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Harrell Honored as Outstanding Alumnus

Harrell Honored as Outstanding Alumnus

Dr. Kathy Harrell was recently honored as the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of South Arkansas Community College (Southark) during the Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) Annual Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas.   Southark is a community college located in El Dorado, Arkansas.

Dr. Harrell, the Vice President of Carl Albert State College-Sallisaw stated, “My ties to community colleges run deep.  I graduated from Southark, and have spent the past 20 years with CASC.  At Carl Albert, I began as the Tech Prep Specialist, and since have served in various capacities including faculty, division chair, and Vice President of Academic Affairs.”

She went on to explain, “I spent much of my time as a college student in the same shoes as many of our students.  As a single mom, I had the responsibilities of a family while holding down a job and earning my degree all at the same time. Because of this, I understand the commitment it takes for our students to attend college.  I also understand and appreciate the benefits our students receive upon graduation from Carl Albert State College.  It’s not easy to balance day to day responsibilities while being a student, but it is worth it.”

Along with an associate’s degree, Dr. Harrell has a BSE from Southern Arkansas University and both a master and doctorate from the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Harrell lives in Sallisaw and is active in many community organizations including the boards for Sallisaw Main Street and Help In Crisis, Inc.  She is a member of several local organizations dealing with victims of crime.  She also serves on the state level as the secretary for the Council on Extended Campus Administrators and is a member of the Economic Development Council for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, serving as co-chair of the Business Partnership Luncheon Committee.   Dr. Harrell is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Sallisaw and the GY Chapter of PEO.  She has three children including Jeremy Ibert, daughter-in-law Kim and their two daughters Bekah and Annalee of El Dorado Arkansas; Elisabeth Ibert Roop, her husband Sam, and their sons Aiden and Tate of Edmond Oklahoma; and Lindsey Ibert of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Dr. Harrell concluded, “Community college serves a vital role in the education process.  For our students attending right out of high school, community college is a valuable transition.  Students receive a quality education at an affordable price, and they learn how to be successful before transferring to further their education or joining the work force.  For our students who have been out of high school for years and decide to start or return to college, we are right here where they can continue their lives while earning their degree.”

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