Ozarka College personnel were recently honored

Ozarka College personnel were recently honored for their outstanding work over the past year at the Arkansas Association of Two-Year College’s annual conference in Hot Springs.

Russell Bassham was recognized as Ozarka College’s Outstanding Faculty Member and Gin Brown was recognized as Outstanding Staff Member during the annual awards banquet on Monday, Oct. 14.

Bassham started his career teaching high school math, but joined Ozarka College 12 years ago. His ability to connect with students at all levels of
the learning spectrum quickly made him a favorite instructor at both the Melbourne and Ash Flat campus. He retired from teaching May 2013; however, his colleagues say he continues to be an inspiration to students and faculty alike.

Brown joined Ozarka College as the manager of Academic Support Services following a successful career as a public school counselor, teacher and home
economics instructor with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. She later became the Ozarka College registrar and in 2007 became
the director of off-campus operations at the College’s then new campus in Mountain View. During her time in Stone County, she created a strong College
presence and ensured students received quality services in a caring environment. Brown retired in June 2013.

Emily Dixon was recognized as the Ozarka College Academic All-Star and Kim Thomas was recognized as Outstanding Alumni during the annual All-Star Brunch on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Dixon served as president of her home-school leadership group and accumulated 28 college-credit hours through Ozarka before completing her
high school requirements at age 16. She completed 22 college-credit hours in the 2013 spring semester at Ozarka and has a 3.94 GPA. Dixon is very active in her church and in her community, serving as a hospice volunteer, pianist for special events and as a camp counselor. She served as an intern with the Medical Application of Science for Health (MASH) program at Stone County Medical Center. Her long-term goal includes becoming a doctor of physical therapy. She is currently serving as president of the Ozarka College Student Government Association.

Each year, AATYC honors top students from the state’s 22 two-year colleges, and scholarships are typically offered from a public two-year institution of
their choice to complete their four-year degree.

Thomas graduated from Ozarka College in 2003 with an Associate of Arts degree. She went on to obtain bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech
University and a master’s degree from Arkansas State University. She is currently serving as guidance counselor at Highland High School in Hardy.
She is a strong supporter of two-year colleges, having worked with Ozarka to establish a concurrent enrollment program at Highland High and having taught for the College as an adjunct instructor. Her colleagues and friends at Ozarka describe her as a caring and compassionate counselor who is dedicated to helping students succeed in the classroom and in the future.


Ozarka College is a comprehensive technical/community college, with locations in Fulton, Izard, Sharp and Stone counties. The college offers 28 associate degrees, technical certificates and certificates of proficiency, as well as workforce training, continuing education and adult basic