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2018 NEWSLETTER


Director’s Corner Wow! WATC’s twentieth year is completed. How time flies! I am proud of our UAFS/WATC students! The students who attend from all our 22 sending schools are what make WATC great! I was thrilled with the number of Director’s Honor Roll recipients we had this spring. Ninety-nine students had a 3.75 or higher GPA this year and 86 of them had a GPA of 4.0. That is 87% of the honor roll recipients which shows how focused our students are and their passion for learning. I am also proud of all the other students who received awards at the WATC Awards Ceremony. A large number of students received awards, certificates, and scholarships to continue their education right here at UAFS. I am proud of each student who was nominated by their instructors for these awards; including the students from our satellite campus at Waldron High School. Waldron plays an important part in our mission to provide the best concurrent credit classes available to our students. The Health Sciences program of study at the Waldron campus assists us in doing just that. In addition, Waldron students took home several gold medals from the state SkillsUSA competition in Hot Springs in April. These gold medals will provide them with scholarships to UAFS for the next 4 years. I would be remiss if I did not thank the staff of the WATC office for the fantastic work they do behind the scenes. From our participation with the Fort Smith Junior High Schools in Partners in Education, integrated instruction, advising,Next Step visits, parent preview nights, high school visits, and SkillsUSA, the WATC staff is the best! Each person that visited the office this year had the pleasure of interacting with a staff that I believe is great! Each staff member; Mrs. Robison, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Cheek, Mrs. Scott, and Mrs. Hayden are always there to help students and keep them focused. Mrs. Hayden came to WATC this year from the university HR department; we are glad she is a part of the WATC staff. It is sad, however, that we will be saying good bye to Mrs. Cheek in mid-June. She is opting to stay home with her new baby; what a wonderful new adventure! WATC again had a high level of participation at the SkillsUSA competition in Hot Springs this year. I always enjoy that yearly trip in April. We are so proud of the competitive spirit in each of our students as they compete. Each of the students were nominated by faculty members in their program area; I am proud of their work and the overall 10 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals we won while in Hot Springs. The Next Step visits are always a great part of the spring semester. We were fortunate to have 10th grade students from several of our sending high schools WATC serves to travel to the UAFS campus in order for them to see firsthand the UAFS/WATC experience. We have received a great number of new applications for admission into WATC for 2018/2019, and these visits surely helped generate interest in our ten programs of study. We are expecting another great fall semester. As the page turns toward our 21st year, I see a great continued future for WATC and the students that attend classes here on the UAFS campus. What a wonderful opportunity the students have to receive college credit for work completed during their junior and senior year of high school. We are confident in the area students remaining interested in the WATC program for years to come. It is my sincere hope to be a continued part of that future. See you in August! D. Chris Rink, Ed.D. Director


2017-2018 Outstanding WATC Students For each WATC program, an outstanding student is recognized for demonstrating honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic above and beyond the instructor’s expectations. Outstanding WATC students receive a $500 scholarship to continue their education at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. To be nominated for the scholarship, a student must be a high school senior who has a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at UAFS, has completed one semester in the WATC program for which he or she is nominated, is enrolled in the program currently, and is in good standing with the program.

Joao Rachid Scheid, Southside High School Automotive Technology

Micah Murdock, Southside High School Criminal Justice

Sarah Grace Sharp, Southside High School Graphic Design

Adrinna Mott, Booneville High School Computer Graphic Technology

Madison Oelke, Greenwood High School Early Childhood Education

Honey Matevia, Van Buren High School Health Sciences

Jacob Burton, Van Buren High School Computer Engineering

Zachery Goodlin, Van Buren High School Electronics Technology

Shawn Inman, Waldron High School Health Sciences

Garrison Carter, Southside High School Welding Technology


SkillsUSA Gold SkillsUSA Gold Star Members are students who earned more than 25 participation points throughout the school year. Students collect points by attending SkillsUSA functions and volunteering in the community. Recipients receive a $300 book scholarship to UAFS. SkillUsSA had one Gold Star Member for 2017-2018:

Jasmine Garcia (Fort Smith, Northside High School).

SkillsUSA Students Win 16 State Medals University of Arkansas Fort Smith students and students in the Western Arkansas Technical Center at UAFS won a total of 16 medals – 9 of them gold medals – in the 2018 Arkansas SkillsUSA Championships. Awards were given in the secondary and post-secondary division, and included gold, silver and bronze medals for first, second and third places.

WATC Award Winners Booneville: Maggie Hudgens, Waldron High School, gold in First Aid/CPR. Fort Smith: Miguel Anguiano, Northside High School, bronze in Masonry; Raymond Cabarcas, Northside High School, silver in Medical Terminology; Maria Gutierrez-Sanchez, Northside High School, silver in Preschool Teaching Assistant; Joselina Roman, Northside High School, bronze in Preschool Teaching Assistant.

Van Buren: Kevin Head, Van Buren High School, gold in Preschool Teaching Assistant Waldron: Mason Day, Waldron High School, gold in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of 4); Lori Gallup, Waldron High School, gold in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of 4); Emily Haga, Waldron High School, silver in Health Occupations Professional Portfolio; Eric Parkhurst, Waldron High School, gold in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of 4); Angelina Sher, Waldron High School, gold in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of 4); Adrianna Slater, Waldron High School, silver in Basic Healthcare Skills; Elizabeth Soisouvanh, Waldron High School, bronze in Medical Math. In addition to the medals, WATC gold medal winners receive a four-year $1,000 scholarship to attend UAFS. SkillsUSA is a national organization for both high school and college students. The organization is designed to provide quality educational experiences for students enrolled in technical, skilled and service programs.


WATC SENIORS EARN Degrees at uafs Each year hundreds of students take advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school by enrolling in the WATC program. However, three students went the extra mile and completed the requirements to earn an associate’s degree during their time in WATC – and it was all free! Garrison Carter of Fort Smith (Southside High School), Tabitha May of Greenwood (Greenwood High School) and Micah Murdock of Fort Smith (Southside High School) walked across the stage on May 12 in the spring commencement ceremony at UAFS as candidates for an Associate of Applied Science two weeks before earning their high school diplomas. May and Murdock both completed the requirements for a criminal justice degree during their time with the program. Carter earned his degree in welding technology and also earned a certificate of proficiency in the following three areas: TIG welding, ARC welding, and welding layout and fabrication.

Carter, May, and Murdock began WATC as juniors in high school and quickly expressed their desire to do more. Each student received a scholarship to take courses during the summer semesters between their junior and senior year, and then continued to take extra courses at night during the fall and spring semesters of their senior year. Working hard has definitely paid off. Combined the students have earned approximately 176 college credit hours. Dr. D. Chris Rink, WATC director, was enthusiastic about what the students have accomplished. “When I see WATC students take the initiative to earn an associate’s degree in high school, regardless of the field of study, it pleases me as an educator. I have no doubt these students will continue to pursue further education and succeed in their chosen career paths.”


WATC Starfish Awards WATC Starfish Awards were presented to students who went above and beyond expectations, exuded passion for the WATC program and helping peers succeed, and demonstrated exemplary leadership skills. Two Starfish Awards, along with a $500 book scholarship to UAFS, were presented to Maria Serrano (Fort Smith, Southside High School), and Jacob Evans (Van Buren, Van Buren High School). Maria Serrano is the Health Sciences program. She has demonstrated a remarkable amount of aspiration and dedication during her time as a WATC student. She is an exemplary WATC student and a positive role model for her peers. She always does her best and will lend a hand to a classmate anytime they need help. Her upstanding character and admirable optimism qualify her for the Starfish Award.

Jacob Evans has excelled in the Welding Technology program beyond expectations. He comes in early and stays late to make sure his work is done above par. When things get difficult, he doesn’t give up and will persevere through the most complicated situations.

Welding rodeo WATC Starfish Awards were presented to students who went above and beyond expectations, exuded passion for the WATC program and helping peers succeed, and demonstrated exemplary leadership skills. Two Starfish Awards, along with a $500 book scholarship to UAFS, were presented to Maria Serrano (Fort Smith, Southside High School), and Jacob Evans (Van Buren, Van Buren High School). Maria Serrano is the Health Sciences program. She has demonstrated a remarkable amount of aspiration and dedication during her time as a WATC student. She is an exemplary WATC student and a positive role model for her peers. She always does her best and will lend a hand to a classmate anytime they need help. Her upstanding character and admirable optimism qualify her for the Starfish Award. Jacob Evans has excelled in the Welding Technology program beyond expectations. He comes in early and stays late to make sure his work is done above par. When things get difficult, he doesn’t give up and will persevere through the most complicated situations.


WATC Newsletter  
WATC Newsletter