Outstanding Students, Faculty and Staff Honored at Vanguard Awards

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Arkansas State University-Beebe hosted its annual Vanguard Awards banquet on Tuesday, April 30, honoring outstanding students, faculty and staff.
Each year, student awards are presented for leadership and outstanding achievement, with the most prestigious of these being the annual Citizenship Award.  In addition to students, one faculty and one staff member were also recognized with distinguished awards for contribution to service to the student experience.
The Citizenship Award has been presented annually to exceptional students since 1959. This year’s award was presented to John Paul Henderson of Beebe, liberal arts and sciences major, and Asia Simmons of Jacksonville, a criminal justice major.
Henderson founded the Fellowship of Christian College Students and Turning Point U.S.A clubs on campus, served as president of the Business Club, SGA sophomore senator, chair of the Well-Being Committee and member of the TRIO Leadership Council, Phi Theta Kappa and Psychology and Social Sciences Club.
Simmons served as a leadership scholar and resident assistant and founded the Chess Club on campus. As chair of the Student Government Warren Harshaw Diversity Committee, she created a partnership with the college’s Disabilities Services Committee and Black Excellence Association to provide several student engagement programs throughout the year.
Leadership Scholar graduates were also recognized as follows: Jacob Cater, Ashley Clark, Annabelle Ferren, Catherine Hartman, Johnathan Morehead, Savannah Newberry, Asia Simmons and Ella Wise.
Dr. Jennifer Methvin, ASU-Beebe chancellor, presented a framed Arkansas Community Colleges medallion to Jacob Cater, who represented ASU-Beebe as the 2023 Academic All-Star.
The Outstanding First-Year Award was presented to Lexi Stout of Cave City, a veterinary technology major, and Jared Wood of Lonoke, a computer information systems major.
The Outstanding Nontraditional Award was presented to Shelbi Tate of Cabot, an agriculture major, and Cassandra Reed of Searcy, a liberal arts and sciences major.
The Outstanding Academic Award for the arts and humanities division was presented to Angelica Barrick of Searcy, a liberal arts and sciences major, and Brianna Staples of Searcy, an education major.
The Outstanding Academic Award for the career education division was presented to Makenna Pounders of Searcy, an agriculture major, and Dru Curtsinger of Beebe, an automotive technology major.
The Outstanding Academic Award for the math and science division was presented to Frank Franks of Cabot, a liberal arts and sciences major, and Allie Williams of McRae, a medical laboratory technology major.
The Outstanding Heber Springs Campus Award was presented to Breanna Stair of Quitman, a health sciences major, and Alexander Skaja of Higden, a liberal arts and sciences major.
The Outstanding Searcy Campus Award was presented to Justen Gentry of Beebe, a power sports technology major, and Chase Perkins of Searcy, a welding technology major.
The Outstanding Little Rock Air Force Base Campus Award was presented to Sydney Strong of Sherwood, a health sciences major, and Calis Browning of Ward, a health sciences major.
Ryan Gibbons, assistant professor of communication and theatre, was presented the Student Government Association (SGA) Outstanding Faculty Award and Faith Earl, residence hall manager, received the SGA Outstanding Staff Award.
Additionally, the Outstanding Registered Student Organization Award was presented to the Business Club for their work in providing community learning experiences to support student success in the classroom.
At the end of the program, Zackery Tucker, dean of students, thanked Ashley Clark for serving as the 2023-2024 president of the Student Government Association. Clark then administered the oath of office to SGA president-elect Carter Blackmon.
For more information about programs offered at ASU-Beebe, call (501) 882-3600 or view the website at
Founded in 1927, Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located at Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, Little Rock Air Force Base and online, the college offers associate degrees, certificates and noncredit training for business and industry.  
Heather Pedersen

Heather Pedersen (125)

“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” -C.S. Lewis