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Kathy Babb, Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development graduates, and Susan Krafft pose for a photo during cord ceremony.

Kathy Babb (left) poses with Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development graduates and Susan Krafft, executive director for the Babb Center for Career Services

Spotlights | News | Business and Industry | Arts and Sciences | Health Education and Human Sciences | AlumniMay 15, 2023

Babb Center for Career Services Honors Nine UAFS Grads

Written By: Ian Silvester

Hundreds of students from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith graduated to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” on Saturday, May 13, 2023. However, nine of those students walked across the stage with gold or silver cords to signify individual accomplishments and the completion of a professional certificate.

The Babb Center for Career Services at UAFS was proud to recognize nine students who went above and beyond normal coursework to develop professional development skills, training, and took on an active role within the campus community. These students will graduate with a cord to denote their Certificate of Distinction in Professional Development.

Each year, the Babb Center for Career Services provides students with an opportunity to set themselves apart with local, regional, and national employers in a positive way by completing workshops and attending various events that prepare students for the professional world after graduation. Students are encouraged to develop professional skills and personal attributes most valued by prospective employers.

Some of these include basic resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, etiquette workshops, and attending networking events on and off campus. To be honored with a Certificate of Distinction, each student went above and beyond their normal commitments. Susan Krafft, executive director for the Babb Center for Career Services, explains that “many of the students have juggled jobs, internships, classes, families, clubs and organizations and have truly put in the extra effort.”

The Certificate of Student Professional Development is described as a quality certification program that empowers UAFS students to develop skills and attributes valued by employers through programs, learning, and collaboration. Students accomplish these benchmarks through workshops, mentoring, and internships that complement the content knowledge and tools taught in the classroom. These are essential skills needed to excel in today’s competitive global economy.

“We know [the students] will make outstanding employees who have the professional skills to be successful wherever they go,” said Krafft.

To be honored with the certificate, students must be in good standing with the university graduate with a 2.75 GPA and attend at least four networking sessions or career exploration events. To receive a Gold Level, students must complete the above plus complete an internship, and finish at least two activities from completing a faculty-approved research project, presenting at a symposium or conference, completing the SSS/TRIO/STEM program, participating in a Living Learning Community, or complete the Myles Friedman Honors Program.

Gold Level Certificate:

  • Cheyenne Anderson, Surgical Technology
  • Hannah Cervantes, Surgical Technology
  • Colby Creech, Biology with Teacher Licensure
  • Elizabeth Johnson, BBA in Accounting
  • Sydney Seegers, Media Communication

Silver Level Certificate:

  • Cinthia Olvera, BBA in Accounting
  • Esther Victoriano, BBA in Accounting
  • Lydia Victoriano, Studio Art
  • Hien Vo, Chemistry

Students are encouraged to start the program during their sophomore year and follow the guidelines set by the Babb Center for Career Services. Students who earn the certificate stand out from other employment candidates as UAFS is invested in preparing students to succeed in an ever-changing global world while advancing economic development and quality of place. The Babb Center for Career Services hopes programs like this will make UAFS a national model for preparing students for workforce mobility through education and professional development while serving as the thought leader in the region for workforce training.

Colby Creech was a recipient of the 2022-23 Mollie Wilson Women's Financial Series Scholarship and the 2021-22 Judy and Larry Loux Scholarship.

Sydney Seegers was a four-year recipient of the MJ Kenley Scholarship.

Cinthia Olvera was a recipient of the 2022-23 Rick and Jan Beauchamp Scholarship.

Lydia Victoriano was a two-year recipient of the Windgate Art Scholarship.

Hien Vo was a recipient of the 2022-23 Mollie Wilson Women's Financial Series Scholarship.