Group shot of 8 students in graduation caps and gowns.

Our first class of Honors College Path Graduates! 1st row (l-r): Nina Lee, Cristina Perez-Espinoza, Alyssa Hicks, Xavier Smith; 2nd row: Jean Amargos, Iliana Hernandez; 3rd row: Adia Threatt, Marcus Hatley. Not shown: Dominique Blake, Angel Sigears, Luis Valverde-Estrada. Photo: Whit Pruitt.

Four years ago, our first group of Honors College Path Program students showed up on campus.  We knew they were exceptional from the get-go, and now we have some stats to back that up:

  • Every single one of the 11 students in our first Path cohort have graduated in 4 years – that’s a 100% graduation rate!
  • 7 of these students studied abroad and remember it as a defining experience.
  • 6 of the 11 were first in their family to go to a university.
  • 5 of them joined the Honors College and completed an honors thesis.

Their future looks bright, too:

Jean Amargos, from Bentonville, is an honors biology (pre-med) major. He will pursue a medical degree at Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Dominique Blake, from Magnolia, is a biology (pre-physician assistant) major. She plans to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant.
Marcus Hatley, from Little Rock, majored in management (organizational leadership) with recreation & sport management and retail minors. He will pursue an MBA at the University of South Florida.
Alyssa Hicks, from Lawrence, Kansas, is an honors major in economics with minors in Spanish (business concentration) and finance (banking/finance). She will begin a job at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City following commencement.
Nina Lee, from Summers, majored in kinesiology (pre-physical therapy). She will pursue a career in physical therapy.
Cristina Perez-Espinoza, from Springdale, is an honors major in supply chain management and information systems with a minor in economics. She will begin work as a technology trainee with Dillards in Little Rock following graduation.
Angel Sigears, from Fayetteville, a biology (pre-pharmacy) major, will attend pharmacy school.
Xavier Smith, from Rogers, is an honors major in public health (pre-physical therapy) with a minor in sociology. He plans to pursue a career in public health/higher education.
Adia Threatt, from Siloam Springs, is an honors major in accounting with a minor in management. She’s enrolled in Walton College’s Master’s of Accounting program and has lined up a summer internship with Deloitte.
Luis Valverde-Estrada, a biology (pre-med) major, is applying to graduate schools and plans to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical science.

Open Door Office Policy

Mentor and student chat in an office.

Terrance Boyd chats with sophomore Path student Angel Gatlin. Photo: Kendall Curlee.

We are so proud of all of these students, and grateful to honors alumnus Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A., retail, minor in Spanish with business concentration, cum laude, ’13; M.S., operations management, ’14), who helped to envision the Path Program and served as the first director of Path. “Having a chance to work with these students that I met as freshmen, until they were seniors, was amazing, and they challenged me,” he said. “Each year, we tried to figure out how best to meet their needs.” Terrance’s open-door office and impromptu advising sessions went a long way towards creating a village for the Path students, but the success is all theirs, he emphasized.

“I can’t take credit for the magic – how well these students have done. They work hard! I’m privileged to stand in their corner and support them.”

Terrance will be leaving us soon to pursue a doctoral degree in management at Louisiana State University. But his legacy of mentoring and support will continue in the Path Program, and his example will stay with current Path students and alumni as well.

Xavier Smith, who spoke at the brunch honoring Path seniors, recalled being so excited about coming to the UA that he packed his bags a month before moving to Fayetteville. Once on campus, he found that he could count on Path, and learned a lot from the program that went above and beyond lessons learned in class: “Path was my village. Terrance provided great mentoring, great leadership. He taught me how to write a proper email, how to address your professor, and he provided mentors for me and taught me how to be a mentor. He set the tone early on, about the importance of mentoring and paying it forward to the next generation of students.”

We will miss you Terrance and we will miss all of our Path seniors who got this program off to a running start. Good luck and please stay in touch!

Students in graduation gowns toss their caps into the air.

Hats off to our Path seniors! Photo: Whit Pruitt.