of the most important attributes of a civil rights activist and world-changing leader.”

The daughter of the late Mrs. Q.V. Reed, who influenced many young lives in the Arkadelphia community as an educator, Abrams attended Dunbar High School in Little Rock, graduated from Dunbar Junior College with her certification in education and later earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Philander Smith College.

In addition to her many achievements, Abrams has been involved in numerous community service organizations. Abrams served as a commissioner for the Fair Housing Commission and a treasurer of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus, and she was the first black president of the Parent Teacher Association at Little Rock Central High School. She continues to serve as honorary co-chair of the state Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.

“After personally meeting Annie Abrams and learning about her life and legacy, including her ties to our community, it seemed ideal for Ouachita to honor her in a way that also recognizes and invests in black student leaders on our campus,” Sells said. “Abrams was moved by and affirmed this decision.”

To donate to the Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award fund, visit obu.edu/give and list “Annie Abrams Living Legacy Award” in the instructions line. The first $25,000 given will be matched, doubling the impact. For more information, contact Terry Peeples, vice president for development, at peeplest@obu.edu or 870-245-5169.

Ouachita waiving test score requirement for fall 2021 applicants

Ouachita Baptist University is waiving its usual admissions requirements for ACT and SAT standardized test scores for the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle. This will apply to students enrolling as freshmen for the fall 2021 semester, with their acceptance to the university dependent, instead, on their high school grade point average (GPA).

The temporary policy change was approved by university administrators as well as Ouachita’s Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee due to nationwide standardized testing cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left members of the high school Class of 2021 concerned about their college applications.

“Ouachita understands the challenges, stresses and pressures high school students and their families are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Keldon Henley, Ouachita’s vice president for institutional advancement and chief of staff. “We want to be considerate of students and their families at this time.”

For students who may benefit from submitting an ACT or SAT score in addition to their high school GPA, scores will be accepted. Additional details about the adjusted policy and scholarship information for students accepted for fall 2021 will be available later this summer.

Ouachita’s 2018-2019 yearbook named Pacemaker Finalist by Associated Collegiate Press

Ouachita Baptist University’s Ouachitonian yearbook has been named a Pacemaker Finalist by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) for its 2018-2019 edition, “Untold.” The Ouachitonian is one of seven finalists from around the country to be eligible for the Pacemaker Award, which will be announced at the ACP and College Media Association’s (CMA) National Collegiate Media Convention Oct. 21-25, 2020, in Atlanta.

“It is a very special honor to be named a Pacemaker Finalist by Associated Collegiate Press,” said Dr. Deborah Root, advisor for the Ouachitonian and chair of Ouachita’s Rogers Department of Communications. “Only seven yearbooks in the nation received this honor, and Ouachita is by far the smallest university represented.”

Ouachita’s yearbook was named a finalist alongside Baylor University, Kansas State University, Loyola Marymount University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Tech University and University of Miami’s yearbooks. While all seven universities will be recognized at the national convention in October, only three will be awarded the Pacemaker Award, which according to ACP Executive Director Laura Widmer recognizes “the best of the best.”

This national recognition is the third in a series of 2020 awards given to the “Untold” 2018-2019 yearbook, including General Excellence for Yearbook of the Year from the Arkansas College Media Association and seven individual awards given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association to Ouachita student writers, designers and photographers for their work on the book.

“I am very proud for editor Addy Goodman and her staff,” Root said. “The 2019 book was an outstanding publication, and it is nice to be recognized as one of the top yearbooks in the nation.”

The ACP Pacemaker Award is one of the oldest awards for collegiate journalism. The association began presenting the prestigious award to collegiate newspapers soon after the organization was founded in 1921 and later adding yearbooks, magazines and online sites to the competition.

“These yearbooks deliver engaging verbal and visual stories, showcasing superior photojournalism, writing and design,” said Gary Lundgren, ACP associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competitions. “These yearbooks cover universities with 1,600 to 63,000 students, and the spirit and diversity of those collegiate communities come alive on their pages.”