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Events | Business and Industry | Arts and Sciences | Health Education and Human SciencesMay 12, 2022

UAFS Students Receive Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development

Written By: Samantha Contreras

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Career Services and Babb Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) announced six UAFS student graduates earned a prestigious Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development this month. ​

“Employers in our region know that students who receive this certificate have been through professional and career development training that makes them ready on day one for the work environment,” said Susan Krafft, executive director of Career Services.

The Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development acknowledges students’ successful completion of a comprehensive slate of career preparation programs and services that give them a competitive edge in obtaining internships and securing employment. The program offers workshops and networking opportunities by helping students develop a professional portfolio of skills and attributes sought by area, regional, and national employers.

“Five years ago, I never thought I’d graduate with any degree,” said Diep Pham, from Biên Hòa City, Vietnam, a recipient of the Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development. “I needed an internship or a job that related to my major, and my biggest accomplishment is getting an internship at Landmark CPAs through the Coffee Mixer co-hosted by the Babb center.” ​

“Career Services helped me better understand how to present myself as a professional in the working industry,” added Kendall Shropshire, Master of Healthcare Administration Master’s degree graduate and member of Non-Traditional Student Organization. “The workshops on interviewing skills and resumes have helped me be better positioned when applying for jobs.”

Students who complete the program receive a cord to wear at graduation for their achievement and the official Certificate of Distinction from the Registrar’s office with the student’s diploma. 


Students receiving the certificates include:

Gold Certificate Recipients:

  • Fatima Bonilla, Elementary Education K-6 major from Fort Smith
  • Rosie Nguyen, Surgical Technology major from Fort Smith
  • Lindsey Sawyer, Elementary Education K-6 major from Fort Smith 
  • Kendell Shropshire, Healthcare Administration master’s degree graduate from Wister, Oklahoma
  • Daisy Vargas, Elementary Education K-6 major from Fort Smith 

Silver Certificate Recipients:

  • Diep Pham, Accounting major from Biên Hòa City, Vietnam

Bonilla, Sawyer, and Vargas were acknowledged for their achievement at the School of Education Pinning Ceremony on May 3, and the Career Services office celebrated Pham on Friday, May 2. Nguyen was recognized at the Surgical Technology Pinning Ceremony on May 5, and Shropshire was presented her cord at the May 7 commencement ceremony.

“It has been wonderful getting to know these students and seeing how well they have done in practice interviews and networking events. Any employer would be lucky to have them on their staff,” said Krafft.