Arkansas Alumni Association Honors the Class of 2017 Seniors of Significance

Seniors of Significance 2017 Group Photo

The Arkansas Alumni Association honored its third class of Seniors of Significance during a reception at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House on Dec. 2. Seventy-one graduating seniors, commemorating the university's founding date of 1871, were recognized along with their faculty or staff mentor. During the reception, the Seniors of Significance received a gold special honor cord to wear during graduation.

The 71 students were selected from more than 400 nominations and represent each University of Arkansas undergraduate academic college. These are exceptional seniors who were selected based on academic achievement, leadership skills and substantial extracurricular campus and/or community activities. Though mostly from Arkansas, they also represent eight other states and two countries.

This year celebrates the 52nd year of honoring a senior male and female undergraduate through the Senior Honor Citation program, as well as the re-established Razorback Classics program. Only students selected as Seniors of Significance have the opportunity to update their application in the 2017 spring semester to be further considered for these awards.

2017 Industrial Engineering Seniors of Significance

Salma Boudhoum – Agadir, Morocco
photo of Salma BoudhoumSalma is a senior Industrial Engineer student from Morocco. She currently serves as the President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and is also working for the international office as a Cross-Cultural Mentor to new international students where she helps them adjust to the University of Arkansas and life in Northwest Arkansas. She has also served as President of the International Student Organization and was a member of the first graduating class of the “Emerging Leaders” program. Salma’s family was chosen as the 2015 Family of the Year by the Associated Student Government and Parent & Family Program. In the summer of 2015, she participated in a six-month co-op at Rheem Manufacturing. After graduating in May, Salma is planning to attend graduate school. Salma commented about her recognition as a Senior of Significance; “It is a great honor to be part of this special group that made important contributions to the University of Arkansas community by devoting time for extracurricular activities. The University of Arkansas offers a great environment to develop outside the classroom, and everyone should take advantage of it.”


Claudia Chavez – Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Photo of Claudia ChavezClaudia began her college career as a psychology student, but ultimately found her passion in industrial engineering. For the past few years, she has worked as a student ambassador for the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education supporting the professional development of underrepresented students on campus. She has also been involved with various organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, Arkansas United Community Coalition, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Alpha Pi Mu. During her time at the U of A, Claudia completed a co-op with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas, an internship with Cameron, a six-month co-op with Walmart International, and most recently, she finished an internship with Walmart’s Logistics Engineering. During the spring of 2014, she received the Outstanding Student award from Diversity Affairs for her dedication to diversity, her academics, and her professional achievements. Claudia is graduating in December and wishes to encourage other students in their pursuit of excellence.  Regarding the honor of Senior of Significance, Claudia had this to say “Never did I imagine I would receive this honor. The last few years have been filled with faith in God, an exceptional support group, and a lot of hard work. My hope is for these recognitions to stand as a testament of my optimism, passion for life, and pursuit of excellence. Thank you to all of those who have been a part of this journey.”

Ashleigh Hegwood – McKinney, Texas
photo of Ashleigh HegwoodAshleigh has served as the President of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Registered Student Organization and is involved with the Student Integrated Intern Research Experience (SIIRE). She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Alpha Lambda Delta First-Year Honor Society, and Alpha Pi Mu. In October 2014, Ashleigh had the privilege of being nominated by the industrial engineering faculty for the first ever Walmart Collegiate Innovators’ Challenge and her team won the event. She has also received scholarships from the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering in 2014 & 2015. Ashleigh commented “I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been selected as one of the Seniors of Significance. I am so thankful for the friends, family, faculty, staff, and mentors who have stood by me day in and day out throughout my college career. I would not have been able to do it without them!”

December 15, 2016