University of Arkansas Announces 2022 King, Nolan, OMNI Awards

The University of Arkansas’s Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences announced today (Aug 9) the winners of its most prestigious endowed faculty awards: 

Ron Warren, winner of the John E. King Award for Outstanding ServiceRyan Neville-Shepard, winner of the Nolan Faculty AwardGeoboo Song, winner of the OMNI Keeling/Hansen Climate Science AwardLaurence Hare, winner of the OMNI Center for World Peace and Justice Faculty Award


“The amazing strides these faculty members have made through their service, teaching and care for our greater world community is just astounding,” said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College. “We are lucky to have each of them as part of our college, and they are a true inspiration… The difference they’ve made in the lives of our students – not to mention in each of their respective fields – is phenomenal, and for this we cannot thank them enough.”

The John E. King Award for Outstanding Service was created and endowed by Fulbright College faculty to recognize their colleagues who exhibit exemplary service to the campus and community. Dr. Ron Warren is an associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Communication and has also served as the director of Graduate Studies, director of Undergraduate Studies, Honors Program coordinator and faculty adviser for the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society. His research specialties are children, families and media; media and civic engagement; and advertising.

“For 25 years, Dr. Warren has tirelessly served our department, the college, the university and far beyond into our community,” Stephanie Ricker Schulte, chair of the Department of Communication, said. “More than anyone I have ever known, Dr. Warren embodies a service mentality. His desire to help, to care, to serve, to support and to collaborate are unmatched.”

Ron Warren (Photo courtesy of U of A).

The Nolan Faculty Award was endowed by the William C. and Theodosia Murphy Nolan Foundation to support the career growth of faculty members who provide the highest quality of teaching, research and service to the college. Dr. Ryan Neville-Shepard is an associate professor in the Department of Communication, specializing in political communication and rhetorical criticism/argumentation, with a strong focus on communicating with political outsiders.

“Dr. Neville-Shepard has made a significant impact on our program, and especially after he assumed the role of graduate director in 2019,” said Schulte, who nominated him. “He has also proven to be an inventive, dedicated and excellent teacher, aiming to increase options for students interested in rhetorical approaches to communication… He is a highly successful teacher who brings exceptional compassion to his students. As a result, our M.A. program is receiving the highest number of applications we have seen in years.”

Ryan Neville-Shepard (Photo Courtesy of U of A).

The OMNI Keeling/Hansen Climate Science Award was created to “promote cutting-edge climate science research conducted by Fulbright College faculty and students in developing knowledge of the causes and impacts of global climate change, in developing tangible solutions to mitigate global climate change and its deleterious effects on humanity and global ecosystems, and in communicating the urgency of the climate catastrophe.”

Dr. Geoboo Song is an Associate Professor of Political Science (PLSC), Public Policy (PUBP) and Statistics and Analytics (STAN), as well as being the PLSC Vice Chair/Director of Graduate Studies and an Associate Editor for the Policy Studies Journal (PSJ). His research specialty is in finding systemic explanations for the variations in the ways that individuals interpret and perceive risks and the impact that has on wider society. 

“Dr. Geoboo Song is an ideal recipient for the OMNI Keeling/Hansen Climate Science Award,” said Peter Ungar, distinguished professor in the Department of Anthropology and director of the Environmental Dynamics Program (ENDY). “With this award, he will focus on examining the origins of Arkansans’ climate change risk perceptions, policy preferences and behaviors and crafting the most effective way of communicating the reality of climate change with an emphasis on doing so by telling a story.”

Geoboo Song (Photo courtesy of U of A).

The OMNI Center for World Peace and Justice Faculty Award was created to “recognize exceptional research, teaching and service by faculty who promote the studying and teaching of peace and justice and the practice of nonviolence, conflict resolution and diplomacy.”

Dr. Laurence Hare is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the International & Global Studies Program. His research interest lies primarily in the cultural and intellectual history of Germany and Scandinavia in the 19th and 20th centuries, and his work has traced the history of nationalism in Europe and cultural and intellectual exchange in European borderlands during times of conflict. He also developed an official degree concentration in peace, security and human rights in the international studies B.A.

“Based on his strong record of promoting peace education and sustainable community development, I am pleased to recommend him for this award,” said Todd Cleveland, professor in the Department of History, who nominated Hare. “He has been working since 2016 to develop peace studies at the U of A and to promote a culture of peace and sustainability in the institution’s work with communities in Arkansas.”

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