By Casey Curtis/UAHT Communications Coordinator
HOPE, AR – Since the year 2000, U of A Hope-Texarkana has honored an annual outstanding alumnus. This individual is someone who renders special and outstanding service to the College, brings distinction to the College, and/or brings recognition to the College through outstanding service and significant contributions to his or her community, state and/or nation. The College is proud to announce the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Alum Award is Christopher “Chris” Smith.
Chris is a 2006 graduate of Hope High School and a 2008 graduate of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, where he obtained an Associate of Arts degree. In the summer of 2008, he ventured to Washington D.C. to serve as a summer congressional intern. After returning from Washington D.C., he transferred to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UALR in 2010. During his tenure at UALR, he served as the student body president. He received a Masters of Public Administration degree from Arkansas State University in 2014.
As the UALR student body president, Chris worked tirelessly to represent students and advocate for their concerns. His major contribution was the creation of “Reach 12,000”, a non-perishable food drive, to raise at least one food item for each UALR student. The food drive continues to this day.
After volunteering with various organizations such as Upward Basketball, he felt the need to do more to help others, particularly young people, so he founded a non-profit organization, “The Uplifting Journey.” As founder and CEO, he became more dedicated to helping individuals develop a more optimistic viewpoint of life through his organization. Shortly after its initiation, the organization launched its youth initiative entitled, “ReDEFINE Me.” This initiative is focused on assisting teenagers in alleviating stereotypes and embracing their true identity.
Chris is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership degree from the University of Southern California and serves as a Commissioner of the City of Little Rock Board of Adjustment. He also currently works for Philander Smith College in Little Rock as the Program Coordinator for Special Programs and Special Assistant to the President.
Please join the UAHT family in congratulating Chris Smith in being named the 2017 Outstanding Alum at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana.