CALS Butler Center Names Stricklin Fellowship Recipient

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2023

CALS Butler Center Names Stricklin Fellowship Recipient
Dr. Lisa Childs to use fund to study the Ouachita Mountains region

Little Rock, AR —The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a program of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), announces this year’s Stricklin Fellowship recipient. Dr. Lisa Childs, assistant vice president for technology commercialization in the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas, is working on a book-length study of the Ouachita Mountains.

“I’m really excited about the chance to do research at the Butler Center,” said Childs. “I can tell already that their collections will play an important role in expanding my award-winning research on the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma into a book-length history.”

“Historians have skipped over the Ouachita Mountains (comprising Arkansas’ Montgomery, Garland, and Polk Counties, and parts of Clark, Howard, Hot Spring, Perry, Pike, Saline, Scott, and Yell Counties, and parts of Oklahoma’s Latimer, LeFlore, and McCurtain Counties), just as most early American settlers of Arkansas skipped over them in favor of more accessible lands,” Childs said of her research. “In the 21st century, the Ouachitas have become obstacles between where Arkansans are and where they want to be. The Butler Center’s collections will help me tell the stories of these skipped-over people.”

The fellowship was created in recognition of retired Butler Center director David Stricklin and his many contributions to the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, the Central Arkansas Library System, and the community. The fellowship’s purpose is to assist students, teachers, and other researchers to use materials held by the Butler Center. Anyone is welcome to apply; it is not necessary to be enrolled in a degree program. The award has a maximum cash value of $1,000. Allowable costs include travel, lodging, and a limited stipend.

“Dr. Childs’s work will make use of the Butler Center’s extensive manuscripts collections to develop a richer picture of the populations of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas,” Roberts Library branch manager Glenn Whaley said. “David’s work while leading the Butler Center encouraged just this sort of research, and we feel Dr. Child’s work will represent his legacy well.”

Stricklin, a former history professor at Lyon College, joined CALS in January 2005 as the Director of the Butler Center. In October 2019, he was named Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement for CALS where he remained until his retirement in October 2021. Stricklin has long held a dedication to history and its preservation for the future. Full details about the fellowship are available at

For more information, contact Brian Robertson at or 501-320-5723, or visit the Butler Center inside the CALS Roberts Library at 401 President Clinton Avenue.