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Students Take Part in the

UNEXPECTED Nine students enrolled in the Graphic Design program had the unique opportunity to participate in the Unexpected project in Fort Smith. The students kicked off the “Chalk It Up” event by using sidewalk chalk to draw a 3’x4’ image along the sidewalk outside the Fort Smith Regional Art museum on September 10, 2016. As part of their drawing class, students submitted designs to course instructor Charles Steiner, and UAFS art alumnus Jarrod Cluck supervised the process, selecting nine students to kick off the event. Participating students: Alma: Ryley Parker, Alma High School Booneville: Brittany Angel, Booneville High School Fort Smith: Dustin Kelley, Southside High School Hackett: Haley Brooks, Greenwood High School Magazine: Samuel Carlson, JD Leftwich High School Ozark: Jacie Dickerson and Kari Pullen, Ozark High School Van Buren: Charles Humpries and Peyton Parker, Van Buren High School The Unexpected Project is a ten-day art initiative developed to bring contemporary and urban art to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

DIRECTOR’S CORNER Another great fall semester with great students is over and in the books. We saw our fall enrollment leveled at just under 500 students. The first day of the semester back in August does not seem that far in the past, and the spring semester is about to begin! As I reflect on the fall, several things come to mind that highlight the great students, faculty and staff we have in the WATC program. It is my hope that spring 2017 brings with it more great things for WATC. First, the work done by the vast majority of our students this fall is something for which to be proud. What a great group of students, faculty and staff! We have for the 8th straight year maintained a very high (more than 85%) “in good standing” rate. We are so fortunate to have quality instructors that assist the students in not only their academics, but also their leadership, collaboration and study skills. We are proud of the accomplishments of all the students who participated in WATC this fall, and look to the spring semester with the same goals in mind; providing excellent dual credit opportunities for each student from our 21 sending schools. I want to extend a big “thank you” to the “new” staff of the WATC office for the wonderful work they do behind the scenes. We are very fortunate to have these dedicated people working for our students. We are still partnering with the Fort Smith junior high schools, and have been honored to work with all of them again this semester. In addition, we had the opportunity to bring the Van Buren and Greenwood Freshman Academies to campus; what a great honor to have those students here learning about WATC and UAFS. Our integrated instruction, advising, Next Step visits and SkillsUSA, all combine to offer our students the best of academics and student organizations. The WATC staff is the best! Our staff works tirelessly to make sure all our students receive the best educational opportunity possible. The Next Step visits are coming up in January and February. In addition to bringing 10th grade students from most all of the high schools WATC serves to the UAFS campus in order for them to see firsthand the WATC experience, this year we will continue to have parent preview nights that coincide with the Next Step visits in order to get parents on campus in the evening hours after their students have been here for their Next Step visit. We have started receiving and processing applications for admission into WATC, and these visits and preview nights will surely help generate further interest in WATC, program area wide. In addition to our present slate of programs, beginning in fall 2017 we will be adding three new programs to our great group of opportunities for our students; Paralegal Studies, Practical Nursing and Industrial Maintenance Technology.

wonderful opportunity the students have to receive college and high school credit for college level work completed during their junior and senior years of high school. It is my hope to be a part of that future for many years to come. May the spring of 2017 be full of new and exciting adventures for each of you as we continue to provide training for high-skill, high-wage and high-demand jobs for our local economy. D. Chris Rink, Ed.D. Director

As we look toward spring and fall of 2017, I continue hoping for a great future for WATC and the students who attend WATC classes. What a


D. Chris Rink Director 788-7701


Savanna Robison Assistant Director 788-7713

Sarah Green Program Coordinator 788-7726

Janine Arbaugh Integrated Specialist 788-7336

Please contact our WATC staff with questions about the WATC program in general or for more information on a specific career training path.

Donna Scott Administrative Specialist II 788-7700

Rebecca Cheek Academic Adviser 788-7122

WATC BEST Robotics BEST Robotics is a youth-oriented competition designed to showcase students’ knowledge in engineering, science and technology. Teams are judged not only on their robot and what it can do, but also on the categories of spirit and sportsmanship, exhibit, marketing presentation, website, notebook and T-shirt design. WATC students participated in the 2016 River Valley BEST Robotics Competition on October 29 at UAFS. The WATC team competed in the T-shirt design, notebook and robot competition, in which they took fifth place. The WATC BEST Robotics team consisted of: Alma: Haley Gilstrap, Alma High School Charleston: Caleb Harris, Charleston High School Fort Smith: Darius Goh, Southside High School Hartford: Trevor Archer, Hartford High School Huntington: Taylor Dutton, Hackett High School; Tyler Martin, Mansfield High School Mansfield: Sean Imgrund, Mansfield High School Winslow: Dylan Drummond, Mountainburg High School

3D Chess Match with CGT Students in the Computer Graphic Technology program modeled three-dimensional chess boards as part of Dr. Suzanne Horne’s 3D Visualization class. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate how the pieces move so students can create a realistic animation of a chess game. The Computer Graphic Technology program provides students with the opportunity to study in the UAFS state-of-the-art computer graphics lab in the Baldor Technology Center. Students begin by learning traditional methods of board drafting and progress to the use of high-tech equipment to produce engineering and digital graphics.

Chad Cargill ACT Workshop ACT expert Chad Cargill gave a test preparation workshop on Oct. 27, 2016, on the UAFS campus. More than 100 WATC students attended. Cargill took the ACT 18 times while in high school, improving his score from a 19 to a 32. He now travels throughout the country sharing his strategies for doing well on the ACT. Though he may be a master at taking the ACT, Cargill also advises students on obtaining scholarships and financial aid to pay for college and encourages volunteerism and giving back to the community.

Trunk–or–Treat with SkillsUSA SkillsUSA participated in the Trunk-or-Treat at the Haunted Union on the UAFS campus October 29, 2016. Students dressed in costume and passed out candy to an estimated 400 kids who attended the event. Along with receiving candy, those who stopped by the SkillsUSA area were also able to play a mini-golf carnival game to win a prize. Participating students were: Alma: Raven Bynum, Van Buren High School Booneville: Adrianna Mott, Booneville High School Greenwood: Madison Oelke, Greenwood High School Van Buren: Hannah Cervantes, Brandon Cross and Abigail Welborn, all from Van Buren High School Waldron: Alex Her and Jesus Mejia, Waldron High School

SkillsUSA Supports Local Rescue Mission Each semester, the student members of SkillsUSA focus their efforts on a way to help the needs of their local community. After presenting several options for organizations in need of help, the students’ unanimously decided to support the Fort Smith Community Rescue Mission by collecting items for their annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless. SkillsUSA contacted the Rescue Mission, and together a plan was formed. The students would hold a canned food drive with the request that participants donate green beans and corn. WATC SkillsUSA members received over 300 canned food items during the event, which spanned the months of October and November. The Community Rescue Mission has been serving Fort Smith for 32 years. Services provided include food, shelter, clothing, transportation and employment assistance. Currently it is the only local organization that serves hot meals to the public seven days a week.

Waldron Students Give to Residents WATC students enrolled in the Health Science program located on the Waldron High School campus delivered Christmas gifts and cards to the residents of the Waldron Nursing Center. The students adopted 20 angels from the nursing center’s angel tree and donated personal care items, such as shampoo, lotion and socks, which were assembled in gift bags for the residents. Along with the gift bags, students also created handmade Christmas cards for 50 of the nursing center’s residents.

Students Explore Air Force Careers Sgt. Carl Schneider from the U.S. Air Force spoke to students of the Electronics Technology program on September 9. Sgt. Schneider discussed various career opportunities within the Air Force for students seeking certifications in electronics and industrial maintenance. Students also learned about the nature of the job as well as available scholarships. The WATC Electronics Technology program is designed to prepare students for jobs in the use and maintenance of common electrical and electronic devices and instruments.

WATC Alumnus Becomes Instructor Former WATC student Zack McClain graduated from Van Buren High School in 2013. However, days before his high school graduation, McClain walked across the stage in the spring commencement ceremony at UAFS as a candidate for an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology. Now McClain has returned to WATC, but this time in a much different role. On August 22 McClain walked into an automotive technology classroom, not as a student, but as the new visiting WATC automotive instructor. “It’s great to finally be able to help students whose seats I once sat in,” McClain said about the experience of being an instructor. “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and I come to work every day wanting to teach.” WATC Director Dr. D. Chris Rink said McClain is a wonderful addition to the WATC faculty. “WATC has again provided us with an outstanding instructor. He is not the first former student we’ve had return to WATC as an instructor after finishing high school and their collegiate career, but he is our newest addition of WATC alumni to return as a faculty member. He has an incredible work ethic along with a great passion and drive to help students.” As a WATC student, McClain was actively involved in the SkillsUSA student organization and represented WATC in 2012 and 2013 state competitions for diesel technology, receiving a gold medal both years. He represented Arkansas in the national SkillsUSA competition in 2013 in Kansas City, Mo., where he placed fifth in the nation. McClain continues to support the WATC program and SkillsUSA by encouraging his students to take advantage of everything the program and student organization have to offer by attending meetings and actively participating as members.

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Permit No. 479 Fort Smith, Ark.

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Important Dates for 2017 Feb. 28 – WATC Preview Night March 7 – WATC Preview Night March 9 – WATC Preview Night March 20-26 – Spring Break April 26 – WATC Awards Ceremony May 22-25 – WATC New Student Orientation


UAFS WATC Fall 2016 Newsletter Update  
UAFS WATC Fall 2016 Newsletter Update