The spring semester Dean’s List for Lyon College includes 122 students from 12 states and three foreign countries. To achieve this honor, students be full-time students at Lyon and must earn a 3.75 GPA or higher for the semester.
In-state students on the spring list include Monroe Albertson, Smithville; Jordan Allred, Harrison; Morgan Anderson, Sherwood; Sarajane Armstrong, Forrest City; Marisa Ayers, Searcy; Marissa Barrett, Harrison; Alice Bewley, Russellville; Kristen Blagg, Joiner; Lauryn Bocox, Texarkana; Brian Bumpous, Bradford; Sam Burchfield, Wooster; Becca Burrow, Brinkley; Bethany Butler, Hot Springs; Chase Chalk, Little Rock; Tacker Colbert, Brookland; Nichole Cook, Searcy; Hayley Cormican, Batesville; Brad Deckelman, Harrisburg; Kayla DeMay, Fayetteville; Sabrina Denmon, Mena; Taylor Donnerson, West Memphis; Evelyn Embry, Hindsville; Jake Erwin, Pocahontas; Jaylin Finley, Searcy; Jonathan Followell, Jonesboro; Amanda Ford, Batesville; McKinley Fox, Batesville; Abigail Grimes, Maumelle; Ian Hall, Jacksonville; Anna Haney, West Memphis; Leah Hanson, Little Rock; Tanner Harris, Brookland; Spencer Hart, Hoxie; Keifer Hartwig, Ward; Judy Heang, Jonesboro; Gabrielle Henson, Batesville; Alec Hester, Blytheville; Michael Humphrey, Cave City; Michael Hunter, Harrisburg; Christen Johnson, El Paso; Alex Keene, Little Rock; Jennifer Keys, Harrison; Matthew Kirkpatrick, Sheridan; Lauren Kuykendall, Batesville; Joann Tuyet, Batesville; Oliva Lynch, Alpena; Maggie McNamara, Harrisburg; Latricia Miller, Huntsville; Zoya Miller, Batesville; Natalie Milligan, Lake City; Allison Mundy, Bryant; Seth Parker, Bentonville; Jacob Perkins, Jonesboro; Rebecca Philpott, Conway; John Poe, Lake City; Shelby Powell, Pearcy; Haley Reed, Batesville; Kyle Rose, Clarkridge; Jared Self, Russellville; Robert Shackelford, Smithville; John Sifford, Jonesboro; Kristen Towery, Bay; Vinston Van, Batesville; Madison VanGinhoven; Mammoth Spring; Zachary Ward, Russellville; Jordan Webb, Mount Pleasant; Morgan Webb, Perryville; Michaela West, Heber Springs; Riley Young, West Memphis; Savannah Youngblood, Melbourne; Ethan Ballard, Gosnell; Joel Caraway, Sulphur Rock; Eden Coker, Little Rock; Linda Fowler, Jacksonville; Alyssa Henson, Batesville; Cole Jenkins, Little Rock; Kendra Kelley, Batesville; Elley Lindsey, Batesville; Makenzie McDonald, Batesville; Emily Neeley, Cave City; Katelyn Platt, Tuckerman; Derrick Presser, Batesville; Kristina Rodgers, Batesville; Samantha Sharp, Searcy; Emerson Smith, Little Rock; Tyler Tognarine, Batesville; Nathan Wilson, Mountain View; and Debra Fletcher, Concord.
Out-of-state students include Kayla Holloway, Porterville, CA; Dustin Michael Miller, Escondido, CA; Robb Rodriguez, Hollister, CA; Stephen Benedik, Panama City Beach, FL; Nicholas Bernier, Sarasota, FL; Joshua Settimio, Pensacola, FL; Samantha Westcott, Douglas, GA; Chelzie-Kristina Ulu, Keaau, HI; Nicole Marie Sanders, Pineville, LA; Matt Daugherty, Olive Branch, MS; Zachary Hodge, Olive Branch, MS; Ayden Henry, Thayer, MO; Victoria Hutcheson, East Prairie, MO; Kristyn Skelton, Kennett, MO; Ali Tucker, Sikeston, MO; Marielle Webster, Concord, NH; Adrienne Moran, Edmond, OK;
Brandon Girbaldie, Poteau, OK; Cheyenne Kellum, Columbia, SC; Elissa Douglass, League City, TX; Amelia Gayle, Fort Worth, TX; John Pruden, Allen, TX; Tionne Stubblefield, McKinney, TX; Lindsay Truitt, Cypress, TX; Trent Webb, Kingwood, TX; . Braylon Wehrmann, LaRue, TX; and Jordan Trant, McKinney, TX.
International students include Keli Romas, Donvale, Australia; Antanas Krimelis, Kaunas, Lithuania; and Iva Popovic, Novi Sad, Serbia.
Lyon College has been recognized for its committed implementation of High-Impact Educational Practices, earning its title as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.
Lyon has proven itself to be at the forefront of American higher education with a modern, student-centered approach to teaching. With a unique learning environment, its programming engages students with character-building first-year seminars, community-based learning programs, service-learning programs, diversity and global learning programs, intensive writing courses, interdisciplinary programs, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, common intellectual experiences, capstone projects, study abroad programs and internships.
“We are absolutely thrilled to recognize Lyon College as a College of Distinction for its effective dedication to student success,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “Colleges of Distinction is so impressed with Lyon’s curriculum, which is enriched with the kind of High-Impact Educational Practices that are most crucial for student development. Such innovative engagement is preparing the next generation of young adults to thrive after college.”
Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes.
“Colleges of Distinction is far more than a ranking list of colleges and universities,” said Schritter. “We seek out the schools that are wholly focused on the student experience, constantly working to produce graduates who are prepared for a rapidly changing global society. Now recognized as a College of Distinction, Lyon College stands out in the way it strives to help its students to learn, grow, and succeed.”
About Colleges of Distinction
Since 2000, the Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook have honored schools throughout the U.S. for their excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education. The cohort of schools in the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their focus on the undergraduate experience. The website and annual guidebooks provide dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit CollegesofDistinction.com.
Triple major Jordan Trant (biology, chemistry, math) began research with Lyon College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Irosha Nawaranthe’s research team during her freshman year. Dr. Nawaranthe knew Trant planned to study chemistry and chose her to help synthesize, separate, and purify elements of an antibiotic that might combat drug-resistant tuberculosis, which is becoming more and more of a problem worldwide. Trant has been involved in the project ever since. If her research group succeeds at their task, its work will help treat individuals who have contracted hard-to-beat strains of tuberculosis.
“It’s really cool to be able to create something that’s actually going to affect people,” says Trant. “When you’re in the lab all day, you’re working with compounds and doing a lot of chemistry stuff. It’s good to step back and think this work will be used to help people.”
Trant has presented on the work many times over the years in Little Rock and Fayetteville, AR; West Virginia; and Washington, D.C. Recently, her top-notch presentations have earned awards. At this year’s Student Creative Arts and Research Forum (SCARF) on campus, she won first place for an oral presentation of her paper, “Fighting Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Modified Rifamycins.”
“Winning SCARF was really nice. I’d presented it before but had never won something for it,” says Trant. “I felt appreciated. It was reassuring.”
Later, she won the Joseph E. and Bessie May Prior Prize in Chemistry for an oral presentation on her research at the Alpha Chi Convention in Portland, Oregon. Speaking before around 30 peers, she was also named the runner-up for the junior regional prize at the convention.
Trant says the convention was a great experience. She and some of the other attendees had been to the conference before and were happy to reunite and explore the city. She says, “The conference is the hugest gathering of nerds ever. Everyone who goes has to present a research project. It’s a really fun time.”
Trant loved to see presentations of students from outside her field, treating them as great opportunities to learn more about the world. Watching the presentations, Trant felt Lyon had prepared her well for the future and had given her many opportunities, saying, “Other people were doing some neat projects, and we’re actually ahead of the game here at Lyon.”
Trant’s research, too, has prepared her for the future. Working with Dr. Nawaranthe’s team helped Trant experience what a job in a pharmaceutical company might be like. She says she enjoys the work, but her ultimate goal relates more to biology. In the future, Trant hopes to complete a graduate program that allows her to earn an M.D. and a Ph.D. at the same time.
“I wouldn’t have gone for a Ph.D. program if I hadn’t gone to these conferences and done research,” says Trant. “It’s a surprisingly supportive community. It’s great to be surrounded by people who are excited about your research just like you are.”
How does a small-town girl get to meet the president of the NAIA? How does she make friends from all over the country? How does she snag a summer internship at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital?
Tressa Linson, a junior biology major at Lyon College, did it by playing basketball, joining Lyon’s Association of Student Athletes (ASA), and participating in the College’s Leadership class.
Tracy Stewart-Lange, Lyon’s head women’s basketball coach, selected Linson to represent the College through the ASA, and then Linson applied to be a representative on the national level and was selected for the position by the advisor at national headquarters in Kansas City. She is now the D1 Women’s Basketball representative for the ASA, an organization representing the 65,000 student athletes in the NAIA. “I was really honored to serve in that position,” Linson said.
She has attended the NAIA National Convention two years in a row, giving her an opportunity to speak with many people she would not have otherwise met. Linson also noted that participating in the convention helped her grow professionally. With plenty of networking opportunities, she made ample friends on LinkedIn, many of whom she still speaks with regularly. She said, “It’s really cool to look at my Snapchat map now. I have friends all over the country, from New York to California.”
This year she was part of the State of the Association Address, where she was able to speak on a panel with Jim Carr, NAIA president, in front of roughly six hundred people. “I was really nervous at first when I saw all of the people I had to speak in front of,” she admits. The only student-athlete on the panel, Linson spoke on the experiences of student athletes, their recruitment processes, and the benefits of participating in the NAIA.
“It was important to me that I get across the opportunities that the NAIA presents to student-athletes, like being a part of ASA and attending the national convention. Conference and campus-level ASAs try to improve conditions for student athletes. This year we proposed a piece of legislation for NAIA that would guarantee athletes one day off a week at every member school.”
Because the ASA has a two-year limit for representatives, she will not attend the Convention her senior year, but she plans to remain involved as senior vice chair of the executive board of the ASA, which worked to raise money for schools damaged by hurricanes and to shut down sexual assault and harassment on college campuses in the 2017-18 school year. She is also the president of Lyon’s chapter of ASA.
Linson had leadership roles in her high school, which was attended by only about 200 students. She comes from Blue Eye, Missouri, near Branson. The 2010 census counted just 167 residents making up 48 families in what it characterizes as a ”village.” Her biggest audience there was about 75. At Lyon, she has had more opportunities to run meetings and talk with authority figures. Being part of Lyon’s leadership class, she says, prepared her for being on the State of the Association Panel and talking to the NAIA president.
This summer Linson is interning at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
What’s the most popular form of social media among Lyon College students today? Zach Basehore, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, and students in his statistics class have the answer.
To connect the principles of statistics and survey design with a real-world question, Professor Basehore had students ask their friends about their social media usage habits. After compiling the answers, students found that the most popular platform was Snapchat, followed by Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Basehore says, “The project was an educational tool to introduce students to survey design (including the ability to pick out flaws in the design) as well as to give them practice conducting research and interpreting the findings—all with a dataset that’s relevant to themselves and their friends.”
In 2017, Basehore used a similar project at Bowling Green State University, a medium-sized state university in Ohio where he was a graduate instructor before coming to Lyon. Despite differences between the types of schools and the cultural and social make-up of the two institutions, results were the same.
Basehore notes that LinkedIn, reddit, tumblr, Google+, flickr, SoundCloud, MySpace and other social networking sites were not included in either survey project.
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