Bailey, Buchanan Win Speakman Awards at UAFS

terri bailey and susan buchanan
Terri Bailey and Susan Buchanan

Two University of Arkansas – Fort Smith employees were honored for their service to the university when they received Lucille Speakman Excellence Awards at the University Staff Council’s annual staff meeting Sept. 27.


Terri Bailey of Fort Smith, piano accompanist in the Department of Music, and Susan Buchanan of Fort Smith, administrative specialist for the Honor’s International Studies Program, each received the accolade which recognizes exemplary staff members at the university.


Bailey has worked at UAFS for 18 years, where she has played piano for the numerous jazz, chorale and other musical concerts held each year, in addition to providing private lessons and volunteering in activities at the university.


In recommendation letters written by numerous faculty and staff members in the Department of Music, Bailey was lauded for her work promoting music in the community.


“Frequently collaborating with her husband and UAFS music professor Don Bailey, Mrs. Bailey has helped to lead a number of community events that support aspiring musicians in the Fort Smith area,” wrote Dr. Christopher Barrick, head of the Department of Music. “The Shane Bailey Memorial Music Society – founded and led by Don and Terri Bailey – raises money to support music causes in honor of their late son, Shane. These events have not only contributed to the area – they have projected the exact kind of community-first attitude that we would want in an ideal UAFS employee.”


Another faculty member, Dr. Stephen Husarik, complimented Bailey’s work ethic.


“No matter when I am at my office, Terri Bailey is working downstairs in hers, accompanying, preparing scores, transcribing and editing, composing, writing or practicing accompaniments,” Husarik wrote. “In fact, if she is not there, I can be sure that she is accompanying a musician at church, in a local club, or appearing in some venue for the community or at a formal concert here at UAFS. There must be hundreds upon hundreds of people who are beholding to her for the beautiful music she supplies at their events.”


Additionally, Bailey has composed musical pieces that have been performed by groups such as the Fort Smith Symphony and Las Vegas performer Jonathan Karrant.


Buchanan has worked at UAFS since 2012. In her position, she handles all administrative duties associated with the Honors International Studies Program, including assisting with the interviewing process of prospective students, tracking students’ grade point averages, helping with Maymester arrangements and assisting honors students with their needs.


She also assisted with the coordination of several large-scale conferences held on the UAFS campus, including the Great Plains Honor Conference in 2014 and the Literature of the Hidden and Fantastic Conference in 2016.


Dennis Siler, director of the Honors Program, wrote in his recommendation letter that Buchanan has been “instrumental” to the program since its inception.


“She has been a sounding board and advisor for every program, conference, class and requirement instituted in Honors. In fact, I value Susan’s input and advice so much she really serves more as an assistant director than as an assistant to the director,” Siler wrote. “I council with Susan whenever I consider implementing a new aspect of the program or modifying one already in place, and she never fails to give great feedback and cogent suggestions.”


For winning the awards, Bailey and Buchanan will each receive a $2,500 monetary award. The award is named for the late Lucille Speakman, a longtime teacher, administrator and member of the Board of Trustees when UAFS was a two-year community college.


The University Staff Council is comprised of all UAFS full- and part-time employees who are not deans, members of the faculty or members of the chancellor’s senior staff. Previous Lucille Speakman Excellence Award winners select the new recipients.


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. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to


Article by John Post, Director of Public Information
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Photo by Rachel Putman, Photographer, Marketing and Communications Office
Date Posted: 
Monday, October 2, 2017
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