Outstanding is an Understatement


UCA’s Board of Trustees and President Houston Davis kicked off a new awards initiative called Bear C.L.A.W.S. (Celebrating the Lofty Achievements of our Wonderful Students). Basically, the award is given to recognize students for being amazing. Yes, really. It’s given to students or groups of students who fall into one of the following categories:

  • International, national and statewide recognition/scholarship awardees
  • Students presenting research at statewide, national or international conferences
  • Students who are recognized with internships at a high level
  • Award-winning RSOs (Registered Student Organizations)
  • New student groups

The first Bear CLAWS awards were given to Lillian McEntire and Anastasiya Klimiankova on August 18. UCA President Houston Davis proposed the award and was excited to see the students recognized.

“UCA has some of the brightest, most accomplished students in our state,” he said. “I thought it would benefit all of us — students, staff and faculty — to see outstanding students being recognized before the [Board of Trustees] at their meetings.”

Meet the Recipient: Lillian McEntire


Lillian McEntire is a biology, pre-optometry major and honors interdisciplinary studies minor from North Little Rock. The UCA senior is the president and founder of the Food Recovery Network’s Conway chapter (they take food that would be thrown out and donate it to local shelters), which won Outstanding Community Outreach by a Student Organization. She is also involved with Capstone Project, which provides vision care for homeless people in Arkansas and more.

Pretty amazing, right?

As for the CLAWS award, Lillian received it in honor of her work as a UCA Ambassador, and for being named a 2016 Newman Civic Fellow — the only one in the state for that year.

“It was such an honor to be nominated and especially to receive that award from the president and the board,” she said. “I’m really glad they’ve started this initiative because there are so many high-achieving students at UCA that deserve this kind of recognition.”

Meet the Recipient: Anastasiya Klimiankova



Anastasiya Klimiankova came to UCA from Belarus in Eastern Europe and is studying accounting. Are you ready for this list of accolades? The UCA senior was selected for the CLAWS award for a number of achievements:

  • Recognition as a recipient of the Fred and Malpica Foundation Scholarship for 2017-18
  • Status as the 2016-17 president of UCA’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP)
  • First-place award in Best Practices in Strategic Planning at the 2017 BAP Southwest Regional meeting
  • Third-place award for Best Practices in Strategic Planning in the 2017 BAP International Meeting
  • Internship with Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Klimiankova said it’s difficult NOT to succeed in the accounting department at UCA (so humble!), where she has been challenged, supported and encouraged to pursue new ideas in the subject she loves.

“It feels great to be recognized for your hard work and accomplishments,” she said.

We can’t argue with that.

Kudos to President Davis and the UCA Board of Trustees for creating the Bear CLAWS award – and for the many outstanding UCA students who make it such a great idea.

Student LifeEric Rob Isaac