Arkansas State University - Newport

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ASUN Lobby
October 2014

Four From ASU-Newport Honored at ACC Conference

Four From ASU-Newport Honored at ACC Conference

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (10-14-2014) — Three Arkansas State University-Newport employees and one ASUN student were honored for outstanding performance this week at the 26th Annual Arkansas Community Colleges Conference in Hot Springs.  Brandon Coburn, a student on ASUN’s Marked Tree Campus, was honored as the school’s Academic All-Star; Adam Adair, ASU-Newport Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs, was named ASUN’s Outstanding Alumni; Jack Osier, Assistant Professor of Renewable Energy Technology, was honored as ASUN’s Outstanding Faculty Member and Laura King, Assistant to the Chancellor, was named Outstanding Staff Member.

The conference was held Oct. 12-14 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.  Osier and King were recognized at Monday night’s Awards Dinner, while Coburn and Adair were honored at Tuesday’s Academic All-Star Brunch.

After enrolling in college four years ago, Coburn suffered a perilous motorcycle accident on Aug. 1, 2010 that left him hospitalized for a month.  Recovering, but unable to physically attend college, Coburn began completing his general education courses online through Arkansas State University-Newport.  Four years and 15 surgeries later, Coburn is one year away from graduating with a degree in Computer Networking Technology.  Coburn thanks and credits the ASUN faculty for their encouragement and understanding as he overcomes  the obstacles in his life to complete his degree.

In the truest sense of the phrase “giving back,” Adair returned to ASU-Newport in 2012 as Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs 14 years after graduating from the institution in 1998.  He exhibits an abiding sense of fiscal responsibility as well as a genuine interest in the overall improvement of ASU-Newport and student learning.  Living by the motto “making the best better,” Adair strives not only to improve the appearance of the college, but the marketability of ASUN as well.  His fresh outlook, coupled with high standards of excellence have produced strategic, data-driven initiatives which have significantly impacted ASU-Newport.

Osier joined the ASUN staff in 2009 and hit the ground running as he conducted pioneer efforts in the areas of recruitment and curriculum development for ASUN’s Renewable Energy Technology Program.  His student-centered approach immediately made him a favored educator  and mentor, while his kind disposition and eagerness of spirit  led him to volunteer for numerous collegiate and community functions.  Recognized with state and national accolades, Osier has entered a new phase of his career, assuming the additional duty of Assistant to the Dean for General Education.  Osier is characterized by his dedication to excellence, coupled with drive and enthusiasm.

Efficient, competent, patient and accommodating have all be adjectives used to describe King.  Since joining the ASUN staff in 2006, King has seen the institution grow from a single location entity to a multiple-campus operation.  As a result, the sometimes daunting task of managing the chancellor’s time has become even more challenging.  King juggles her numerous tasks with an indisputable sense of calm and a cheerful disposition.  She serves on various institutional committees and brings her consistent sense of stability as well as kind and introspective manner to any situation.

In addition to the honors awarded to its student, staff and faculty, four ASU-Newport faculty/staff members combined to present at the conference as well.

Dr. Martha Shull, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Lori Butler, Developmental Education Coordinator, Irina Reynolds, Freshman Seminar Coordinator and Greg Slayton, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, gave the presentation “Building Bridges to Tomorrow Through the Three R’s:  Recruitment, Remediation and Retention.”

Building Bridges is an interactive presentation focused on helping entering freshmen who may have been marginalized by coming from low income backgrounds where family and friends did not value education, or by having been away from school for years.  The Three R’s of Recruitment, Remediation and Retention focus on recruitment that is sensitive, empathetic and realistic; the remediation element builds on lessons learned by the PACE initiative and also shows how inextricably interlinked a basic skills review is to a freshman experience course that builds student confidence; and the retention  results from providing a cohort of learners led by caring instructors.

Arkansas State University-Newport is a degree granting community college with campuses in Jonesboro, Marked Tree and Newport, Arkansas.  It is a part of the Arkansas State University System.  For more information about what is going on at ASU-Newport, visit us on our Facebook page at, where you will find news and photos highlighting achievements and events at all three campuses.  Follow us on Twitter at @ASUNewport for quick information about what is going on at ASUN.

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.