Announcing the 2022 King, Nolan and OMNI award winners

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Old Main on the U of A campus, home to the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the U of A has selected the 2022 recipients of several of its most prestigious faculty awards, including:

“The incredible progress these faculty members have made through their service, teaching and caring for our greater global community is nothing short of astounding,” said Todd Shields, Dean of Fulbright College. “We are lucky to have each of them in our college, and they are a true inspiration.”

“The difference they have made in the lives of our studentswithout forgetting in each of their respective fields is phenomenal, and for that we can’t thank them enough,” added Shields.


portrait of Ron WarrenThe John E. King Distinguished Service Award was established and endowed by Fulbright College faculty members to recognize colleagues who demonstrate exemplary service to campus and the community. They named the award for King, professor of social work, in honor of his “leadership, extraordinary ethics and good deeds”.

Recipient Ron Warren’s research focuses on children, families and the media; media and civic engagement; and advertising. He served as Associate Chair of the Department of Communication, Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Honors Program Coordinator, and Faculty Advisor for the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society.

Additionally, Warren served as Fulbright College’s Deputy Cabinet Chair, a member of the UA Institutional Review Board for 15 years, and a member of the City of Fayetteville Telecommunications Board. Warren has also served on the editorial boards of three leading journals and reviewed grant proposals and reports for the US Department of Education. He is frequently sought out as a reviewer for more than two dozen journals.

Warren has also consistently undertaken an above-average number of independent study projects, conducted several research projects that have benefited state and state agencies, and worked with seven Arkansas city governments and with the Heartland Forward. Foundation. to collect data on high-speed Internet deployment in underserved areas of the state.

“For 25 years, Dr. Warren has tirelessly served our department, the college, the university and far beyond in our community,” said Stephanie Ricker Schulte, chair of the Department of Communication, who appointed him. “More than anyone I have ever known, Dr. Warren embodies a service mentality. His desire to help, heal, serve, support and collaborate is unmatched.”


Portrait of Ryan Neville ShepardThe Nolan Faculty Award was endowed by the William C. and Theodosia Murphy Nolan Foundation to support the professional advancement of faculty members who provide the highest quality research and teaching service to the college.

Recipient Ryan Neville-Shepard’s research focuses on political communication, rhetorical criticism and argumentation, and tends to focus on communication from outsiders to politics. His contributions to teaching, research and service have earned him an excellent reputation both in the Department of Communication and in the field at large.

“Dr. Neville-Shepard has had a significant impact on our program, and especially after taking on the role of Director of Graduate Studies in 2019,” said Schulte, who appointed him. “He also proved to be an inventive, dedicated and excellent teacher, aiming to increase options for students interested in rhetorical approaches to communication.”

Since 2016, he has served on 10 Master’s Thesis Committees, eight Master’s Summary Committees, two Comprehensive Review Committees, and several Undergraduate Honors Committees. He has also advised two master’s theses and two master’s capstone projects, transformed most of his courses into combined 4000/5000-level sections, and developed four new graduate seminars in six years.

Neville-Shepard also received the New Faculty Commendation for Teaching Commitment from the Wally Cordes Teaching Faculty Support Center in 2017 and 2018, and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the U of A’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021.

“He’s a high-achieving teacher who brings exceptional compassion to his students,” Schulte said. “As a result, our master’s program is receiving the highest number of applications we have seen in years.”


portrait of Geoboo SongThe OMNI Keeling/Hansen Prize in Climate Science was established to “promote cutting-edge climate science research conducted by Fulbright College faculty and students in advancing knowledge of the causes and impacts of global climate change, in the development of tangible solutions to mitigate global climate change and its consequences”. deleterious effects on humanity and global ecosystems, and in communicating the urgency of climate catastrophe.”

Grantee Geoboo Song’s broad research interests lie in systemically explaining variations in individuals’ perceptions of political issues, their political preferences, and their behaviors under certain political arrangements in highly contentious and controversial areas. Specifically, Song was intrigued by the ontological and epistemological nature of various risks, the different ways in which individual members of society interpret and perceive risks, and the related impact on society in general and on certain individuals and groups in particular. .

“Dr. Geoboo Song is the ideal recipient of the OMNI Keeling/Hansen Prize for Climate Science,” said Peter Ungar, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Environmental Dynamics Program (ENDY). “With this award, he will focus on examining the origins of Arkansans’ climate change risk perceptions, political preferences and behaviors and developing the most effective way to communicate the reality of climate change. with an emphasis on telling a story.”

To do so, Song will apply a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and theoretical approach to data analysis while focusing on investigating the cognitive attributes of over 4,000 Arkansans and implementing survey experiments designed to test the effectiveness of climate change stories with different structures and storytellers to better communicate key climate change issues.

Song will then attend research conferences where he can share his findings with other scholars and practitioners around the world.


portrait of Laurence LievreThe OMNI Center for World Peace and Justice Faculty Award was established to “recognize outstanding research, teaching, and service by faculty who promote the study and teaching of peace and justice and the practice of non-violence, conflict resolution and diplomacy”.

Recipient Laurence Hare’s research specialties include the cultural and intellectual history of Germany and Scandinavia in the 19th and 20th centuries, and his publications trace the history of nationalism in Europe, with an emphasis on transnational dynamics of the creation of national cultures and the role of academic disciplines. in the making of identity.

As a European and world historian, Hare’s work has also examined cultural and intellectual exchanges in European border regions during times of conflict. In addition to being a history faculty member, Hare previously served as director of the U of A’s International and Global Studies program.

“Based on his strong record of promoting peace education and sustainable community development, I am happy to recommend him for this award,” said Todd Cleveland, a professor in the Department of History, who has named Hare. “He has worked since 2016 to develop peace studies at the U of A and to promote a culture of peace and sustainability in the institution’s work with Arkansas communities.”

Hare has also developed a formal degree concentration on peace, security and human rights in the BA in International Studies, and a similar focus area on peace and conflict as an essential component of a new BA program offered in history.

Hare’s work further includes a project he started in cooperation with the colleges of agriculture, commerce, and engineering called “Arkansas Global Changemakers.” The program is an applied research and education initiative connecting communities in Arkansas with communities around the world to discuss common global challenges.