Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

The Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award serves to recognize a faculty mentor who has made notable and outstanding contributions to undergraduate honors students. The contributions can be through advising, international research opportunities for students, classroom instruction, project development, secured funding, published work, conference opportunities for students, or other activities or developments that help honors students and the Bumpers College Honors Program achieve its program mission. The awardee will receive recognition and an award of $1,500 to be used for research or creative activities that enhance the Bumpers College Honors Program. The awardee will be recognized at the annual Agriculture Awards Luncheon.

Nominations for 2021 are now closed. 


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2020 Award Winner

Donia Timby

Donia Timby has come full circle since stepping foot on campus in 1996. She earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the U of A in 1999 and 2004, respectively. Timby was master teacher at the U of A Nursery School and program project specialist for the Child Assessment team of Childhood Services at Arkansas State University prior to landing her dream job in Fayetteville in August 2017. Timby now serves as an instructor with the human development and family sciences, and birth through kindergarten programs in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. She has enjoyed serving on committees and teaching classes, but her most rewarding work is partnering with and mentoring students during class projects and honors projects. One example involved assisting an honors student in transforming a garden space into a healing garden at the Jean Tyson Child Development Study Center. Timby is currently involved in another honors student project at the JTCDSC, working to develop a culturally competent library space available to children, families, students and staff. 



2019 Award Winner

Headshot image of Dr. Jill Rucker looking into the camera smiling

Dr. K. Jill Rucker, associate professor of agricultural communications and leadership in the Department Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology, is in her seventh year as a member of Bumpers College’s faculty is the 2019 recipient of the Outstanding Honors Faculty Mentor Award and was recognized at the spring 2020 faculty awards luncheon. Rucker has mentored students who have become Truman Scholars (Sam Harris, Victoria Maloch), a Marshall Scholar (Maloch), U of A Seniors of Significance (Harris, Maloch, Madelaine Giebler, Brooke Clanton, Sydney Simmons, Jennifer McArthur Diehl) and earned the University of Arkansas Senior Honor Citation (Harris and Maloch), which recognizes the top male and female graduate of the university. She has served as the honors thesis advisor for one graduate with six more in progress, and serves as advisor to three Registered Student Organizations on campus – Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Sigma Alpha and Collegiate 4-H. One student wrote in their nomination, "I have never met a more caring and dedicated instructor. Dr. Rucker will always help with any of my concerns, and I feel confident that she positively influences not just my life but the lives of everyone she meets. She is not only attentive to her students' classroom needs, but Dr. Rucker is genuine in her aspirations to make everyone around her happier and less stressed. She makes the classroom learning environment fun to be in." We are thrilled to congratulate Dr. Rucker for the impact she makes as a faculty member and honors advisor in Bumpers College!

2018 Award Winner

2018 Outstanding Faculty Award winner, Jason Apple, standing with his student mentees Darynne Dahlem and Mersady Redding, and Dr. Charles Rosencrans.  student Dr. Jason Apple is the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Honors Faculty Mentor Award and was recognized at the fall 2018 Faculty Reception. Dr. Apple has mentored numerous students in the Animal Science department. Many students that he does not directly mentor still claim Dr. Apple as the professor who has had the largest impact on their college career! Awardees are selected by our Honors Student Board via nominations from honors students enrolled in the Bumpers College Honors Program. One student wrote, “Dr. Apple truly cares about his students because he wants to see us succeed and reach our full potential. From the day I walked into his office as a freshman to now, I always leave feeling uplifted. He encourages me to believe in myself and what I am capable of, which is one of the most important gifts that a professor can give to a student.” In addition to an engraved plaque, Dr. Apple received $1,500 to advance his research. He chose to use the funds to help students with their individual thesis research efforts. This action speaks to his character and ultimately to why he deserved this year’s award. On behalf of the Bumpers College Honors Program, we congratulate Dr. Jason Apple for his continuous service to our honors students and our college.

2017 Award Winner

Stephanie HubertMs. Stephanie Hubert is the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Honors Faculty Mentor Award and will be recognized at the Fall Faculty Reception. Ms. Hubert has mentored three students to completion in the Apparel Merchandising and Product Development (AMPD) area and her students speak highly of her. Awardees are selected by our Honors Student Board via nominations from honors students enrolled in the Bumpers College Honors Program. One student wrote, “Ms. Hubert is an incredible mentor, professor, and advisor. She is truly everything that a professor should be; she is always working long hours for the benefit of her students. In my time at the university, I have never had a professor like Ms. Hubert, and she is truly the reason why I love the University of Arkansas. She takes so much of her own time to improve education and opportunities for her students, and I am incredibly thankful for having the chance to learn from her. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the ‘Outstanding Mentor’ award.” Another student wrote, “Ms. Hubert was the only faculty member who could convince me to join the Honors program in the first place because she saw my potential and always encouraged me and pushed me to fulfill it. She was integral to the ideation of my honors project and fleshing it out to completion. Ms. Hubert is the reason I am graduating with honors and an amazing research experience.” Ms. Hubert graduated her first Honors students in spring 2017. Her receiving this award speaks volumes about her dedication to students and the honors program. Besides a plaque award, Ms. Hubert will receive $1,500 to assist her with her Honors Program efforts. On behalf of the Bumpers College, we congratulate Ms. Stephanie Hubert for her service to our Honors students and our College.


2016 Award Winner

Dr. Jennie PoppDr. Jennie Popp was the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Honors Mentor Award in fall 2016. Dr. Popp served as a member of the Bumpers College Honors Committee for nearly 10 years. She has directed many honors student theses on topics ranging from assessing women’s roles in Arkansas agriculture to composting food waste from campus residence halls to optimizing school garden production in Belize. Many of her students have won awards for their honors research on campus and at the regional and national level. Dr. Popp has participated in honors committees within Bumpers College and Fulbright College and until recently, served as “first mentor” to all incoming honors students majoring in agribusiness. She received an Honors College Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011. She now serves as the Interim Associate Dean of the Honors College. Besides a plaque award, Dr. Popp will receive $1,500 to assist her with her Honors Program efforts. On behalf of the Bumpers College, we congratulations Dr. Jennie Popp for her continued service to our Honors students and our College.