Two-time alumnus earns prestigious fellowship

A University of Central Arkansas alumnus has been selected to participate in the Southern Regional Education Board’s highly competitive Doctoral Scholars Program.

Headshot of Shun Ingram

Two-time UCA alumnus Shun Ingram has been selected to participate in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Doctoral Scholars Program.

A two-time UCA graduate, Shun Ingram received a Bachelor of Science degree in health education in 2014 before earning a master’s degree in health sciences in 2018. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in health promotion and prevention research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health while also working for UAMS as a research assistant.

“I was really excited and honored to be given this fellowship. Maybe even a little bit shocked, just because it’s so competitive,” Ingram said. “When I looked at everything the fellowship stands for, I realized so many of my goals lined up with it. So I just tried to put my best foot forward in my application and fortunately I was selected.”

Ingram, who is one of the first African-American males to enter his Ph.D. program, was the only applicant from UAMS to be selected for the Doctoral Scholars Program this year. His academic studies are focused on racial health disparities. He anticipates completing his degree by the spring of 2024 before pursuing an academic and research career at the university level.

The Southern Regional Education Board was founded on the belief that a diverse faculty with a variety of scholarly perspectives produces a stronger educational experience for all students. In 1993, it created the Doctoral Scholars Program to address the long-standing national shortage of underrepresented minority faculty. The program works to improve faculty diversity by helping to increase the number of minority students who are pursuing doctoral degrees with a goal of beginning a career in higher education.

The Doctoral Scholars Program provides these doctoral students with financial support, leadership opportunities, networking events and intensive professional development to help them finish their degrees and consider a career in academia.

While receiving the fellowship allows Ingram to start looking toward the future, he also fondly remembers his time at UCA, where he also spent several years as a staff member. 

“I just love UCA and all the experiences and opportunities I had there,” Ingram said. “Not only am I trying to do myself and my family proud, I am also trying to make UCA proud as well because everyone there has such a commitment to see students succeed.”

By Philip Allison