UALR Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Deborah Baldwin, has received the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Capitol Citation Award in recognition of her work in both community service and academic endeavors.
Jama Best, senior program officer for the Arkansas Humanities Council, surprised Baldwin with the citation at a recent college awards ceremony. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the Capitol Citation Award is given to area leaders “who make significant contributions to Arkansas and the citizens thereof.”
“Dean Baldwin is active in the academic community and in communities locally and internationally,” Best said. “She gives of her time, money, and expertise to promote education, diplomacy and positive change.”
Baldwin’s community involvement includes many of Little Rock’s well-known organizations, institutions, and city-wide committees. A Mexican historian, she is currently serving on the Arkansas Mexico 2010 Celebration Executive Committee, a university-community collaboration among UALR, the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The five-month celebration will mark the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence Wars and the centennial of its 1910 Revolution through a series of cultural events.
Baldwin was one of the original University representatives who assisted in the framework design for the Clinton School of Public Service. She is a founding member of the University History Institute and UALR Friends of the Arts and helped to establish the UALR American Humanics Program. Baldwin participated in the Jail Task Force, a project spearheaded by UALR Chancellor Emeritus Charles Hathaway to assess the needs and demands of the Arkansas penal system.
The dean’s other volunteer work has included service through the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum, the MacArthur Museum of Military History Commission and the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecturer Program. She currently coaches an Odyssey of the Mind team for Mount St. Mary Academy.
“As a student many years ago at UALR, Dean Baldwin challenged me in ways that no other professor or teacher ever had,” said Best, a 1984 graduate of UALR with a degree in sociology and anthropology. “There are few people who truly make a mark on someone’s life, but she has made a huge impact on my life, both personally and professionally.”