A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor is establishing a legacy to make a better future for students and faculty members in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing.
Dr. Karen Kuralt, associate dean of the Graduate School and associate professor of rhetoric and writing, is celebrating her 20th anniversary at UA Little Rock this fall. She has made a planned gift, currently valued at $100,000, to UA Little Rock.
“UA Little Rock is where I’ve invested most of my time as an educator. This is part of my legacy,” Kuralt said. “I know these funds will go to something I care about, which is my students, their future, and my department.”
The first half of the gift will create the Karen Kuralt Endowed Graduate Student Scholarship. The funds will be used for education-related expenses including tuition, fees, books, and room and board for rhetoric and writing graduate students.
After serving for more than a decade as the graduate program coordinator in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, Kuralt has seen a need for scholarships that benefit graduate students.
“Most scholarships are only available for undergraduate students,” she said. “While graduate assistantships are available, it’s very difficult for people who are online students or working full time to get a graduate assistantship. There are a lot of students who want to get a graduate degree but don’t get a lot of options besides taking loans.”
The second half of the gift will form the Karen Kuralt Endowed Faculty and Professional Development Fund, which will pay for rhetoric and writing faculty to attend conferences and trainings that enhance teaching skills. Kuralt has created many new classes for UA Little Rock over the years and wants to provide more faculty members with the opportunity to participate in professional development opportunities.
“If a faculty member needs additional training to teach a class our students need, then I want to provide that professor with the same support needed to keep their skills current and relevant,” Kuralt said. “This will ensure that we have a relevant program in the future. It’s good for our students, good for the economy of Arkansas, and good for keeping talented Arkansans in the state.”