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School news: Journalists, cheer squad honored

by Becca Martin-Brown | April 29, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
For the first time in Arkansas State University history, the spirit squads of cheer and dance posted the highest finishes ever at the 40th National Cheerleaders/National Dance Associations College Nationals recently in Daytona, Fla. Arkansas State’s cheer and dance team is one of the university’s elite level club sports that compete on the national level. (Courtesy photos)

Phi Kappa Phi

Two local students, Blake Bulger of Fort Smith at Oklahoma City University and Mo Shamseldin of Fayetteville at Idaho State University, recently were initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

They are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann, who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines.

John Brown

John Brown University communication students were announced as Region 12 winners of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) 2020 Mark of Excellence Awards in Indianapolis.

Junior Orry Phillips took top prize in the Podcast category with his entry called "The Conversation Episode #1: David French." Senior Catherine Nolte was awarded Finalist in the General News Reporting category for her reporting about the documentary "Part of the Kingdom," shedding light on the experiences of LGBTQIA students at Christian universities.

These Region 12 awards are recognized by SPJ as the best collegiate journalism in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. First-place winners like Phillips will compete at the national level among other regional MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

John Brown University in Siloam Springs enrolls more than 2,200 students from 37 states and 48 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. Eighteen graduate programs are available in business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.

The Citadel

Jonathan Petrovich of Centerton is one of the more than 650 cadets and students recognized for their academic achievements during the fall 2020 semester.

Gold stars are awarded to cadets and students at The Citadel who achieved a 3.7 grade point average or higher. Cadets and students who achieve gold star recognition are also placed on The Citadel's Dean's List.

The Citadel, with its iconic campus located in Charleston, S.C., offers a classic military college education for young men and women focused on leadership excellence and academic distinction. The approximately 2,400 members of the S.C. Corps of Cadets are not required to serve in the military, but about one-third of each class earn commissions to become officers in every branch of U.S. military service.

Central College

Alec Patterson of Alpena was one of more than 800 students at Central College who would have been honored at the college's annual Scholarship Celebration on April 22. The event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Patterson received the James A. and Beatrice H. Hoekstra Family Scholarship, Francis C. & Jeannette Huyser Endowed Scholarship and Journey Scholarship.

Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor, leadership and character development, global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and sustainability education, athletics and service.

Arkansas State

For the first time in Arkansas State University history, the spirit squads of cheer and dance posted the highest finishes ever at the 40th National Cheerleaders/National Dance Associations College Nationals recently in Daytona, Fla.

A-State finished second in the advanced small coed D1A division cheer competition, posting a best preliminary score in the program's history. Marking the first time taking this style to nationals in school history, the Red Wolf dancers were fourth in D1A pom. And, a fifth place in D1A jazz dance competition is the best in school history.

The NCA/NDA championships were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. Collegiate cheer and dance teams have convened in Daytona Beach for the last 25 years to display talent, university traditions and school pride. More than 7,000 athletes competed this year.

Here are the members of the cheerleading squad and the Red Wolf dancers:

A-State Cheerleading

Kavion Alston of Wynne; Claudia Benning of Prattsville; Trevor Blankenship of De Queen; Haley Brewer of Jonesboro; Khaniya Callicutt of Marion; Stacie Chatman of Lee's Summit, Mo.; Kennedy Combs of Fayetteville; Gracesyn Craig of Jonesboro; Madi Davis of Conway; Apple Dennie of Sherwood; Alli Eblen of Bentonville; Emma Faulkner of Little Rock; Mia Faulkner of Little Rock; Mateo Galicia of Houston, Texas; Preston Hayes of Munford, Tenn.; Kennedi Jackson of Jonesboro; Lily Johnson of Little Rock; Tony Kusema of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Jada Layman of Jonesboro; Maranda Lee of Jonesboro; Sydney Lee of Dyersburg, Tenn.; Ashley Lestina of Bentonville; Shyra Moody of Wynne; Blake Moore of Jonesboro; Grace Ouellette of Bryant; Matthew Rasmussen of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Reagan Smith of Arlington, Tenn.; Anna Reed of Conway; Baylee Rose of Leachville; Larynn Sisson of Hot Springs; Mattie Taylor of Little Rock; and Hannah Walker of Arlington, Tenn.

Red Wolf Dancers

Peyton Barrow of Rockwall, Texas; Hayley Capps of Sheridan; Peyton Capps of Sheridan; Maggie Carty of Belleville, Ill.; Maria Cissell of Fenton, Mo.; Mollybeth Drew of Jonesboro; Mackenzie Drewry of Mountain Home; Emma Koehler of St. Charles, Mo.; Sydney Koehler of St. Charles, Mo.; Mary Manuel of Jonesboro; Abby Grace Puckett of Little Rock; Ellie Stafford of Jonesboro; Riley Roberts of Jonesboro; Camryn Ross of Little Rock; Olivia Smith of Lepanto; Maggie Turner of Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Janie Williams of Wentzville, Mo.; an Elaine Zadnik of Broadview, Ohio.

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For the first time in Arkansas State University history, the spirit squads of cheer and dance posted the highest finishes ever at the 40th National Cheerleaders/National Dance Associations College Nationals recently in Daytona, Fla. Arkansas State’s cheer and dance team is one of the university’s elite level club sports that compete on the national level. (Courtesy photos)
For the first time in Arkansas State University history, the spirit squads of cheer and dance posted the highest finishes ever at the 40th National Cheerleaders/National Dance Associations College Nationals recently in Daytona, Fla. Arkansas State’s cheer and dance team is one of the university’s elite level club sports that compete on the national level. (Courtesy photos)
Catherine Nolte
Catherine Nolte
Orry Phillips
Orry Phillips
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