Students Recognized At Honors Day

Students Recognized At Honors Day

University of the Ozarks presented its top division and university academic awards on May 8 during the 62nd annual Honors Day ceremony, held in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Emilie “Weave” Williams, a senior religion and philosophy major from Keller, Texas, was presented the Hurie Award as the outstanding member of the Class of 2019 by University President Richard Dunsworth. Named for former Ozarks President Wiley Lin Hurie, the award is selected by the faculty and given to the outstanding member of the senior class. Emilie and President DunsworthWilliams has been named to the Dean’s or President’s List in each of her eight semesters and will graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors on May 18. She was a two-time selection as the outstanding student in philosophy and was a finalist in the Project Poet competition for two years. She served a semester abroad studying philosophy and Greek language at The American College of Greece and was an intern/student coach for Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago in 2018. Williams will enroll in Harvard Divinity School in the fall and pursue a master of theological studies degree. and she has one brother, Nicholas. Other Honors Day recipients for 2019 included, Mary Hoiland (Outstanding Student in Accounting), Falon Hanson (Outstanding Student in Business Administration), Roland Rodrigo (Outstanding Student in Economics), Brenda Sandoval (Outstanding Student in Management), Maria Corea (Outstanding Student in Marketing), Kaitlyn Ventress (Outstanding Service Award in Business), Brooklyn Keeling (Outstanding Student in Secondary Education), Carlton Shelby (Outstanding Student in Elementary Education), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art Education), Makara Frazier (Outstanding Student in Physical Education), Stephanie Payton (Outstanding Student in Art), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art), Angie Castro (Outstanding Student in Communication Studies) and Jacob Holland (Robert Berry Fulton Award in Communication). Also receiving awards were, Jake Sawyer (Outstanding Student in English), Haley Hanks (Outstanding Student in History), Cheyanna Miller (Outstanding Student in Music), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Philosophy), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Religion), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Spanish), Tiffany Quinton (Outstanding Student in Theatre), Julio Molina-Pineda (Outstanding Senior in Chemistry), Cristin Connor (Outstanding Student in Biology), Lamara Bazashvili (Outstanding Student in Health Science), Alec Mertin (Outstanding Student in Mathematics), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Political Science), Corey Wilhelm (Outstanding Student in Physics), Shanice Guzman (C. Wright Mills Award in Sociology), Bahar Yapal (Outstanding Student in Psychology) and Emily Dice (Outstanding Environmental Student Award). In addition, awards were presented from the recent A.R.C.H. Symposium. First place in oral presentation went to Alma Arredondo, Regan Puryear and Cristin Connor.  First place in poster presentation went to Gracie Miller and first place in visual arts went to Aubree Sisson. Also at the ceremony, Maria Corea was announced as the winner of the annual Earth Day Essay Contest. Dr. Danielle Young has joined the University of the Ozarks faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor of political science, starting in the Fall 2018 Semester. A native of Wyoming, Young earned her Ph.D. in international politics in 2017 from Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom. She recently served as an adjunct lecturer in international studies at the University of Wyoming. "I am looking forward to joining the Ozarks community,” Young said. “The faculty and staff are dedicated to creating a fantastic liberal arts education, and I am excited to contribute to that mission, both inside and outside the classroom.” In regards to her teaching style, Young said she strives to “facilitate an open, respectful environment in the classroom where students can share their ideas and where they can challenge themselves and others to consider new perspectives and evaluate their own thinking.” “Engaging with and understanding new and different ideas, perspectives and information is a key part of becoming an educated participant in society,” Young added. “My approach to teaching is interactive and discussion-based, and I like to help students connect what they study to real world events and processes by having them participate in simulations and other activities.”

Background

Young’s research has focused on how global or transnational problems such as climate change, nuclear weapons and mass migration challenge or expose the limitations of the modern international states system. Her dissertation concentrated specifically on climate change and how the principle of sovereignty undermines cooperative efforts to address the problem at an international level. She also has master’s degrees in international relations from Aberystwyth and in international security from the University of St. Andrews. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Wyoming. Prior to working on her Ph.D., Young served as a staff assistant and tour coordinator in the U.S. Senate for Sen. John Barrasso and was an adjunct instructor at Lonestar Community College in Texas. Her hobbies include reading, hiking and spending time with her dog. Arkansas circuit judge and pastor Wendell L. Griffen will speak at University of the Ozarks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, in the Rogers Conference Center. The event was originally scheduled for February but was postponed because of illness. Griffen’s talk is titled, “Prophetic Hope, Religious Nationalism, and the Fate of Democracy in the 21st Century,” and is made possible by the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Guest Speaker Endowment. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend. His lecture will be based in part on his 2017 book, “The Fierce Urgency of Prophetic Hope.” He will have books available for sale and to sign following the event. “My remarks will address the tensions within the U.S. and other societies presented by religious-based nationalism,” Griffen said. “Before the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, many observers viewed religious nationalism to challenge democratic values in societies such as Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Turkey. I will ponder aloud the implications for and challenges to democracy in the U.S. and abroad from the fact that white religious nationalism is a dominant factor in U.S. domestic and global policy, with special attention on the influence of white religious nationalism on social justice in the U.S. and abroad.”

Background

A circuit judge for the 5th Division in the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas, Griffen also serves as pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock and CEO of Griffen Strategic Consulting, a consulting practice focused on cultural competency and inclusion. Griffen is a native of Delight, Ark., and a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas School of Law. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, a 1975 graduate of the Defense Race Relations Institute, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in work concerning race relations and equal opportunity. Since 1979, Griffen has actively devoted himself to law, public policy, and ministry. He was the first person of color to become an associate and later a partner in a major Arkansas law firm, Wright, Lindsey, and Jennings in Little Rock. For almost two years, he was Chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission by appointment of Gov. Bill Clinton. He pursued seminary extension studies through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained in May 1988 after being called to his first pastorate. From January 1996 to December 2008, he served as a judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. Then Griffen taught administrative law, constitutional law, criminal procedure, and a seminar he developed on law and cultural competency as a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law before being elected circuit judge. ‎His writings about faith, social justice, public policy, cultural competency and inclusion can be found on his blogs: “Wendell Griffen on Cultural Competency” and “Justice Is a Verb!” Griffen is married to Dr. Patricia Griffen, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and they are parents of two adult sons. Four University of the Ozarks political science students had an opportunity to hone their legal research, analysis, debate and oral advocacy skills in a competitive environment this past weekend. The students competed in the American Moot Court Association’s South Texas Regional tournament, held Nov. 4 at the Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. The two-person teams of Ozarks students Brittanie Gragg and Joel Cuevas and Adam Winter and Ben Hall participated against 30 teams from 12 other schools throughout the region. This is the first time students from Ozarks have competed in a moot court competition, according to Dr. Mark Scully, assistant professor of political science, “Taking part in this type of competition has opened up some of our students’ eyes to the possibility of law school, while helping them develop skills such as public speaking, research and debate,” he said. “There’s no substitute for this type of experience for students who are thinking about law school and we’re excited about having had this opportunity.” Scully said the students took the initiative in the university’s participation in the event. “It was a student-led effort and they did most of the prep work leading up to it,” Scully said. “I was very impressed with their sense of independence and responsibility throughout the process. We all learned a lot from this experience and it can only help us as we look forward to competing in more of these types of events in the future.” The political science department will present a talk by Manhattan Institute fellow Alex Armlovich on Monday, Oct. 16, as part of its annual lecture series. The lecture, which will begin at 4:30 p.m., will address minimum wage policy in the United States. The event will be held in the Boreham Business Building’s Baldor Auditorium and is open to the public. Armlovich’s articles have appeared in several publications, including the New York Daily News, New York Post, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Examiner, and City Journal. Previously, Armlovich interned with the offices of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and with the deputy leader of the U.K. Labour Party. He holds a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Rochester. For more information about Armlovich’s visit, contact Mark Scully, assistant professor of political science, at mscully@ozarks.edu.

In honor of the annual anniversary to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the political science faculty at University of the Ozarks are sponsoring a new Constitution Day Essay Contest for Ozarks students.

Constitution Day, Sept. 17, commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 brave men on Sept. 17, 1787. The day also recognizes those who have become U.S. citizens.

The 2015 Constitution Day Essay Contest will be launched on Thursday, Sept. 17. The deadline to submit the essays is Nov. 11. The winners will be announced on Jan. 18.

"This year the political science faculty are proud to sponsor a new initiative that we hope will contribute to the educational culture of our campus community and an appreciation for the Constitution and our shared political life," said Dr. Mark Scully, assistant professor of political science. "We will hold a campus wide essay contest that challenges students to think about how the Constitution shapes the American way of life. The top three essays will receive monetary prizes. We hope that this is a great opportunity for any student interested in our political history as well as our contemporary world to delve deeper into the many 'Blessings of Liberty' that the Constitution has secured for so many generations."

The author of the winning essay will receive a $500 cash prize. Second place will receive $300 and third place $100. This year's essays will be scored by a panel of three judges: U of O President Richard Dunsworth, J.D.; Arkansas 5th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons, J.D.; and Hillsdale College Assistant Professor of Political Science Adam Carrington, Ph.D.

The essay contest is open to all U of O students. The essays should be between 2,500 and 3,500 words.

For more information, please view the instructions using the link below or contact Professor Scully at mscully@ozarks.edu or Ext. 1496.

Constitution Day Essay Instructions

A meeting with the former vice president of Nicaragua has turned into a monumental opportunity for one aspiring economist and politician from Central America. Gerardo Navarrete, a senior economics and political science major from El Salvador, had the opportunity to present a paper to former Nicaraguan vice president Sergio Ramirez during the dignitary's visit to campus in early March as part of the Walton Arts & Ideas Series. Ramirez, an accomplished novelist, liked Navarrete's paper so much that he offered to publish it in an upcoming issue of "Caratula," a Spanish online literary magazine that Ramirez owns. Navarrete's paper was a literary critique of Ramirez's 2002 novel "Only Shadows," which tells the fictional story of an unfair trial against Alirio Martinica, an ex-collaborator of the dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Navarrete's paper compared the power relations that are depicted in the novel with the behavior of dictatorships in Latin America.
"GerardoGerardo Navarrete presents a paper to former Nicaraguan vice president Sergio Ramirez during the dignitary's visit to campus in early March.
"Mr. Ramirez gives voice to Alirio's story that turns out to be more complicated than what the indignant revolutionary prosecutors expected or wanted to hear," Navarrete said. "The prosecutors then changed Alirio's story in order to vilify him and justify his summary execution. For me, what the prosecution did summarizes very well the main reason why all revolutions have failed in Latin America. The revolutionaries become even more repressive and corrupt than the dictators they replace." Navarrete was one of three students invited to present a paper to Ramirez by Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Bill Clary. "I wrote the paper because I liked the novel and because I was encouraged by Dr. Clary," Navarrete said. "I had read the novel a couple of years ago and I was enthralled. I didn't know at the time that Mr. Ramirez was such a good novelist. I only knew about his political life and his political analysis that were published every Sunday in a Salvadorian magazine. The novel was, in my opinion, a masterpiece. It compares to some of the great works of Nobel Prize laureates." Navarrete said he was hesitant at first to write the paper because he had never written a literary critique. "It was a little intimidating to present a paper to a living author," he said. "I had written papers and opinion pieces before, but I've never attempted something that I felt would be worthy of publication. I loved the depth and storytelling techniques of Mr. Ramirez that make the novel sound as if it's a real document. Coleridge would call it suspension of disbelief. It took me by surprise because around Page 156 I began to believe it was a real account of what happened in the Nicaraguan revolution. I think that is why many critics regard him as an outstanding Neorealist writer." A few days after Ramirez left campus, Navarrete received a personal email from the man who served as vice president of Nicaragua from 1985-1990. "He told me that he was going to publish my paper in his magazine, 'Caratula,'" Navarrete said. "At first I thought that it was a mistake, but it wasn't. He asked if I had more papers about other Central American writers. I don't think he expected my confession that it was my first and only paper about a Central American novelist." With professional aspirations of helping to improve his country's economy and perhaps running for public office one day, Navarrete said getting to meet Ramirez was a "wonderful blessing." "It was one of those things that could only happen at Ozarks," he said. "This college is unique in the way that it's small, yet big enough to give students the privilege of meeting these great speakers who come to campus. I never would have thought I would get to meet a world figure and literary giant of the stature of Mr. Ramirez. It is definitely one of those anecdotes I will tell to my grandchildren." After graduating in May, Navarrete plans to travel some before pursuing a master's degree in finance. I want to eventually get involved in the politics of my country," he said. "I believe that El Salvador has a very old political class and we, as students, can complain all we want but the reality will not change if we don't get involved. I am convinced that most of the problems we have right now in Central America, such as poverty and violence, have developed over time because of people's apathy to participate. I want to change that." University of the Ozarks Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Mark Scully has been named to the 2015 edition of "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire," which is presented by the higher education website NerdScholar. Nerdscholar is the higher education branch of NerdWallet, a consumer finance website. According to the Nerdscholar website, the second annual "40 Under 40" list of professors "were chosen based on their ability to captivate and engage student in the classroom, their outstanding involvement on campus and in the community, and their overwhelming passion for the subject matter." Nominations were collected through student, alumni and faculty recommendations following an open call to several hundred colleges and universities across the country. Scully, 28, who has taught at Ozarks since 2014, was recognized as being the youngest professor on the list. The website praised the Ozarks professor for helping students "get acquainted with their own thoughts and the thoughts of their peers, even when they clash." "I'm very flattered to have been selected as a professor who inspires, and I appreciate having the confidence and support of my peers and students who spoke on my behalf," Scully said. "It is truly a privilege to teach at the Ozarks. I am inspired each day by my fellow faculty, from whom I have a lot to learn about excellence in the classroom, and by our students, whose eagerness to learn is a constant encouragement to make myself a better professor who can continue to serve our community." One of the students who took part in the nomination said, "Dr. Scully is more than a professor. He is a mentor and friend who is walking with me throughout my educational growth as a political science major." He was also described by his students as engaging, passionate and challenging. "I love teaching because it's an opportunity to help students understand a little something more about themselves and their peers," Scully said. "Politics is such a neat way to do that because whether or not we know it, most of us have some opinion about what's right and wrong, what's just and unjust. The classroom is a great place for students to try to work through what they think about politics and why. Hearing some of the opinions of their classmates really helps students learn more about themselves?especially because they often find out that their peers have different opinions. As a class, once we've gotten out what we think and what our peers think, we can start to ask about what's better and worse in the different answers we give to life's tough questions." "In all this, I'm really very pleased if I've ever helped students understand themselves a little better, since, at this point in their lives, they don't need all the answers. But they do need to know how to ask the right questions, and the first question is 'what do I believe and why?' And an added bonus is that in this whole process, the students always help me understand myself better by pushing me to ask more incisive questions, and try to formulate more satisfying answers." Scully earned his Ph.D. from Baylor University and his bachelor's degree from St. John's College in New Mexico. NerdScholar offers advice and resources specifically for college students. The free website walks students through the process of choosing a best-fit college, applying for financial aid, taking out student loans, and landing a job. The "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire," website can be seen at www.nerdwallet.com/feature/40-Under-40-Professors-2015#Mark-Scully.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., it was probably inevitable that Dr. Mark Scully would develop an interest in politics. That interest has evolved into a passion.

"Dr.

Dr. Mark Scully, a new assistant professor of political science at Ozarks, has conducted considerable research on the connection between the American president and political parties.

Dr. Scully is a new assistant professor of political science at University of the Ozarks. He arrived on campus in July, fresh off of completing his Ph.D. from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Dr. Scully has a particular scholarly passion for examining the connection between the American president and political parties. His dissertation at Baylor was titled, "The Path to Party Unity: Popular Presidential Leadership and Principled Consensus."

"I've always found it very interesting how political parties can take different viewpoints and motivations and channel it into a shared effort," Dr. Scully said. "I find it fascinating to look at how political institutions affect the behavior of people in politics. The role that the president plays in political parties and helping to create a whole out of the different parts is significant."

Dr. Scully received a B.A. in philosophy from St. John's College, a small liberal arts college in New Mexico. He understands the importance of political science within a liberal arts education.

"A liberal arts education helps us think about what it means to be a member of your community, and how to live well within your community," Dr. Scully said. "That includes questions such as, how to rule others and how to be ruled. Those are the types of things that are at the heart of political science."

He often tries to engage students' interests in class by exploring a problem.

"Whether it's a current debate or ancient political philosophy, the study of political science is animated by fundamental problems. Thinking about those problems provides insight about who we are," he said. "For instance, we might look at the Declaration of Independence and ask, is America dedicated to democracy or the rights and liberties of individuals? Those are the types of problems that can lead to great discussion and ultimately to knowledge."

Dr. Scully's research includes American political institutions like the presidency and political parties, as well as constitutional law and American political thought.

Dr. Scully, his wife Angela, and their young children enjoy exploring the Ozark Mountains in their free time.

University of the Ozarks senior Cameron Coker with spend part of his summer working as an intern for Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor in Washington, D.C.

"Cameron

Senior history major Cameron Coker will spend the summer working as an intern in the Washington, D.C. office of Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor

Coker, a history major from Russellville, Ark., will be one of 12 interns assigned to Sen. Pryor's D.C. office.

"I will spend six weeks living in the nation's capital and working in the senator's office," Coker said. "My duties will include giving capital tours to guests, researching legislation, preparing press memos and any other errands they decide to give me."

Coker said he is excited about the networking opportunities the internship with offer him, not only with Sen. Pryor but other congressmen and their staffs as well. He feels prepared to make a contribution to Sen. Pryor's team.

"I was the president of the Ozarks Young Democrats last year, and I co-host the [Democrat Discussion] radio show, which forces to me to keep my head in the game and stay on top of what is happening in Washington and at the state level as well," Coker explained. "Both have helped prepare me for what I'll be doing in the internship, because some of it will be researching legislation and talking about politics to other people."

As a May 2014 graduate, Coker is using this internship to jump-start his career. While still finalizing his immediate plans, he knows that law school and a legal career are in his future.

"I've been accepted to a few places, but I'm still I'm making my final decision about where I'll be going to law school," Coker said. "But after law school, I'd like to practice on a local level first, working for social advocacy groups. I hope my legal education will help me get into politics eventually. I'd like to either run for office or work on campaigns for others."