Page 1

Tech Action Winter 2012 Robert Sandra Norman Col. Carland Baswell inducted intoreceive Presidential FellowSee awards. Hall of Distinction. pages 4-5. See pages 4-5.

Tech Action

Involved alumni make Arkansas Tech stronger


Tech Action


Alumni Event at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock Saturday, June 23

Best wishes for a prosperous 2012 and we’ll look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

Kelly Davis ‘81 Director of Alumni Relations

Alumni Association Board of Directors

Tech Night with the Travs

• Nominate individuals for service. Do you know of an alumnus or alumna who loves Arkansas Tech and wants to make a difference for the university? Even if that person is you, nominate him or her for service on the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors. These ambassadors for the university serve three-year terms and meet four times per year. More recent graduates can be nominated for service on the Arkansas Tech Young Alumni Advisory Board. • Keep your address up to date. As our alumni grow in their careers and move to pursue new opportunities, we need your help to be able to reach you. Contact the Arkansas Tech Alumni Office when your address changes to ensure that you do not miss an issue of Tech Action. For more information about any of the above ways that you can help Arkansas Tech, call the Tech Alumni Office at (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to

This issue of Tech Action includes stories of people who made the decision to remain connected with Arkansas Tech University long after their degrees were in hand. An active alumni base is a hallmark of any great university. At Arkansas Tech, we are blessed with a growing group of former students with fond memories of their time at Tech and pride in what their alma mater has become. Alumni support is divided into two equally important categories. First, alumni can give of their substance to support Arkansas Tech. Annual gifts to the Tech Loyalty Fund allow the university to give students privately-funded scholarships and additional resources to augment their education. Some think that financial gifts are the only way they can help their alma mater. The truth is there is another donation that you can make that has value far beyond a dollar amount — the gift of your time. Here are a few ways that you can make a difference: • Talk Tech in your community. When alumni demonstrate their Tech pride, it shows prospective students that graduates of Arkansas Tech value the education they received there. This issue includes a form that you can fill out and return if you know of an individual that would benefit from an Arkansas Tech education.

President: Shirley Drewry Dodd ‘59

President-Elect: Jim White ‘78

John Carter ‘02 12/12

Kendall Tabor ‘89 & ‘92 12/12

Tayler Melton ‘10 12/13

Sarah Beth Phillips ‘06 12/14

Molly Fleming ‘09 12/12

Angie Wyatt ‘03 12/12

Todd Sweeden ‘76 12/13

Joshua Ray ‘06 12/14

Leslie Miller Harris ‘08 12/12

Katherine Nunn Bowden ‘54 12/13

Jim White ‘78 12/13

Sandy Smith ‘86 12/14

Ronda Hawkins ‘92 12/12

Sue Chiolino ‘68 12/13

Vickie Yates ’79 & ‘89 12/13

Matthew White ‘06 12/14

Ann Irwin ‘83 12/12

Brenda Metcalf Hipp ‘63 12/13

Jim Higgs ‘73 12/14

Cara Hammond Witherspoon ‘78 12/14

Steve Pfeifer ‘71 12/12

Steve Kesner ‘77 12/13

Truman Hill ‘70 12/14

Jared Wood ‘97 12/14 Jimmy Rofkahr, Ozark Campus Rep.

Tech Action, Volume 48, No. 1. Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association, Alumni House, Russellville, AR 72801 Director of Alumni Relations Kelly Davis Coordinator of Young Alumni & Student philanthropy Alison Parks Alumni Office Administrative Assistant Terry Holland-Finley

Editorial Committee Kelly Davis, Jayne Jones, Julie Nebben Morgan, Susie Nicholson, Sam Strasner publications/creative Services Felisha Weaver Director of New Media Carrie Harris Phillips

Cover Photograph Steve Newby Contributing Photographers Steve Newby, Liz Chrisman, Jon Eilts E-mail address Web site

Call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to to register

Tech Action is published quarterly by the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association, 1313 N. Arkansas Ave., Russellville, AR 72801. It is sent to alumni, parents, friends and faculty/staff of Arkansas Tech University. We welcome manuscripts and photographs from our readers. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your originals returned. Parents, if your son or daughter attended Tech and is no longer living at this address, please notify our office of his or her new address. Address updates can be submitted to the Arkansas Tech Office of Alumni Services by calling (479) 968-0242 or by sending e-mail to

Alumni News

Chastain, Harper, Curtis to enter Hall of Distinction Arkansas Tech University will bestow its greatest honor upon three of its graduates when Major Gen. Ronald S. Chastain, Bill “Sleepy” Curtis and Dr. Jo Neighbors Harper are inducted into the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction during spring 2012 commencement ceremonies. Chastain and Harper will be inducted under the Distinguished Alumnus category, while Curtis will be inducted under the Distinction in Intercollegiate Athletics category. The induction ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville. Ronald S. Chastain Chastain is a 1972 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Army ROTC program at Arkansas Tech on July 7, 1972. His military career saw him command the 25th Rear Area Operations Center during Operation Desert Storm, and he commanded the 39th Brigade Combat Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In October 2005, Chastain was promoted to Major General and took on the role of chief of staff for United States Forces in Korea. He returned home to Arkansas to serve as Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard from July 15, 2006, through Feb. 15, 2007. Chastain retired as deputy commanding general for the Army National Guard U.S. Army Forces Command in Fort McPherson, Ga., in 2010. His military honors include, but are not limited to, the Legion of Merit (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star (with one Oak Leaf Cluster) and the Meritorious Service Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters). In addition to his military career, Chastain worked for the United States Department of Agriculture from 19742006. He retired from the USDA as a district director. Dr. Jo Neighbors Harper Harper was a pioneer for women in educational leadership in Arkansas. She became the first woman to serve as a high school principal in Sebastian County when she was chosen to lead Mansfield High School.

During her time as Mansfield High principal from 1989-93, Harper developed and implemented a college prep curriculum, created a student recognition program for attendance, citizenship and academics, organized a principal/student advisory group as a way to exchange ideas and founded a program that won the Arkansas Activities Association good sportsmanship award. Harper’s path to serving in school leadership began at Arkansas Tech, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business education in 1957. Ronald Chastain

She went on to obtain a master’s degree in vocational education, an educational specialist degree and a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas, all while working full-time and raising her children — Mitchell and Kimberly — alongside her husband, 1999 Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction inductee William R. “Bud” Harper. In addition to her work at Mansfield, Harper was also a classroom instructor in Van Buren and Blytheville. She led a basic skills lab pilot project for the Western Arkansas Education Cooperative in 1987-88. Harper’s service to Arkansas Tech has included serving on the Arkansas Tech University Foundation Board of Directors and the Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus Path to Progress committee.

Jo Neighbors Harper Winter 2012

Bill Curtis Bill “Sleepy” Curtis rushed for more than 2,000 yards during his four-year football career at Arkansas Tech. A native of Marianna, Curtis played for the Wonder Boys from 1959-62. He rushed for 2,401 career yards, which is the seventh-highest career rushing total in the history of Arkansas Tech football. Curtis was honorable mention All-America and All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference in both 1961 and 1962. He rushed for 1,027 yards during his senior season in 1962, making him one of just six Wonder Boys to ever rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. The Wonder Boys had a cumulative overall record of 31-5-2 during Curtis’ four-year career at Tech. Curtis was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He was the 20th individual with ties to Arkansas Tech to be enshrined in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Bill “Sleepy” Curtis


Cover Story

“Our Way of Giving Back What was Received” Robert and Sandra norman honored for support of Tech Robert Norman fondly remembers pawning a Polaroid camera so that he and Sandra Brownlee could get married and enjoy a wedding meal of steam burgers and curly fries at Al’s Snack Bar in Russellville. From those humble beginnings in 1958 arose a marriage and a partnership that has yielded great success for Robert Norman, who arrived at Arkansas Tech as a walk-on football player; and his wife, Sandra, a selfdescribed “campus brat” who skipped her senior year in high school and enrolled at Tech as a 16-year old Crabaugh Scholar. Today the “walk-on” and the “campus brat” are two of the most generous and ardent supporters of Arkansas Tech University. They were honored for their 35-year track record of continuous support for Arkansas Tech on Dec. 17, 2011, when Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown presented both


of them with the Presidential Fellow award during fall Tech Action

commencement ceremonies at Tucker Coliseum. “Without a doubt, the last 15 years have changed what

“I have thought about this a lot ….why I have a love

I believe and feel about the campus at Arkansas Tech,”

for Arkansas Tech,” said Mr. Norman. “There are so many

said Robert. “It is alive, and when you meet students there

connections. I grew up here, and I had good mentors to

you know they have a great chance to succeed. There’s

help me with that process. Coach Hindsman was one

leadership and a vision that are making things happen.

of those. In many ways he was like a father figure to

Arkansas Tech has gone beyond what many people ever

me. I had so much respect for him. He believed in me

thought was possible. It is an architecturally beautiful,

and defended me when I needed that. I was raised in a

living campus.”

family with six children and had confidence in myself. Tech helped me channel my confidence in a productive

Sandra’s mother, Eunice Brownlee Ferguson, was the

direction and there were people who genuinely cared

assistant to Paul Fiser in the campus dining hall. She was

about me. It took me awhile to take a look at myself and

a well-known colorful character working at several jobs to

mature, but I did. If I had gone elsewhere I might have

raise her family of three children. Having very little herself,

slipped through the cracks.”

she was always supportive and generous to “her kids” who worked for her.

With maturity and direction on his side, Robert led his new family into the world. Having enrolled in the ROTC

Mr. Norman played football at Arkansas Tech during

program at Tech, he was commissioned as a Second

the time when Sam Hindsman was pulling double duty

Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Robert spent his two years on

for Tech athletics. Hindsman was most famous for his

active duty at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Hood, Texas.

355 wins and 11 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships as the head basketball coach for the

After completing his military service, Mr. Norman

Wonder Boys. He also had great success coaching football

invested his abilities in starting businesses. He never

from 1954-58, including AIC titles in 1954 and 1958.

forgot the benefits of his time at Arkansas Tech.

Cover Story

Robert served the university as chairman of the

Mr. Norman shared his love of trees with Arkansas

annual drive in 1983 and as a member of the Arkansas

Tech more than two decades ago when his family’s gifts

Tech College of Business Advisory Board. He was

led to the planting of trees along the Highway 7 curve

inducted in the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction

near Tucker Coliseum.

in 1985 and Sandra served on the Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The Norman family took it to a new level in 2010 and 2011 when Robert’s vision and financial support

Their generosity helped bring the Ross Pendergraft

led to the planting of approximately 550 (thus far)

Library and Technology Center, the Robert and Sandra

genetically sustainable trees across the Russellville

Norman Center for the Fine Arts (commonly known as


Norman Hall), all of the projects associated with the Return to Glory campaign and Hindsman Tower into

He said he knows some have referred to the campus

existence. Norman Career Services bears their name as

as “Arkansas Tree University,” and he laughed and

a reflection of their desire to help Tech students find

thought it was clever.

employment after graduation. But in reality, the trees are not only about trees. “Tech provided me with a scholarship for four years,”

They are about providing Arkansas Tech University

said Mr. Norman. “Our support of the university over

students with a more beautiful environment in which

the years is our way of giving back what was received.”

to learn.

And while all of the facilities made possible through

“I have always believed that aesthetics are important

the Normans’ philanthropy will serve the campus

in anything I have been involved with” said Robert. “The

for generations to come, perhaps the most visible

Norman family hopes that the trees give the students

demonstration of their support are the trees that have

and alumni an additional sense of pride in their

been planted with their gifts to the university.


Winter 2012


Alumni News

Murphy honored for service as board president Jim Murphy of Russellville, 2011 president of the Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association Board of

The meeting on Dec. 3 also marked the end of threeyear terms for nine members of the Alumni Board:

Directors and member of the Arkansas Tech Class of 1971, was honored for his service to the board during the

• Philip Alexander (‘89)

group’s final meeting of the year on Saturday, Dec. 3.

• Doug Brown (‘06) • Jimmy Cunningham (‘75)

“Jim has set a great example of service to Arkansas

Jim Murphy and Kelly Davis

• Robert Ford (‘86)

Tech during his time as a leader for the Alumni Board,”

• Dixie Gossett (‘70)

said Kelly Davis, director of alumni relations. “He gave

• Tommy Johnston (‘91)

freely of his time and energy to make the Arkansas Tech

• Raymond Molden (‘96)

Alumni Association stronger, and I know that he will

• Cara Hammond Witherspoon (‘79)

continue to do so in the future.”

• Brian Bass (Ozark Campus Representative)

Eight appointed to Tech Alumni Board The Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association Board of Directors has eight new members who will serve

Jim White of Rogers has been selected to serve as the organization’s president-elect in 2012.

a three-year term through the end of 2014. Nominations for the Alumni Board may be made by The latest additions to the Arkansas Tech Alumni

any alumnus or alumna of Arkansas Tech University.

Board, with their date of graduation from Arkansas Tech and their current town of residence in parentheses, are:


Tech Action

The Arkansas Tech Office of Alumni Services receives and processes the nominations for review. Deadline for

• James Thurston Higgs (Class of 1973; Lynn, Mass.)

nominations is Sept. 1 of each year. Those nominations

• William Truman Hill (Class of 1970; Russellville)

are forwarded to a five-person selection committee,

• Sarah Beth Phillips (Class of 2006; Bentonville)

which in turn presents no more than eight names for

• Joshua Brent Ray (Class of 2006; Fort Smith)

consideration to the vice president for development at

• William Sanford Smith (Class of 1986; Dallas, Texas)

Arkansas Tech.

• Matthew Lee White (Class of 2006; Conway) • Cara Marie Witherspoon (Class of 1978; Alma) • Jared Madison Wood (Class of 1997; Russellville)

The vice president for development reviews the recommendations and forwards them to the university president, who makes recommendations to the Arkansas

Shirley Drewry Dodd of Russellville will serve as

Tech Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees completes

president of the Arkansas Tech Alumni Board in 2012.

the process by appointing eight new members each year.

Young Alumni Advisory Board adds 11 members Nominate our next leaders Know someone who would be a great Alumni Board or Young Alumni Advisory Board member? Call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to

Eleven individuals have been selected to serve a

• Arthur Ashby (Class of 2007 and 2009; Johnson)

three-year term on the Arkansas Tech University Alumni

• Travis Flower (Class of 2011; Jonesboro)

Association Young Alumni Advisory Board from 2012-14.

• Elizabeth Fox (Class of 2008; Fayetteville) • Kelsey Franklin (Class of 2010; Fayetteville)

Members of the advisory board encourage fellow

• Aubrey Cammack Holt (Class of 2007; Russellville)

young alumni to enroll in the TechTies online community,

• Megan Morris (Class of 2009; Russellville)

keep their contact information updated with the Tech

• Lacie Oels (Class of 2010; Berryville)

Alumni Office and attend Arkansas Tech alumni events.

• Julie Paladino (Class of 2010; Fayetteville) • Andrea Williams Pitts (Class of 2010; Russellville)

The new advisory board members, with their class years and current towns of residence in parentheses, are:

• Meshell Ward (Class of 1998 and 2008; Russellville) • Adrienne Gautier Woods (Class of 2008; Rogers)

Alumni News

Alumni serve breakfast to students during finals Thirty-six Arkansas Tech University alumni spread out over the Russellville campus to provide breakfast to students and faculty during fall 2011 final examinations. As part of a twice-yearly effort by the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association, alumni served muffins, fresh fruit, coffee and apple cider to both test takers and test givers in Corley Hall, Crabaugh Hall, Dean Hall, the Energy Center, McEver Hall, Rothwell Hall, Tomlinson Hall, Williamson Hall and Witherspoon Hall. If you would like to participate in this volunteer effort, call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to Sue Chiolino, Shirley Dodd

Winter 2012

John Whiteside, Leigh Whiteside

Faye Abernathy

Chareen Austin, Cass Capen-Housley Brandi Tripp, Howard Ritchie

Linda Boyd, Baldy Faulkner Sue Drain, Wayne Drain


Alumni News


Tech Action

Family members (from left) Quinton Glover,

One Family, Four Graduates Commencement day on a college campus is an

She picked Arkansas Tech because many of her high

occasion filled with emotion — pride in a significant

school friends were going there. He chose Arkansas Tech

Davis and Holly Hall all

accomplishment, relief that all of the hard work has paid

because it had a fisheries and wildlife program. After a

graduated from

off, sadness that one door is closing and happiness that

semester, he switched his major to recreation and parks

Arkansas Tech at fall

another is opening.

administration. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science

Erin Glover, JoAnn

2011 commencement.

degree in that discipline. For one family, those emotions were multiplied by four at Arkansas Tech University on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Despite growing up just 13 miles apart, they never met until their first year as students at Arkansas Tech. They

JoAnn Davis, her daughters Holly Hall and Erin Hall

were married two years later.

Glover and her son-in-law Quinton Glover all graduated during fall 2011 commencement ceremonies at John E. Tucker Coliseum.

At around the same time Erin and Quinton were wed, two more members of the family enrolled at Arkansas Tech. Now Holly has an Associate of Arts degree in

“We are a very, very close family,” said Erin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in early

general studies, while JoAnn received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

childhood education. “It’s just one more thing that we are all sharing together. We share everything.”

JoAnn was already working as a nurse, but she wanted to pursue her BSN degree through distance learning to

It was Erin and Quinton who started the trend when

give her more career advancement opportunities. Because

they both enrolled at Arkansas Tech as freshmen. Erin was

of her daughters and son-in-law, she had occasion to visit

from Jacksonville, while Quinton was from Cabot.

campus more often than the average online student.

Alumni News “Arkansas Tech has a hometown feel,” said JoAnn.

“It has special meaning to me,” said JoAnn. “I

“It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. It has a lot to

started working on my nursing degree after I graduated

offer, and everyone is so nice. Working full time as a

from high school in 1980. I got married after two years

nurse and then coming home to do homework at night

and eventually joined the military, so I never got to

was a full schedule. There were a lot of papers to write. I

finish my degree. But I always promised my mom and

am glad to be done writing papers.”

dad that I was going to get that BSN one of these days. I’ll be 50 years old next year, but I got it.”

Shortly after she began taking online courses through Arkansas Tech, JoAnn started comparing

With the school work done and the degrees in

schedules and realized that all four members of the

hand, the family says it is still trying to decide how to

family could graduate in December 2011.

celebrate the shared accomplishment.

That put a little extra pressure on the youngest Tech student in the family. “I was the one that was going straight through

There are talks of a cruise in a few months, but for now they are just enjoying the relief of graduation. “We’ve cried and complained about our tests and

during summer school trying to catch up so that I could

our papers,” said JoAnn. “We’ve fought over papers and

make it in time,” said Holly, who intends to continue

helped each other. It makes me proud to know that I

her education with plans of a career in veterinary

can graduate with my two daughters and my son-in-law.

technology. “It motivated me, but it was a little stressful

It’s a neat feeling that they will let me share this with

trying to make sure it happened.”

them. When they are younger, your kids don’t always want you around. But now we can walk together and be

And while Holly felt the stress, perhaps none of the

proud. When they first started school, the kids got me

graduates in the family feel the satisfaction of success

a shirt that said ‘Arkansas Tech Mom.’ Now, I don’t have

more than her mom.

to wear the mom shirt. We’re equals.”

Winter 2012


Today’s Tech

Arkansas Tech first to comply with Act 747 Making a college education more affordable is a popular topic of discussion. One four-year institution in the state of Arkansas has done more than talk — it has taken a significant step in that direction. Arkansas Tech University in Russellville is the first four-year institution to complete a plan that complies with provisions in Act 747 of the 88th Arkansas General Assembly requiring public colleges and universities to reduce the number of credit hours required to graduate. Under Act 747 of 2011, public institutions of higher learning are required to realign their baccalaureate degree programs to allow for graduation with 120 credit hours and their associate degree programs to allow for graduation with 60 credit hours. The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees approved


the realignment of all 101 degree programs on the

Bachelor’s degrees in:

Russellville campus to comply with Act 747 of 2011

• Agriculture Business — Pre-Veterinary Option

during its November 2011 meeting.

• Recreation and Park Admin. — Interpretation Emphasis • Music Education — Instrumental Option

Tech Action

The realignment plan was forwarded to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education for its review.

• Music Education — Keyboard Instrumental Option • Music Education — Keyboard Vocal Option • Music Education — Vocal Option

“Our focus during this process was on maintaining the

• Health and P.E. — Teaching and Coaching Licensure

high quality of our academic programs while reducing

• Life Science and Earth Science Education

the quantity of credit hours,” said Dr. John W. Watson,

• Physical Science and Earth Science Education

vice president for academic affairs. “Our success in this endeavor is a great example of the cooperative spirit

Associate’s degrees in:

that exists between our faculty and our administration.

• Medical Assistant

The legislature passed this law, and at Arkansas Tech we

• Culinary Management

abide by the law.”

Tech history comes alive The Arkansas Digital History Institute, which is housed in the Arkansas Tech College of Arts and Humanities, has produced a series of Tech Centennial videos. View them today at:

The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees has approved Act 747 of 2011 allows academic programs that

the justifications for those 11 programs. Those

have specific national or regional requirements for

justifications will be forwarded to the Arkansas

accreditation or licensing to exceed the 120-credit hour

Department of Higher Education as part of the plan by

and 60-credit hour limits.

Arkansas Tech to comply with Act 747 of 2011.

Of the 101 academic programs offered at Arkansas

“Arkansas Tech has a track record of being the first

Tech in Russellville, 90 programs were reduced to meet

institution in the state to comply with a variety of

the 120-credit hour and 60-credit hour limits.

mandates from the state legislature,” said Watson. “The cooperation between our faculty, our personnel in the

Eleven programs at Arkansas Tech have requested a

Office of the Registrar and our staff in the Office of

waiver and provided justifications for why they need to

Academic Affairs gave us the freedom to comply with Act

exceed the limits set by Act 747 of 2011:

747 without sacrificing program quality.”

Today’s Tech

President’s contract extended through June ‘14 The Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees

Soon after taking office as president at Arkansas

extended the contract of Arkansas Tech President Dr.

Tech, Brown introduced a strategic planning process

Robert C. Brown by an additional year following its

that utilized shared governance between administration

annual review of the president on Dec. 15, 2011.

and faculty to chart a course for the university.

Trustees voted unanimously to extend Brown’s contract through June 30, 2014.

The results have included more than 50 new academic programs of study, a 147 percent increase in enrollment since 1997 and more than 19,000 degrees

Brown has served as president at Arkansas Tech since July 1, 1993.

conferred. Tech has made a $200 million investment in its campus infrastructure and raised tens of millions in private donations under Brown’s leadership. His tenure

“The board is very pleased with the team that Dr.

has also seen the addition of a satellite campus in

Brown has assembled at Arkansas Tech,” said John Ed

Ozark and the move to NCAA Division II athletics.

Chambers III, chairman of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees in 2011. “I can’t say enough good things or

“I am very gratified and appreciative of the

adequately express how proud we are of what Dr. Brown

confidence the Board of Trustees has placed in me and

has achieved here. Enrollment has more than doubled

my administration,” said Brown. “The good results we

and the number of degrees awarded on an annual basis

have achieved are the result of collaboration by the

has tripled under his leadership, and that has a lot

outstanding faculty, administration, staff and student

to do with Dr. Brown’s ability to manage people and

body at Tech. We will continue our efforts to see this


university and its people reach their full potential.”

Trustees commit $4.8 million to improvements Arkansas Tech University will move forward with $4.8 million in improvements to its campus in Russellville

Winter 2012


Other construction and renovation projects approved by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 16 were:

following action by the Tech Board of Trustees during its regular monthly meeting at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Thursday, Feb. 16. Trustees committed $176,510 to the initial phase

*a renovation of the Old Art Building to prepare the facility as office space at a cost of $1,575,980; *construction of a studio for Arkansas Tech’s

of the restoration of the theatre workshop inside the

student television program at the Energy Center at a

Techionery. Arkansas Tech closed the theatre workshop

cost of $425,562;

on Sept. 15, 2011, after a report by the Russellville Fire Marshal found multiple “fire and life safety issues.”

*construction of a lighted practice field for the Arkansas Tech marching band near the Chartwells

The theatre workshop will be returned to a safe

Women’s Sports Complex that will include an

operating condition by removing all hazardous materials,

observation tower, sidewalks and a storage facility for

a preliminary cleaning, painting the interior walls, storage

musical instruments at a cost of $830,855;

rooms and restroom, refinishing the floor, repairing the electrical system and properly storing items.

*an addition to the Office of Public Safety facility that will include additional offices and improved

The restoration of the Techionery theatre workshop will be overseen by Dr. David Eshelman, who was

communication and emergency response space and equipment at a cost of $839,841;

appointed interim director of the Tech theatre program on Feb. 1, 2012. Eshelman is an associate professor

*and renovations to the following residence halls at

of speech at Arkansas Tech. He has served on the

a total cost of $959,005: Brown Hall, Wilson Hall, Jones

university faculty since 2006.

Hall, Caraway Hall and Tucker Hall.

Every brick has a story What is your Arkansas Tech story? For $100, you can leave a permanent mark on the Tech campus with a personalized brick to be placed in Centennial Plaza. Contact (479) 968-0400 or to learn more.

Today’s Tech

Alexander chosen to lead ROTC program Major Lyn C. Alexander has been selected to serve

He has served as an armor specialist, a medical

as assistant professor of military science and to have

platoon leader, a medical administration officer and

oversight of the U.S. Army ROTC program at Arkansas

in leadership positions for the 1-206th Field Artillery

Tech University.

Battalion and the 39th Brigade Support Battalion. From 2007-08, Alexander was a company commander in Iraq.

He succeeds Lt. Col. Vixen James, who was promoted to on-site commander at the Fort Chaffee Maneuver

Alexander has earned the Bronze Star Medal, the

Training Center following two-and-a-half years at the helm

Meritorious Service Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster),

of the Arkansas Tech ROTC program.

the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (with three

Alexander holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in health education from Delta State

bronze service stars), the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon among other military honors.

University. He also earned a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Harding University.

Arkansas Tech founded its Army ROTC program in 1952. The ROTC offices are located in Bryan Hall.

A graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Alexander has more than 18 years of military experience.

For more information about Army ROTC at Arkansas Tech, call (479) 498-6066 or visit

Hargus speaks as part of Norman Series 12

Tech Action

Arkansas Tech alumnus Coyt D. Hargus, deputy director of international affairs for the U.S. Air Combat Command, spoke at his alma mater on Jan. 24 as part of the Norman Lecture Series. A 1986 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a degree in mathematics, Hargus (middle) is photographed with (left) Major General William Harmon (Ret.) and (right) Dr. John W. Watson, vice president for academic affairs at Tech.

Tech opens office of veteran services There is a new office at Arkansas Tech University that is providing for the educational needs of United States

The office is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in room 162 of the Doc Bryan Student Services Building.

servicemen and servicewomen on a daily basis. “We are a bridge between our students who have The Arkansas Tech Office of Veteran Services was

served in the military and the Veterans Administration,”

established to ensure that veterans and their dependents

said Oels. “We also seek additional benefits and gather

attending the university are aware of the financial aid and

local resources for our students. It’s our job to let them

educational benefits that are available to them.

know what is available and to be accessible when they have questions.”

Marsha Oels is the director of the Office of Veteran Services, while Ashlee Wilson serves as an administrative assistant.

For more information about the Arkansas Tech Office of Veteran Services, call (479) 968-0445.

Today’s Tech

Tech offers opportunity to city employees Full-time employees of the City of Russellville will benefit from an agreement signed on Tuesday, Jan. 17, by Arkansas Tech University President Dr. Robert C. Brown and Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton. The educational partnership will allow City of Russellville employees to receive a tuition waiver at Arkansas Tech for up to six undergraduate or graduate credit hours during a semester. “Arkansas Tech University and the City of Russellville have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for more than 100 years,” said Brown. “Extending this

Applicants for the tuition waiver must apply

Photographed, from left: Dr. Robert C. Brown,

educational opportunity to employees of the City

and be accepted for admission to Arkansas Tech,

of Russellville will allow them to progress in their

and they must meet the institutional scholarship

professions, which will benefit our community as a

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

mayor of Russellville;


requirements of Arkansas Tech.

and Dr. John W. Watson,

To qualify, a City of Russellville employee must be

Arkansas Tech president; Bill Eaton,

Arkansas Tech vice president for academic

City of Russellville employees who participate in the

working full-time in a permanent position and must

program will be responsible for payment of all student

have approval from his or her department head/

fees assessed by Arkansas Tech.


supervisor and the mayor. The course(s) must meet at a time other than regular duty hours unless previously

Forms for applying for the tuition waiver may be

approved by the employee’s department head/

obtained from the City of Russellville Mayor’s Office or

supervisor and the mayor.

from the Arkansas Tech Office of the Registrar.

There Are No Limits Arkansas Tech University has seen its enrollment increase by 147 percent since 1997, and we believe that we can reach even more students with your assistance. Help our university continue to grow by providing us with information about a student that you believe would benefit from an Arkansas Tech education. Fill out as much information about the prospective student as you can and return this form to: Arkansas Tech Office of Admissions 1605 Coliseum Drive, Suite 141 Russellville, AR 72801-2222

M Mi.


Last Name

Cell Phone

(area) + (number)

Home Phone




(area) + (number)

E-mail Address State ZIP


High School or College Attended ACT

Thank you in advance for your assistance. Involved alumni and friends help ensure that the best days at Arkansas Tech University are still to come.


Date Of Birth


Winter 2012

Alumna/us Please Specify How Student Is Related To Alumna/us

Approx. GPA A

Grad Year





Development Corner

Sutton honored with great room dedication Arkansas Tech held a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 3, to name the great room on the first floor of Baswell Techionery in honor of former Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees member Janice Sutton of Mountain View. “Mrs. Sutton helped guide the university through a time of transition,” said Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown. “Her leadership and her statesmanship set the stage for the Arkansas Tech we see today. We thank Mrs. Sutton for her service, generosity and friendship to her alma mater over a period of many years.” Sutton, a 1963 graduate of Arkansas Tech, served on the Tech Board of Trustees from 1987-2000.

“Once you get here, you just can’t leave,” continued Sutton. “All you have to do is look around this place to

“On an occasion like this, the memories start

see the accomplishments and improvements that have

flooding back,” said Sutton, who was joined at the

taken place here in recent years. I will be forever proud

ceremony by her husband, Kenneth. “I arrived at

to say that my degree came from Arkansas Tech.”

Arkansas Tech in 1960 with every intention of getting my feet wet and moving on, but that’s not the way it worked out.


Tech Action

Opened in fall 2011, Baswell Techionery serves Tech as a student union.

IN MEMORY/HONOR OF (Oct. 1, 2011 through Jan. 31, 2012) The following individuals made gifts to Tech in memory or in honor of a friend or loved one In Memory of Susan Adams Lewis Adams Travis and Lou Adams In Memory of Firnum Bynum Mike and Patsy King In Memory of Dana Coffman Stan and Dacie Rau In Memory of Catherine Cole Robert and Linda Griffin

See the world in Green & Gold Do you love to travel? Do you love Arkansas Tech? Call (479) 964-0532 to learn how you can join the Arkansas Tech Alumni and Friends Travel Group. travel.htm

In Memory of Dale Corley Eldean Corley John and Charlene Tatum In Memory of Joyce Dempsey Mike and Patsy King In Memory of Dr. Michael Duran Fabricio and Karen Duran In Memory of Allan Essman David and Dana Moseley In Honor of Jeanice Falls David and Dana Moseley In Memory of Jack Jones Travis and Lou Adams Ryan and Susan Anglin Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation Randy and Susan Barefield Linda Bean Benton County Farm Bureau Sue Berkemeyer Willie Bonds Arnold and Katherine Bowden

Paul and Regina Burris Ella Carroll Caleb and Julia Chaney Clay County Farm Bureau Cliff Goodin & Associates Conway County Farm Bureau Matt and Pam Cooper Larry and Mary Nell Cotton Robert and Lawanda Dale Kelly and Reta Davis Richard and Mary Davis Desha County Farm Bureau Faulkner County Farm Bureau Bryan and Paige Fisher Garland County Farm Bureau Wesley Grau Don and Henrietta Guess Rosella Hargrove Bill and Suzanne Harmon W.R. “Bud” and Joan Harper James and Diana Hendricks David and Janis Hillman Rich and Tina Hillman Tommy and Shelby Hillman Chuck and Donna Horne Hot Spring County Farm Bureau Ida Ruth Jones Jones, Rose & Lawton Sue Justus Maree Lewis Lavada Linton Randall and Janice Marsh Robert and Kathy Millard Mississippi County Farm Bureau Gwen Morgan Johnny and Julie Morgan David and Dana Moseley Jim Murphy Bill Newsom

E.C. and Katie O’Neal Dave and Shay Palfreeman Roger and Roberta Patrick Kenneth and Kathy Pippin Poinsett County Farm Bureau Pope County Farm Bureau Pulaski County Farm Bureau Mary Ramsey Saline County Farm Bureau John Schafer Glenn and Barbara Schenk Chris and Beverly Shively LeMoyne Smith Tim and Kristin Smith Michael and Kimberly Solomon Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Ins. Co. Southern Farm Bureau Life Ins. Co. Gertrude Spence Donald Stewart Michael and Cynthia Sullivan Leo and Linda Sutterfield Stanley and Maysel Teeter Tommy and Mary Alice Tomlinson Jim and Kay Tucker University of Arkansas Foundation Bill and Mary Vaughn R.D. and Johnna Walker Wayne Watkinson Dean and Kathy Wilburn Bill and Jan Wofford Dan Yowell In Honor of Lloyd McDaniel David and Dana Moseley In Memory of Jim Ed McGee Johnnie and Carolee Hamilton

In Honor of Mayor Carolyn McGee Bill and Suzanne Harmon In Honor of Van and Marilyn Moores Johnny and Julie Morgan In Memory of Helen Pollard Arlee Pollard In Memory of Billy Ramsey Martha Johansen Harry and Jeanne Reems In Memory of Tom Rawlings Tom and Jayne Jones Suzanne Morrissey Stewart and Sindey Platz In Memory of George Riley Polly Riley In Memory of Elgin Spence W.R. “Bud” and Joan Harper In Memory of Christina Stinnett Charlotte Linch Bobby and Linda Rush David and Betty Snellings In Memory of Eugene Street Carl F. Baswell Robert Craig In Memory of James Willis Charles and Margaret Pearson R.D. and Johnna Walker

Development Corner

Join the Circle, Make a lasting impact Arkansas Tech

In addition, Century

University’s second century

Forward Circle donors will

has begun with continued

be invited to an annual

enrollment growth,

exclusive progress report by

innovative academic

the university president.

endeavors and a solid reputation as a quality university. Never before have we asked for this level of These accomplishments are the result of commitment by many in our Tech family who have worked diligently through our strategic planning process that dates back to 1995. In anticipation of our bright future and what it will take to continue being the university of opportunity for students, we are offering our loyal supporters a unique chance to sow the seeds of growth for future generations. The Century Forward Circle was established to provide an endowment that will support strategic planning and campus beautification throughout our

commitment, but the time is right, and by offering a generous pledge period of up to five years we hope to enable you to become a member of this special group. This gift, above and beyond anything else you currently give to support Tech, will make a significant impact for Tech students.

Jayne Jones VP for Development

Circle donors will be recognized in a future issue of the Action, and I urge you to give thoughtful consideration to joining us on that list as a member of the Century Forward Circle. You may make your pledge by mailing the form at the bottom of this page to:

second century and beyond. Winter 2012

Arkansas Tech University Foundation Alumni and friends who contribute $10,000 for this endowment will be considered members of the Century

8820 Tech Lane Russellville, AR 72801

Forward Circle and their names will be inscribed on a plaque to be placed prominently on the Arkansas Tech campus.

Please call (479) 968-0400 for more information about the Century Forward Circle.

HOW TO JOIN To join you may choose one of the following payment options: ‰ A lump sum payment of $10,000 ‰ Pledge payments over a five-year period All contributions to the Arkansas Tech University Foundation are tax-deductible as allowed by law. IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR GIFT As a member of the Century Forward Circle, you will be invited every year to an exclusive progress report briefing by the University President. In addition, your name will be inscribed on a plaque to be placed prominently on campus. PLEDGE FORM Yes, I/we accept Arkansas Tech University’s invitation to become a member of the Century Forward Circle with a total gift of over years. I/We wish to fulfill our pledge through ‰ A one-time gift ‰ Equal installments beginning and continuing ‰ Annually ‰ Semi-Annually ‰ Quarterly ‰ Monthly PAYMENT OPTIONS ‰ By Check (Payable to Arkansas Tech University Foundation) ‰ By Securities Transfer (Please send securities electronic transfer instructions) ‰ Please send a Pledge Reminder ‰ By Bank Draft (A check for the first installment is attached) ‰ By Credit Card (Please complete information on reverse)

CREDIT CARD ‰ VISA ‰ MasterCard ‰ American Express ‰ Discover/NOVUS Account Number Expiration Date My name as it appears on the card I hereby authorize my bank or credit card company to charge my account as indicated above to pay the Arkansas Tech University Foundation. If I want to change my pledge or participation, I will notify the Arkansas Tech University Development Office at the address or phone number below.

Signature Date Bank drafts and credit card charges are processed the first business day of the month. All Tech gift transfers comply with US law. A record of each gift will appear on the monthly statement issued by your bank or credit card company.

DONOR LISTING ‰ Anonymous Mailing Address City/State/Zip Business Phone ( ) Home Phone ( )


Class Notes Marriages David Blackwell (COM SCI ’09) and Anastasia Tessy (MGMT/MKTG ’09) were married Oct. 29, 2011. They live in Fort Smith. Cassandra “Danielle” Duncan (EAM ’09) and Ben Brisco (ELEC ENGR ’11) were married Sept. 10, 2011. Laura Flake (ECED ’10) and Michael S. Norris were married June 12, 2011. Laura is a teacher at Center Valley Elementary School. They live in Russellville. Tayler Rae Melton (MGMT/MKTG ’10) and Isaac Blaine Lynch were married Nov. 12, 2011. They live in Yellville. Jennifer Danielle Owens (SPAN ’10) and Christian Michael McDannold were married July 21, 2011. They live in Conway. Brian Blankenship (IT ’11) and Leslie Walker (SOC ’11) were married Nov. 5, 2011. They live in Conway.



Tech Action

Vicki Carr Pool (ACCT ’92) and her husband, Tim, a

EDU ’09), a daughter, Annabelle Jace, Sept. 9, 2011. Jessica Boudra (MLED ’05) and Jake Minton, a daughter, Alaina Ophelia, Nov. 10, 2011. Alaina has one brother, Declan (3), and one sister, Olivia (2). They live in Russellville. Michael Cox (HIST ’05 & M.A. HIST ’07) and Christina Little Cox (BPS-ECED ’09), a son, Benjamin Powell, Sept. 4, 2011. Michael teaches history at Rich Mountain Community College in Mena, while Christina is an early head start teacher at the Mena Child Development Center. Erik Enderlin (EAM ’05) and his wife, Tera, a son, Rylan Hap, Sept. 6, 2011. Rylan has one brother, Easton (2). They live in Kansas City, Mo. Jill Schluterman Lisko (ECED ’05) and Josh Lisko (BIOL ’06), a son, Peyton, March 16, 2011. Peyton has

Kathryn Young Rose (MGMT/MKTG ’05) and Johnathan

(PSY ’03), a son, Christopher Levi, Oct. 20, 2011. Christopher has a brother, Noah (6), and a sister, Lily (4).

Jason Binz (AGBU ’05) and Amber Laine Binz (HIST

Robert Bradford (MGMT/MKTG ’99 & MECH ENGR ’06)

Chris Abington (MGMT/MKTG ’00) and Tara Abington

Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6

has one brother, Zane Alex (2).

one brother, Ethan (3).

Cole has one brother, Chase. They live in Russellville.

Arkansas Tech Homecoming 2012

husband, Tosh, a son, Cade Tosh, Oct. 18, 2011. Cade

son, Jackson Timothy, Jan. 13, 2012.

and his wife, Chrissy, a son, Cole Barrett, Oct. 27, 2011.


Cristy Thomas Keele (REHAB SCI ’04) and her

Zeeshan Azmat (ELEC ENGR ’02) and Stacy Kimery Azmat (HIST EDU ’04), a daughter, Gabrielle Sumera, Oct. 28, 2011. Tabie Richards (ECON & MGMT/MKTG ’02) and his wife, Amber, a daughter, Emry Collyn, Jan. 5, 2012. Emry

Rose (INTL STUDIES ’05), a son, Eli James, Jan. 5, 2012. Eli has two sisters: Chloe (6) and Sophie (20 months). They live in Dardanelle. Lindy Ammons Basham (ECED ’06) and Joe Basham (MECH ENGR ’07), a daughter, Nataley Brooke, Nov. 11, 2011. Nataley has one brother, Breck (4), and one sister, MaKenzey (2). Andy Highfill (HEPE ’06) and Pei-Yi “Nina” Liu Highfill (M.A. ’07), a son, Daniel, Oct. 26, 2011. They live in Russellville. Karrie Price (PSY ’06), a daughter, Abigail Grace, Jan. 3,

has one sister, Ella (18 months). They live in Russellville.


Joshua Bjorgum (HEPE ’03) and his wife, Courtney, a

Tonja Cochran Tomblin (SPAN EDU ’06) and her

daughter, Breckin Kyle, Dec. 19, 2011. Breckin has one sister, Brady (3). Cristin Napier Atha (ECED ’04) and her husband, Jonathan, a son, Jace Franklin, Aug. 9, 2011.

husband, Matt, a daughter, Roselynn Marie, Dec. 13, 2011.

Class Notes Laura Duvall Holbrook (NURS ’07) and her husband, Ernie, a son, Jackson Reese, Dec. 20, 2011. They live in Russellville. Sara Heflin Price (M.Ed. ’07) and her husband, Nick, a daughter, Harper Layne, Jan. 22, 2012. They live in Russellville. Natalie Oswald (SPH ’08) and her husband, John, a son, Kayden Gage, Oct. 16, 2011. Kayden has one sister, Carley (5). They live in Pottsville. Jessica Jolley Stevens (ART ’08) and her husband, Mark, a daughter, Ryleigh Belle, Nov. 7, 2011. Kim Pham Childress (JOUR ’10) and Tim Childress (BPS-ECED ’10), a daughter, Kimmie Shae, Jan. 21, 2011. Jerri D. Mattison (AAS-AH & LPN CERT ’10) and her husband, Dylan, a daughter, Kenzlie Janae, Oct. 31, 2011. Kenzlie has a sister, Breanna Cady (13), and a brother, Devin Mattison (5). They live in Atkins.

1950s Roy James Lewis (HIST/POL SCI ’50) is retired and living in Tulsa, Okla., following a 41-year career in education. He spent 40 years in the Tulsa public schools, serving as classroom teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, director of senior high schools, assistant superintendent for instruction and division superintendent for instruction.

1960s Paul Gray Sr. (MUED ’61 & M.Ed. MUED ’80) was honored on Sept. 24, 2011, when the band facility at the new Mena High School was named the Paul Gray

1970s Dr. M. Diane Gleason (HIST/POL SCI ’70) was a co-recipient of the 2011 Friend of Social Studies Award from the Arkansas Council for the Social Studies. She shared the award with Dr. H. Micheal Tarver, dean of the Arkansas Tech College of Arts and Humanities. They were honored for their work on an initiative to partner with public school districts to provide teachers with intensive content coverage. Diane is an assistant professor of history at Arkansas Tech. Pat Jones Wattam (MUED ’73) was named 2011 realtor of the year by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors in Baton Rouge, La. Leigh Whiteside (ELED ’74) was elected chairman of the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees for the 2012 calendar year. She and her husband, John Whiteside (PSY ’73), live in Russellville. Jim Young (RPA ’74) was named vice president for operations at PTD Service Solutions, a government contracting company headquartered in New Orleans, La. Jim retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of

Winter 2012


lieutenant colonel in 2001. Rick Stokes (RPA ’75) retired on Dec. 31, 2011, after a 35-year career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District. He was resource manager for the Lake Ouachita Field Office. Chari Harrell Bouse (ACCT ’79) was selected as Native American contract chaplain for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She is the first woman to be named to that post.


Band Center. Paul was band director at Mena from

Tom Jones (AGBU ’82) was re-elected secretary/

1964-98 as part of a 37-year career in education. He

treasurer for Arkansas Farm Bureau.

was the 1992 Arkansas Bandmaster of the Year. Paul taught more than 160 All-State selections and he

Chris Poole (HEPE ’83) led the Florida State

served as president of the Arkansas School Band and

University women’s volleyball program to the

Orchestra Association in 1979.

2011 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. The Seminoles finished their season with an overall record of 28-7. Florida State became the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to ever reach the NCAA Tournament national semifinals in volleyball.

Alumni Day at the Little Rock Zoo Saturday, May 19 Call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to to register.

Class Notes Kathryn Stocks Lewis (BUAD & MKTG ’84) was made a

Brandi Easterling Collins (CRWR ’03 & CSP ’05) was

partner at Jones, Jackson and Moll, PLC. She is serving

promoted to licensing coordinator in the Arkansas Tech

as president of the Sebastian County Bar Association.

Office of University Relations. Brandi has worked in

Kathryn and her husband, Dave, live in Fort Smith with

University Relations since 2004.

their three children. Will Cooper (HIST ’04 & M.A. HIST ’06) joined the Brent Davis (BUAD/MKTG ’89) was promoted to vice

Arkansas Tech University Office of Student Services as

president of organizational resources for BluCurrent

coordinator of retention services. He previously served

Credit Union.

as an academic advisor in the Roy and Christine Sturgis Academic Advising Center at Arkansas Tech.

1990s Rodney Parks (ECON ’91) was elected chairman of the Arkansas State Banking Board on Jan. 18, 2012. Rodney is director of development at Philander Smith College and the managing principal for the Parks Professional Group, a public speaking and management consulting firm. Jared Cleveland (HIST/POL SCI ’93) was invited to give a lecture entitled “Building a Sustainable Model for School-Based Community Medical Centers” at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. Jared is superintendent of the Lavaca


School District. Tech Action

Chad Floyd (HEPE ’95) was voted the American Southwest Conference East Division athletic trainer of the year. Chad is head athletic trainer at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville. Jason L. Kindall (’99) was named executive director of the Beaver Watershed Alliance in Northwest Arkansas. Dr. Albert Nguyen (MUED ’99) was hired as director of bands at the University of Memphis. He will conduct the wind ensemble, direct the graduate instrumental conduction program and oversee the athletic, symphonic and university bands.

Tara Hollingsworth Irwin (MGMT/MKTG ’05) was promoted to tax specialist with Aimbridge Hospitality. Carrie Harris Phillips (JOUR ’06 & M.A. MM JOUR ’08) was elevated from assistant director of new media to director of new media in the Arkansas Tech Office of University Relations. She joined the office in 2008. Johnathan Trafford (EAM ’06) was hired as director of emergency services for the Conway County Office of Emergency Management. Cody T. Hill (HIST/POL SCI ’07) was hired as director of funeral services for Harris Funeral Home in Morrilton. Adena Strickland White (JOUR/SPH ’07) is serving a three-year term as director of at-large membership for Arkansas’ chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Brandon Baker (EAM ’08) was hired as president and chief executive officer of the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conway County Economic Development Corporation. Brandon previously served as director of emergency services for Conway County.

2010s Christopher Copeland (ELEC ENGR ’11) accepted a

2000s Sam Strasner (JOUR ’01 & M.A. MM JOUR ’06) was promoted to director of the Arkansas Tech Office of University Relations. He has worked in University Relations since 2006. Tim Brinkley (ELEC ENGR ’03) joined the University of Arkansas National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission as a test engineer.

position as project engineer at Nuclear Logistics in Fort Worth, Texas. Zane Hight (M.S. CSP ’11) won the Visa “You + 10 Super Bowl Sweepstakes,” which gave him the opportunity to attend Super Bowl XLVI with 10 friends of his choosing. Zane is a resident director at the University of Tulsa. Jeff Hudnall (M.S. CSP ’11) was promoted to coordinator of career services in the Norman Career Services office at Arkansas Tech University.



Friends We’ll Miss

James Allen Young (’34) died Aug. 7, 2011. In 1948, he

Mescal Dunn Johnston (HOME EC ’40) died Aug. 26,

built College Grocery near the Arkansas Tech campus.

2011. Mescal retired as food marketing specialist for the

He owned and operated the store for the next 25 years.

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

James also worked as an Exxon commission agent and

She wrote a weekly column named “Penny Wise Food

as a cattle farmer. He lived in Russellville. James was 97.

Buys” that appeared in several Arkansas newspapers. Mescal is a member of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of

Gilford W. Argo (’35) died Sept. 10, 2011. Gilford was

Fame. She lived in Little Rock. Mescal was 90.

a long-time employee of Reynolds Metal Company in Bauxite. He lived in Little Rock. Gilford was 97.

Sarah Elizabeth Laughter (’41) died Nov. 27, 2011. Liz was a drum majorette for the Arkansas Tech marching

Evelyn Fay Taylor Chism (’35) died Nov. 25, 2011. Fay

band during her days as a student. As an adult, Liz

lived in Little Rock. She was 94.

worked as an election official and was active in garden clubs in Russellville, Monticello and North Little Rock.

Katie Baumann Whorton (HOME EC ’37) died

She lived in Beebe. Liz was 90.

March 31, 2011. Katie taught in the schools at Pless, Russellville, Mountain Home, Atkins and Cabot. She

James Minor (’41) died Dec. 4, 2011. Jim was a football

lived in Russellville. Katie was 98.

letterman at Arkansas Tech. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Jim had a 34-year career in coaching

Dr. Joe McFerran (AGBU ’38) died Dec. 15, 2011. He

at schools in Danville, Haskell, Okla., Pawhuska, Okla.,

served his country in World War II, in the Korean War

and Tonkawa, Okla. Jim was inducted into the Oklahoma

and as commander of the 1st and 2nd battalions of the

Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1984. He lived in

142nd Field Artillery in the Arkansas National Guard.

Tonkawa. Jim was 92.

His 50-year career in agriculture included 33 years as a member of the University of Arkansas Department

Orville Warren Speck (’41) died Sept. 23, 2011. Orville

of Horticulture faculty. His research led to advances in

was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He

pickling tomatoes, turnips, okra, spinach, sweet corn,

was a farmer and a member of the South Mississippi

sweet potatoes and bell peppers. He was perhaps best

County School Board. Orville lived in Frenchmans

known as a plant breeder of pink tomatoes, having

Bayou. He was 89.

developed such varieties as the Traveler and the Ozark Pink. Joe lived in Fayetteville. He was 94.

Billy D. Young (’43) died Dec. 12, 2011. Billy served in World War II and in the Arkansas National Guard. He

Pauline Ruth Cain (ELED ’39) died April 11, 2011. Polly

taught at Cornell’s Point, Bigelow and Lincoln before

taught English and civics in the Mountainburg School

working for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. He retired

District for 33 years. She lived in Seneca, S.C. Polly was

in 1983. Billy lived in Roland. He was 88.

91. Peggy Hottinger (ELED ’44) died Sept. 29, 2011. Peggy Baxter Ewell Breashears (’40) died Dec. 9, 2011. Baxter

taught in the school districts at Fort Smith and Ola for

was a sales manager for Pillsbury/General Mills for more

40 years. Peggy lived in Ola. She was 86.

than 40 years. He lived in Russellville. Baxter was 92. G.W. Hogins (AGBU ’46) died March 27, 2011. G.W. Jay J. Brown (’40) died Dec. 13, 2011. Jay served in World

began his career as a vocational agriculture teacher at

War II as a B-29 bomber pilot, and he was a test pilot for

Fourche Valley and Pottsville. In 1949, he opened and

the B-52 development program. He attained the rank of

managed the first co-op in Russellville — the Pope

lieutenant colonel before retiring from the U.S. Air Force.

County Farmers Association. He went on to a 16-year

Jay served as the head of the flight test and acceptance

career with the Southern Farmers Association and a 25-

division for Boeing, and he completed his career by

year career with Delta Purchasing Federation, where he

working as a commercial pilot in Arkansas. Jay lived in

retired as president and chief executive officer in 1992.

Maumelle. He was 93.

G.W. lived in Conway. He was 83.

Winter 2012


Obituaries William Stahl (PRE-LAW ’47) died Dec. 31, 2011. Bill served

Jack G. Jones (HEPE ’56) died Nov. 12, 2011. He was

in World War II as a radio operator and mechanic on a B-29

a four-year letterman for the Arkansas Tech basketball

bomber and in the Korean War as an Army Judge Advocate.

program and a member of the Wonder Boys’ back-to-back

He practiced law in West Memphis for 10 years before going

NAIA National Tournament semifinal teams in 1954 and

on to a long career as an attorney with the U.S. Army Corps

1955. Jack was a lifelong farmer and rancher. His service

of Engineers. Bill lived in Corinth, Miss. He was 87.

to his profession included serving on the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. Jack was a past

Robert Maurice Fudge (AGRI ’48) died Sept. 8, 2011.

president of the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Board

Robert served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He

of Directors and a 1997 inductee into the Tech Hall of

owned the S&S Cadillac hearse franchise and Fudge’s S&S

Distinction. He was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture

Sales. Robert lived in Searcy. He was 87.

Hall of Fame in 2009. Jack lived in Pottsville. He was 76.

Doris Jeanne LaVasque Melton (’50) died Nov. 13, 2011.

Beverly McDermott Parks (BUAD/MKTG ’57) died Nov.

Jeanne worked as a commercial artist and portrait painter

25, 2011. Beverly worked at the University of Arkansas

in Russellville, New York City and Dallas. Jeanne lived in

Community College at Morrilton for 30 years. She retired

Naples, Fla. She was 83.

as vice chancellor for academic services. Beverly lived in Morrilton. She was 76.

Billy F. Prince (GEN BUS ’50) died Jan. 25, 2011. Billy was


Tech Action

a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. He had a 36-year career as

George M. Sargent (MATH ’57) died Jan. 14, 2012. George

a civil engineer for the Arkansas Highway Department. Billy

was retired from a career as budget analyst for Arkansas Air

lived in Mount Ida. He was 82.

National Guard. He lived in Fort Smith. George was 80.

Thomas L. Hendrix Jr. (BUAD/MKTG ’52) died Oct. 29,

Robert Earl Fuqua (’58) died Jan. 25, 2011. Bobby earned

2011. Thomas was a captain in the Arkansas National

four letters as a member of the Arkansas Tech football

Guard Reserve, a teacher in several school districts in

team and went on to a coaching career at Dardanelle and

Northwest Arkansas, superintendent of the Western Grove

Bentonville. He later served as principal at Bentonville

School District and a U.S. postal service employee. He

High School before entering the private sector as owner

lived in Harrison. Thomas was 79.

of F&G Feed Store and Emerson Monument Company in Springdale. Robert lived in Bentonville. He was 75.

Mary Frances Grimes Grane (BUED ’53) died March 7, 2011. Frances was a teacher at Watson Chapel Academy

Garry Arden Dybendal (’59) died Jan. 19, 2012. Garry

before retiring. She lived in Pine Bluff. Frances was 79.

served in the U.S. Army and was retired from Oklahoma Gas and Electric. Garry lived in Ozark. He was 71.

Gerald Von Ward (’53) died Nov. 4, 2011. Von worked for the U.S. Forest Service office in Mountain View for 33 years.

Wilda Jane Cramton (ELED ’62) died Nov. 28, 2011. Jane

He lived in Mountain View. Von was 77.

worked in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for 40 years, primarily with the Child Welfare Department.

Carl Dean Mallett (’55) died May 5, 2011. Dean was a

Jane lived in Tulsa, Okla. She was 71.

coach, teacher and school administrator for more than 29 years. He worked in the school districts at Guy-Perkins

Ellen Watson Bracken (ENGL ’63 & FMR FACULTY)

and Greenbrier, where he was superintendent for 15 years.

died Nov. 6, 2011. Ellen served on the English faculty at

Dean was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and

Arkansas Tech from 1964-70. She later worked as federal

retired at the rank of major. He raised dairy and beef cattle

programs and financial aid director for Garland County

after retiring from the schools. Dean lived in Bono. He was

Community College in Hot Springs. Ellen lived in Gulf


Breeze, Fla. She was 70.

Robert “Rip” Allen Phillips (CHEM ’56) died Nov. 13, 2011.

Michael Lee Geren (’65) died Sept. 10, 2011. Mike had

Rip was a colonel in the U.S. Army. He served in the Korean

a long career in the Jasper School District as a teacher

War and the Vietnam War, earning the Silver Star among

and then as federal programs coordinator. He was a

other military honors. Rip lived in Hot Springs Village. He

member of the State Board of Federal Education Program

was 78.

Administrators. Mike lived in Harrison. He was 68.

Obituaries Odell Cheslyn Bartlett (SOC STUDIES ’67) died March

Gordon Kelcey (FISH/WLDLF ’79) died Nov. 7, 2011.

22, 2011. Odell served in U.S. Air Force during the

Gordon was a long-time employee of Airgas, Inc. He

Vietnam War. He was employed by the Employment

lived in Fort Smith. Gordon was 55.

Security Division as a veterans representative for 27 years. Odell lived in Russellville. He was 66.

Tonya Beth Carlton Parker (MATH ’87) died Sept. 23, 2011. Tonya was an All-Arkansas Intercollegiate

Joe Glenn Jamell (ACCT ’68) died April 19, 2011.

Conference post player for the Arkansas Tech Golden

Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He lived in

Suns basketball team during a career that spanned

Russellville. Joe was 78.

from 1982-86. Twenty-five years after her final game, Tonya still ranks among the top 20 scorers (1,230

Wallace “Tom” Novak (GEOL ’68) died Oct. 26, 2011.

career points) and the top 10 rebounders (708 career

Tom played football at Arkansas Tech and went on to

rebounds) in Golden Suns’ history. Tonya lived in Jasper.

a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which

She was 47.

presented him with the de Fleury Medal. Tom lived in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 67.

Ann S. Loveless (’89 & FMR STAFF) died Jan. 6, 2012. Ann was a payroll director at Arkansas Tech for 32

George Robert Shelton (SCI ’68) died April 2, 2011.

years. She most recently worked as a real estate agent

George lived in Louisville, Ky. He was 64.

for ReMax. Ann lived in Russellville. She was 64.

Thomas Joseph Rawlings Jr. (ACCT ’69) died Jan. 1,

Melissa Annette Martin (HRM ’94) died June 14,

2012. Tom had a 40-year career as a financial officer for

2011. She used her degree in hotel and restaurant

engineering firms. He lived in Eagle Rock, Mo. Tom was

management by working for the Excelsior Hotel (now


the Peabody Hotel) in Little Rock and for the Wendy’s corporate office in Memphis, Tenn. Melissa lived in

Jackie Watson (BIOL ’69) died April 7, 2011. He was

Russellville. She was 45.

a retired chemistry and physics teacher in the Alma School District. Jackie lived in Alma. He was 64.

Michael L. Brown (EAM ’09) died Sept. 29, 2011. Mike had a 21-year career in the U.S. Army before retiring

Dave Kinman (GEN BUS ’70) died Dec. 3, 2011. Dave

and enrolling at Arkansas Tech. He lived in Russellville.

served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Over a

Mike was 47.

span of four decades, he constructed more than 2,000 homes. He co-founded Bond Kinman Construction in

Cody E. Mabery (HIST/POL SCI ’09) died Jan. 16, 2012.

1980. Dave lived in Jacksonville. He was 66.

Cody was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity during his time as a student at Arkansas Tech. He lived in

Van B. Goodwin Jr. (BUAD/MKTG ’75) died Dec. 9,

Jessieville. Cody was 26.

2011. Butch owned and operated Goodwin Insurance Agency in Russellville for 34 years. He lived in

A.C. Brown III (MECH ENGR ’10) died Nov. 18, 2011.

Russellville. Butch was 59.

A.C. was a member of the Presidential Leadership Cabinet and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity during his days

Jane Smallwood Fore (M.Ed. ’78) died Jan. 6, 2012.

as a student at Arkansas Tech. He was employed by

Jane taught math at Russellville High School and the

Henderson Engineering Firm in Lowell as a mechanical

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton

engineer and designer. A.C. lived in Greenwood. He was

for 21 years before retiring in 2002. Jane lived in


Russellville. She was 79. James H. Willis (FMR FACULTY) taught mathematics at Walter Hartsfield (BUED ’79 & M.Ed. SS ’84) died

Arkansas Tech from 1963-94. He lived in Russellville.

Sept. 26, 2011. Walter served in the U.S. Air Force

James was 79.

for 20 years. He taught at Pottsville High School and went on to establish Hartsfield Insurance Company in Russellville. Walter lived in Russellville. He was 75.

Winter 2012


Tech Athletics


Tech Action


Tech wins regular season, postseason GAC volleyball titles Rarely have two teams been as evenly matched as

Tech’s Laura Farney and Amber Cerrillos both notched

the 2011 volleyball teams at Arkansas Tech University

double-doubles in the championship match. Farney had

and Harding University. Equally rare is the poise under

20 kills and 17 digs, while Cerrillos made 64 assists and 15

pressure demonstrated by the Golden Suns in their three


meetings with the Lady Bisons this season. Kelly O’Malley recorded 17 kills and Sara Motsinger Arkansas Tech defeated Harding 20-25, 25-17,

had 14 kills for the Golden Suns. Brennae Benda made 20

25-16, 25-27, 15-11 at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on

digs for Arkansas Tech, which finished with a 96-78 edge

Saturday, Nov. 12, to claim the inaugural Great American

in team digs.

Conference Volleyball Tournament championship. The Golden Suns went on to make their first NCAA All three of the matches between the Golden Suns and

Division II Volleyball Tournament appearance since 2000.

the Lady Bisons this season went the maximum of five

Arkansas Tech dropped a three-set match to Washburn

sets. Arkansas Tech won all three.

University in the NCAA opening round. The Suns finished the 2011 season with a 35-4 overall record.

The victory gave the Golden Suns a clean sweep of the GAC this season. Arkansas Tech won the league’s regular season conference title with an unblemished mark of 16-0.

Farney was named honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-America. She was joined on the All-GAC team by

And now the 2011 regular season and postseason GAC

fellow Golden Suns Cerrillos, Motsinger and Brittany Ryan.

volleyball trophies will be able to rest beside each other in

Arkansas Tech’s Kristy Bayer was named 2011 GAC coach

the Tucker Coliseum trophy case.

of the year.

Tech Athletics

Denzer named academic All-America Jake Denzer has become the

Denzer is a senior studying social

seventh football student-athlete in

studies education at Arkansas Tech.

Arkansas Tech University history to

He has a 3.59 cumulative grade point

earn Academic All-America honors.


Denzer was named to the 2011

A product of Elkins, Denzer

Capital One NCAA Division II

earned four letters as a member of

Academic All-America second team in

the Wonder Boys football team.

recognition of his performance on the football field and in the classroom.

He saw time at tight end and punter during his senior season in

He is the first Wonder Boy football


player to achieve Academic AllAmerica status since defensive end

Denzer punted 54 times for 2,085

B.J. Bayer of Gentry was named to the honor squad in

yards during his final season in the green and gold. His


38.6 yards per punt average ranked sixth in the Great American Conference.

Past Academic All-America student-athletes from the Arkansas Tech football program have included offensive

Fifteen of Denzer’s 2011 punts were down inside the

lineman Noel Tugwell of Fayetteville (1989), defensive

opponent’s 20-yard line, and his longest punt of the

back John Hathcote of Little Rock (1989), tight end Karl

season was a 72-yard boot.

Kuhn of Fayetteville (1989, 1990 and 1991), linebacker Tommy Lastovica of Rogers (1990), place kicker Paul

Denzer also caught two passes for 21 yards and was

Peletz of Bentonville (1999 and 2000) and Bayer (2000

an integral part of Arkansas Tech’s run-blocking scheme

and 2001).

from his tight end position.

I would like to make a donation to the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Scholarship:

Winter 2012


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Please make checks payable to the Arkansas Tech Foundation and write Alumni Scholarship in the memo field of the check. Donations may be mailed to the Arkansas Tech Foundation, 8820 Tech Lane, Russellville, AR 72801

Name_________________________________________________ Tech major and year ___________________________________ (include maiden name if applicable)


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let us hear

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Graduated or attended (circle one)

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from you

Tech Action Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association Alumni House 1313 North Arkansas Ave. Russellville, AR 72801 Arkansas Tech University Alumni Association Volume 48 No. 1

Arkansas Tech faced a major NCAA Division I opponent for a regular season men’s basketball game for the first time since 1979 when the Wonder Boys played at Texas A&M on Dec. 29, 2011. The Aggies won 76-58, but the Wonder Boys made a memory for a lifetime by playing in front of 8,519 fans at Reed Arena. Both Arkansas Tech basketball teams went on to win the inaugural Great American Conference regular season championships. To learn how the Golden Suns and the Wonder Boys fared in the basketball postseason, visit and



Tech Action: Winter 2012  

Tech Action: Winter 2012

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