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Thomas Hamaker Wins R.E. Lee Wilson Award

Arkansas State University

Last week, Arkansas State University gave the prestigious honor as part of a ceremony that wrapped up the 41st annual Convocation of Scholars at A-State.  The award went to Thomas Hamaker of Hampton, Arkansas.  He graduates next Saturday with a double major in finance and marketing from Arkansas State University’s Neil Griffin College of Business.

Hamaker is currently working on his Honors senior thesis and has been on the Chancellor’s List and Honors Director’s List each semester he has been at Arkansas State. In addition to earning an A-State Scholar scholarship when he graduated from high school, Hamaker was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society that recognizes academic excellence among freshman students; the campus chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier honor society for academic excellence in business disciplines; and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

He is also a Griffin College of Business Dean’s Excellence scholar and a Risk Management Association Foundation scholar. Hamaker was the runner-up in information management in the 2016 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference.

Hamaker is active in the Student Government Association and other organizations, serving as a senator, a member of the election commission, the Student Philanthropy Council, the academic budget committee, Honors College program director for special events, and the Bowersox supply chain challenge team. He also works with Volunteer A-State and helps in the marketing efforts for American Red Cross blood drives, the A-State Debate Team, the College Bowl team, and the Leadership Center.

To gain experience in his chosen field, he worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Centennial Bank.

KASU's Johnathan Reaves interviewed Hamaker after he won the award and got his thoughts on what it meant to win. 

Thomas Hamaker Interview 

Thomas Hamaker is the 2019 R.E. Lee Wilson Award winner.  Six students were chosen as 2018-2019 Distinguished Service Award Winners.  I interviewed another student, Starr Taylor of Jonesboro.  She is graduating in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science.  She completed her degree requirements in three years while playing on the Red Wolves basketball team, running her non-profit organization, and being an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Taylor was also on numerous academic honor rolls during her student career.

She tells about what the Distinguished Service Award means, and she also talks about her non-profit, the Power of 1 or 2, Inc.  Also, she talks about her work with a non-profit that we will feature this month on A-State Connections, Every Child is Ours. Here is an interview with Taylor.

Starr Taylor interview

Starr Taylor.  Other Distinguished Service Award Winners include Landen Crancer of Rector.  Crancer will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the Neil Griffin College of Business. Among his many activities, he served as executive board member for St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn twice, president of the Student Activities Board, chief of staff and senator for the Student Government Association, and served several additional university committees.

Oliver Dozier of Paragould.  Dozier will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with an emphasis in pre-professional studies from the College of Sciences and Mathematics. While at A-State, he made the Chancellor’s List and Honors College Director’s List every semester he has been enrolled. He was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society as a junior.

Jon Mark Horton of Jonesboro.  Horton will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. He is the current president of the SGA and was the vice president a year ago. As president, he not only leads student government, but helped create participation in the Jonesboro City Council Collegiate Coalition, which includes SGA members visiting meetings to show the city that Arkansas State students need a voice in regard to the direction of the community.

Tanisha Tak of Ahmendabad, Gujrat, India.  Tak is currently working on a master’s degree in communication studies and will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in May. Work on her Honors senior thesis is in progress. Academically, she has been on the Chancellor’s List each semester, the Honors Director’s List and received the Delta Zeta academic award awarded to the member who has earned the highest-grade point average for the school year. She has earned the Virgene Horn Memorial International Scholarship and resident assistant housing scholarship.

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.