(Left to right) Ernest Cialone, Dan Maher, Steve Kite and Tom Wing.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith faculty members were recognized for their dedication to the university, to the community, and to teaching during a Faculty Appreciation Ceremony held April 14.
Recipients were Ernest Cialone of Fort Smith, recipient of the Lucille Speakman Master Teacher Award; Tom Wing of Van Buren, recipient of the Excellence to the University, to the Profession, and to the Community Service Award; Dr. Dan Maher of Fayetteville, recipient of the Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Award; Susan Hotz of Fort Smith, recipient of the Luella M. Krehbiel Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award; and Dr. Steve Kite of Fort Smith, recipient of the Lori Norin Faculty Appreciation Award given by the Student Government Association.
Ernest Cialone currently teaches as an associate professor of art at UAFS and has spent nearly 26 years teaching at the university. As part of his service to the university, Cialone assisted in developing upper-level courses for the bachelor’s degree program in studio arts, subsequently teaching the first offerings of courses including figure painting, screen printing and artistic anatomy.
Cialone has showcased his artwork across Arkansas, including exhibitions at the Center for Art and Education in Van Buren, Subacio Academy and the Fort Smith Art Center. Additionally, he has been included in group exhibitions in the Laman Library Gallery in North Little Rock, the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum and The Blue Lion at UAFS Downtown. Recently, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine purchased two of his anatomical drawings for their permanent collection.
He has been extensively involved on campus in his time at UAFS, highlighted most recently by stints as chair of the Faculty Senate, a member of the Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Quality Initiative Team and a member of the Title IX Board and the Student Conduct Board.
“To receive the Lucille Speakman Master Teacher Award from my peers is a great honor,” Cialone said. “Although it carries much less economic benefit than a promotion in rank, this award actually means more to me in a spiritual sense.”
Cialone holds an associate degree in art from UAFS when it was Westark Community College, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Dakota.
Tom Wing has taught at UAFS since 2001, beginning as an adjunct professor and becoming a full-time professor in 2004.As the director of the Drennen-Scott Historic Site since 2005, he helped secure more than $5 million in funding to renovate the house over a five-year period.
In his time at UAFS, Wing also started a degree program in historical interpretation that has grown to more than 70 enrolled students. In addition to leading the renovations on the DSHS, Wing helped secure more than $350,000 to restore the Wilhauf House in Van Buren, estimated to be the second-oldest home in the city. He currently teaches United States history and historical interpretation courses at UAFS.
"I am humbled to have been chosen among my peers for this award,” Wing said. “I see my service to the community as an ambassadorship for UAFS. From recognizing potential future students, to helping preserve our historical structures and stories, to fostering positive relationships in the community, I hope it all works together to achieve the university’s mission.”
Wing has also been active in the Fort Smith and Van Buren communities, as he has worked with Leadership Fort Smith, Leadership Crawford County and the Van Buren Citizens Police Academy, in addition to professional development for school districts in Fort Smith, Van Buren, Greenwood, Mansfield, Waldron and others. He has also served as a board member of the Arkansas Historical Association and the vice president of education with Preserve Arkansas.
Prior to his work at UAFS, Wing served as an interpretive park ranger and historian with the National Park Service in Fort Smith.
Wing holds a bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and secondary education from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Stephen F. Austin University, seeking a degree in resource interpretation.
Dr. Dan Maher is an associate professor of anthropology and sociology at UAFS, a position he has held at the university since 1997. He teaches courses on topics including cultural anthropology, anthropological theory, race theory, introductory sociology and social stratification.
During his time at UAFS, he has published regular commentary in Talk Business & Politics, served as a board member for The Next Step Day Room, and presented regular on diversity and inclusion topics in the Fort Smith community.
Additionally, Maher has accrued a number of impressive professional highlights, including numerous acceptances to the summer institute for the National Endowment for the Humanities and published articles in historical publications. In 2016, he published a monograph on cultural heritage tourism as part of a series published by the University Press of Florida, and he will serve as the keynote speaker at the annual Trail of Tears Association Conference and Symposium in October.
“This individual recognition is the culmination of having terrific colleagues and inquisitive students since my arrival in Fort Smith in 1997,” Maher said. “It would have been impossible for me to accomplish what I have without the support and assistance of many people on campus and in the community over the past 20 years. I am grateful to everyone who played a role in furthering my personal education and insights.”
Maher earned an associate degree from Highland Community College, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from Illinois State University, and a doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Susan Hotz has taught in the university’s dental hygiene program for the last six years as an adjunct clinical instructor and an adjunct instructor in the local anesthesia lab. Prior to that, she worked for more than 35 years as a dental hygienist, and currently works for AR Periodontal and Implant Associates.
“I am working with dedicated professionals that I am happy to call my friends. I was humbled to be nominated for this award knowing what efforts are required of my colleagues every day while I am only here part-time,” Hotz said. “I love dental hygiene and am blessed to be able to share that passion with future hygienists. I am sincerely honored to receive this award.”
Hotz holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Additionally, she attended UAFS while it was Westark Community College before completing her undergraduate work at UAMS.
Dr. Steve Kite has taught as an associate professor of history at UAFS since 2010, teaching courses on United States history, historical interpretation, methods of historic research, and conservation of heritage resources. Prior to coming to UAFS, he taught at Fort Hays State University and was a historian-in-residence with the Oklahoma State Historical Society.
In the letter nominating Kite for the award, he was lauded for his welcoming and collaborative approach to history.
“Inside the classroom, Dr.Kite focuses heavily on each individual student … [He will] come up to students who have looked confused and with a friendly smile, ask them if there’s anything he can help them with,” the letter states. “Dr. Kite also assigns fun, group based projects so that students can collaborate together and learn teamwork skills.”
Kite said he was honored to receive the award.
“It means a great deal to me that my students and colleagues think so highly of my work,” he said. “I am dedicated to the growth and success of my students, and it is nice to be recognized for that. I hope to continue forward carrying the spirit of the award with me at all times. I consider it an honor to be working with such capable and caring students, staff, and faculty.”
In addition to countless academic publications, Kite has participated in several community service initiatives during his time at UAFS, including overseeing cemetery preservation efforts by the History Club in local cemeteries, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for the Arkansas Historical Association, the Fort Smith Museum of History, and the Fort Smith Historical Society.
Kite holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and broadcasting from Oklahoma State University, a master’s degree in history from Emporia State University, and a doctorate in history from Oklahoma State University.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.