Student Ambassadors Selected

SouthArk PBL Winners - 2019 Arkansas Leadership Conference Event

SouthArk PBL State Champions at Arkansas Leadership Conference Event

As always the SouthArk PBL students represented SouthArk extremely well at the 2019 Arkansas Leadership Conference. So much fun to work with a group like this! Please congratulate the students when you see them. This is a quick draft of the winners. SouthArk also won a few other awards, but this is a list of the competitive event winners.

pbl 2019

April 2019 Shelf Life

April 2019 Shelf Life

By Lauri Wilson.

Trying to get a Shelf Life Column together is like being in the midst of a thunderstorm of ideas to me --swirling thoughts blowing everywhere and pooling up to a dangerous level in my mind. Eventually, the flood waters have to stop and be channeled into a flowing, orderly format that’s acceptable for the newspaper – it’s quite a struggle, for me at least. Poetry, however, is easier to handle. There may be a bewildering storm of emotions that needs to be written down immediately, but after that, the storm is over, because with free verse, almost anything goes. (Well, maybe with a little editing.) That’s the beauty of art. Anyone can create art like poetry, paintings, stories and other forms of art.

Arts in April is our theme this month, and it’s a busy, creative time here at the college with many art-related events planned, including a film festival. A book that’s perfect for movie fans is Conversations at the American Film Institute with The Great Moviemakers: The Next Generation - from the 1950s to Hollywood today by George Stevens, Jr. It includes interviews with directors, actors, and others working in films after the end of the big studio system – Charleton Heston, William Friedken, Morgan Freeman, Neil Simon, and many others.

Music fans have their icons as well, but one name you might not know was Hal Blaine, a studio musician for some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s and 70s, who died the day before this writing. Blaine was a part of “The Wrecking Crew”, a group of highly talented studio musicians of the era. The Crew included Arkansas’s own Glen Campbell. For a blast from the wayback machine of the greatest music from the past, read The Wrecking Crew: the Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret by Kent Hartman.

Don’t know a Magritte from a Modigliani? Confused by cubism? Try …Isms: Understanding Modern Art by Sam Phillips, which is a guide for the perplexed. The many schools, movements and styles are explained in this easy-to-understand book about modern art of all kinds.

I had to check and see if this artist is in the last book and located him under “Interventionism and Street Art”, or you might say, graffiti. And who is Banksy? Best known as an anti-establishment stencil artist mocking society, Banksy’s recent works included one that shredded itself. Unfortunately, the mechanism behind that work is not explained in Banksy: You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat and If You Were Not You Would Know About It / compiled and edited by Gary Shove; words by Patrick Potter. The artist called Banksy is shaking things up in the art world today with works selling for as much as half a million dollars.

Another artist, working 500 years ago, has been shaking things up ever since he created The Last Supper, the Mona Lisa, and many other works of art. A creative genius, learned in anatomy, science and technology as well as art and sculpture is the subject of Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. This in-depth biography includes the artist’s notebooks, sketches, and paintings which reveal how he connected his art to his science.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a science to producing a newspaper column, rather than just waiting on inspiration? But while I struggle with writing this column, imagine what a difficult time it is to write a memoir. Family secrets, your own painful past – do you really want to share them? Before writing a life story, you might want to read The Truth of Memoir: How to Write About Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion and Integrity by Kerry Cohen.

If you’re not a writer, how do you let your inner artist out? It’s easy – try crafting, sewing, writing, or just singing along with the radio. Among the many crafting books we have is Tie Dip Dye: Fashion and Lifestyle Projects To Hand-Dye in Your Own Kitchen by Pepa Martin and Karen Davis. Learn how to create unique, wearable items, or home décor that’s been colorfully dyed just the way you like it. That’s just one suggestion, we’ll be happy to recommend more. Just come by the SouthArk Library and visit with us – you don’t have to be a student to get a library card, just show your ID.

Until then, keep on reading and creating!

SouthArk named one of the best community colleges

SouthArk named one of the best community colleges

South Arkansas Community College has been named the fourth best online community college in the state by the SR Education group.

Dr. Barbara Jones said the college always appreciates being recognized for the work they do.

The SR Education group has been releasing college rankings since 2009, looking at topics such as most affordable online college, best online school for students with disabilities and most LGBT-friendly online college. The best online community college ranking is a new ranking that started this year, with the list broken down by state.

SouthArk ranked number four on the list with Arkansas Northwest College, NorthWest Arkansas Community College and Pulaski Technical College as the top three.

The decision was made by looking at elements of the college such as tuition cost, which for SouthArk is $2,520 for a year, details about the program’s coursework and what degrees are available fully online.

SR Education did accept programs that require some on-campus coursework as long as it could be completed in two weeks or less. The ranking itself required at least five or more eligible schools.

SouthArk offers one fully online program, which is an associate of arts.

SR Education also noted SouthArk as one of the most affordable colleges, regional accreditation and as a non-profit college. SouthArk is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and regional is one of the most prestigious forms of accreditation because it makes it easier for students to transfer credits between colleges.The distinction specifically looked at online programs due to concerns about students being able to retain employment and personal responsibilities outside of school.

“It is an honor for South Arkansas Community College to be recognized as one of the best online community colleges in Arkansas,” Jones said. “We always appreciate being recognized for the hard work that our team of instructors, staff members and administrators put in every day to assure that our students’ academic goals are achieved. Our online courses and programs are a priority, as many of our students are time- or place-bound. Our faculty and staff work to ensure that both face-to-face and online students are engaged, retained and successful.”

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.

Basketball programs tip off this fall

Basketball programs tip off this fall

Men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball programs will tip off for the first time this fall at South Arkansas Community College, and the college is pursuing acceptance into the National Junior College Athletic Association. SouthArk is applying for NJCAA Division II, which allows for providing college scholarships to athletes.
Starting intercollegiate scholarship basketball was natural, according to SouthArk president Dr. Barbara Jones, in part because throughout much of the 1980s SouthArk forebear Southern Arkansas University-El Dorado Branch had such a team, the Stars. 
Now, basketball is back—and so are the Stars.
“Basketball has a rich history on our campus, so we’re proud to bring college basketball and the Stars mascot back to this institution, and the surrounding area,” she said. “This is something that we’ve been discussing for some time, and we’re happy to unveil it officially. We believe that the Stars will generate excitement both in our campus community, as well as in the community at large. It’s a great opportunity for area athletes to continue their basketball careers beyond high school, while getting a top-rung college education.”
Coaching the Stars men’s team will be El Dorado’s Nate Davis, currently the boys’ head basketball coach at Hermitage High School.
“I’m truly blessed to be given the opportunity to not only lead, but build, the men’s basketball program here at South Arkansas Community College,” Davis said. “There is so much talent in the area, and now we will be able not only to showcase these student-athletes on the court, but also help further their college education as well. I sincerely believe that with the support of our community, this will become something very special.”
Coaching the women will be Dermott’s Michael Wolfe, currently the girls’ head basketball coach at Dermott High School.
“It’s a dream come true,” Wolfe said of taking up the mantle of coaching at SouthArk. “What a great opportunity for female athletes to play at this level, and showcase their skills in this community.”
Jones expressed confidence in the two new Stars coaches.
“Both of them bring various experiences and much enthusiasm to SouthArk’s programs. You will be seeing a lot of more of them in the community soon,” Jones said. “When our teams begin competing this fall, I encourage sports fans in the area to come out and support our men’s and women’s teams. To borrow a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, ‘Keep your eyes on the Stars.’”
This season, Stars home games will be played at the El Dorado Boys and Girls Club. A schedule is development now. Fans will be able to purchase tickets at the door, as well as season passes. There also will be a Stars booster club, and sponsorships will be available through the SouthArk Foundation. More information is available at


Men’s coach
Name: Nate Davis
From: El Dorado
Coaching Background: Assistant softball coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, 2015-2016; Head boys’ basketball coach at Hermitage High School, 2017-Current
College Education: Louisiana Tech University (bachelor’s degree in health and physical education), 2017

Women’s coach
Name: Michael Wolfe
From: Dermott
Coaching Background: Assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Monticello, 2001-2003; Head girls’ basketball coach at Dermott High School, 2018-Current
College Education: University of Arkansas-Monticello (bachelor’s degree in health and physical education), 2001; South University (master’s degree in criminal justice), 2014