Alumni Updates – Fall 2018


Lisa Miller (M.Ed. MTLL ’10) earned the Master School Principal credential from the Arkansas Leadership Academy. Lisa is principal of the Van Buren High School Freshman Academy.

Brandon Wright (BUAD ’10 & M.S. CSP ’12) accepted the director of career and professional development position at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Caitlin Harris Yowell (ENGL & SPAN ’11) is director of the English Language Institute at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Kera Dukic (SPAN EDU ’12 & M.S. CSP ’14) was hired as head volleyball coach at Arkansas Tech University.

Amber Harris (HIST/GD ’14 & M.A. TEACH ’18) is a TRIO Student Support Services advisor and tutor at North Arkansas College in Harrison.

Allison Sims (PSY ’12 & M.S. CSP ’14) was hired as an academic advisor for the Veterans Upward Bound program at Arkansas Tech University.

Rachel Walters (ENGL ’12) celebrated five years working in the Walmart home office at Bentonville. She is a talent insights consultant.

Karissa Hubbard (JOUR ’14) published a book entitled “The Popular Girl.” In addition to being an author, she is also a physical education teacher and basketball coach.

Mike Harris (JOUR/PR ’16) was hired as assistant residence hall director at Western Kentucky University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education.

Klay Rutherford (ENGL ’16) is membership communications staff writer for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Stephanie Ratsamy (INTL STUDIES ’17) joined International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Wichita, Kan., to assist clients from sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia with case management, employment, immigration paperwork and adult education services.

Jacqueline Reeves (ECON ’17) accepted the director of sales position with the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Russellville.

Gideon Singleton (AGS ’17 & BIOL ’18) was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army on May 11, 2018.

Katrina Brown (BPS ’18) was promoted to customer service representative for Entergy Arkansas.

Alan Parsons (M.S. CSP ’18) was hired as an academic advisor for the Veterans Upward Bound program at Arkansas Tech University.

William Perrott (M.A. HIST ’18) was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army on May 11, 2018.


Wes Davis (GEOL ’01) was named 2017 volleyball coach of the year as part of the All-Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette awards. He has led Paris High School to three consecutive Class 3A state championships.

Angela Kirby Jones (HIM ’01) was named Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2018 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. She is a 10th grade English teacher at Greenwood High School.

Dr. Rose Nanyonga Clarke (NURS ’02) received a 2018 distinguished alumna award from the Yale University School of Nursing. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in nursing from Yale. Rose is vice chancellor for Clarke International University in Uganda.

Brandi Easterling Collins (CRWR ’03, M.S. CSP ’05) published “Jordan’s Sister” in April. It is Brandi’s second novel.

Carrie Harris Phillips (JOUR ’05 & M.A. MMJR ’08) earned the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) credential through the American Marketing Association. Carrie serves on the University Marketing and Communication staff at Arkansas Tech University.

Paul Dean (HPE ’07) was hired as head girls’ basketball coach at De Queen High School.

Cody Qualls (ENGL ’08), executive director of Mercy Health Foundation, was appointed to the advisory board for Equity Bank in Berryville.

Scott Cook (IT ’09) was hired as information technology director at Pediatrics Plus in Little Rock.


Marlena Mashburn (MATH EDU ’91, M.Ed. ’96 & M.Ed. ’98) retired from the Russellville School District following 24 years of service.

Kat Robinson (JOUR ’91) is hosting a new television program on AETN entitled “Make Room for Pie.” She is a food and travel writer based in Little Rock.

Jason Bridges (MATH EDU ’95) was appointed principal for the freshman center in the Greenwood School District.

Terry Thomas (RPA ’95) was promoted to director of the City of Russellville Recreation and Parks Department.

Amy Pennington (BIOL ’97) was appointed to a two-year term on the associate vice president steering committee for national organization NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Amy serves as associate vice president for student affairs, dean of students and Title IX coordinator at Arkansas Tech University.

Angie Taylor-Lasiter (HIST ’98 & M.S. CSP ’17) won the 2018 Jim Ed McGee Award as the most outstanding graduate student at Arkansas Tech University.

Amber Brady Cook (MGMT/MKTG ’99 & ACCT ’04) was promoted to director of finance for Mitchell Communications Group in Fayetteville.


Fred Woehl (AGBU ’81) was appointed to a second term as a member of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, which is administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Grover Hettel (ENGR ’82) became chief nuclear officer for Energy Northwest in April 2018.

Joann Lynch (MATH ’82 & M.Ed. MATH EDU ’90) received the 2018 Mathematical Association of America Outstanding Arkansas Teacher Award. Joann has taught for 36 years, the last 14 of which have been at Clarksville High School.

James Murphree (HIST ’82) and his wife, Bettye Jo, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in March 2018.

Robert Dunn (BUAD ’83) joined CDI Contractors of Little Rock as marketing coordinator and communications specialist.

Mary Bane Lackie (JOUR ’84) completed the Leadership Arkansas program in May 2018. She is executive director of development at the University of Central Arkansas.

Veirlone McGinty Beck (NURS ’85 & M.Ed. ’90) and her husband, Robert, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 25, 2018.

Jason Tennant (BUAD ’85) was appointed as the seventh president in the 105-year history of Cornerstone Bank.

Kirk Turner (BUAD ’86) joined the Tulsa office of McAfee and Taft law firm as a shareholder.

Major Gen. Gary W. Johnston (BUAD ’87) was installed as commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir (Va.) on June 11, 2018.

Al Harpenau (HPE ’88) was appointed principal at Russellville High School as of July 1, 2018.

Sheila Jacobs (ENGL EDU ’88, M.Ed. ’93, M.Ed. ’96 & Ed.S. ’11) retired as Russellville High School principal following 28 years in education, including 19 in the Russellville School District.

Clay Acord (COM SCI ’89) was hired by Mainstream Technologies as a software developer.

Pat Fitts (FW ’89) was named director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.


Dr. Linda Bean (BUED ’73) became dean of the Arkansas Tech University College of Education on July 1, 2018.

Tom Larimer (JOUR ’75) retired from his role as executive director of the Arkansas Press Association on Jan. 31, 2018.

Linda Bockelman Arnold (ELED ’78) retired in May 2018 as third grade teacher in the Flippin School District following a 40-year career.

Steven Wilson (RPA ’78) retired in April 2018 as superintendent following a 39-year career at Wooly Hollow State Park in Faulkner County.

Terry McAlister (ELED ’79 & M.Ed. ’86) retired from the Russellville School District after 33 years of service.


Claire Caviness Dunn (MUS ’58) and her husband, B.J., celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 8, 2018.