Members of Southern Arkansas University’s non-teaching professional and support staff were recently recognized for excellence and years of service at SAU’s annual Staff Breakfast.

Receiving the Mary Anna King Whitehead Support Staff Excellence Awards were Victor Duke (professional) and Angela McLaughlin (support).


SP18 Staff Breakfast - Professional Staff Victor Duke


SP18 Breakfast Support Staff Angela McLaughlin

Duke is director of the Reynolds Center and McLaughlin is an administrative specialist III in the College of Liberal and Performing Arts. The Mary Anna King Whitehead Awards are the highest honors given to SAU staff each year and recognize those who have achieved an outstanding level of professionalism and performance.

SP18 Staff Breakfast -Diversity Award Kandice Herron

Kandice Herron received the Alvin and Irene Brannon Staff Diversity Excellence Award. Herron is assistant dean of campus activities. This award was established by the SAU Diversity Initiative Task Force and recognizes a staff member each year who has contributed to promoting, supporting, and improving diversity and inclusion as a core component of valuing people at SAU.

According to the Press Release, those receiving Staff Service awards for 10 years of service were: Phyllis Austin, James Avery, Boyd Good, Emily Jester, Matthew McDonald, Mary Whatley, Marianne Woodard and Jake Dunham. Recognized for 20 years of service was Joseph Haney. Honored for 30 years of service were Kelly Merrell and Nancy Stone.

Receiving the Spirit of SAU Awards were Gary Hickson, Megan McCurdy, Carey Baker and Brooke Williams (pictured at the top of the page). This award revives the tradition of honoring staff that exhibit exemplary Mulerider Spirit, such as those presented in Dr. James Willis’ writings of SAU’s history. Visit to find out more.

Annual faculty awards will be presented at the Faculty Awards Dinner on April 13.