Holley Maness has never minded going the extra mile for academics. Both literally and figuratively.
In June she went an extra 4,500 miles, give or take a few.
Maness was part of a contingent of 12 University of Arkansas Fort Smith students who studied abroad in England, Scotland and Wales for 10 days.
Maness, who was her class valedictorian at Booneville High School in 2015, had to take a trip abroad to maintain her honors scholarship. The class requiring the trip was a language and culture honors credit, Maness said.
While it had nothing to do with her major of chemistry — she hopes to get into the pharmacy program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences after completing her bachelor’s next May — Mansess said the trip was a literary learning experience.
“We had to pick an author — I picked J.K. Rowling — and we visited places that inspired them and their characters,” she said. “
Rowling was a popular pick, Maness said, as half the class selected the Harry Potter series author.
“It was interesting to see the different building and how (authors) pull inspiration from anywhere,” said Maness. “For instance at the Greyfriars Kirkyard Cemetery you can see where a lot of the characters names we are familiar with came from. There is a monument there for a McGonagall and that’s one of the characters.”
Leaving the area is nothing new for Maness. The scholarship required a domestic trip following her freshman year, which was to Texas.
She and six other UAFS students also devoted their spring break in March to community service projects in New Orleans in what was dubbed an alternative spring break.
Maness is also accustomed to being more than just a student. She is the director of events for the school’s Campus Activity Board, which was recently recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity for their event Hunger for Diversity — an event to educate participants on different foods from around the world — as well as winning Best Community Program for Haunted Union, the university’s annual Halloween event.
In May she was recognized with a NUMA Award as UAFS’ Student Leader of the Year.
Maness is also a heavily involved with UAFS’ Cub Camp, a three-day orientation for incoming freshmen. She attended the camp herself and will, for the third time this year be involved in leading the camp as a counselor.
If all of that isn’t enough, the aspiring pharmacist who is the daughter of Larry and Debra Maness of Booneville also works at Medi-Quik in Booneville, and has since her first year of college. She likes the atmosphere, and it fits her personality.
“I think I want to work in a small town. I just like helping people. That’s one of the things I like about my job is seeing people and helping them get better,”said Maness.