Emily Dixon Named Ozarka College Academic All-Star

Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother, father, aunt and uncle, Emily Dixon is hard at work preparing to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It is that hard work and dedication that has earned her the honor of selection as the Ozarka College Academic All-Star for 2013.

Dixon began taking classes at Ozarka College when she was in the ninth grade. A homeschool student since the sixth grade, the dual coursework allowed her to complete her GED by 16 and earn 54 college credit hours.

“I started out taking one class, then the next semester I took three, and then I was just taking a full schedule,” she said. Once she earned her GED in December 2012, she was able to enroll as a full-time student at Ozarka.

During her time at Ozarka, she attributed much of her success to three individuals: Lindsay Wilson-Galloway, David Mitchell and Cheri McKee-McSwain.

With her desire to become a nurse and ultimately a physical therapist, it is science that interests her most. She said during high school she wasn’t able
to do any lab work, but being in Mitchell’s class allowed her access to the very thing she wanted to learn about.

“His labs were very helpful,” Dixon said. “And his tests are hard, too, which helps me focus more on what I’m doing to prepare for them.”

McKee-McSwain helped to cultivate diversity for Dixon, who said growing up in a small town doesn’t always offer cultural experiences. She said she admired that she wanted her students to learn about different cultures and strived to expose them to other areas of the world.

She also described director of operations Galloway-Wilson as one of the most helpful people on campus.

“She’s just done so much to help me,” she said.

In July 2012, Dixon attended the Medical Application of Science for Health Program (MASH) at the Stone County Medical Center through a partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The intensive two-week internship is geared toward high school juniors and seniors planning to pursue degrees in the medical field.

She is also a hospice volunteer through the Arkansas Department of Health Hospice program, a volunteer pianist at the Stone County Residential Care Facility, and holds numerous volunteer positions within her church and community. During the spring 2013 semester she was a representative in Ozarka College’s Student Government Association, helping with campus clean-up days and the 2013 April in the Arts event.

Every year, one student is selected to represent Ozarka College at the Arkansas Association of Two-Year College’s annual conference in Hot Spring as the Academic All-Star. Each college in Arkansas selects its own All-Star and gives a $500 scholarship for the spring 2014 term. All-Star recipients also typically receive a scholarship to an Arkansas public four-year college
or university of their choice.

In order to qualify for this honor, a student must be an Arkansas resident, currently be enrolled in an Arkansas two-year college with the expectation to be enrolled in the same college through at least spring 2014, have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours toward an associate degree with the intent to graduate by summer 2014, and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in all credit coursework.

She will be recognized at the AATYC All-Star brunch on Tuesday, Oct. 15.


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 education.