Masks are required as the campus is at red status.


The University of Central Arkansas Norbert O. Schedler Honors College will host 2020 Challenge Week from Friday, Sept. 25 to Friday, Oct. 2. The theme is “Democracy, Citizenship, Governance.”

Challenge Week brings a wide range of regional, national and international thinkers to campus to discuss a specific issue or problem that impacts society. Speakers present information and arguments to challenge audiences to see that issue or problem from a new perspective and to take action toward thoughtful change.

The inspiration for this year’s theme is threefold: the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the upcoming 2020 presidential election and the protests for racial justice that swept the country this past summer.

Due to COVID-19, all Challenge Week events will be hosted via Zoom. To see the full list of events and access Zoom links, visit

A preview of events is below:

Context for the Contemporary Moment
Friday, Sept. 25, 3-4 p.m.
Organized by UCA’s Department of Political Science will challenge the audiences to think through basic assumptions about the political system. Political science faculty will also establish themes and questions to keep in mind for the week ahead.

Emotions in the Public Square
Monday, Sept. 28, 6-7 p.m.
Paul Nail, former UCA psychology professor, and Heather Yates, assistant professor of political science, will share their research on the emotions that drive political beliefs and voters’ perceptions of political candidates.

Media and Politics: Challenges and Opportunities
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7-8 p.m.
Hear from Lee Hill, executive producer of “The Takeaway,” a National Public Radio daily news podcast.

From the Inside: Experiences of Minority Women in Politics
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Sen. Joyce Elliott will provide inside perspectives on her personal experiences and insights on how the political system works (or doesn’t work) for both women and minorities but will also look to the future.

Political Science Lecture Series: Angie Maxwell & The Long Southern Strategy
Thursday, Oct. 1, 6-7:15 p.m.
The Department of Political Science will host a lecture and discussion featuring Angie Maxwell, director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and associate professor of political science at the University of Arkansas. Maxwell is also co-author of “The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics.”

Collective Action Workshops
Friday, Oct. 2, 3-4:30 p.m.
Sharon Mason, Department of Philosophy and Religion, will help collect thoughts from the week and weave them into lessons learned from the workshops.