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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

UALR student to receive Lucille Westbrook Award

Darcy Pumphrey, a recent graduate of the UALR Master of Arts in public history program, has won the 2014 Lucille Westbrook Award for best article manuscript on an aspect of local Arkansas history.

DarcyPumphreyPumphrey will receive her award, which includes a $1,000 prize and a framed certificate, at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Historical Association. The meeting will be held April 3 to 5, at the Historic Washington State Park in Hope.

Pumphrey’s article, “Too Little, Too Late: Why Little Rock’s Freeway Resistance Movement Failed to Stop the Construction of Interstate 630,” will be published in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly.

Pumphrey completed her thesis under the guidance of UALR’s George W. Donaghey Professor and Chair of History John Kirk.

The piece examines local grassroots efforts to halt the construction of I-630. Many were concerned about the interstate’s environmental impact, and the social and racial divisions that would follow from its planned route across the heart of the city.

Pumphrey posits that there were a number of factors involved in the failure to stop the project, including the relatively late emergence of organized protests.

“It’s a great study that provides another important piece in our understanding of the intersections of environmental, racial, and class history in the city,” Kirk said.

“This is the third year in a row that a student from the public history program has won one of the top state prizes for their research, testifying to the quality of the program and the success of those who graduate from it.

“After putting in all the effort to research and write a thesis and then condense it into an article, I was excited to see how much the Arkansas Historical Association valued my work,” Pumphrey said. “It is an honor to win the Lucille Westbrook Local History Award.”