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UA Little Rock to honor alum Sara Tariq at Taste of Little Rock

Dr. Sara Tariq is the Guest of Honor at Taste of Little Rock 2020. The annual event supports UA Little Rock student scholarships. Photo by Benjamin Krain.
Dr. Sara Tariq is the Guest of Honor at Taste of Little Rock 2020. The annual event supports UA Little Rock student scholarships. Photo by Benjamin Krain.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will honor alumnus Dr. Sara Tariq, associate dean for student affairs in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), during the 17th annual premier food event, Taste of Little Rock, on Tuesday, April 7.

“I am deeply honored to be a part of Taste of Little Rock,” Tariq said. “As a child of immigrant parents from India, I have a first-hand understanding of the economic and social challenges that some students face. Getting a scholarship to UA Little Rock allowed me to focus solely on my studies. The faculty at UA Little Rock provided me with the mentorship and knowledge to take the next steps in my career, which included getting admitted to medical school at UAMS.”

This year’s event is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center on the UA Little Rock campus. Taste of Little Rock raises funds for the UA Little Rock Alumni Association Scholarship Fund while introducing guests to some of the best food in the city from the finest restaurants in Little Rock. In 2019, Taste of Little Rock raised more than $145,000 for student scholarships.

“We are excited to honor Dr. Tariq for her passion to impact the lives of Arkansans through education,” said Kristi Smith, senior director of development. “She chose to remain in Little Rock after receiving her medical degree to make a difference in the lives of those who impact patient lives. When she speaks of her work as a faculty member, her desire to provide first-class instruction to tomorrow’s doctors is evident.”

Tariq, who is well-known among UAMS medical students as a compassionate educator and mentor, is a nationally recognized leader in medical education and an exceptional physician who teaches by example. She is a 1993 graduate of UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 2018, Tariq was named Outstanding Alumni of the Year for the Donaghey Scholars Program.

Tariq received her medical degree from UAMS in 1998 and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She joined the UAMS faculty in 2002 after serving as chief resident at Brown University. She is a professor of internal medicine and serves as medical director of the Center for Clinical Skills Education.

A firm believer in giving back to the community, Tariq’s philanthropic efforts in the Little Rock community are immense. She has served as president of the board of the Harmony Health Clinic, which serves the uninsured and underserved population in Pulaski County, for the past decade and has co-chaired the annual Bollywood Nights gala for the past eight years.

“I strongly believe in lifting others up so we can all be successful in this state,” Tariq said. “Delivering primary care to the uninsured people of Little Rock at Harmony Clinic, promoting social justice by serving on the board of Just Communities of Arkansas, and serving on Mayor Frank Scott’s transition team have helped me continue to serve the people of this state, but also helped me grow as an individual. I want future UA Little Rock graduates to have the same opportunities for growth and leadership as I have had. I am ecstatic to support UA Little Rock students by raising money for scholarships.”

Stephanie Caruthers, a managing partner at Trio’s restaurant and chair of Taste of Little Rock, emphasized the importance of raising scholarship funds for college students.

“The Alumni Association scholarships are an important part of our support and advocacy for the university, and as an Alumni Association Board member, I am able to experience first-hand the impact of Taste of Little Rock scholarships,” Caruthers said. “I have had the privilege of interviewing scholarship applicants, and that process has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my board service. I am so excited about what we have in store for Taste of Little Rock this year!”

Individual tickets are on sale for $75. Sponsorships are available by contacting Kristi Smith at 501.569.8739 or

To order tickets, contact the UA Little Rock Alumni office at 501-683-7208, email, or visit the Taste of Little Rock website.