UCA Alumni Association honors outstanding alumni

The University of Central Arkansas Alumni Association will honor three former students at the 2022 Alumni Awards celebration.

Ann Burns Hoy ’62 will be the recipient of the Alumni Service Award while Monica Steinberg ’04 will receive the Young Alumni Award. Two-time alumnus Kim Crissler ’84, ’95 will receive the inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award.

The trio will be recognized on Friday, Oct. 28, as part of UCA’s Homecoming festivities. The Alumni Awards dinner, which starts at 7 p.m., will take place in the McCastlain Hall Ballroom and is open to the public. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online.

Additionally, the event will recognize former award winners as well as the Coming Home Queens, former UCA Homecoming Queens who were selected in years ending in 2 (2012, 2002, 1992, etc.).

“This year’s three alumni award winners are each outstanding representatives of UCA,” said Alison Taylor, executive director of alumni relations. “Their achievements and support of the university serve as a model for other alumni and strengthen the reputation of the university. We’re proud to recognize them for their hard work, service and contributions to the UCA community.”

Alumni Service Award

Headshot of Ann Burns Hoy

Ann Burns Hoy

The Alumni Service Award, awarded each year since 2007, is presented to an individual or couple who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, dedication, service and loyalty to UCA. 

Hoy, this year’s Alumni Service Award recipient, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arkansas State Teachers College in 1962. She also earned a master’s degree in education from Long Island University in 1981.

A retired educator, she taught in nine different schools across six different states during her teaching career. As an alumna, she has been involved with the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Education, the alumni scholarship committee and has been a donor to Delta Zeta sorority.

“I am both thrilled and humbled to have been selected for this award,” Hoy said. “It is an unbelievable honor to be singled out as a representative for the many alumni who have contributed so much to the University of Central Arkansas. I cherish this gift and thank all of those who worked with me on the alumni board and others who have made such wonderful contributions to UCA.”

Young Alumni Award

Headshot of Monica Steinberg

Monica Steinberg

The Young Alumni Award, first given for 2020, recognizes exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities from alumni under the age of 40.

Steinberg, winner of this year’s Young Alumni Award, earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from UCA in 2004. She completed her Ph.D. in art history at the City University of New York in 2016.

Currently an assistant professor of American Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong, Steinberg has published articles in a host of academic journals, including Grey Room, Oxford Art Journal, and the Archives of American Art Journal. She won the Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award, which is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Art, the scholarly journal of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“I am surprised and flattered to have won this award,” Steinberg said. “The incredible support of the UCA faculty made all the difference. While I was an undergraduate, Dr. Gayle Seymour drove me to and from conferences and the airport, wrote countless letters of recommendation, and went above and beyond as an academic mentor. And the support of the Honors College was truly amazing: the classes, the community, and the study-abroad and internship experiences.”

Volunteer of the Year Award

Headshot of Kim Crissler

Kim Crissler

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes a UCA alum who has made significant contributions to the university while volunteering on behalf of the alumni association.

Crissler, winner of the inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award, is a two-time UCA graduate. He completed a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1984 before earning a master’s degree in history in 1995. He also earned a master’s in public health from Wichita State in 2001.

Crissler recently retired from a career in the U.S. government and moved back to central Arkansas to be more involved with UCA. He is a member of the UCA Alumni Association Board of Directors and UCA’s Purple Circle.

“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this honor,” Crissler said. “I love UCA and would do anything to help promote the university and to help its students, faculty and staff. When I was at school, I worked for Simms McClintock to help with the Arkansas Model U.N. That was the start of my love for this institution and for all the people who work hard here. I am a very big Bear and no one can ever take that away from me. But I will happily share it with the world.”

The Alumni Awards dinner is part of UCA’s Homecoming celebration. Other events include the return of the UCA Homecoming Parade, the Half Century Club induction honoring the class of 1972 and the Bear Bash tailgate. A complete schedule of Homecoming events can be found on the UCA website.

By Philip Allison