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Hendrix Alumni Association Announces 2019 Award Recipients

CONWAY, Ark. (March 26, 2018) — The Hendrix College Alumni Association will honor three alumni,  Carol Hampton Rasco ’69, Heather Michelle Newell ’11, and Douglas Hutchings ’05 at the Alumni Association Awards Brunch to be held Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m., in Worsham Student Performance Hall in the Student Life and Technology Center. The brunch is part of the College’s Alumni Weekend festivities.

The 2019 Alumni Association Award honorees are:

Carol Hampton Rasco '69Distinguished Alumna Award — Carol Hampton Rasco ’69  

Carol Hampton Rasco has been a lifelong policy advocate for children, improving education, promoting early literacy, and supporting children with disabilities. She spent a decade as Chief Policy Advisor to Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, serving as liaison to the National Governors Association during that time. She went on to serve as Director of the Domestic Policy Council for President Clinton, spending four years in the White House influencing national policy regarding immunizations, disability rights, immigration, and healthcare. Her career led to a role as senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, directing the America Reads Challenge, a four-year national campaign that promoted the importance of children reading well and independently by the end of the third grade. Rasco also served as the Executive Director for Government Relations at the College Board. As President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental, she grew the organization’s national presence by increasing community and private partnerships, enabling it to provide 4.4 million children with free books and literacy resources each year, including the addition of tips and resources for parents.

AlumniAssoc2019_HeatherNewell_web.jpgHendrix Humanitarian Award — Heather Michelle Newell ’11

Heather Michelle Newell has spent the last seven years gaining experience in international education, social enterprise, women’s empowerment, and mental health. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Rwanda, then consulted for a microfinance bank and helped launch The Women’s Bakery, which trains women to run and operate nutrition-centric bakeries in East Africa. Newell now works in the mental health field, facilitating connections to work and educational opportunities for young adults with mental health barriers. She also chairs the advisory board for Growing Colorado Kids, a refugee organization that teaches refugee and immigrant youth to harvest and cook healthy food; and she has written and published a variety of articles specific to LGBTQ+ topics and issues.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award — Douglas Hutchings ’05

Douglas Hutchings has worked in the solar industry to develop cutting-edge technology, optimize the supply chain for local installers, and to advocate for intelligent policy at the local, state, and national level. He co-founded Picasolar, a solar equipment company built around technology he developed while conducting research for his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Arkansas. He has served on the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority STEM Advisory Board, and was a founding board member of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association and its corresponding Foundation. Hutchings supports entrepreneurship in Arkansas through his work with the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the UA and Innovate Arkansas, playing a role in ensuring that Arkansas graduates can join a company or create their own job, regardless of their academic discipline.

Other featured activities for Alumni Weekend 2019 include the induction of the Class of 1969 in the Half Century Club, an alumni memorial service, and an afternoon of “Last Lectures to Alumni” by four retiring faculty: Dr. Stella M. Čapek, Professor of Sociology; Danny Grace ’77, Professor of Theatre Arts; Dr. Wayne Oudekerk, Professor of German; and Dr. Joyce Hardin, Professor of Biology. View the full Alumni Weekend schedule here.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.