Welcome to the UAM Voice
With the acquisition of the new Journalism major at the
University of Arkansas - Monticello, the School of Arts and
Humanities continues a strong tradition of
excellence in student publications. This tradition of
excellence will continue to grow with the UAM Voice.
from the Journalism program will serve as primary
contributors. However, contributions from other faculty,
staff and students are welcomed. The UAM Voice has
been designed to be the primary source of university student
news for all involved with the campus. In addition to basic
sections of a newspaper, the UAM Voice will feature a
variety of other sections including features, alumni
highlights, and an entertainment section.
The UAM Voice will be
published every two weeks under the direction of Ms. Patricia
Roberts, UAM journalism instructor. Our team of student
editors will work hard to cover as many events as possible on
campus. If you know of an event, or if you have a story idea,
submit it to the UAM Voice by e-mail at
In addition, story suggestions may be hand delivered to the
Student Publications Office located on the first level of
The UAM News Editing Class
Back to headlines
UAM Chemistry Students Researching for Government
Photo by Will
Pictured (left to
right) are Matthew McConnell, Dr. Rose McConnell, Adam Green and Jim
Bombs, gunfire, and artillery fill the air
when a war breaks out. The sights and sounds are disturbing enough, but
the thought that troops are unsafe is even more mind rattling for the
families of soldiers on the field.
As wars plague the world, the United States
Federal Government is constantly trying to develop new ideas to
revolutionize the security of its troops. While many options in the
past that have been introduced have failed, others have shown some
signs of promise or given rise to potentially new ideas.
The work and time needed to develop these new
ideas is often hard for the government to find. And, for that reason,
they frequently rely on individual entities with larger research
departments and more staff to develop new technology that might one day
serve as a useful tool for their services. Often, universities are
chosen to help spearhead research because of the number of people
available for help.
One local institution, the University of
Arkansas - Monticello (UAM) is one of the those universities that is
working on creating a potentially life changing material. The team of
chemists is led by professor of Chemistry and project director Dr. Rose
McConnell. McConnell, who has been assisting with research for various
organizations since she began working at UAM, is thrilled about the
opportunity to develop exciting new materials that one day might be used
by organizations such as the Department of Defense.
Currently, the team is supported by grant
money provided by the National Science Foundation. The foundation
awarded Dr. McConnell and her student research team a $180,000 grant for
three years to develop polymers, or organic semi-conductors used in
electronics. To date, silicon based conductors are used in electronics
such as calculators, radios, and other devices. However, if the UAM
chemist’s research proves true and her team is able to develop these
polymers, there may one day be flexible semi conductors in turn allowing
us to have flexible electronics.
The idea may seem abstract at the present, but
according to Dr. McConnell, it actually is something that may someday
become a reality. The work her team is engaged in is not only dedicated
to the project, but hopeful that their work will produce something that
all consumers may find useful.
"It will take some time to produce, but the
possibility of these things becoming real is not too far-fetched," said
McConnell. "My team is working very hard to begin this research so that
it might one day make our lives easier," McConnell said.
In addition to making lives easier, it may
also allow consumers to keep more money in their bank accounts. Some
electronic prices have sky-rocketed over the past few years due to new
technology, but according to McConnell, this one specific new invention
is something that may actually reduce the price of electronic items,
something that should come as good news to all consumers.
"The price of electronic items should go down,
because it will not cost as much to produce the organic semiconductors,"
The process is quite complex, but if things go
as planned for McConnell’s research team, she expects to be producing
samples of the new polymers sooner than many might expect. The creation
of the compound is time consuming, but shaping the material into the
needed form does not require as much time.
The team recently began work on the research
project. They are awaiting the arrival of the last of supplies needed
for the process. Already, the team has created chemicals that will be
used in the actual making of the polymers. The process begins with the
creation of chemical compounds to serve as bases for the material being
"The materials are prepared in a chemical
oxidative polymerization process under special conditions. The
conductivity of the polymers and their mechanical properties can be
adjusted by the addition of small quantities of substances we call
dopants," said McConnell. "After the finished polymer is created, the
strength, flexibility, electrical conductivity, heat resistance, and
numerous other physical properties will be measured for each new
material at UAM before the samples will offered to companies interested
in the materials," said McConnell.
The samples will be offered to companies that
one day might find a use for the organic polymers. In addition to the
Department of Defense, McConnell says other organizations also are
showing an interest.
In addition to the Department of Defense’s
idea of using them to build Global Information Systems into troops
uniforms to hopefully serve in keeping troops safer, NASA has also shown
an interest in possibly using organic semiconductors in their work. The
NASA-Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) has supported some of
McConnell’s early work on conductive polymers. Telephone calls between
McConnell and NASA scientists in Florida indicate they may be able to
put them to good use.
"NASA is interested in using the conductive
polymers for their International Space Station mission," said
McConnell. "These polymers as a coating on metal surfaces would
dissipate static electricity before it can cause electronic failures,"
Because space has no water vapor, there is a
major build up of static electricity on metal surfaces. However, the
organic semiconductors would dissipate the static electricity because of
their physical properties, allowing NASA to spend more time working in
According to McConnell, it takes a few weeks
to a month to produce the compounds needed to make the polymers. While
a month may seem like a long time, she says the interest from
organizations is so high that they are willing to wait until the
research is complete and accurate.
UAM’s work with polymers has already landed
them opportunities from the United States Department of Defense. In
addition to the grant received from the National Science Foundation,
McConnell says she has also received offers of funding from the DOD to
work specifically on the materials for the government. While the offer
may have signified the government’s recognition of UAM’s ability to
conduct outstanding research, McConnell says the security measures were
to strict for university work.
"We were unofficially offered funding from the
DOD, but we decided not to pursue it," McConnell said. "The amount of
supervision from the government would have been too much for our
university. In addition, we are doing this for students to learn and
have research opportunities, not to have the government constantly
supervising every move our students make," said McConnell.
The students who make up the conductive
polymer research team funded by the National Science Foundation are:
Adam Green, a junior - chemistry/premed major from Hermitage, Arkansas,
Jim Lindley a junior- biology/premed major from McGehee, Arkansas, and
Matthew McConnell a junior - chemistry major from Monticello, Arkansas.
These UAM students are learning skills and techniques not taught in
typical undergraduate courses. They are making a significant
contribution to the advancement of science that may someday lead to a
better quality of life for all.
Despite not accepting funding from the DOD,
McConnell’s research team will continue to use the materials from the
National Science Foundation. The work the researchers are producing is
both exciting and revolutionizing. For McConnell, the idea that she and
her team may one day be able to say they helped create devices that
changed our world means an enormous amount to the research team.
The thought of producing the material that
might both protect our troops and influence NASA’s mission in space has
a great impact on all involved in the project, including the
organizations interested in the polymers.
"It may take time to produce, but if it does
become real, it may change the world," said McConnell. "It not only is
exciting for UAM to be a part of this research, but also for the
students involved as they are afforded hands-on opportunities within the
chemistry field," McConnell said.
back to headlines
Back to headlines
New on Campus: Virtual
Internship Program Now Available for Computer Students
For the first time in UAM
history, students have the opportunity to intern with a major
company from the comfort of their own school, all while they
are enrolled in class and persuing a degree.
Jonathan Ayres, Charlette Cross,
Jonah Freeman, and Seth Mankin are the first to participate in
this virtual internship program. These students are either
Computer Information System or Spatial Information System
majors who are participating in an internship program with
NETSCO, Inc., of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The
company specializes in large-scale enterprise applications.
By using the internet, the interns coordinate their work
effort with Burak Serdar, NETSCO's advertising engineer.
Dr. James Roiger, UAM's chair of
the Division of Computer Information Systems and director of
the virtual internship program, said "This program allows
students to work in a real world environment. Normally the
students would not have an opportunity to work with a company
like this, but through telecommunicating, it is possible. I
feel that they are not missing out a great deal from
corresponding this way because many people work for major
companies through telecommunication."
A specialized and well equipped
laboratory was set up for students to use as an office space.
The laboratory was made possible by a grant from Dr. Kathy
White of the Horizon Institute of Technology which is located
at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, along
with matching funds from UAM. Bobby Hoyle, Director of UAM
Information Technology, directed the construction of the
internship laboratory. Dr. Roiger directs the internship
program and is assisted by Dr. Robert Weih, the UAM area
coordinator for the Spatial Information Systems program in
UAM's School of Forest Resources.
According to Roiger, the lab is
equipped with with the newest equipment available with
internet access and a virtual private network for their own
use. Roiger believes other possibilities may result from the
current program. According to Roiger, "we are already
negotiating with two other companies for a possible fall
Photo by David Ray
Team Takes 3rd at Arkansas Debate State Championships
of intense competition brought together debate and forensics teams of
colleges and universities across the state at the Arkansas State
Collegiate Championship held at John Brown University in Siloam Springs
the weekend of February 6. In attendance was the University of Arkansas
at Monticello's team, who proved successful in representing south
Arkansas over the weekend.
team consisted of nine competitors, as well as the Assistant Director of
Forensics, Scott Kuttenkuler. In addition, Brook Bowles, a senior from
Monticello, also traveled on her first trip with the team to serve as a
students competed in five rounds in the International Public Debate
Association debate on the first day of competition. The second day
consisted of competitive speaking events comprising forensics, such as
the competition was intense for many, Kristi Brannon, a junior from
Monticello was thrilled to be participating. "This was the first
tournament I was able to break into finals rounds at", she said, "and it
was so great to feel the support of my teammates through it all."
along with Laurin Smith, a freshman from Hamburg, both made it to
elimination rounds in the novice division of competition. Brannon placed
as a quarter finalist, while Smith placed second overall and also took
first place speaker for the division.
open division of competition, Betty Dintelman, a senior from Hamburg,
placed as a quarter finalist. "Competition was very tough for this
division. The competitors here were some of the hardest we have seen
all year," said Will Whiting, a junior from Monticello.
forensics earned a third place sweepstakes trophy. Whiting took first
place in persuasive speaking, second in extemporaneous speaking, and
third in informative speaking.
mirrored his accomplishments, taking first in informative speaking,
second in impromptu speaking, and third in persuasive speaking.
placed fifth in prose interpretation, and Brandi Morgan, a senior from
Crossett, took home her first 1st place trophy for communication
analysis. "I've worked really hard all year," said Morgan, "it was nice
to finally see it all come together."
Kuttenkuler was very proud of his team's accomplishments. "For the
amount of competitors we took on this trip, compared with the large
teams of other schools, we were very successful," he said.
University of Arkansas at Monticello can now lay proud claim to the
fourth place collegiate team in the state. The next event for the team
will be the IPDA National Championships to be held at Stephen F. Austin
State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in April 2004.
back to headlines
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author to Speak at UAM
The University of Arkansas – Monticello
will host a well-known journalist in a lecture entitled “An Evening With
David Halberstam” on Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at 7:30p.m. in the Fine
Arts Center on the UAM campus.
awarded the Pulitzer Prize at age 30 for his reporting on the early
stages of the Vietnam War. An accomplished author, Halberstam has
written several books that have been New York Times
bestsellers. His highly acclaimed book, The Fifties, was the
basis of an eight-part series which aired nationally on The History
Halberstam has been
praised by numerous noteworthy news organizations including The
Washington Post and Harper’s magazine.
The lecture will be
followed by a question-and-answer session with a reception and a
book signing. The event is free to the public, and no reservations
are required to attend. The lecture is being sponsored by a grant
from the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures, in cooperation
UAM Spring Enrollment Hits New Record
Officials at the
University of Arkansas – Monticello are declaring a record
enrollment for the spring 2004 semester. According to statistics
from the Office of the Registrar, UAM saw an almost ten percent jump
in the number of students registered at the Monticello campus alone.
Statistics show that
the Monticello campus enrolled 2,516 students compared to the spring
2003 reading of 2,304. Registrar data for spring enrollment dates
back to 1986 when 1,720 students enrolled in classes at the
university. According to officials, there has been a steady
incline, but this is one of the largest jumps the university has
According to Dr.
Peggy Doss, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/University
Relations, the increase is a sign that the
university is moving in a positive
“It appears that our
intensified recruitment efforts through Admissions are working,”
Doss said. “The Admissions staff is really doing an excellent job
attracting students to our campus. The staff is out on the road a
good portion of the week recruiting students to UAM. They deserve a
lot of credit.”
In addition to
numbers from the Monticello campus, both College of Technology
campuses also showed an increase. The UAM College of Technology –
McGehee campus enrolled 88 students this semester, while the College
of Technology-Crossett campus enrolled 92 students bringing the
total UAM system enrollment to just shy of 2,700 students.
With the addition of
the two College of Technology campuses, many students who may not
ever have had the opportunity to take college credit classes because
of their location are now being given that chance.
“The College of
Technology campuses are providing those living in the McGehee and
Crossett areas an opportunity to further their education,” Doss
said. “Many of them can’t drive to Monticello to take classes, but
having it closer to home allows them to do so, and it boosts our
enrollment at the same time.”
In addition, Doss
also believes current problems within the economy are making many
people think about returning to school for advanced training.
“Anytime there is an
increased rate of unemployment and people lose their jobs, there is
a rise in enrollment,” Doss said. “Many of those that lose their
jobs decide to come back to school to seek a degree for another
Doss also believes
UAM’s close-knit feeling attracts students to the university.
“Many students are
now choosing their university based on the size,” Doss said. “A
good percentage of students do not want to have the feelings of
pressure often associated with larger schools.”
The next official
enrollment count will be conducted at the beginning of the fall 2004
semester. If the trend continues, UAM may see another record
enrollment next fall, something Doss believes is a good thing.
“It is always a good
thing to have an increase in enrollment,” Doss said. “We hope UAM
continues to grow.”