Southern Arkansas University staff members were recently recognized for service at the annual Staff Breakfast on Thursday, March 16, 2017, with the top three honors going to Cledis Stuart, Lillie Wright and Tammy Sims.

Stuart, associate dean for multiculturalism and diversity, earned the fourth annual Alvin and Irene Brannon Staff Diversity Award, which comes with a $500 honorarium. The SAU Diversity Excellence Awards recognize contributions to promoting, supporting, and improving diversity and inclusion as a core component of valuing people at SAU, according to a press release from the university.

Wright and Sims earned the annual Mary Anna King Whitehead Staff Excellence Awards. Wright is the student housing specialist, and she received the Support Staff award and $500. Sims is the human resources manager at SAU, and she received the Professional Staff award and $500.


Six staff members were recognized with the second annual Spirit of SAU Award: Arvia Askew, Debra Banks, Boyd Good, Donna McCloy and Brad Stout. This accolade revives the tradition of honoring faculty and staff that exhibit exemplary Mulerider Spirit, of which some from the institution’s past were documented by SAU historian Dr. James Willis in the SAU Archives.


Askew also received the morning’s longest standing ovation when she was honored with 50 years of service to the University. Other Staff Service Awards recognized were 20-year employee Peggy Rogers and 10 staffers celebrating 10 years at SAU: Sarah Adcox, Jeanie Bismark, Cynthia Blake, Delton Duke, Bart Emerson, Elizabeth “Betsy” Hall, Keith Labit, Lesley Robertson, Dorothy Standoak and Aaron Street.

SAU staff retirees from the past year included Mary Bradshaw (2001-16), Alan Davis (2000-16), Charles Honza (1989-16), Allen Lachut (2008-16), Deborah Lewis (2007-16) and Jasper Lewis (2001-16).