News Center

Staff Bash 2024

Hendrix celebrates staff, honors award winners at the end of the academic year

CONWAY, Ark. (May 24, 2024) — Hendrix College celebrated the contributions of staff members at a year-end program on Friday in the Student Life and Technology Center, which included staff awards, lunch, games, and prizes.

The following awards were presented to Hendrix staff members:

‘Indi’ Award 

  • Karisa McAlister (Coordinator of Multicultural Student Services – Student Affairs)
  • David Mikels (Utility Supervisor – Dining Services)

McAlister and Mikels received the ‘Indi’ Award, presented to staff members who have proven to be an indispensable member of, and contributor to, the Hendrix community.

McAlister was nominated for her work as an advisor, advocate, and champion for multicultural students, helping them navigate their college lives by encouraging their academic efforts and supporting them in off campus activities.

Mikels has worked at Hendrix for 37 years and is described as the “go to” man who knows everything about everything in Dining Services. He is one of the first to arrive to meet delivery trucks and put away products and produce. He's always dependable, friendly, hardworking, and quick to help anyone who needs assistance.  

A.C. Millar Innovator Award 

  • Heath Riddle-Sims (Associate Director – Admission)
  • Julie Janos (Development Associate – Advancement)

Riddle-Sims and Janos received the A. C. Millar Innovator Award, given to a staff member who champions new and innovative ideas to make Hendrix better. The award is named for Hendrix College President A. C. Millar, who was instrumental in moving the College from Altus to Conway in 1890.

Riddle-Sims was nominated for his work with the Orientation team in creating a new form for new students to select their orientation trips, which made the selection process much more user friendly for our incoming students and assisted with student placement on the trips.

Janos was nominated for her videos used for social media, email campaigns, etc., which give alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, and current faculty, staff, and students a sense of what is happening across campus.  

Helen S. Plotkin Team Excellence Award 

  • The Hendrix Solar Odyssey Event Team (Jay Burling, Sharron Russell, Lynette Long, Tim Purkiss, Brian Williams, Pamela Owen, Amy Forbus, Leigh Lassiter-Counts, John Steward, Michelle Viner, Jeremy Dickerson, Meagan Burling)

The Helen S. Plotkin Team Excellence Award is given to a staff office or a project team of staff members from multiple offices to recognize a successful project or accomplishment that contributes to the College's strategic goals. The award is named for former Vice President of Marketing Communications Helen S. Plotkin, who retired in 2017 after more than two decades of service to Hendrix.

The Eclipse planning team was nominated for making the Hendrix Solar Odyssey eclipse event a reality, from the webpage and stage logistics to concessions to parking and campus safety to local, state, and national media coverage to event emcees to receiving three sponsorship grants to managing dozens of volunteers.

View Staff Bash 2024 photos here.

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose