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Sophomore Receives Inaugural AGFCF Henderson Research Fellowship

Jay Stanley 02CONWAY, Ark. (March 21, 2014) – Environmental studies major Jay Stanley ’16 is the inaugural recipient of the new Scott Henderson Research Fellowship.

The fellowship was established by Hendrix alumnus Randy Wilbourn ’68, a member of the Hendrix Board of Trustees, and his wife Judy, as an extension of Wilbourn’s interest in Arkansas’s natural resources and engaged learning at Hendrix. Wilbourn created the award in honor of Scott Henderson, who led the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Foundation (AGFCF).

“Through this research fellowship our student will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the mission and work of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission,” said Hendrix biology and environmental studies professor Dr. Joyce Hardin. “The experience will provide him with an opportunity to connect the knowledge he has acquired in the classroom and laboratory to some of the issues that confront the game and non-game animal species in Arkansas.” 

With the award, Stanley will spend six weeks this summer as an AGFCF intern. Stanley will tour the Natural State observing the agency’s program biologists from different specialties (e.g. waterfowl, bears, etc.). He will receive Odyssey credit in Professional and Leadership Development for completing the fellowship.

A North Little Rock native, Stanley “grew up around the outdoors,” canoeing the Buffalo National River and fishing, hiking, and hunting with his parents near the family’s land in north Arkansas.

Originally a computer science major, Stanley’s passion for environmental studies was confirmed in the classroom. He cites his Buddhism class, reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, and sociology professor Dr. Stella Capek’s Food, Culture and Nature course as formative academic experiences that reconnected him to his early love of the environment in Arkansas.

Last summer, Stanley completed a 10-day course through the National Outdoor Leadership School, where he was certified as a wilderness first responder. He is considering becoming certified as a wilderness emergency medical technician (EMT).

After Hendrix, he hopes to go to graduate school and teach environmental science. The Henderson Research Fellowship will give him some useful field-based research experience.

“With this fellowship, I want to become more acquainted with the practical application of what I’ve been studying,” he said.

Stanley is also excited for the opportunity to work closely with an agency with a role in wildlife protection and enforcement

“They have a distinguished purpose to protect our ecology and ecosystems,” said Stanley. “As a hunter and fisherman, my father always respected game wardens. They’re part of a regulatory agency that has best interest of Arkansas as the Natural State at heart.”

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.  Hendrix is featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit