Rio’s School of Arts and Letters Spotlights Success

Clockwise from top left, Professor of English Dr. Kent Williams, Professor of History William Plants, Class of 2016 Alumna Klaire Smith and Senior English Major Daniel Carroll.

Rio Grande, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande School of Arts and Letters announced its Fall 2017 Spotlight on Success recipients. This semester, the program is honoring Daniel Carroll, senior English major, Dr. Kent Williams, professor of English, William Plants, professor of History, and Klaire Smith, Class of 2016. Chair for the School of Arts and Letters Benjy Davies said each semester Spotlight on Success recognizes a student, faculty member and alumni who have gone above and beyond in their studies, teaching and career.

“We started the spotlight on success to highlight the accomplishments and personalities that make up the School of Arts and Letters,” Davies said. “This initiative also helps us share the success of our colleagues, students and alumni with future students and the community.”

Carroll is a senior English major from Liverpool, England and member of the men’s soccer team. He said studying at Rio has provided him with several academic and athletic opportunities.

“I came to Rio to play at one of the highest levels of collegiate soccer and further my academic growth,” Carroll said. “One of my favorite things about campus is meeting kindred spirits in my fellow students and the faculty, growing together in academia and making memorable experiences.”

The faculty spotlight is chosen by the faculty members of the School of Arts and Letters. This year, they chose two colleagues to receive the honor. Williams first came to Rio in 1984 and teaches English and literature courses. He said he enjoys sharing knowledge and learning with his students.

“It’s an honor to be chosen by my colleagues for this spotlight,” Williams said. “I really enjoy working with my fellow faculty and my students. I love working at an institution that is so focused on learning and helping the students prepare for their futures.”

Plants has been teaching history courses at Rio since 2005 and also serves as Chaplaincy Coordinator. He said he inherited his love of the subject, and enjoys the opportunity to discuss history with his students.

“My parents both have a great love of history, so I got a double dose in my genetics. As a young boy, I was fascinated about times now past and ancient creatures. It’s an amazing experience to teach my students about history and share that fascination of the subject with them,” Plants said. “I’m very grateful to my colleagues for choosing me as one of the faculty spotlights for this semester. It’s a very humbling experience.”

Smith, originally from Portsmouth, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Rio in 2016. She is continuing her education as a Printer Training Program student at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Smith said she is grateful to Rio for giving her opportunities to explore options in her field that set her on her career path.

“At Rio, I took part in a Provost’s Academic Excellence Initiative and had the chance to assist the creation of lithographs for visiting artists as a part of the Little River Print Project. This had a huge impact on my career, because it gave me the opportunity to work in a collaborative print setting. This started me on a path of loving a collaborative environment,” Smith said. “I believe students should take the chance to go to workshops and events in their fields because there is so much information to gain and networking contacts to make. I’m glad Rio offers these kinds of opportunities for students.”

Davies said he is proud of this semester’s winners and hopes to see them continue their success in their careers.

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