Arkansas Short Takes

Welcome to the home of Arkansas Short Takes, where you will find a series of short videos featuring stories about outstanding students, faculty and special points of pride at the University of Arkansas.

A Way With Words

Alumna Ayana Gray is a best-selling author, and the first chapter of her story began as a student at the University of Arkansas. Since publishing her original novel in 2021, she can often be found touring the country, signing copies of her “Beasts of Prey” trilogy series at local bookstores or libraries. When she returns to Fayetteville, though, she’s reminded of where it all began, including the two key experiences she had as a student that inspired her to build a new world for readers.

The Heart of Student Success

The student success team in The Cordia Harrington Center for Excellence (The CORD) at the University of Arkansas is passionate about helping students grow, so they can meet the rigors of academic life and life after graduation. It’s a place where students, faculty and staff work together to not only ensure success but a sense of belonging as well. Hear firsthand how the team is dedicated to Arkansas and how this space has become the heart of student success on campus.

Determined to Succeed

University of Arkansas student Erick Soto was the recipient of the McDonald’s HACER Scholarship – an achievement that helped jumpstart his journey at the U of A as a first-generation college student. Since then, he’s found a way to help other students as a mentor in the Freshman Commuter Student Success Program, where he enjoys sharing his own experiences and motivating his peers to persevere through life’s challenges. Soto believes, “If you’re determined to succeed, I think you’ll accomplish anything you put yourself to.”

Lights, Camera, Insects!

University of Arkansas researchers are helping protect valuable crops with a prototype of an insect trap that can help farmers monitor and identify potential pests more efficiently. The trap, developed by researchers Ashley Dowling and Khoa Luu, captures footage of insects, uses artificial intelligence to identify them and sends real-time data back to the farmers. It also eliminates the need for manual monitoring, allowing farmers to make decisions on the fly and take the appropriate measures to counteract potential damage.

Full STEAM Ahead

Every summer since 2015, University of Arkansas Assistant Professor Tameka Bailey returns to the Arkansas Delta determined to inspire a new cohort of students to love science and envision the opportunities available in the field. What started as a camp at the Dumas Community Center has evolved into a weeklong immersive experience involving a field trip to Fayetteville, tours of the campus and hands-on lab work. Since its inception, students from her inaugural class have gone on to enroll at the U of A and embrace the life-changing opportunities introduced to them by her outreach.

Recipe for Success

Coleman Warren is dedicated to Arkansas. The Farmington native started his own ice cream business during his sophomore year at the U of A with the goal of fighting hunger. He also excelled in and out of the classroom and led the student body as president of the Associated Student Government. In 2021 and 2022, his stellar achievements were recognized when he was named a Truman Scholar and Rhodes Scholar, respectively – the latter being an opportunity extended to only 32 students in the country.

The Art of Mathematics

The new courtyard Curvahedra at the University of Arkansas is a conversation piece that sits proudly outside Gearhart Hall. Its name comes from the words “polyhedra,” or objects with many flat faces, and “curve,” since the assembled pieces create curved versions of those forms. Essentially, the structure employs two-dimensional shapes to create a three-dimensional sculpture and, in its finished 12-foot diameter form, offers passersby a respite from campus life and the opportunity to contemplate its uniqueness. Thanks to the interdisciplinary work of students and faculty, it also showcases the beauty of mathematics and utilizes a new innovative method of construction.

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