UAFS' McCollum earns housing honor
AnnMarie McCollum, resident director of the Lion’s Den Residence Hall at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, was recently selected as the recipient of the Nancy Murphy Chadwick Professional of Distinction Award from the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers. The award was presented virtually on Feb. 26 during the association’s annual conference.
McCollum has been the Lion’s Den resident director since September 2019. She was nominated by Beth Eppinger, director of Housing and Residential Life, through a short video featuring various campus leaders praising McCollum’s dedication.
“As a professional in housing, she has proven what a true mentor and adviser is to her resident assistants,” Eppinger said.
The award criteria states that the nominee must be an entry-level, full-time professional with one to three full years’ experience and currently holding a position supervising student staff or in a programmatic or departmental area. Other criteria include having provided new ideas or initiatives to enhance the housing program, enhancing their own skills through training, education, and development, and being actively involved in mentoring to or otherwise meeting the needs of students.
McCollum, who grew up in Mulberry, is a 2018 graduate of UAFS with a bachelor’s degree in English and a certification in teaching English as a second language. She came to her position with Housing and Residential Life after nearly a year working for Campus and Community Events. As a UAFS student, she was actively involved on campus as vice president of the Student Government Association.
"To say I was shocked is an understatement," said McCollum. "Rarely in my life am I speechless, but I was today. I love this university and the people here.
“One of the biggest reasons I loved being a student at UAFS was because the faculty and staff on campus saw and encouraged my potential both in and out of the classroom.” She added, “Being able to come back as a staff member, working in the complex I lived in for three years as a student, and have the opportunity to provide our students with a safe and welcoming place for them to live has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I would not be here without the influence of all of my supervisors, advisors, instructors, peers, and students, from my time as a student to today. I credit this award to them. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
The award is named in honor of Nancy Murphy-Chadwick, who served as the chief housing officer at Texas Woman’s University for more than 30 years and was an active longtime member of SWACUHO, and was designated to recognize the outstanding work and impact of a new housing professional.