Razorbug
—2023 Diploma Tour—

Razorbug Drives Home Online Student Success

The University of Arkansas is passionate about our land-grant mission to serve our home state and its people. In May 2023, more than 550 U of A students graduated from online degree programs. Some walked in commencement in Fayetteville; some did not.

In a symbolic gesture, the U of A Global Campus drove the Razorbug - one of the university's most visible symbols - across the state  for the second summer in a row to deliver framed diplomas to 13 U of A graduates who studied online while  living and working in rural Arkansas. These are graduates who could not study in Fayetteville because they did not want to uproot their families or quit their hometown jobs.

The 2023 tour ended Aug. 17 in Little Rock, where 10 more May 2023 U of A graduates from Central Arkansas were honored.  Help us spread the joy by sharing a link to this page that's packed with student success stories. 

Map of the Razorbug Tour

Cindy Miller - El Dorado, AR

Cindy Miller receiving diploma

"This was the degree I wanted so there really was no other option for me. I just wouldn’t have been able to get my master’s. The flexibility was key to being able to be successful so I really appreciated that."

Cindy's Story

M.Ed. in Educational Technology

Keri Reynolds - El Dorado, AR

Keri Reynolds receiving diploma

“I met some amazing fellow students, and we are still in contact today and I will stay in contact with those four to five individuals and that’s been my highlight throughout the entire program.”

Keri's Story

Doug Stringfellow - El Dorado, AR

Doug Stringfellow receiving diploma

“The MSOM’s technical basis was a natural fit for me working in manufacturing. Part of my job is project management. I lead a team of our engineering and maintenance group so the degree and the certificate fit right in line with my day-to-day work.”

Doug's Story

M.S. in Operations Management

Jose Gonzalez - Green Forest, AR

Jose Gonzalez receiving diploma

“If you don’t think you have time to go to college and there’s an online degree option, you could try it. I was able to earn my degree online because it was more flexible, you have time to do your homework whenever you’re free and it was just more flexible with your schedule.”

Jose's Story

B.S.B.A. in General Business

Russell Murray - Camden, AR

Russell Murray receiving diploma

“You always hear engineers don’t have social skills, people skills and such. We spend four years doing math. In undergrad, we dread group projects, but at work, essentially group projects are what you’re doing all day every day. We work with interdisciplinary, multifunctional groups, and you have to manage and work your way into a solution you like.”

Russell's Story

M.S. in Engineering Management

Christian Rodriguez - Camden, AR

Christian Rodriguez standing with the Razorbug

“I learned about allocating resources, how best to allocate them. I really liked the leadership principles class. I think I work better with people, matching people with the right projects. I feel a lot better about all that than when I started.”

Christian's Story

M.S. in Engineering Management

Bob Korpella - Mountain Home, AR

Robert Korpella

“What the difference was – my only frame of experience was going for my bachelor’s and that was a lot of studying and reading and some discussion in class but this was a whole different ballgame. And I loved it. It was a whole lot of research and I loved doing that, as a writer, and it was a lot of writing, which I also love.”

Bob's Story

M.Ed. in Human Resource Development

Eddie Goines Jr. - Batesville, AR

Eddie Goines receiving diploma

“Taking classes from the leadership classes to quality management, project management, it’s all things that currently apply to what I was doing. It gave me a better understanding. They just really helped me grow and develop as a leader here at FutureFuel.”

Eddie's Story

M.S. in Operations Management

Tabitha Kolb - Jasper, AR

Tabitha Kolb

“This degree will allow me to incorporate even more activities and opportunities for my students in the classroom and being from a small school that’s invaluable for these students who might not otherwise see that.”

Tabitha's Story

M.Ed. in Educational Technology

Sydney McFarland - Yellville, AR

Sydney McFarland

“I would tell someone else, just do it. Whatever fears you have, whatever is holding you back, just pursue it and pursue it with everything that you have because you’re only going to regret it if you don’t.”

Sydney's Story

B.S.B.A. in General Business

Randy Scaggs - Norfork, AR

Randy Scaggs receiving diploma

“The things that I would study and learn I would be able to put immediately into practice. And it kept me on the cutting edge of the current literature as far as research goes. I was able to apply that immediately day in and day out in my job.”

Randy's Story

Ed.D. in Adult and Lifelong Learning

Rachel Eakins - Paragould, AR

Rachel Eakins

“We’ve always been Razorback fans. I thought it would be an awesome thing to graduate as a Razorback and I knew that the University of Arkansas had a great online program so that’s why I chose to go with the University of Arkansas.”

Rachel's Story

Bachelor of Human Resource Development

Katie Bailey - West Memphis, AR

Katie Bailey receiving diploma

“It helped me hone in on my self-discipline, I would say, because you’re not going to class, you don’t have the professor there, your peers right next to you, so you really have to have a lot of self-discipline about it. I would say I took that to my job. So, whenever I had a project due, it was already built into me from the university; I knew how to get a project done.”

Katie's Story

B.S.B.A. in Accounting

32

Counties Visited

2,250

Miles Traveled

8

Days of Presenting

14

Academic Presenters

5

Front-page
Newspaper Stories

2

Television Reports


Little Rock Event


The Razorbug Diploma Tour wrapped up Aug. 17 in Little Rock with an event celebrating 10 graduates of online degree programs. Faculty and staff members presented them with framed diplomas inside the Walton College Executive Education facility in downtown Little Rock.

Crys Aguilera
North Little Rock, AR
M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Stephanie Crowell
Roland, AR
M.Ed. in Educational Equity


Susan Ferguson
Jonesboro, AR
Doctor of Nursing Practice


Dinella Michelle Griffin
Little Rock, AR
LPN to BSN


Ryan Henry
Alexander, AR
M.S. in Operations Management

Ethan Lee Kissinger
Sherwood, AR
B.S.B.A. in Supply Chain Management


Tillar Lewis
North Little Rock, AR
M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Allie Sheppeard
Sherwood, AR
Master of Social Work


Marla Smith
Little Rock, AR
M.Ed. in Adult and Lifelong Learning


Theresa Tiner
North Little Rock, AR
RN to BSN

About the Razorbug

What is it?
The Razorbug is a conversion car, starting with a red Volkswagen Beetle and adding a Razorback's snout, tail and razor-edged spine to the original body.

When: Created in 2005

Purpose: Recruiting students and celebrating events

What's it like to drive the Razorbug?
Fun! It is like traveling with a celebrity. People love to have their photos taken with this red-hot, four-wheeled mascot.

Presenters

Ed Bengtson
College of Education and Health Professions

Jasper

Alishia Ferguson
School of Social Work, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

Little Rock

Megan Garland
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Yellville

Rich Ham
College of Engineering

Little Rock

Michael Hevel
College of Education and Health Professions

El Dorado
Little Rock

Dean Kate Mamiseishvili
College of Education and Health Professions

Paragould

Patty Milner
Global Campus

Evening Shade

Cheryl Murphy
Global Campus

Little Rock

Leonard Nethercutt
College of Engineering

Batesville

Greg Parnell
College of Engineering

Camden
El Dorado

Gary Peters
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Green Forest
West Memphis

Kevin Roessger
College of Education and Health Professions

Norfork

Mandel Samuels
College of Education and Health Professions

El Dorado
Mountain Home
Little Rock

Janet Penner-Williams
College of Education and Health Professions

Little Rock

Collaborators

Academic Colleges:

Presented the diplomas

Office of Admissions:

Loaned us the Razorbug

Office of the Registrar:

Printed diplomas

U of A Bookstore:

Ordered the diploma frames

University Relations:

Helped promote the tour

Video:

Amy Sandefur Productions
Luke Gramlich, Global Campus

Global Campus:

Multiple Teams: Graduation data, travel arrangements, media production, information technology, photography

Little Rock Facility:

Walton College Executive Education

 

2022 Razorbug Tour