Arkansas State University - Newport

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October 2015

Four From ASU-Newport Honored at ACC Conference

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (10-18-2015) — Two Arkansas State University-Newport employees, one ASUN alumni and one student were honored for outstanding performance last week at the 27th Annual Arkansas Community Colleges Conference in Hot Springs. 

Christian Gott, a student on ASUN’s Jonesboro Campus, was honored as the school’s Academic All-Star; John Kelly, Principal at East Poinsett County High School, was named ASUN’s Outstanding Alumni; Melinda Odom, Cosmetology Instructor, was honored as ASUN’s Outstanding Faculty Member and Geraldine Overbey, Administrative Specialist II, was named Outstanding Staff Member. 

The conference was held Oct. 11-13 at the Hot Springs Convention Center and the ACC is a private, non-profit higher education membership organization serving the educational needs of two-year college students and the business/industry needs of the state. Arkansas Community Colleges, formerly known as the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges, represents all twenty-two (22) public two-year colleges in Arkansas.

Overbey and Odom were recognized at Monday’s Awards Brunch, while Kelly and Gott were honored at Tuesday’s Academic All-Star Brunch.

Gott enjoys volunteering in her community and at ASU-Newport.  She assists fellow students struggling with an assignment and frequently inspires others in their educational and life journeys.  When a team assignment is given, she consistently assumes a leadership position.  Gott displays a sense of dedication and understands the life principle that time invested in education today will yield life-long dividends.  Her volunteer activities include work at NEA Baptist Hospital, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Red Cross.

Kelly strives to ensure bright futures for the citizens of Arkansas.  He helps East Poinsett County students complete their high school diploma as well as begin their higher education journey through concurrent enrollment.  He aggressively pursues options for students to participate in concurrent enrollment in order to enhance their futures and open countless doors leading to success.

As a longtime employee at the college, Overbey is readily characterized as dependable, eager, student friendly and always willing to assist.  She consistently arrives early and remains late while cheerfully providing answers to questions, solving problems and providing guidance to peers and students alike in her capacity as Administrative Specialist II.  Her span of influence spreads not only throughout the institution, but the community as well as she volunteers her time to various community and county events. 

Odom is one of the most respected educators in her field.  She has been professionally recognized throughout the state and nation in the field of Cosmetology.  ASU-Newport’s program has a consistent legacy of excellence, boasting a 100% pass rate for State Boards, and exceptional student placement.  Odom exerts a dynamic, creative and innovative educational influence and continually strives to provide the most pertinent educational opportunities for her students.  Programs of study often reflect the character and personality of the faculty, and this is the case with ASUN’s Cosmetology program – an outstanding instructor equals an outstanding program.