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Lyon junior receives Steve Wilson Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Sam Cooke presents the Steve Wilson Memorial Scholarship to junior Sarah Kemp.


Lyon College junior Sarah Kemp has received the Steve Wilson Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, Inc.

The Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers Scholarship benefits a full-time student pursuing a major or minor in biology, with preference given to students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) is 3.0 or higher and who participate in the Arkansas Game and Fish Stream Team.

Kemp, of Conway, is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She has participated in river cleanups with the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) and the ExStream Team at Lyon College. After graduation, Kemp plans to attend graduate school to study marine biology. She would like to be either a coral reef ecologist or a deep-sea ecologist.

“I have always loved the ocean, even from a young age,” Kemp said, “and pursuing my dream of marine biology would be a blessing.”

She continued, “I love all animals, but the weirder ones hold a special place in my heart.”

Kemp is an Honors Fellow at Lyon, a member of ZBT and the president of Spectra Alliance.

She is thankful that the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers are supporting her education.

“Being awarded generous scholarships has allowed me to graduate debt-free,” she said. “This has given me the freedom to pursue graduate school without fear of building up more debt.”

Kemp said scholarships have also enabled her to pursue more academic interests and hobbies, such as her internship at Dauphin Island last summer and model rocketry.

Dr. Sam Cooke, representative of the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, Inc., said the annual scholarship reflects the organization’s mission to educate people about the biology and life cycles that exist within water systems. The organization also advocates for water quality through stream bank restoration, stream teams and the monitoring of regulatory efforts by state and federal agencies.

“We’re glad to have a small part in Sarah’s education,” Cooke said. “She’s the perfect student for us to support because she wants to further her environmental studies in graduate school.”

at Monday, January 24, 2022

First Community Bank pledges $150,000 for career services center

(From left) First Community Bank President and COO Boris Dover, Lyon Interim President Melissa Taverner, Director of Career Services Patrick Lynch, Chairman and CEO of First Community Bank Dale Cole, and Vice President for Advancement David Hutchison commemorate FCB's pledge to support the Lyon College Career Services Center.


First Community Bank (FCB) has pledged $150,000 to developing and supporting the Lyon College Career Services Center, including establishing a permanent endowment.

Dale Cole, chairman and chief executive officer for First Community Bank, said the gift of $30,000 per year for five years will help with the College’s plan to “provide meaningful support for students.”

“I always measure the success of Lyon College by measuring the outcomes of their students,” said Cole. “First Community Bank’s commitment for the career service center is important for students to connect with a career for their studies while at Lyon College and their career beyond Lyon College.” 

Making this connection early will help students build their plan of studies and find a meaningful career and possibly employment, both during and after their time at Lyon.

“This will improve relationships between Lyon students, their professors, the business community of Batesville, and the surrounding areas,” said Cole. “We believe this program can also foster the students remaining in the Batesville area upon graduation.”

FCB’s commitment provided startup capital for the newly hired full-time director of career services, Patrick Lynch, who will be scaling up a new series of comprehensive career service programs for the student body. 

The endowment will also create permanent funding to support new programs and make these improvements sustainable long-term.

“The mission of our Career Services Center is to help every Lyon College student explore, identify, and capture career opportunities that will leverage the skills and knowledge,” said Lynch. 

He continued, “First Community Bank’s generous gift will provide us with the resources to deliver on this mission and positively impact the lives of every student we serve.”

The revamped Career Services Center will increase chances for students to participate in paid internships and expand the annual career fair to showcase a wider range of employment and graduate school opportunities. FCB’s gift will enable the Center to create a new series of workshops on career readiness, expand digital resources for students to improve their resumes, interview techniques and networking opportunities with potential employers, and expand programming for first-year students so that they begin exploring career paths early and shape their education accordingly.

Career Services will realign its mission with the academic experience so that students can explore the practical applications of their education while progressing through their courses. Faculty and staff will also receive career services training so they can be a stronger resource for students.

Career readiness is one of the first things prospective students and their parents consider when exploring options for college, and these changes will help Lyon stay competitive with other institutions.

Interim President Melissa Taverner said Lyon College has a strong tradition of “helping its students to prepare for their post-graduate lives,” as evidenced by the exceedingly high graduate school and job placement rates. About 94% of Lyon students are employed or enrolled in graduate school after graduating.

“The expanded Career Services facility with Patrick at the helm will accelerate important career conversations with students,” Taverner said, “beginning in their first year and continuing throughout their time at Lyon.”

She continued, “The most important outcome, cultivated by faculty and staff as well as Career Services, will be helping students to connect their courses of study to their roles as professionals and citizens in the world beyond Lyon.”

at Wednesday, January 19, 2022

COVID increase in community causes Lyon to adjust policies

Lyon College is limiting the number of spectators for all on-campus competition due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Independence County and the high transmission rate of the omicron variant. The College will review its COVID status at the end of the week to determine if the below policies, as well as additional, stricter policies, need to be implemented.

Effective Jan. 18, the spectator policy for all on-campus competition is limited to student-athletes’ immediate family members only. Each student-athlete can have two family members present.

Competition is closed to the public and campus members.

Additionally, Patterson Dining Hall in Edwards Commons, Salty Dog and the Lyon Den will not be available for in-person dining. All meals are exclusively take-out only. Masks are required in all campus buildings, including Edwards Commons. Campus members must be masked in order to receive a take-out meal.

All faculty and instructional staff have been given the option to adjust their courses to limit exposure. This includes the potential for courses going virtual for this week. Instructors will contact their students if there have been any changes to instructional plans.

at Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Lyon to participate in Nonviolence Youth Summit on Jan. 13

Lyon College students, faculty and staff will help honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the 2022 Nonviolence Youth Summit on Thursday, Jan. 13, at 9 a.m. at Batesville High School (BHS). 

Actor Eric Braeden will serve as the keynote speaker. Breaden is best known for his roles as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, as Hans Dietrich in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol, and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic. Braeden won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1998 for Lead Actor in a Drama Seriesfor the role of Victor Newman.

The summit will feature commemorative reflections on the importance of service from BHS students. Interim President Melissa Taverner will deliver remarks along with Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, County Judge Robert Griffin, and others.

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission worked with local leadership to plan the summit. Executive Director Dushun Scarbrough said the Nonviolence Youth Summits were developed to promote youth engagement and community involvement. 

“The Nonviolence Youth Summits build on the noble tenants of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting his esteemed ‘Six Principles of Nonviolence,’” Scarbrough said, “and by hosting events that connect the younger generation with his legacy.”

The Commission has hosted programs in all four Congressional districts within the state. 

“It is important to us as a state agency to form partnerships throughout the state to ensure that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of peace, nonviolence, diversity and inclusiveness are shared abroad and resonate with this generation,” Scarbrough said. 

He continued, “We are always looking for ways to promote brotherhood and service, building the  ‘beloved community’ that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of.”

Taverner said the Lyon College community is honored to participate in the Nonviolence Youth Summit, which ties into the College’s mission of fostering critical, creative thought and ethical, spiritual growth leading to lives of lifelong learning and service.

“We embrace the responsibility to support and advance these efforts,” she said.

Taverner said the continuing legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “timeless” and vital for building successful communities both on campus and within the larger Batesville area.

“Finding ways to work in community, to understand and to appreciate differences while striving to recognize the commonality of the human experience- these ongoing efforts are how we make the changes that are necessary for us to thrive together.”

at Monday, January 10, 2022

What will the spring semester look like?

The spring semester at Lyon College will be a little different due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant. While the College’s policies may change as new information is released, below are a few questions and answers about what the start of the semester will be like.


Will masks be required?

Yes, masks will be required when indoors on campus. This includes academic buildings, Edwards Commons, Becknell Gymnasium and residence halls. 


Will student-athletes have to wear masks during practice?

No, student-athletes are not required to wear masks during active practice and competition. However, all individuals, including student-athletes and staff, will be required to wear a mask when on the sidelines.


Will students have to be tested when they return?

Yes, all students returning for the spring semester are required to participate in entry testing. 

Testing will be conducted on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Temp. The antigen test (rapid test) will be administered.


Will students have to quarantine while waiting for results?

No, students will not be required to quarantine while awaiting results. 


Do commuter students have to be tested?

Yes, commuter students will need to come to campus on Jan. 9 to participate in entry testing. They can also schedule a testing time with the Director of Health and Wellness.


Will students be tested throughout the semester?

Yes, four classes will be selected at random to take rapid tests each week. If a class is selected, all faculty and students in the class will take a COVID-19 rapid test during the first 5-10 minutes of class time. 

The purpose of weekly surveillance testing is to gather a statistical sample of the campus population to determine the College’s infection rate.

at Friday, January 7, 2022