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Rashad Kirksey Wins 2021 Wilson Award as A-State's Top Graduating Student

Kirksey Wilson Award.jpg
Arkansas State University
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Rashad Kirksey accepts the Wilson Award, presented by Chancellor Kelly Damphousse.

This was the culminating event of Convocation of Scholars at A-State, an annual celebration somewhat curtailed because of the national pandemic.

Welcome to A-State Connections. I am your host Johnathan Reaves. Over the next hour, you will hear interviews and stories about the people of Arkansas State who are making an impact throughout the communities in the region. This show not only focuses on things that are going on at just the Jonesboro campus, but also on the other campuses across the ASU System. More information and today’s features on A-State Connections can be found at kasu.org, go to Shows, and find the A-State Connections drop down link. You can also find show segments on the new KASU app. Just use the search term “KASU app” in the Apple app store or Google Play.

Up First…Wilson Award. Rashad Kirksey of West Helena was announced as the recipient of the R.E. Lee Wilson Award at a Thursday night ceremony at the Cooper Alumni Center at Arkansas State. The Wilson Award is the highest honor an A-State student can receive.

Kirksey was one of six students selected as Distinguished Service Award Winners. The Wilson Award and the DSA winders were introduced and recognized during the student honors awards ceremony. Kirksey will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a 3.80 grade point average.

He has a lengthy list of academic and scholastic achievements, including receiving the Debbye Turner, Arkansas Promise, and Arkansas Challenge scholarships. He also was awarded the Price and Sarah Gardner pre-law, Anderson Neal Jr. and Marietha Goodwin Neal, and the Linual Cameron scholarships. He is a consistent member of the Chancellor’s and Deans Lists. During summer 2020, Kirksey served as a law fellow for the Public Policy and International Relations (PPIA) at the University of California-Berkeley, and during the 2019 fall semester, he drafted and defended a Supreme Court appellate brief in regard to the fourth amendment search and seizure provisions.

He is active in campus government and, after fulfilling service as a freshman and junior senator, he was elected to serve as president of the Student Government Association this academic year. He has worked on the Student Activities Board, the Student Philanthropy Council, the Pre-Law Club, and is an active participant in the Black Student Association, Brother2Brother, and NAACP community outreach whose top priority this year was voter registration. A member of the 2020-21 Homecoming Court, Kirksey is also the chapter president for Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at A-State.

Faculty, staff and advisers to student organizations, and other members of the campus community submit nominations for the prestigious awards.

The other Distinguished Service Award recipients recognized were Brenna Cannon of Jonesboro, Megan Gunnels of Conway, Bailey McAlexander of Jonesboro, and Imani Udoumana of Nashville, Tennessee. Click on the Listen button to hear comments.

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.