Arkansas State University Goes The Distance To Enhance Students' Education

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

There are always innovative things happening on the ASU campus to better serve and educate the school’s 14,000 students and provide for continued growth.

Students Serving the World

Each semester, Dr. Clint Relyea takes his Global Leadership class to countries like Ecuador, where the students work on humanitarian projects like rebuilding houses and orphanages and planting trees. Students learn what they can do for others and what impact their contribution can make.

Bringing the World to Students

Arkansas State has more than 60 countries represented by 1,000-plus international students. The benefits are far-reaching. Professors encourage student interaction to erase barriers and establish natural, human connections that recognize similarities and celebrate each distinct culture.

Outside the Classroom

When Paul Sikkel, assistant professor of biology, discovered a small parasitic crustacean that inhabits the eastern Caribbean’s coral reefs, he named it Gnathia marleyi, in honor of musician Bob Marley. While the discovery drew national attention from hundreds of media outlets like USA Today, Fox News and the Huffington Post, one of the greatest benefits of Sikkel’s research has been his ability to benefit A-State biology students, many of whom have the opportunity to turn those coral reefs into their classroom.

Community-minded Global Citizens

Just a year ago, the Volunteer ASU Leadership Center started the Volunteer Network. They have made a huge difference in the regional community by placing more than 500 ASU students with 25 non-profit and volunteer agencies. Additionally, during “alternative” spring breaks and weekend excursions, A-State students have traveled to places like New Orleans and Joplin, Mo., where they contributed time and labor to rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters, and helped with blood drives, city beautification, homeless shelters and animal shelters.

Exciting Times for the Red Wolves

During the 2011-12 academic year, 64 student athletes from the Red Wolves’ 16 NCAA intercollegiate sports earned their degrees. The football Red Wolves won their second consecutive Sun Belt Conference championship and the 2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl; the basketball teams continue to lead or be near the top of the Sun Belt standings each year and ASU is preparing to construct a $22 million athletic facility.

Always Something New

While A-State embraces its roots, the school is willing to try new things –– including the use of classroom iPads for all 2013 freshmen and the planning for a new campus in Querétaro, Mexico. Such non-traditional methods, innovations and new programs provide plentiful opportunities for ASU students to enhance their education and get the most from their time on campus.

 

 

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