JONESBORO — Four outstanding alumni of Arkansas State University will be honored as distinguished graduates by the College of Education and Behavioral Science during Homecoming weekend. The event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14, at 4-5:30 p.m., in the Delta Center for Economic Development, 319 University Loop Circle.
The award winners for 2016 are Chris T. Stone, Frontier League all-star athletic trainer, Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences; Dr. Sharon Taylor, long-time principal at Valley View Intermediate School, Educational Leadership; Phil L. Taylor, executive director of Abilities Unlimited of Jonesboro, Psychology and Counseling; and Jackie Dedman Govan, state Head Start collaboration director, Teacher Education.
Chris T. Stone is a 2005 graduate of A-State and is currently employed as a physician assistant at Centegra Physician Care-McHenry County Orthopedics in Huntley, Ill. He earned his bachelor of science degree in athletic training. In 2008, Stone was selected Frontier League Athletic Trainer of the Year, and has twice received the honor of Frontier League All-Star athletic trainer in 2008 and 2010.
Dr. Sharon Taylor earned her master of science in education degree from Arkansas State and an educational specialist degree in administration in 1992. That same year she accepted a position as K-8th grade principal at Valley View Schools in Jonesboro. She was a member of the first cohort in the leadership program at Arkansas State and completed her doctor of education degree in 1998. This year she is enjoying her 25th year as a principal at Valley View Schools. She plans to begin her retirement at the end of the year.
Since 1994, Phil L. Taylor has served as the chief executive officer and executive director of Abilities Unlimited of Jonesboro. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from A-State in 1970 and his master’s in rehabilitation counseling in 1971. In 1990, he returned to Arkansas State to work on a specialist in education degree. He is a licensed professional counselor, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified vocational evaluation specialist. He was also appointed by the state’s governors four times (1997-2015) to vice chair and chairman of the state board of Arkansas Department of Career Education.
Jackie Dedman Govan is an alumnus of the College of Education and Behavioral Science and the Department of Teacher Education. She earned her bachelor of science in education degree in elementary/special education and her master of science in education in administration/principalship from A-State. She is an active member of the Strong-Turner Chapter of the Alumni Association. Govan has worked in various aspects of the early childhood education system in Arkansas and the region. Currently, the director of the Head Start Collaboration Office, she has taken a leadership role in the Early Childhood Commission, which oversees implementation of child care, early education, public prekindergarten and related policies in the state.
“This is an exciting time of the year for our college and departments as outstanding alumni are selected from each department in the college—Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Educational Leadership, Psychology and Counseling, and Teacher Education,” said Dr. Beverly Boals Gilbert, Homecoming committee chair and professor of Early Childhood Education.
The process involves the nomination of individuals for consideration by faculty and administrators. Faculty within the department collectively determine the award winners for each year. Throughout the year, faculty members consider names of individuals for this honor and early in the fall semester, committees review nominations and individuals are selected.
Criteria in the selection process include significant contribution to the field, recognition with awards and honors in the academic area, commitment to the department and to its ideals, principles and philosophy and longevity within the profession.
“We are proud of our graduates and we are thrilled to honor these individuals for 2016. We hope everyone will join us for this event as we recognize these outstanding individuals and alumni of Arkansas State University’s College of Education and Behavioral Science,” Gilbert said.
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