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ASUN's High Voltage Lineman Instructor honored with national award

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ASU-Newport
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Clay Fulton receives the 2021 Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition award.

NEWPORT (Ark.) – A longstanding faculty member at Arkansas State University-Newport receives national recognition for his commitment to his students and workforce development. The American Association of Community Colleges announced Clay Fulton, Senior Instructor of High Voltage Lineman Technology, as the recipient of the 2021 Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition award.

This award is in honor of former AACC President and CEO Dale P. Parnell and looks to recognize individuals making a difference in the classroom. Faculty members must demonstrate passion for their students and the classroom while also showing support to students outside the classroom. They must also go above and beyond what is required to ensure their students are successful in their academic endeavors.

Clay Fulton encompasses all of those characteristics. He joined ASU-Newport in 2004 and helped create ASUN’s High Voltage Lineman Technology Program. Since then, Fulton has worked with more than 400 students and helped them enter the high-demand workforce. Furthermore, he has built a strong foundation with electric cooperatives to make sure students have jobs upon graduation.

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ASU-Newport
Clay Fulton, Senior Instructor of High Voltage Lineman Technology

Fulton said it is a great feeling knowing he helps students get full-time jobs that allow them to make a great living for their families while also being crucial assets to their communities. He said he is just one call away for any of his former students whether they need advice on the job or guidance about their careers and futures.

Fulton’s colleagues have watched him go above and beyond for his students for nearly two decades.

“Clay has poured his heart and soul into the High Voltage Lineman Technology program,” said Robert Burgess, Dean of Applied Science at ASUN. “His efforts have made this program one of the best of its kind in the nation. Clay's students regularly participate in community events, and he has served on numerous committees across the college. The High Voltage Lineman Technology program cohort is always full, and the placement rate is near 100%. This is due in large part to the relationships Clay has built with Arkansas Electrical Cooperatives.”

“Clay’s contributions to ASU-Newport, his program, and the communities we serve are an example to our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Holly Smith, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at ASUN. “His focus on industry partnerships and program excellence has led ASUN to be recognized for our High Voltage Lineman Technology Program, which was the first of its kind in Arkansas. He represents the college as a leader, building long-standing relationships that lead to employment opportunities with a variety of partners, many of whom sponsor these students throughout the program. Clay’s attention to his students and their success and safety is always his first priority. At ASUN, we are thankful for Clay’s continued dedication to providing quality education that transforms lives, enriches our communities, and strengthens the regional economy.”

Fulton will receive recognition for this award during a virtual ceremony hosted by the American Association of Community Colleges on May 20, 2021.The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.