University of Arkansas graduating seniors Clint Shoemake of Bartlesville, Okla., and Katie McGehee of Ozark were recognized with the 2013 Senior Honor Citation during the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors luncheon on May 10.
Established 48 years ago by the Alumni Association, the award recognizes a senior man and woman who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and leadership. Students were required to be a member of the graduating class of 2013 (finishing degree requirements in August or December 2012 or May 2013.) The citation includes a personal memento, a $500 cash award, life membership in the Arkansas Alumni Association as well as permanent recognition on the student Honor Wall at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House.
A Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow with the U.S. Department of State, Shoemake received his degree in anthropology and political science. Taking advantage of the college experience, he has studied abroad three times in Tanzania, India and Ghana. Researching African politics, human rights and forced migration, and eventually female entrepreneurs, Shoemake is grateful for the many opportunities to travel abroad and experience the world. Aiming to work in the realm of foreign policy, he admits that working with “outstanding mentors” and learning Arabic, French and Swahili, “has prepared me to represent the United States to the world.” This summer, he will serve as an intern in the Office of the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs with the U.S. Department of State before pursuing a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University.
A dedicated leader on campus, Shoemake served as the president of Students for a Free Tibet. Organizing a fundraiser to benefit Tibetans and Seven Hills Homeless Center, he encouraged others to donate food to the center. In turn, Fayettechill Clothing Company agreed that for every can donated, they would donate one dollar towards educating Tibetan refugee children. His involvement and leadership within the organization enabled him to be a part of the Dalai Lama’s University of Arkansas campus greeting in 2011.
McGehee, a University of Arkansas Alumni Endowed Scholar and Dale Bumpers College Scholar, received her degree in poultry science with a minor in environmental, soil and water sciences. Admitting that she never imaged growing up to be “the girl who raises chickens in Africa,” McGehee credits the University of Arkansas with a quality education that helped to refine her skills and talents – a path “that has proven to be more challenging and fulfilling than I could have ever dreamed on my own,” she said. Basing her thesis on the commercial poultry operation in Rwanda, she looks forward to the day when she can return and work to aid in the agriculture future of Africa.
Believing that it is important to get involved in something that is bigger than yourself, McGehee embraced the various leadership opportunities presented to her on campus. Serving as the president of the Poultry Science Club, she and six officers organized the club’s involvement within the community, the department and in the poultry industry. As treasurer, she helped produce a video for the Pfizer’s Reach, Teach, Learn Grant, which won the Poultry Education Program and $3,000 grant.