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September 13, 2023

25-year teaching veteran from Arkansas honored by Western Governors University

Jason McMullen receives national recognition as 2023 Distinguished Graduate

SPRINGDALE, AR (August 23, 2023) – Western Governors University, has named Jason McMullen among 15 recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award. The online, nonprofit university presents the honor across the nation to alumni who have made remarkable contributions in the professional fields and to their communities. McMullen is the only recipient from Arkansas among this year’s winners.

McMullen received the 2022 Har-Ber High School Teacher of the Month, the 2021 KNWA/Post Foods Golden Apple Award Winner, and the 2019 Air Force Association Teacher of the Year-Lyle chapter in Arkansas. McMullen is a founding member of the Arkansas Aviation Council, which promotes workforce development between secondary schools and aviation community members. He served as a counselor for the S.H.E. Can STEAM Aviation Camp, sponsored by the Smithsonian/National Air & Space Museum, and is a board member of the Arkansas Air and Military Museum.

McMullen boasts 25 years of teaching experience in the classroom specializing in Secondary Mathematics, promoting aviation and aerospace careers and related programs to the students of Northwest Arkansas. He graduated from WGU in 2017 with a Master’s in Mathematics Education.

“To be recognized by my alma mater for my work in education is one of the greatest highlights of my career,” said McMullen. “It’s amazing to be recognized by WGU with this honor. WGU is an institution I will always support,” he said. “For me, the greatest thing about teaching starts with my student’s appreciation and being part of their success in my everyday efforts to support them.”

In 2020, with the help of local, state, and national partners, he created a brand-new STEAM program, creating career pathways for Arkansas high school students to pursue aviation and aerospace careers for elective credit. In three short years, 16 schools across Arkansas adopted the program. McMullen lives in Springdale and recently joined Northwest Technical Institute as an Aviation Instructor, serving the training needs of individuals across the state who want to enter a skilled trade occupation or upskill to advance their careers. 

“WGU Distinguished Graduates are selected for their exceptional work and efforts to go above and beyond, making significant impacts in their communities and careers,” said Linda Battles, Regional Vice President for WGU. “I congratulate Jason on his success in the classroom and community and this major accomplishment as he was selected from among nearly 300 nominations this year.”

WGU is honoring each Distinguished Graduate Award recipient by donating $1000 in their name to a chosen cause, classroom, or charity, and $500 to the Fellow Night Owl Scholarship Fund. This fund provides financial support to current WGU students who are facing financial difficulties to achieve their goal of graduation. You can read more about McMullen’s motivational journey on the alumni awards page at For additional information about Western Governors University, visit

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