Ouachita student achievers honored during May 5 ceremony

ARKADELPHIA, Ark.—Ouachita Baptist University students were honored for scholastic achievement Thursday, May 5, in Jones Performing Arts Center during an academic awards ceremony sponsored by Ouachita’s Student Senate. 

Cora Saddler, a senior English and Spanish double major from Cabot, Ark., was named Overall Academic Achiever, the university’s highest academic honor. She also earned distinction as top academic achiever and Outstanding Senior English Major in the School of Humanities and as a Blue Ribbon Finisher in the Carl Goodson Honors Program. 

Ouachita’s Outstanding Senior Woman and Outstanding Senior Man are chosen by the university’s faculty and staff. Kayla Whittington, a chemistry, biology and Spanish triple major from North Little Rock, Ark., was selected to be Outstanding Senior Woman. She is also one of two students named Outstanding Graduate in Chemistry. Outstanding Senior Man is Sam Youmans, a music industry major from Siloam Springs, Ark., who was also the top academic achiever in the School of Fine Arts. Whittington and Youmans are Carl Goodson Honors Program Blue Ribbon Finishers, as well. 

Top academic achievers in other schools are: 

  • Frank D. Hickingbotham School of Business—Keith Matthews, a senior finance major from Carrollton, Texas 
  • Chesley & Elizabeth Pruet School of Christian Studies—Jael Winterholter, a senior Christian studies/Biblical studies and theology major from Fort Wayne, Ind. 
  • Michael D. Huckabee School of Education—Grace Loftin, a senior kinesiology & leisure studies/pre-professional studies major from Shreveport, La. 
  • J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences—Sebastian Bustillo, a senior engineering physics, applied mathematics and computer science triple major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras 
  • W.H. Sutton School of Social Sciences—Josie Collins, a senior psychology and sociology double major from Little Rock, Ark. 

The Mrs. J.R. Grant Endowed Award for freshman and senior women students was given to Georgia Richards, a freshman communications & media/strategic media major from Farmington, Ark., and MacKenzie Hall, a senior communications & media/strategic media major from Bolivar, Mo. 

The Mrs. Betty Oliver Grant Endowed Award for sophomore and junior women students was given to Isabella Bejarano, a sophomore elementary education and Spanish double major from Bogotá, Colombia, and Maria Urbina, a junior nutrition & dietetics major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 

Students selected Dr. Barbara Pemberton, professor of Christian missions and director of the Carl Goodson Honors Program, to be the Most Inspirational Professor.

Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., is in its 136th year as a Christ-centered learning community and is ranked the No. 2 “Regional College in the South” by U.S. News & World Report. Learn more about the university’s highly personal approach, reflected in a student/faculty ratio of 13:1, at



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