First Recipients of the David Sixbey Foreign Studies Endowment Grant announced


Pictured are (Left to Right)  David Sixbey, Dr. Svetlana Paulson, Assistant Professor of History, Casey L. Hayes, and Daniel S. Hammack

Casey L. Hayes and Daniel S. Hammack are the first recipients of the David Sixbey Foreign Studies Endowment Grants for Study Abroad. Both students traveled to Moscow this summer.

The grants are made possible by a generous contribution by Amy and Pat Sixbey in honor of David Sixbey. Professor Sixbey is a former history faculty member at Southern Arkansas University who established the Russian Exchange Program. Their gift provides an opportunity for junior or senior students in the School of Liberal and Performing Arts to have an opportunity to study in a way they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do. Preference is given to students seeking educational opportunities in Russia. Amy and Pat Sixbey have also begun an endowment to provide a permanent source of funding for future students

Both Hayes and Hammack are non-traditional students who attended area community colleges before continuing their education in history and political science at SAU.

Hayes transferred from South Arkansas Community College in 2008 to SAU. She graduated from El Dorado High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. Hayes said Dr. Svetlana Paulson’s Russia and the USSR history at SAU course sparked her interest in Russia. Hayes traveled to Moscow for three weeks this July so she could conduct research and schedule oral interviews on the collapse of the Soviet Union. She also said she was looking forward to visiting museums and galleries as she explores the life and culture of the city and the nation.

Hayes is scheduled to graduate from SAU in December 2009 and plans pursue a master’s in history at Louisiana Tech University.

Hammack graduated from Abilene Texas High School and attended the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope before enrolling in SAU in 2008. He also plans to graduate in December 2009.

Growing up during the cold war era, Hammack has long been intrigued by Russia but was frustrated by the lack of information in his public school classes. His courses at SAU provided valuable insight and have prepared him for his stay in Moscow throughout June and July.

Hammack plans to interview Russians who recall the cold war to learn their attitudes toward the U.S and their perspective on Soviet policy during that period. He intends to compare the cold war outlooks to current views of Russians on the relationship of their country with the U.S. Hammack said he believes this experience abroad will strengthen his own preparation to become a school teacher and answer the type of questions for which he sought answers when he had been a student.

Study abroad is and increasingly valuable educational opportunity and the SAU Foundation is pleased to offer this award through the generosity of friends at SAU. Friends and former students of Professor David Sixbey are invited to contribute to the endowment in his honor. For more information on doing so, contact the SAU Foundation at 870-235-4078.

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