Department presents 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Department of Government, Public Service, and International Studies held a reception for alumni, students, faculty, and other guests in Buffalo Alumni Hall on Tuesday evening, September 12, 2023.  President Houston Davis welcomed UCA alumni, faculty, and students to the event.  Members of the department faculty, including Dr. Heather Yates, Dr. Kim Hoffman, and Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh, highlighted the department’s bachelor degree programs, including the BA/BS in Political Science, Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA), and BA in International Studies.  The department also offers minors in Political Science, Public Administration, International Studies, and Legal Studies.  Dr. Clay Arnold presented the department’s 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Justice Cody Hiland of the Arkansas State Supreme Court.  Justice Hiland, who graduated from UCA with a bachelor’s degree in public administration in 1993, previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2017 to 2020.

In July 2023, Justice Cody Hiland was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Arkansas Supreme Court by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  He graciously accepted the award and spoke of the life-long drive that the values of public service has given his career. He remarked that “public service has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And inherent in the idea of public service is the idea that we’re helping other people. I don’t know if there’s a greater calling in life than serving our fellow man.”

Distinguished Alumnus Justice Cody Hiland

Justice Cody Hiland and Dr. Clay Arnold

Dr. Mark Mullenbach announced the establishment of the Student Experiential Learning Fund (SELF) that will provide small grants to students in the department who are participating in experiential learning activities outside of the classroom, including internships, academic service learning, research, academic conferences and seminars, and study abroad.  Dr. Mullenbach encouraged department alumni and others to generously contribute to the SELF, which will be administered by the UCA Foundation.  He stated that the “primary goal of the fund is to ensure than no student in the department is unable to participate in an experiential learning activity because they don’t have that extra $100 or $300 in their budget.”

Left to Right: Dr. Mark Elrod, Willis Arnold, and Dr. Mark Mullenbach

Dr. Mary Beth Sullivan announced the establishment of an undergraduate student online journal, which will give undergraduate students in the department the opportunity to publish their research.  Dr. Sullivan announced that a call for papers will be issued in the spring.

Left to Right: Dr. Bailey Fairbanks, Dr. Mary Beth Sullivan, Dr. Kim Hoffman, Dr. Heather Yates, and Dr. Joseph Howard

Dr. Hyo-Won Shin was introduced as the department’s newest faculty member.  Dr. Shin, who was hired to replace the retired Dr. John Passe Smith, specializes in comparative politics and Southeast Asian politics.

Department of Government, Public Service, and International Studies alumni