Ellis College Honors Outstanding Students

Henderson State University’s Matt Locke Ellis College of Arts and Sciences recently honored students for their creative and academic accomplishments. Instead of the customary awards ceremony held each spring, the students were recognized online at

“The circumstances in our world have altered nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Dr. Angela Boswell, Ellis College dean. “Yet even in the midst of these changes, our students continue to be outstanding, creative, and accomplished.

“Although we cannot gather together in a large crowd to recognize these amazing individuals, we still want to celebrate their achievements.”

Outstanding Creative Accomplishment awards

Recipients of the Outstanding Creative Accomplishment awards are selected based on artistic accomplishment, research, or service to others. Each department within the Ellis College selects a student to receive the award.

The 2020 recipients are: Amanda Cordell of Benton, art; Grace Wills of Denton, Texas, biological sciences; Ray Weldon of Benton, chemistry and biochemistry; Brandon Curtis of West Memphis, theatre; Corey Howell of Bauxite, innovative media; Julie Young of Pearcy, mass media; Rebecca Voss of Arkadelphia, engineering and physics; Noah Franke of North Little Rock, English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy; Riley Brule of DeKalb, Texas, music; Suzanne Sorrells of Amity, nursing; Chase McDonald of Camden, psychology; and Harley Hall of Emmet, sociology, human services, and criminal justice.

Outstanding Graduating Senior

Each department within the Ellis College selects one student from each major to receive the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. The students must have a cumulative 3.00 GPA or higher and have either graduated in the fall semester or be eligible to graduate in the spring semester.

Awards were presented to: Angel Hernandez Olguin of De Queen, art education; Madison Nichols of Hot Springs, biology; David Thompson of Camden, chemistry; Archie Alestair of Hot Springs, Mass Media; Easton Cowart of Glenwood, business and organizational communication; Adrian Hinojosa of Hot Springs, theatre; Joseph Dees of Hot Springs, engineering; Samuel Dobson of Little Rock, physics; Wes Geigley of Hempstead, Texas, English; Kayla Earnest of Glen Rose, mathematics; Samuel Flenniken of Benton, computer science; Bryan Neal of Benton, mathematics; Erica Amyx of DeWitt, music; Justin Kennedy of Lewisville, instrumental music; De’Courtneyous Miller of Camden, vocal music education; Lacey Parker of Queen City, Texas, nursing; Jamie Carmack of Oden, psychology; Camille Judy of Cabot, psychology; Ava Baghestani of Hot Springs, history; Isabelle Mears of Hot Springs, political science; Anayelid Vasquez of Bismarck, public administration; Jacob Yates of Hot Springs, social science; and Alexis Collins of Hope, criminal justice.

Outstanding Academic Achievement awards

The Ellis College recognizes up to 36 students for Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards. Selected students have a minimum GPA of 3.50. Other considerations might include difficulties overcome in maintaining high academic standards, quality of involvement in campus activities, leadership, and service to the university community.


Awards for Outstanding Junior Academic Achievement were presented to: Samantha Cox of Texarkana, Texas, art; Kaylie Wheeless of Cedarville, Texas, biological sciences; Chloe Cline of Benton, chemistry and biochemistry; Joseph Schuster of Arkadelphia, engineering and physics; Kayla Reese of Noel, Missouri, English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy; Angel Juarez of Benton, mathematics, computer science, and statistics; Kelly Foret of Sheridan, music; Madison Courtney of Traskwood, nursing; Gracen Smith of Glenwood, psychology; Isaac Cross of Ashdown, social sciences; and Zane Pedron of Kirby, sociology, human services, and criminal justice.


Awards for Outstanding Sophomore Achievement were presented to: Taylee Kaumans of Glenwood, art; Justin Harper of Bismarck, biological sciences; Zachary Hansen of Spring, Texas, chemistry and biochemistry; Natalie Gray of Hot Springs, communication and theatre arts; Landon Posey of Alexander, engineering and physics; Landon Ledbetter of Red Oak, Texas, English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy; Sawyer Hardage of Bismarck; mathematics, computer science, and statistics; Alex Tyler of The Woodlands, Texas, music; Mykiah Overstreet of Arkadelphia, psychology; and Taylor Mason of Hot Springs Village, social sciences.


Recipients of the Outstanding Freshman Academic Achievement Awards are: Brooke Faulkner of Hope, art; Aspen Huseman of Cabot, biological sciences; Mary Katherine McKenzie of Heber Springs, chemistry and biochemistry; Ethan Schmidt of St. Louis, Missouri, communication and theatre arts; Jordan Rusnak of Sherwood, engineering and physics; Fisher Neufeld of Mena, music; Morgan Reeve of Frisco, Texas, psychology; and Austen Jackson of Malvern, Social Sciences.

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