Arkansas Tech named Community Engagement Award of Excellence winner

From Arkansas Tech University

For the third time in the last four years, Arkansas Tech University has been awarded as one of 17 winners of 2011 Community Engagement Awards of Excellence from NCAA Division II.

Tech is one of 17 NCAA Division II schools from around the country that received this honor earlier this week, according to a release from the NCAA. Tech also won Community Engagement Award of Excellence honors in 2008 and 2009.

"Winning this award for the third time in the last four year is a tremendous honor for Arkansas Tech University, the Gulf South Conference and the River Valley Area," Tech Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Steve Mullins said Wednesday. "We are looking forward to doing many more community engagement events that involve Arkansas Tech Athletics and the River Valley Community."

Tech, who was selected as the winner from the Gulf South Conference, won the Community Engagement Award of Excellence award for its yearlong Project: Feed Arkansas campaign.

"I would like to thank Dr. Tom DeBlack for coming up with the idea for Project: Feed Arkansas and then I would like to thank Kelly Davis and especially Kristy Bayer for helping to make the Project: Feed Arkansas a success," Mullins said. "The yearlong event was a tremendous benefit, not only to Tech, but also to the Arkansas Rice Depot."

Tech's yearlong Project: Feed Arkansas campaign raised nearly 1,000 pounds of canned and non-perishable food items, along with just a little under $5,000 for the Arkansas Rice Depot in its fight to combat hunger in the state of Arkansas.

According to the news release from the NCAA, the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of Excellence "recognizes Division II institutions that successfully build bridges with the communities in which they are located."

The national winner of this year's Community Engagement Award of Excellence will be recognized on June 2 at the Division II Community Engagement Workshop in Indianapolis. The winning school will receive a $500 award from the NCAA.

In addition to Tech, other conference winners this year are:

California Collegiate – UC-San Diego (UCSD Blood Drive)

Central Athletic Collegiate – Holy Family (Build a Library With)

Central Intercollegiate – Chowan (Girls and Women in Sports Day)

Conference Carolinas – Limestone (Playground Build)

East Coast – East Coast Conference (Fitness Challenge)

Great Lakes Intercollegiate – Saginaw Valley State (GLIAC Pink Wave)

Heartland Conference – Newman (Division II Game of the Week)

Lone Star – Texas A&M-Kingsville (Living the Dream Relay)

Mid-America Intercollegiate – Pittsburg State (Ladies Night at the Pitt)

Northeast 10 – Franklin Pierce (Community Halloween)

Northern Sun – Southwest Minnesota State (SMSU Family Day/Smokefest)

Pennsylvania State - Shippensburg (MentorSHIP Program – Kids Night Out)

Rocky Mountain – Colorado Christian (Extreme Community Makeover)

South Atlantic – Wingate (Union County Special Olympics)

Sunshine State – Nova Southeastern (Miracle League Program)

West Virginia Intercollegiate – Fairmont State (Put Your Best Fairmont Forward)