Four retired Arkansas Tech University faculty members who gave a combined 98 years of service to the institution recently received professor emeritus status from the ATU Board of Trustees.
Dr. Cathy Baker, Dr. Theresa Herrick, Dr. M. Annette Holeyfield and Dr. David Underwood had the honorary title bestowed upon them during the March 2018 meeting of the board.
Requirements for professor emeritus status for faculty members who have retired from Arkansas Tech include 15 or more years of consecutive service and nomination by any member of the university community who holds faculty rank.
Authority to grant emeritus status rests with the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the president of the university.
Below are bios for Tech’s latest professor emeritus honorees:
Dr. Cathy Baker, Professor Emeritus of Geology
Baker (photographed, top left) received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Iowa in 1986, her Master of Science degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1978 and her Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas Tech University in 1976. She was hired as an associate professor of geology in fall 1998 after spending 13 years at Simpson College in Iowa. She received tenure in 2002 and was promoted to professor in 2010. Baker received the Faculty Award of Excellence in teaching in 2006. She retired in May 2016.
Dr. Theresa Herrick, Professor Emeritus of Recreation and Park Administration
Herrick (photographed, top right) received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Clemson University in 1993, her Master of Science degree from the University of Missouri in 1981 and her Bachelor of Science degree from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in 1976. She came to Arkansas Tech University in 1985 as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor and tenured in 1991. In 1993, she was named department head for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality, a role she held through June 2009. Herrick was promoted to associate professor in 1994 and professor in 2003. She retired in May 2017.
Dr. M. Annette Holeyfield, Professor Emeritus of Health and Physical Education
Holeyfield (photographed, bottom left) received her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1997. She earned her Master of Education degree in 1977 and Bachelor of Science degree in 1976, both from Arkansas Tech University. Holeyfield joined Arkansas Tech in 1985 as a part-time visiting instructor in the Department of Health and Physical Education. In 1990, she was hired as a full-time instructor. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1992, granted tenure in 1996, promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to professor in 2004. In 1998, Holeyfield was named head of the Department of Health and Physical Education, a position she served in until June 2015. From 2015 until her retirement in May 2017, she taught half time and served as the director of the College of Education Partnership Office. Holeyfield won the Faculty Award of Excellence for service in
Dr. David Underwood, Professor Emeritus of Education
Underwood (photographed, bottom right) earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Indiana University in 1985, his Master of Arts in Education degree in from Western Kentucky University in 1979, a Master of Professional Studies degree from Western Kentucky University in 1978 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University in 1972. Underwood joined Arkansas Tech in 2001 as associate vice president for academic affairs and tenured professor of education. He oversaw the offices of the Registrar, Information Systems, International Students, Technology Center, Assessment and eTech, and he was responsible for administering multiple budgets relating to technology initiatives for the Russellville campus. He was project manager for the Banner implementation, served as a peer reviewer and institutional liaison with The Higher Learning Commission, served as a member of the steering committee that developed the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (AREON) and wrote the initial grant applications for Upward Bound and Student Support Services TRIO programs at ATU. Underwood retired in June 2017.