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Lyon College receives $600,000 in federal grants

Lyon College has received $600,000 in federal grants to expand opportunities both on campus and in the surrounding area.

Lyon has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide distance learning and telehealth technology (DLT) on campus. The College will also work together with strategic partners in the communities surrounding Batesville to set up a distance learning network. This network will include high schools, community colleges, and healthcare providers; it will facilitate academic content delivery, course sharing, in-service professional development for teachers, and healthcare support for a wide area in eastern and north-central Arkansas.

Vice President for Advancement David Hutchison said these are highly competitive grants. Successful grant recipients have to make a compelling case for the need for expanded access to education and healthcare in their region, he said, and demonstrate that there is a coalition of partners willing to support the initiative.

“Our selection provides recognition of our commitment to North Central Arkansas,” Hutchison said, “and our mission to play a role in creating these kinds of opportunities across a diverse set of communities throughout the region. We are incredibly grateful for our many partners who will support us in this work.”

The partners in this DLT project include the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Center and White River Medical Center, which will provide health education and substance abuse prevention support to the College, local high schools, and community members. Natural State Recovery Center will provide evidence-based substance abuse services.

Other participating locations will receive integrated distance learning classrooms to host both in-person and remote courses. These locations will be equipped with video-conferencing solutions for remote, rural classroom sites.

The College was also awarded a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice (DoJ) as part of the Violence Against Women Act. Lyon will use this funding to expand education and awareness about personal safety, agency and advocacy, including supporting its ongoing Title IX efforts and working with a specialist to create programming for the campus community. This grant will also enable Lyon to fund additional security cameras on campus, other equipment and programming for the next three years. 

“One of the primary goals of Lyon College is to provide a safe and secure environment in which all members of our community are able to learn, grow and support each other,” said Interim President Melissa Taverner.

The grant from the Department of Justice will help the College educate students about interpersonal violence and explore how everyone can be advocates for themselves and others as they “work to eliminate these kinds of threats,” said Taverner.

“One of my goals is to go beyond creating a sense of safety and create a culture of safety,” said Interim Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Danell Hetrick, “with each member of our community doing their part to educate one another, advocate for one another, and prioritize the safety of each individual within our community.”

She concluded, “The Department of Justice grant funding is a huge step toward developing that culture.”