MONTICELLO, Ark.— Several faculty and staff members of the University of Arkansas College of Technology-McGehee (UAM-CTM) were recognized during an all-campus meeting on February 11 with High Five awards. The High Five award is a new recognition presented to faculty and staff members for recent significant contributions to student learning, growth, and development or for going above and beyond the normal role of one’s job responsibilities.
Paisley Owyoung, director of Allied Health, was presented with a High Five Award from Vice Chancellor Bob Ware for her leadership in the Practical Nursing program. Instructors Anna Scales and Anita Walker were recognized for their work to prepare recent practical nursing graduates to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This year, all practical nursing graduates passed the exam on their first attempt. This marks the ninth year in a row that UAM-CTM graduates have passed the exam on their first attempt. The NCLEX is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States.
The UAM-CTM’s Practical Nursing program retains its ranking as the number one practical nursing program in Arkansas, per PracticalNursing.org, a non-profit dedicated to tracking practical nursing programs around the nation. “I was excited to join an already amazing group of faculty and students when I came to work at the UAM College of Technology-McGehee last year. I hope to continue to build on the success of the Practical Nursing program. Anita and Anna’s dedication to the nursing profession and student success is one of the many reasons our program is so successful,” Owyoung said.
Jessica Allen, project coordinator for the Carl Perkins grant, was recognized by Jason Henry, director of Student Services, for her work to secure a $4,000 grant from UAM’s Centennial Opportunity Fund to start two blessing boxes on campus. Blessing boxes are boxes filled with essential living items for community members to take as they need. One blessing box will be filled with non-perishable food items for those experiencing food insecurity. Once constructed, students and community members will be able to take food items to feed themselves and their families. Arkansas has the second highest rate of food insecurity and the highest rate for senior food insecurity, per the Arkansas Food Bank. The second blessing box will contain books and school supplies.
Allen was thrilled for the opportunity to secure funding to bridge the gap the students and community are facing concerning food and supplies necessary for student learning and success. “Our students face many challenges. Being hungry and lacking basic school supplies should not be one of them. We want students to be able to come to class with every tool for success—whether that be food or basic school supplies,” she said.