Courtesy UA Rich Mountain
UA Rich Mountain Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson has announced Bucks Cross-Country’s Robert McIntyre as the 2019-2020 Academic All-Star. McIntyre was a stand-out both on the course and the classroom during his Freshman year, earning a spot on the Vice-Chancellor’s List in the Fall and the Chancellor’s List in the spring with an overall impressive 3.64 GPA.
McIntyre will be recognized at the Arkansas Community College’s annual conference later this year. This honor earns Robert the eligibility to receive a scholarship to multiple Arkansas universities where he can continue his education. At this time, Robert plans to take full advantage of the Arkansas Transfer Achievement scholarship that allows associate degree graduates from Rich Mountain to transfer to the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville flagship campus but continue to pay Rich Mountain tuition rates. “It’s exciting to think about because that’s [attending Fayetteville] really been the dream for the majority of my high school career,” said McIntyre but said he remains undecided on his major.
Humbled by the honor, McIntyre said he was shocked, “This was extremely unexpected and I couldn’t be more grateful to all of the awesome people that backed me in the past year and are standing beside me going forward. I, of course, have to thank Coach Shores, likely one of the greatest women I’ll ever have the great privilege of knowing, for pointing me in the direction of this scholarship and helping me to pursue my dreams of getting a degree. I honestly was so shocked to receive this honor, I fully expected anyone else to receive it but I couldn’t be more grateful to the school for choosing me, realizing that I will be the only one for the year is humbling but it also makes me realize that I am going to have to redouble my efforts in order to live up to the level of expectation that the school and its great faculty have in me.”
The ‘secret’ to his success? “I would put my success on God because I can see that he has opened whole doors for me to step through when I chose UARM, as I’ve lived through these last two semesters, and now he has opened the door to my future college career and I can’t overlook that.”
He also credits the faculty at UARM and his parents, Glen and Marleen McIntyre, for his success. “Mom and Dad have made every stride to make my time in college as easy and fluid as possible. They have been my biggest advocates and I wouldn’t be able to do this thing without them.” He also credits Charlotte Wiles who serves as the Bucks Academic Advisor for being fundamental in his first year. She was constantly coaching me off the track and pointing me in the right direction for what I need. She has made my time at UARM a true joy.”
With a steadfast gaze on his future, McIntyre has learned it is all about priorities and commitment. “I’ve had to push myself harder than ever academically to be where I’m at and that meant staying on top of dates and times, putting away the toys in order to get homework and projects done and not excepting ‘good enough’ as the end of the line for any one assignment. I’ve focused in on everything I was working on throughout the year and made an effort to see that my best work was put forward … it paid off hugely. The biggest proponent of that was looking towards the future. I’ve known a four year or more degree was the next step for me but attaining it was always the question, and as I look back on my childhood before moving to Mena, and being part of an amazing family and community, I realized I would have to force myself into hard situations in order to not live in the same lifestyle as my biological parents. I would have to push myself to achieve more to have a better life and legacy. I’m more blessed than anyone could ever imagine and God has had his hand on my life in every season. He’s showing me that more and more every time I think I’ve found the limit to his goodness.”
McIntyre enjoyed a successful high school cross country career and, like many, wanted to continue at the next level, which UARM afforded him. As for continuing to run at UARK, McIntyre said it’s not his reality. “I have had awesome opportunities to run with great people and in interesting places because of UARM. While I would love to say that running for the next college is the step I will take, I don’t believe I will.” McIntyre shared that it is a tremendous time commitment and running is something he prefers to do as a hobby. He candidly admitted he wasn’t sure he was ready for D1 either. “I will most likely run this next year and then hang up the race shoes for competitive purposes, but that doesn’t mean people won’t see me at the occasional start line.”
Buck standout named Academic All-Star
Courtesy UA Rich Mountain