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Chief justice to visit Lyon College for Constitution Day

Lyon College will have a special visitor for Constitution Day this year.

Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court John Dan Kemp will be the guest speaker for Constitution Day on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Maxfield Room of the Edwards Commons. He will discuss the Constitution and the judicial branch.

According to the National Constitution Center, Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004 when Sen. Robert Byrd lobbied for a bill encouraging citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to learn more about the founding document. Byrd believed all citizens should know about their rights as outlined in the Constitution.

Lyon College is pleased to offer its students, employees, and area citizens a way of celebrating the heritage of America’s unique form of government.

“It’s a real privilege to have the chief justice speak at the College,” said Dr. Scott Roulier, “and a great opportunity for our students to hear about constitutional law from one of our state officials.”

at Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Higher learning commission approves ROTC program

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved Lyon’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and Military Science and Leadership concentration on July 29.

Provost Dr. Melissa Taverner said Lyon is pleased with the response from current and prospective students about the availability of the ROTC program on campus.

“We currently have a total of 10 students enrolled in Military Science and Leadership courses taught at Lyon by the Army cadre instructors,” she said. “The ROTC staff members are a regular presence on campus, answering questions that many of our current students have and discussing their course enrollment and scholarship options.”

The Lyon College ROTC Program is dedicated to developing quality leaders for the United States Army. ROTC has a history of producing top-quality leaders who have gone on to hold high-paying jobs, public office, and high-ranking military positions.

Lyon College and Arkansas State University signed a memorandum of agreement February 13, 2019, declaring Lyon an affiliate unit of the Arkansas State University ROTC program (ASU ROTC).

As part of the memorandum of agreement, ASU ROTC supports Lyon’s program by providing Cadre support, meaning ROTC instructors from ASU’s program will travel to Lyon to train and instruct students. Courses will be once a week lasting approximately 50 minutes. ASU ROTC will also provide uniforms, equipment, and textbooks to students at no charge.

Lyon will support the program by providing classroom space, access to materials needed for instruction, access to physical fitness facilities and equipment in case of inclement weather, the use of the college campus for training, and establishment of ROTC courses with Lyon’s Registrar.

Students may decide if they want to contract with the U.S. Army as soon as they start the program. In order to contract, students must undergo extensive counseling provided by the ROTC Cadre, to determine if committing to service is the right decision.

“The ROTC program will continue to expand our students’ opportunities to develop their leadership potential,” Taverner said. 

“Those skills will be invaluable both on campus as they pursue their degrees and in the real world after they graduate from Lyon.”

For more information on contracts and scholarship opportunities, contact enrollment and scholarships officer David Hastings at 870-972-2064 or

at Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Upperclassmen share career passions with peers, win scholarships

Students encouraged peers to pursue opportunities at Lyon College Career Center’s Summer Experience Fair (SEF). 

Director of Career Services Annette Castleberry said the SEF is a casual, interactive forum where upperclassmen share their experiences from summer internships, jobs, academic travel and research. 

"Students come to college knowing that they'll have to find employment one day,” she said, “but a college degree doesn't guarantee that outcome. Students must have relevant experience and skills in addition to the degree to qualify for the jobs they want.”

“The goal of the SEF is for upperclassmen to encourage their younger peers to pursue similar opportunities.”

This year, the Career Center was able to increase the prize money thanks to a generous donation. The first place "Dean’s Prize" winner, John Pruden, received $1,000 for his presentation on his internship at Hexion in the Dallas area. Second place winner, Jordan Webb, won $750 for presenting her ecology research. Third place winner, Ellie Embry, won $250 for discussing her internship at the Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville and Springdale, where she focused on neuropsychology.

Held Thursday, Aug. 29, SEF not only showed newer students what opportunities may be out there for them but also gave presenters the chance to reflect on their experience and how it has impacted their career decisions. 

Sophomore Debjanee Nandy, an international student from Bangladesh studying economics and math, attended the University of Akron for the Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program, which provided an intense focus on the skills required to succeed in law school and legal professions. 

The experience helped her determine that she is definitely headed in the right direction. 

"I wanted to figure out if going to law school is an appropriate choice for me, especially because I'm an international student and a lot of the opportunities are not open to me," Nandy said. 

"This program exposed me to various career opportunities, so now I figure, yeah, I want to go to law school and I want to be an immigration lawyer.”

Junior Allison Mundy, of Bryant, is studying Biology and did ecological research on bugs over the summer to get a closer look at chicken pollution in the local stream area from Batesville up to the Missouri line. She previously presented her data at the Arkansas Water Research Center (AWRC). 

Mundy’s research opportunity gave her insight into what she does and doesn't like about the field. 

"It made me certain that I don't want to go into academia. I'm not writing all those papers. [However,] I don't mind bench work. Some doctors hate it, and some doctors love it. I think I can live with it." 

Some students also learned where their passions lie. 

Senior Navy Griffin, of Sherwood, worked at the Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis, Minn., over the summer, sharing art with people in low income communities. The theater hosted the National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation, a program that “helps bridge the gap between white male directors and people of color, women and queer people." 

"Younger directors learn from older directors, and everyone learns from everyone else,” Griffin said. “After this, I know that I want to go into queer art. As a queer woman, I don't hear stories that are about my community.” 

“I really want to show the world what I see."

at Tuesday, September 3, 2019

“It’s all for you, Coach”

BATESVILLE, Ark. – "It's all for you, coach." 
It started out as a simple, heartfelt expression of solidarity, but quickly took social media by a storm, grabbing the hearts and minds of people from coast-to-coast, while drawing national attention from major media outlets. 
The expression sprang from what was supposed to be a scheduled day off for the Lyon College football team Monday, Aug. 26. The student-athletes were encouraged to use the day to prepare for their season opener this weekend against Missouri Baptist. 
Instead, a group of about 16 players entered the football weight room, one-by-one, to shave each other's heads before making their way toward an office occupied by Kris Sweet, the team's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Sweet had been undergoing chemo-therapy treatments since the beginning of August. He was greeted with a heartfelt surprise while preparing for the game against the Spartans, as the players, one-by-one, hugged him and expressed their gratitude.
"It's all for you, coach," was all they said, as they bared freshly shaved heads.
One of the football team's managers, Jordan Davis, a Lyon College student, recorded the heartwarming gesture on video. The video (which can be seen below), was posted on the football program's Twitter account (@LyonScotsFball) and instantly went viral. 
To date, the video has over 621,000 views on Bleacher Report's tweet and over 100,000 views on the Lyon College Football Twitter account. Several large market stations, including ABC NewsCBS NewsESPNCNN and Bleacher Report caught wind of the video as the post garnered national attention.
"I want this to be about the student-athletes we have in the program and the compassion they showed," Sweet said. "It is easy for people to give up faith in the younger generation. What these guys did meant so much to me."
Sweet told each player who came into his office how much he appreciated them. 
"For them to do that was pretty impressive," he stated. "These kids will be successful. Not because of me, not because of the school, but because they are great human beings."
Several of the players spoke with CNN's Amanda Jackson on the phone on Wednesday about the gesture they performed for Coach Sweet. "We are doing something greater than ourselves by shaving our heads," said Moise Occulis, a sophomore offensive lineman.
"He goes to the doctor and then comes to coach," Malcolm Howard, a freshman offensive lineman, told CNN. "He pushes us to be the best we can be."
The act demonstrated that sports can be about so much more than game-day stats or which team takes home the win. It is about the bond between players and coach that brings an entire team together. 
Sweet did not want his battle with cancer to be a distraction for the team, and said he is "doing well." He hopes his challenges with the diagnosis will be in the rearview mirror by Christmas.
The Scots will open their 2019 season this Saturday night at home against Missouri Baptist with a 6 p.m. kickoff.

at Friday, August 30, 2019

Douglass embraces adventures abroad in Spain

Senior Elissa Douglass studied Spanish firsthand in Granada, Spain, this summer.

After attending a meeting about study abroad, Douglass, of League City, Texas, got in touch with Sol Education Abroad. Sol planned a two-week program in Granada for her and other students, organizing activities, arranging travel plans, and preparing them for the experience.

“While there, I got to go to Arab baths, tea houses, beaches, flamenco performances, flamenco classes, and cooking classes,” Douglass said. “It was incredible!”

She found the attitudes of people in Spain refreshing.

“Many things we consider a bit taboo in America are more widely accepted in Spain, and as a result I noticed those things didn’t seem to have as much potential for danger there.”

She and her roommates wanted to visit a “discoteca,” or dance club, one night and were nervous to ask their host mom, afraid she would think they came to Spain just to party.

“When we asked her, though, she basically said ‘Finally! We thought you all would never ask!’ She viewed it as something we needed to see to have a well-rounded experience. The environment always felt safe, and the people seemed very comfortable being exactly who they are.”

The most challenging moments in Granada were the most worthwhile, she said.

“Jumping off of a cliff into the sea, climbing up said cliff, going off of a hiking trail to find a waterfall, and speaking Spanish every day while being concerned no one would understand what I say all terrified me… but I ultimately enjoyed them the most.”

As a double major in Spanish and business administration, the trip was a chance for her to increase her fluency in the language.

“Lyon gave me the grammatical background that I needed while I was in Spain. It was really my Spanish professors who got me there in the first place.”

“I knew if I was going to major in Spanish I would not want to quit until I was fluent, and, although I’m still not nearly there, I have had great professors who have encouraged me when I got frustrated and felt like it seemed impossible.”

“Elissa has been an exceptional student since she arrived on campus in August 2016,” said Assistant Professor of Spanish John Herda, “and I am proud of her courage and intellectual curiosity. Studying abroad was always a goal of hers, and she has completed it successfully in Granada.”

Being immersed in the culture was a big step forward in achieving that goal.

“Of course I have taken a leap in my comprehension of Spanish,” Douglass said, “but, more than that, being in a different culture has expanded me as a person.”

Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Monica Rodriguez said studying abroad provides students “with an inside look at Hispanic culture.” They have many opportunities for immersion, including sharing a meal with their host family, socializing with locals at a café, and going shopping.

“Everything learned in the classroom comes alive, and the adventure begins!”

Douglass said she is will be able to effectively communicate with a broader range of people when she enters a career after college.

“I plan to work in human resources, so I think understanding people is a critical part of the job.”

Douglass said she looks forward to traveling more in the future.

“Spain is definitely a hard place not to miss.”

at Thursday, August 29, 2019