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The Magazine of the Ellis College of

Arts and Sciences

Talking to dogs Psychology professor profiles pets

Band of liberal artists rocks on

The Eisner spirit The scholarship of comics

Vol. 14, Summer 2012 Henderson State University

If you like what you see


Letter from the Dean

Dr. Wiebers

The new Dr. Dolittle listens to pets’ problems

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Dear Friends, I’ve spent a good deal of time lately reminiscing about my career at Henderson. So much has changed since I arrived in the fall of 1990. We’ve experienced increased enrollments. We’ve expanded student support services, revised curricula, added new major and minor fields of study, and built or renovated almost every building on campus. We’ve watched many of our friends retire, and we’ve welcomed many new faculty into each department. We’ve experienced leadership changes and survived many accreditation visits. We continue to provide quality programs to our students, and we work hard to ensure that each graduate is prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

Consider making a donation to an Ellis College organization or department, or endow a scholarship in memory of a friend.

Comic call

Professor receives award nod

My teacher is a rock star Page 8

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Volume 14, Summer 2012

I am most proud of the arts and sciences faculty who have proven time and time again that they are outstanding teachers while continuing to excel in their own research and scholarship. You will find a few of their many individual accomplishments in this edition of the Forge Magazine, but I also invite you to regularly check the Henderson web page for updates on the outstanding work they are doing. It takes a lot of individual effort and a lot of financial support to get each student through a four-or five-year program. With the help of our alumni and friends, we continue to grow endowments for scholarships and program support. This year we added a new scholarship fund to the long list of Ellis College “giving” opportunities. The Wes Branstine Scholarship in low brass was created through a generous gift from alumni Doug and Janet Camp. Without their significant contribution this scholarship would not have been possible. While it is still a little shy of being fully endowed, we are confident that we will be able to begin awarding this scholarship in the very near future. A number of other scholarship funds are close to being fully endowed as well. Please consider making a gift to any of the funds in the Ellis College. You can contact the Development Office at 870-230-5518 to learn more about existing funds or to get information on how to establish new funds. Every dollar donated makes it just a little easier for our students to realize their dreams. In looking back at my career the past twenty-two years, I can proudly say that I am glad I chose Henderson State University — go Reddies!


Dance with a difference

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Everybody wants an app! Professor uses games to teach new media

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Mile on the Nile Students and faculty visit Egypt

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The Magazine of Ellis College FORGE is published yearly by the Henderson State University Matt Locke Ellis College of Arts and Sciences. Through profiles and current news, the magazine serves as a personal link connecting the college to its alumni and other related communities. The FORGE staff, composed of students and faculty, strives for excellence in magazine journalism through fair reporting and high quality photography and design. To suggest topics for future FORGE articles or to comment on the magazine, please email

President Glendell Jones Interim Provost, VPAA Maralyn Sommer Interim Dean of Ellis College John Hardee Forge Editorial Board Maralyn Sommer David Stoddard Michael Ray Taylor Marck Beggs Art Director David Stoddard

Designers Amy Porter Cari Elliott Matt Ragan Austin Esry Brett Little David Stoddard Editors Cari Elliott Michael Ray Taylor Contributors Sarah Chaney Heath Herring Brooke Harrod Stacey Murray Matt Ragan Dana Byars Julie Robinson

There is much to be said about Dr. Wiebers, but mostly he cares about the outcome, he’s just there to help, and he’s just a really good person.

In every culture, people love their pets. Unfortunately, in every culture, people have problems with pet behavior. These issues are not always physical. Even the best veterinarians may not be able to find a remedy.

Fido Blue? Call Dr. Wiebers Story by Sarah Chaney Photography/Design by Jami Smith


Pet issues can cause worry and division within a family, hurting the people and animals involved. Some animals end up in shelters because people simply don’t know how to handle a behavioral problem. Dr. Todd Wiebers, founder of the White Bear Animal Clinic, was first introduced to animal clinical psychology 20 years ago by his mentor, David Hothersall. This sort of animal practice is primarily located on the east and west coasts, according to Dr. Wiebers. Common problems animal patients suffer include phobias, lack of obedience, aggression and hyperactivity. The first thing Dr. Wiebers does when seeing a new patient is to ask the owner to have the animal checked out by a vet, to rule out any physiological problems. After physical causes of a problem are eliminated, the owner fills out an information sheet on the pet’s basic information, such as name, breed, sex and whether or not it has been neutered or spayed. Then there is a list of personality characteristics like friendliness, aggressiveness, timidness or hyperactivity for owners to describe their pet’s personality.

– Chelsea Walker

After the pet is evaluated, Dr. Wiebers makes a diagnosis, a treatment plan with the owner, and therapy begins. Different problems call for varying solutions. For phobias, the treatment is the same as it would be for humans – desensitization, where the animal is very gradually and gently exposed more and more to the object it fears, until the animal is no longer so sensitive to the trigger. Treatments also include intervention, reinforcement, and changing the motivation. “We also stress things like consistency, and kindness … kindness is a big thing,” Dr. Wiebers said. Dr. Wiebers told of a dog that, whenever a visitor came to the door, would get hyper and very excited and would urinate on the floor. He taught the dog to simply lie down when someone came to the door. This is called changing the motivation, because “lying down is incompatible with urinating,”


We also stress things like consistency, and kindness… kindness is a big thing. – Dr. Wiebers

By Hea t

h Herr ing Design by David Stodd ard

Dr. Wiebers said with a grin. As well as one-on-one therapy with the animal and owner, some problems can be helped by talking on the phone with the owners. Dr. Wiebers said often it is the owner or a human family member or friend who is actually the root of the problem. For instance, he described a small dog that kept nipping at a child. Dr. Wiebers got the child and dog together with the parents and realized that the little one was pulling the dog’s tail, causing the dog to bite. After Dr. Wiebers has assessed the animal and situation, he forms a timeline for how long treatment should last to reolve the problem. Most often it takes about six weeks, he said. One of the most surprising and humble things about animal therapy is that the whole time the White Bear Animal Clinic has been in operation, Dr. Wiebers has never charged anyone anything. “At first I did think it would be a way to make a little money,” Dr. Wiebers said. “But it started out with students and their animals, and I just can’t charge students. I’ve never taken a dime for my services.” Over the past summer, Chelsea Walker, a psychology student, took her Lhasa Apso, Charlie, to Dr. Wiebers for a problem with stranger phobia. The therapy was conducted on the Henderson campus. Within three therapy sessions and a few phone calls, Dr. Wiebers had come up with a solution to put Charlie’s stranger phobia at ease. Walker now works at the psychology department’s front desk and said she was happy with the outcome of the therapy. What makes Dr. Wiebers a great animal therapist? “There is so much to be said about Dr. Wiebers,” Walker said, “but mostly, he cares about the outcome, he’s just there to help, and he’s just a really good person.”


oks t bo s e lat rring ith n w ath He a c Dun to: He g at & urin Comic rk t Pho c o le f m o ew Y can Dun Museu rt in N en , e the toon A ren Gr loud C c r a M Ca to: K cott Pho r, S ncan e n Du Eis Will Randy el Dorf d h an to: S Pho

“I got a phone call in my office. It was Will Eisner. It took me a few moments to realize . . . I wasn’t dreaming.” As Dr. Randy Duncan, professor of communication, hung up the phone, it hit him. Will Eisner, the godfather of the comics industry, had just called to ask for permission to attend Duncan’s conference on comics. Needless to say, the answer was “yes.” In that moment, grinning ear to ear, Duncan had no way of knowing how far this path would lead him. He had no way of knowing that after years of research, dedication and hard work, he would become a leading scholar at the forefront of comics studies. Now, a decade later, that is where he finds himself. Duncan’s work has received much recognition over the years. But this year is different, with the recognition on a grander scale: he has been nominated for a Will Eisner Award. “Eisners” annually recognize the greatest contributors to the comics industry. They’re often called the “Oscars” of the medium. Duncan and colleague Matthew J. Smith, professor of communication at Wittenberg University, were both nominated this year for their collaborative efforts in Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods, their most recent publication. Duncan’s path to success as a comics scholar has been a long one. As a life-long fan and avid reader of comics, Duncan’s work began when he was a child. “I started reading comic books in 1966,” Duncan said. “I suppose the things you fall in love with at an early age are always special to you; sort of your own personal golden age.” Duncan is among the few who hold on to the dreams and aspirations of their youth. Such a thing is rare, requiring strong passion and creativity. His passion began to become a career in the 1980s when Duncan attended graduate school. “I was taking a graduate film class at the same time Frank Miller (creator of Sin City and 300) was drawing, and later writing, the Daredevil comic book,” Duncan said. “Miller was using the comics format in creative ways I had never seen before – in ways that seemed very cinematic.”


Randy Du ncan and Travis Langley, p sycholog y professo r (a fellow faculty member, also enga ged in comics re lated res earch), celebrate Read a C omic Book in P ublic Day . Photo: N icholas L angley

With his film professor’s approval, Duncan wrote his final research paper about the cinematic style of the new Daredevil comic book. “I did a paper that was about four times the required length,” Duncan said. “The professor was impressed enough that he suggested I pursue this line of research for my doctoral dissertation.” Duncan followed his professor’s advice. The dissertation, Panel Analysis: The Rhetoric of Comic Book Form, was Duncan’s first step toward the academic study of comics. Today, Duncan is a pioneer in the study of comics art. Throughout his career, he has worked to bring comics from entertainment to the field of education and scholarly research. By doing so, he and other scholars have made it possible to experience comics from a completely different perspective – a critical academic standpoint. In his early years as a comics scholar, Duncan co-founded the Comics Arts Conference along with Peter M. Coogan. According to Duncan, the Comics Arts Conference is “designed to bring together

comics scholars, practitioners, critics, and historians who want to be involved in the dynamic process of evolving an aesthetic and a criticism of the comics art form.” The CAC was founded in 1992, and in 1998 it became an official part of Comic-Con International: San Diego. Comic-Con is the largest comic book and science fiction convention in the world. Duncan attends the convention every year, and remains active in planning each Comics Art Conference held there. The highlight of each Comic-Con is the presentation of Eisner awards, which in 2012 will take place as this issue of Forge goes to press. The study of comics, as a whole, is a unique concept. It’s the kind of research that challenges the academic norm and pushes boundaries. With unique subject material, this line of study is bound to draw attention. For Duncan, comics are an art form. They bear complex messages that speak far beyond mere entertainment. “Most of my research is about how comics work as a form of communication.” It’s the rhetoric formed from the intricate details

Right to left: Michael Taylor, mass media professor, and Randy Duncan enjoy a lively debate at the rostra in the Roman Forum, en route to a communications conference in Athens. Photo: Trina Bright

that make comics a complex medium of communication. Duncan’s work in comics studies has manifested in several publications over the years – two are full length, university-level text books. Both books are collaborative efforts between Duncan and Smith. The first text, The Power of Comics: History, Form, and Culture, was co-authored by Duncan and Smith. It discusses comics from the ground up, and acts as an introduction to the medium. It takes a close look at topics such as the history of comics, the comics industry, comics analysis and comics culture. Duncan and Smith’s most recent publication, Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods, was released in October 2011. The text is a more in-depth, complex approach to the study of comics that showcases the work of several leading comics scholars. This book is the first of its kind in the comics studies field, and highly regarded, and awaited by scholars. “I believe Matt and I are being recognized for filling a void in comics studies,” Duncan said. “But also because we did great recruiting.” Critical Approaches combines the efforts of multiple comic scholars to create a comicsstudies resource unlike any other. “Matt and I each wrote a chapter,” he said. “But what makes this such a significant contribution to comics studies are the 19 other chapters.” Duncan and Smith recruited 19 additional scholars to share their own work in this cutting-edge compilation, each contributing a chapter. Duncan said the contributors “explain the methodologies they have employed in their work and then provide a sample of their particular method of critical analysis.” These are among the most renowned comics scholars

explaining and demonstrating their own area of specialization. It is, in other words, a comics studies super-book. “It’s amazing,” Smith said. “I say that not because I’m a part of it but because of all of the truly remarkable comics studies scholars we have contributing chapters.” Undertaking a project on this level isn’t easy, but, according to Duncan, it was worth the effort. The integrity of subject material presented by each contributor makes Critical Approaches to Comics an invaluable asset to comics studies. “Some of these chapters are the best comics scholarship I have ever read,” said Duncan. “The book will be an incredible resource for graduate students who want to do research in comics.” Both Duncan and Smith teach comics courses using The Power of Comics. Duncan’s course, called Comics as Communication, provides introductory study. As Critical Approaches to Comics is the second volume in the line, perhaps higher-level comics courses are soon to come. “That’s the idea,” Duncan said. This new text makes way for advanced levels of comics studies at Henderson. In comparison to most liberal arts subjects, comics art is a relatively new line of study. With Duncan’s progressive action in the field, he brings Henderson to the front lines of the comics studies movement.

Scholarship and Award Dr. Randy Duncan’s research has gained recognition from the comics industry and scholars alike. In 2009, he was awarded the M. Thomas Inge Award for Excellence in Comics Arts Scholarship. For the 2008-09 academic school year, he received the Henderson Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarly Activity. He was also an invited author at the Arkansas Literary Festival in 2010. Now, being nominated for the Eisner Award, his work continues to gain recognition and build respect while bridging the gap between comics, research and education.

Randy Duncan, David Stoddard, design professor, and their students visit Duncan’s friend and president of DC Comics, Paul Levitz, in his office in New York. Photo: Jim Miller



By Brooke Balding Esr y Design by Austin


e n, com o e m on, co ound Come ake it! The s e of t c on and Joplin’s “Pie The s . of Jani rt” fills the air c i a My He s of her mus and , rie memo ur mind’s eye ved lo o flood y ll that the be the to ca you re s crossed in ound s a Janis h That soulful ger . in beyond g from the s n f i is com nd in front o that ba , then, s a e of the z i l a e ur ou i you. Yo in front of y rs. g so standin your profes of again. s group e k i r t s Opie d n i l B pie nd O

He looked up to his brother, who influenced The rock band Blind Opie began in the because of the makeup and the show. heart of Henderson. During the day, this “I liked my parent’s CCR [Credence Stoddard in music. His brother spent the group of people seems to be average educators, money he earned on records. “So, British Clearwater Revival] 8 tracks better than those seeking to better the future of the work force. Grateful Dead ones,” he said. Glover attributes invasion, and the best music from the sixties At night, when all of the lights go dim and was the backdrop for my cultural development his desire to learn guitar to the Van Halen there is not a soul to be found, the faint sound at an early age,” said Stoddard. He received his Diver Down album. “I heard that, and I was of rock-n-roll can be heard through the walls like, man I want to play guitar,” he said. first guitar at 12 years old. in Arkansas Hall. “My dad was always playing guitar, so one Earnhart, who obtained a degree in digital Blind Opie comprises Michael Ray Taylor, Christmas I decided I wanted a guitar,” said art and design at Henderson, remembers professor of communication and theatre Schmid. In high school, Schmid picked up the loving to sing at a very young age. “I arts; Paul Glover, associate professor of drums, as well. remember being real excited when I was communication and theatre arts; David “A kid I was friends with in high school at least four going to Bible school, just so I Stoddard, professor of art; Megan Earnhart, brought his drum set over so we could play, could sing in front of everyone,” Earnhart Henderson graduate; and Dave Schmid, and he just left it,” Schmid said. “My dad knew said. The Christmas when she was five years counselor at the Student Health and how to play drums, so he showed me a few old introduced an added level of performance things, and I just took off from there.” Counseling Center. From humble beginnings, filled with classics, originals, and the love of Taylor had a band in high school called opportunities for young Earnhart: a karaoke rock-n-roll, this band was born. Electric Wing, but his band dreams began machine. “Anytime we could have family or “I guess my mother got me started in music,” guests over, I was so anxious to sing for them,” earlier than that, on a road trip with friends. Taylor said. “She really liked to sing while They pretended they were in a band. “One of she said. doing housework. Turns out, she can’t carry a them made a t-shirt as a means of meeting girls, Earnhart sang in her first variety show at tune, so I didn’t learn to sing very well listening six, and won her first talent show at seven. but we weren’t really in a band,” Taylor said. to my mother. But I learned to enjoy music.” Electric Wing received an opportunity to Listeners have compared her to the late Janis play their first show at a Christmas party for Music was always playing in Taylor’s home Joplin because of her soulful style. a Florida car dealership. Upon arrival, they as a child — not always his musical choice, The love of music began for Glover with a found out the genre of choice was country but music nonetheless. He and his sister record player he shared with his older brother music — the complete opposite of the six or received piano lessons as children, though his and a couple of albums. “I bought a Devo seven songs on their play list. “It was like that teacher thought he was disruptive in his piano album, which was ‘80s new wave, and he got scene in the movie Blues Brothers,” Taylor said. class. After he quit piano lessons, he began to Van Halen, Diver Down, which has ‘Where “We were expecting them to start throwing beer pick up some of the things his sister would do Have All the Good Times Gone’ and ‘Dancing bottles at the stage.” An Elvis song and a couple in her lessons. of old fifties style rock songs were the basis of in the Street.’” Kiss was also a childhood “My oldest brother, who was six years older the performance that night. favorite of Glover’s, but that was mostly than me, played the guitar,” said Stoddard.


“I had only sung with a band one other time, when I was thirteen at a talent show,” Earnhart said. The first show she played with Blind Opie was at the 2009 Relay For Life. The previous lead singer was there, so she only got to sing the chorus of a few songs and a verse of “Brainstew.” “I am a big Green Day fan, so I was happy to just get to sing some of Brainstew,” Earnhart said. “I had so much fun singing that night.” The shy, guitar-toting Stoddard was asked to play in a band by a fellow art major at Indiana University. They formed the band called The Shades. Being shy, Stoddard was nervous about playing in front of a crowd. The gig was a house party in an “old, beat up” two-story house. The crowd loved them. “We actually had to shorten the gig because the house was literally bouncing up and down in a dangerous way,” Stoddard said. “So we almost brought the house down, literally. It was one of the best times of my life.” Glover’s first gig was shortened, not due to bringing the house down, but by almost having the big house brought on him. At a house party, Glover and his band were playing atop a garage patio. The rest of the guests were below the garage patio looking up toward the “stage.” “I was wearing a t-shirt with a neck tie,” said Glover. “I really thought I looked good.” The music was so loud that local police followed the sound two miles to shut the party down. “It was a good feeling, knowing you’re that loud even if you weren’t that good, you were powerful,” said Glover. The police began chasing everyone around, and the neighbors across the street began to play. “They all came out with their bandanas and long hair and started singing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ in this Anti-American, tongue-in-cheek kind of way,” Glover said. ”It was like a moment where it’s like ‘Yeah, we’re the hard rock, we’re the revolution, we’re the society against the man.’” Upon arrival at Henderson in 1991, Taylor and Stoddard discovered they each were in bands in previous years. They found two students to form a band with, but the band only lasted as long as the students were in college. “I always wanted to get a band back together,” said

dance and play with the wedding party. Taylor. “Jokingly, when we were interviewing It was a blast.” Paul Glover for the television teaching job, I For many reasons, playing with Blind Opie asked, ‘What instrument do you play?’” has affected its members for the better. Without missing a beat, Glover responded “Playing with people I work with,” Glover said, that he played guitar and sang. “is a great complement to my job. It wasn’t in Taylor never forgot that. A few months after my job application, but it really encourages Glover began working at Henderson, the two creative collaboration.” made plans to jam, but none were executed. All members said they love to play in Blind Eventually, a jam session presented itself Opie because they have played together long after Glover began playing with a recreation enough to be able to play to each other’s professor and several different musicians at the strengths. “When we’re really on, we’re just lower dam use area on DeGray Lake. tight,” Taylor said. “We know it, the audience “Paul talked David [Stoddard] and me into knows it, and that’s exhilarating.” going to one of these jams, and that’s how we The lights, still hot and bright behind you, became the Lower Dam Jam Band,” Taylor said. suddenly remind you that you have a test From the Lower Dam Jam Band, Blind Opie coming for the man holding the guitar and a was born. Members thought Lower Dam Jam paper due for the man with the bass. The Band was a tongue twister of a name and was music fades into the now distant background. also associated with open jam sessions. The Take another little piece of my heart band adopted the name Cogent Fliz for a while, now, baby. but no one could agree on a permanent name. The lead singer at the time decided to consult the assistance of an online “random band name generator.” As she read through the names, she stopped on “Blind Opus.” “I misheard her,” Taylor said. “I said, ‘Blind Opie, that sounds kind of fun.’ And everyone laughed.” The band was called Blind Opie from that moment on. Blind Opie memories have sugar-plum-like effects on its members. Stoddard recalled a night when the Arkadelphia Clubhouse played host to a bachelorette party. They played a longer version of Mustang Sally, so the group of women could dance, as they clearly wanted to do. “The cord on my guitar was extra long,” said Stoddard, “so I went out on the dance floor to

Reddies mourn as a talent is silenced Before this issue of Forge went to press, on April 28, 2012, David Steven Schmid, drummer for Blind Opie and a popular Henderson counselor, was killed in an automobile accident near Arkadelphia. He was 33. Dave Schmid held both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Henderson. Survivors include his father, Dr. Richard Schmid, professor of counselor education at Henderson; and his stepmother, Dusty Schmid, an administrative specialist in Teacher’s College, Henderson. While band members were devastated by Dave’s death, they have vowed that in time Blind Opie will play again. Memorials may be made to Henderson State University Scholarship Fund.



“Stillness and focused,” By Jennifer Miller Design by Brett Little

Jennifer Maddox instructs the dancers as they stand facing different directions on the gray floor. The late afternoon sun pours through the windows. Mirrors reflect every ray. The pale yellow paint adds to the glow. Quotes printed on paper, posters, pictures and schedules cover the walls. The cool autumn air can’t be found in the warmth of the studio. “All right, Cassandra.” Cassandra pushes play. The music gains momentum as it comes through the speakers. “This is the back space.” Group one’s dancers start to move. They take a few steps backwards, as if their friends are pulling them, and then stop. A few more steps, this time in a different direction, they stop again. “Back space is sort of not knowing where you’re going, lost in the world,” Maddox says. “How many feel lost in your life plan?” Hands and voices of agreement rise up. “That’s what that means. There’s something, that restless disturbance that takes you out of that lost place you might be feeling, into something new.” For the past 25 years Jennifer Maddox has been guiding students deeper into the art of dance and into something new. This artist in residence is the director of the dance program, the sole instructor of classes and leader of the Dance Company. Her love of dance began at an early age, but it did not become her passion until college. When she was six, Maddox was awed by Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in a production of Swan Lake. “Actually, they “ shook my hand,” Maddox said, “My dad was telling me the other day that I told them I would never wash my hand again.”

Growing up with a musical mother, Maddox moved to the music drifting throughout their house. Her mother had a great influence on her life as an artist and an educator. For seven years she danced at the Arkansas Arts Center, where her grandmother was an artist. At 12, she participated in the American Dance Camp. When she was 13 her frustrations with point and balance pushed her to quit. In junior high and high school she became involved in drill team and swimming, eventually quitting. “Sometimes we have to try different things,” she said, “or step away from things to know why we want to step back in.” In college she chose two majors before finding her way back to dance. Dot CallanenGravett, who was her tap teacher when she was five, inspired her to dance again. At 18, Maddox returned to the Arts Center. Callanen-Gravett was her mentor at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock (UALR). Maddox became the first graduate to have a theater degree with a dance emphasis. She also took classes at Skidmore College, more in New York City and graduate classes at Texas Women’s College. “Be aware of where each person is,” Maddox warns. “You have to have eyes in the back of your head.” Her eyes, behind small frameless glasses, follow their movements. Her slender body, clothed in black capris and t-shirt, stands in front of the ballet bar and long wall of mirrors.

Jennifer [is] not only a beautiful dancer and a fine technician ... she [is] a kind, compassionate and loving person.” – Tom Addis

Photos: Kelly Shuman



“Relax your mouth Samantha. Faces On August 6, 1988, she married her a canon?” she asks the observers, who need to remain neutral.” Her face is high school sweetheart, Richard Madinclude Phillip Schroeder, composer framed by blonde hair, cut to the shouldox. “We’ve learned a lot over the 35 of the musical piece. “Do you have an ders. “Go twos.” More dancers begin to years we’ve been together,” Richard said. opinion?” One by one she asks those sitmove. “Don’t have so much of a curve. “Not many people I know dated 12 and ting in the curve of the windows. Think about walking backward, Justin, a half years before marrying … She’s a One by one they shake their heads no. that’s it. Begin threes, ones find stillness.” sight to see.” This past year the dance studio The dance is in the experimental stage. They have a son in college, Patrick, became the second home for the 17 She coaches the groups through every and one in high school, Daniel. “She company members, including three move and transition. “You’re not going has definitely been the most influenfrom OBU. For two and a half hours to have a mirror there,” she says as Haley tial person in my life,” Patrick wrote every Tuesday and Thursday, they grew and Brandyn stop short of colliding. in an email interview. “Over the years over music and movement. The compa“Are the threes going?” she has guided me in the right direcny brings together people with different “Yes,” many answer. tion, but also allowed me to make my backgrounds, abilities, dreams and goals. She continues to talk them through own decisions.” “There are some Dance Company the steps. “Once ones and twos go off, Her family does not end there; it members who have had little formal begin restless disturbance.” includes the many dancers that come training or technique classes,” MadIn the spring of 1987, Maddox was through the program. “She’s really dox said. “So you have to look beyond hired at Henderson as an adjunct profes- become a mother figure to everyone in the technique and go into the presence sor. She took over for Tom Addis, who the company,” Brandyn Smith, a senior and the natural ability and passion. It’s had asked her to apply. Maddox had theater major and fifth year company evident in the way they move.” studied under Addis at UALR and permember, said. Those who have been in the company formed in many pieces with him. They Stomp, stomp, stomp. “Good Andi, before or have taken a choreography had taught together in Jacksonville, Ark. I felt you coming on.” Stomp, stomp. class prepared a piece. “We’re like a com“Jennifer [is] not only a beautiful “My eye was drawn to you.” One by one munity of dancers working together to dancer and a fine technician,” Addis they form a diagonal line. “Start feeling make a piece or a concert,” Maddox said. wrote in an email interview, “she [is] a when everyone is there, don’t look. You “One thing I like about having different kind, compassionate and loving person.” will sense it.” They shift forward onto choreographers is those different voices.” Maddox sees no ravine in the art of the tips of their toes, onto their heels The dancers roll onto their backs in dance. She is currently an instructor at again. Joey turns to his right and reaches many different directions. “One,” MadOuachita Baptist University and has over his neighbor with his right arm. dox counts. On their backs, left sides, welcomed three OBU students into One by one they follow his movement right sides, backs, then their choice. “Pilthe company. During the summers she and slowly sink to the floor. “This is the lows go back down.” Those representing teaches at The Arkansas Arts Center canon.” She repeats four more times. dreams have brought a real pillow. Those Summer Theatre Academy. She serves “Do y’all like it better when they did representing thoughts come up to those with many nonprofit organizations and it all together or when they did that as representing pillows. “Somebody goes artistic programs. away, right?”

“Dreamers,” a few answer. Those representing dreams move onto the honey colored wooden floor. “And pillow fight, go.” The laughter ripples through the dancers as the kid inside each bubbles to the surface. “Crazy cat,” she yells to Ungela, who runs through the maze of people like a six-year old throwing a tantrum. Practice of her piece ends. She quickly runs through what they need to work on next week, then asks the observers their opinions. This time they have things to share. Maddox allows students the time and space to create, but offers advice and a different viewpoint when needed. “It’s gratifying for me to be

“One thing I’ve really learned from her is to trust myself.”

– Brandyn SmithSmith

able to take a beginner and intermediate dancer and then to see their development in one, two, three, four years of dancing,” she said. “I feel as though it’s my calling.” She constantly provides ways for students to grow and learn beyond scheduled classes. Every year two guest artists come to teach master classes and choreograph a piece for the company. Iyun Harrison

came in the fall and Jeremy Williams in the spring. The dances were performed multiple times, including the spring concert. Every spring the company attends the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Conference, in 2012 traveling to Missouri State University during spring break. Students were exposed to many styles of dance not taught at Henderson. Everyone had their favorite. “It would have to be the ‘African HipHop Fusion’ class with the guest artist Ali Brown,” Justin Brown, freshman math major and first year company member, wrote in an email interview. “It taught me not to look at something as if I cannot do it — just that it might take me a little bit longer than usual.” All year the dancers work towards the spring concert. The 2012 concert included 14 pieces, choreographed by students, guest artists, and Maddox. Some pieces involved the full company, some a few dancers, and two were senior solos. “Ms. Maddox’s piece is, of course, in its own category,” Haley Best, junior sociology major and third year company member, wrote in an email interview. “To date, I have never had an instructor choreograph and create like she does. Her work is so different from what I am used to, and that is refreshing.”

Mentioned by name Cassandra Parks graduated in May with a degree in communication. She was not part of the dance company, but took many dance classes and helped out with the company whenever Maddox asked her to. Samantha Jones will be a junior nursing major. This past year was her first year as a dance company member. Justin Brown will be a sophomore math major. This past year was his first time to be a member of the company. Haley Best will be a senior sociology major. This past year was her third year as a company member. Brandyn Smith graduated in May with a theater degree. He was a fifth year company member. Andi McLeod will be a junior theater major. This past year was her first year as a member of the company. Joey Farley will be a junior theater major. This past year was his second year as a company member. Phillip Schroeder is not a dancer, but composed the music for Maddox’s original piece. He is a professor of music at Henderson. Ungela James will be a senior sociology major. This was her third year as a dance company member.



By Stacey Murray Design by Matt Ragan As dawn breaks on a calm June morning, you witness the breathtaking view of the sunrise from a hot air balloon over the Nile River. Later, you get to share the moment of amazement in Abu Simbel when you are confronted by massive statues of the Pharaoh Ramses. In the summer of 2011, a select group of students got the chance to share these experiences. Their destination: Egypt. Dr. James Engman, chair of the biology department, has traveled with students to many destinations in recent years, including Panama, Belize and Jamaica. Each of those trips had repeat travelers, which led to a group of students asking for another great adventure to conquer. After several conversations, the destination of Egypt came up and with a little work, a group was assembled for a June tour to the country. The experience centered on the study of the broad theme of ancient Egypt: its history and the culture around it. The trip and related research fulfilled the nonwestern culture requirement for Henderson in the liberal arts core curriculum for those students who took part. In advance of the trip, a class met on Wednesday nights for lectures which included discussions from the required book, videos, tests, a written paper, and studies on hieroglyphs. While in Egypt, students were required to keep daily journals and give a presentation on a topic of their choice. There were also many discussions held on topics including the history of the pharaohs, possible causes of the death of King Tut, and ancient Egyptian pharmacology. Before starting their journey to Egypt, the students were given a small reminder. “Please act like responsible adults and remain culturally sensitive, but enjoy everything and remember to have fun,” said Engman. It took three flights from the United States, and the moment they stepped off the last 10–hour flight into Cairo, Egypt, it was total immersion

into the culture of the country. The tour group that hosted this trip, Overseas Adventure Travel, normally deals with older cliental. “This group was by far the youngest group they have had,” said Engman. The trip was guided by Gladys Haddad. “Gladys is a tiny sweet lady, until you messed with her or anyone on the trip. She made sure we didn’t get ripped off being tourists. She knew everything and she loved to give us lessons and talk with us,” said Destiny Weems. The hotel they stayed at gave them a great view of Tahrir Square, which in 2011 was where protests were held every Friday. Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian military fueled the political stress the country was under, and because of this, riot police and tanks were viewed in the square, but no riots were witnessed. The country had been calm for some time, already beginning to embrace democracy, before the Henderson students ventured there. The trip included a five–day cruise down the Nile on a small ship. The staff on board was quite interactive with the students. “We would go out and tour for the day,” said Vania Trujillo, “and when we would arrive back on the boat that night they would be there to greet us with hot towels and juice. One night we held a murder mystery night and I was supposed to be a policeman, so the security guard on the boat cleaned one of his shirts and let me borrow it for the night so I would look the part.” Stories were also shared about how the staff would clean up after the students and decorate their rooms while they were out. When the boat was in port, the group toured attractions and put their class learning into action. One destination was the Temple of Edfu, one of the most wellpreserved temples in Egypt, dedicated to the falcon god Horus. “The hieroglyphs were perfect,” Weems said. “The place was amazing.” (Left) Entrance to the Hipostyle Hall at Karnak, the largest complex temple in the world. (Right) Group outside the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, on the Citadel above Cairo.


Another place of interest was the Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings is the burial site of Pharaohs and other royal figures and contains over 60 tombs and chambers. “The colors of the hieroglyphs were great there, but sadly, pictures weren’t allowed,” said Trujillo. The trip also gave individuals the chance to gaze upon items that once belonged to King Tut in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. At each site, students were quickly quizzed on things they learned in class that pertained to what they were viewing. “It was pretty cool to get to see bits and pieces of hieroglyphs that we could actually understand. It gave us the chance to put what we knew to the test and figure out what has been told in the stories of the past,” said Weems. These were just a few of the mentioned places they got to visit. “We lucked out on quite a few of the sites we visited. Most of the time they are crawling with big tour buses, but we were the only ones at several of them,” said Dr. Engman. This was due to the fact many tour groups had cancelled their trips because of the previous uprising in Egypt several months earlier. The group also got the chance to spend a day in the life of an Egyptian. A visit to a local school showed them how education was received in another country. One night they got to sit down and eat dinner with an average middle

Group at the Temple of Abu Simbel, constructed in the 13th century BCE by Ramses II (Ramses the Great) at the border between Egypt and Nubia. It was disassembled in the 1950s and moved to keep it from being flooded by construction of the Aswan High Dam. From left: Lacy Minge, Kristen Lenke, Anthony Punchard, Jessica Steer, Catie Morrow, Destiny Weems, Vania Trujillo, James Fitzhugh, Casey Reed, Catie Morrow, Hannah McLelland, Kristin Harris, Wyatt Miller, Elizabeth Bickerstaff, James Engman, Ben Graves. class family and the food was said to be some of the most amazing and fulfilling they had. They also visited the town of Esna, where they witnessed raw culture. They saw an old man ironing his clothes with his foot while another man was seen in the river washing a water buffalo. They also talked with a farming family that had just gotten electricity to their farm and how thankful they were to receive it. Esna showed the students how basic necessities change from culture to culture.

Not everything in Egypt was so different. Even a continent away, common ground was established with a McDonald’s being not too far away from the hotel. Students stopped there for an ice cream treat to end the evenings. “The only difference between the restaurant in Egypt and the one in the U.S. is that the Egyptian one is four stories tall and has the best view of Luxor,” said Weems. Luxor is home to the world’s largest open air museum containing the temples of Luxor, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings located across the river. After two weeks, the trip came to a close. All

(Left) A man in a small shop does laundry. He is ironing with his foot and using his mouth to spray clothes with a mist of water. (Right) The group rides a faluca, a traditional sailing vessel in the Nile.

their hard work and preparation had paid off; much was learned, observed and experienced. “Egypt was an all around amazing trip,” said Weems. “I would go back in a heartbeat.


“Oh my god — you have to get out now!” Maurie screamed, realizing the gas main could explode at any moment. She didn’t know they were trapped and badly bleeding. Her head was spinning — it all happened so fast — the hill, the smoke, the hissing of the gas main. Suddenly, there were sirens and paramedics and police — people everywhere — running to the car, to the field — running toward her. It was all so confusing. “What’s your name? Can you hear me? Are you injured?” Was it one voice or two? She couldn’t tell. “Maurie. My name’s Maurie. Please, you have to help my friends!” “Your friends are being taken care of, Maurie. We need to get you in the ambulance and check you out. Can you walk?” “Yes, I can walk,” she said. “I’m fine.” But as she tried to take a step toward the ambulance, she found she couldn’t lift her leg. The paramedics carefully laid her on a gurney, strapped her entire body in tight and stabilized her neck before placing her in the ambulance for preliminary testing.

“I’m afraid you may have broken your neck, sweetheart...”

It was the winter of 1976 –

the last day of her third semester at Henderson State University, and it had been a tough one. With her focus more on parties and boys, her grades were barely good enough to keep her scholarship, but that was good enough for Maurie Maestas. It was time for some fun. She knew she looked cool cruising the main drag in her 1969 Olds Delta 88. Her shoulder-length, dark auburn hair complemented her hazel eyes and high cheekbones. At just over five feet tall, she could barely see over the steering wheel, but it didn’t matter. Maurie had a need for speed. Sporting a 454 under the hood, she knew she could outrun anyone in town, and she was always up for the challenge. The five of them ran together in a pack. Cheryl rode shotgun that night, while Val, Deborah and Suzie chilled in the back. The


girls giggled as Maurie whipped the Delta 88 into her favorite stall at Sonic. A car full of boys wearing scary, rubber masks pulled into the stall next door, whooping, hollering and flirting — which made the girls laugh even harder. Maurie decided to give them a chase they would never forget. “Let’s lose ’em!” she yelled. She slammed the car into reverse and peeled out of the Sonic parking lot, tires squealing, leaving tread marks behind and all heads turning. Yeah, she was cool all right. They flew through the streets of Arkadelphia and into the deep, dark, dead of the night. The boys stayed hot on their trail, determined these girls would not get away, but the closer they got, the faster the girls went. Caught in the moment and determined to lose them, Maurie turned off her headlights as she sped over Martindale Hill, going at least 65. She never saw the tree or the gas main. In shock and disoriented, Maurie managed to drag herself out of the upside down Delta 88. She was aware that Cheryl was no longer in the passenger seat — she had been thrown from the car. She forgot that Val, Deborah and Suzie were even there until, over the roaring of the broken gas main, she heard moaning, weeping, and gentle cries for help from the backseat.

“I’m afraid you may have broken your neck, sweetheart,” the paramedic said softly. Maurie was terrified. All she had ever heard was that when someone breaks their neck, they never walk again. Though she was frightened, crying and still somewhat in shock, all she could think about as the paramedics rushed to close the ambulance doors, blared the sirens, and sped off toward the hospital was, Oh my god, I forgot to shave. Maurie’s life took an unexpected turn that dark, cold winter night in 1976. All of her plans, hopes and dreams seemed gone in a flash. What started out as an innocent bit of fun with her friends changed her world forever. She didn’t see much of the girls after that night. She wasn’t allowed to — they were all badly injured. She was told that Cheryl, Val and Suzie would make a full recovery, but it was questionable whether Deborah would ever be the same again. Maurie’s neck was broken, but she wasn’t paralyzed. She would recover, at least physically. But she knew it was her fault — and she would never let herself forget it. Maurie returned to school in January, with limited mobility and high performance pain meds. She tried to pick up where she had left off, pretending everything was fine, but her heart wasn’t in it. Her physical injuries were healing, but her broken spirit would take much, much longer. By April, she had walked away from a full scholarship, a bright future, and everyone who cared about her. “I blamed it on the accident and the physical pain from my injuries,” she said. “But really that wasn’t it. That was just an excuse. I had already stepped off into the darkness.”

— she was beginning to think she’d made a mistake. But by the end of the conversation they had a plan. She would stay with an aunt in Texas. A few days later, in June1980, Maurie boarded a bus to Dallas with $13, a suitcase and her pillow. She was terrified, but she never looked back. Maurie married in 1982 and had three children — a daughter and two sons. She lived in Texas until 1995, when she returned to Arkansas with her husband and children to become a stay-at-home mom. “It was through homeschooling my children that I realized just how much I didn’t know,” she said. “I began to regret never finishing college.” For the next several years, Maurie entertained the idea of returning to school, but it wasn’t until her youngest son was about to enter college himself that it became a real possibility. “I asked my son how he would feel if I started school with him at National Park Community College and he said, ‘Great, you can do my homework for me.’” One year later, at the age of 50, the mother of three grown children and grandmother to four started classes at NPCC. And after completing an associate of arts degree, Maurie returned to Henderson to finish what she started all those years ago. “There are many reasons I came back to Henderson,” she said, “some may still be unknown to me. There are people whose successes don’t come until later in life. The truth is whatever success God may have for me, I possibly could not handle back then. I do know that for me now – this time – it’s more about the journey.” As she explained, Maurie paused to wipe away tears. “It’s about leaving a legacy for my kids and my grandkids,” she said. “I want them to know that no matter what life throws at you, no matter how far down you go, nothing is too big that you can’t overcome it. Nothing.” On May 11, 2012, at the age of 54, Maurie Maestas graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology, having been named “Sociology Student of the Year” by her peers. She will return to Henderson this fall to begin graduate study. “I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with all this,” she said. “Every day that I get up is another day in my journey. I have lived a wonderful life, as it turns out. If I die tomorrow, I will die with joy in my heart.”


Maurie’s need for speed, combined with an unconscious, self-imposed death sentence, sent her catapulting into a world of drugs, alcohol and poor choices. With no job and no money, she started selling drugs to support herself and her newfound lifestyle. For the next four years, her life went from bad to worse. “Only I didn’t know how bad it was for a long time,” she said. “I thought I had the world by the tail. I was having fun and I really liked the acceptance I found in the drug world. To them I was somebody — finally, I was somebody.” She lived fast and reckless — she had to keep moving. She didn’t like being alone, especially when it was time to lay her head down to rest. It was then — every, single time — in the deepest, darkest, stillness of her solitude that the voice would come: Are you done yet, Maurie? Nope, not yet, she would say. It wasn’t any one thing that happened to cause Maurie to change her life. She didn’t get arrested — she had had plenty of brushes with the law. It wasn’t another car accident — she’d had a few more of those too. She didn’t kill anyone, didn’t overdose or almost die. She was just tired. She was tired and alone and scared. And no matter how high or drunk she got, no matter how much money she made, or how many men she had, it just wasn’t working anymore. That night, as she laid her head on her pillow in the old trailer park behind the Piggly Wiggly, the voice came again: Are you done yet, Maurie? Yeah ... I’m done. And she was. “I knew without a doubt I was done,” she said. “I don’t know how I knew. I just did. But even coming to that place, I was terrified. I had created a world for myself and I wasn’t sure I would be able to survive outside of it.” The next morning, alone, still frightened, with nowhere else to turn, Maurie called her mother at work. Later that evening, for the first time in years, she went home. “Well, you’re never going to be able to stay in Arkadelphia and come out of this,” her mother said. “You’ve ruined your reputation — everyone knows you do drugs and drink and whore around, and you will never be able to change if you stay here.” Maurie felt like she’d been slapped in the face. This was not what she wanted to hear


Sketch and app game by Lurelee Doleshal.

to help his students learn about interface design in a creative way. “I thought it would be fun for students to think about designing an interface,” said Stoddard. “A later project is where they develop an online portfolio and I would like to see them integrate some game–like qualities into it.” But why choose the Android platform over Apple’s iPhone? “I have an Android tablet and a lot of people’s phones are Android,” Stoddard explained. “With iOS the app has to be approved

Story and design by Matt Ragan

Leprechauns battling unicorns in a war of epic proportions. An army of space invaders held off by a single spaceship from earth. Ice cream cones coming to life and fought off by a single needle. These may sound like odd daydreams, but each of these scenarios has been created in the form of a mobile game by a Henderson student. Ever since Nintendo rejuvenated the video gaming industry in the mid-1980s, games have been found on everything from computers and consoles to phones and PDAs. With the creation of the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace, many upcoming game creators have been able to show their skills to the masses unlike ever before. This technology has made developing video games possible for Henderson students. With the increase of smart phones, app games have become big business. According to Futurescore Consulting as quoted in PC Magazine, “iPhone App Store sales alone will help generate some $1.7 billion in global game revenues, which accounts for almost 30 percent of the total mobile gaming


market.” According to Mark Hackman, a staff writer for PC Magazine, “[Apple iOS and Google Android platforms] continue to take a larger chunk of the video game revenue.” As one can see, it is no small feat what these simple Flash-based games are doing. Angry Birds, one of the more popular app games, has gained a fan base so large that plush toys have begun to sell in retail stores such App game by Christin (Harrison) Cole.

as Walmart. At the forefront of these games are small, independent development teams, and now even Henderson has its own students joining this market.

Students in David Stoddard’s Interactive Design course were surprised upon receiving their first project: They were asked to create and develop an app game for the Android platform. Stoddard, who was one of 40 teachers from around the country to receive a fellowship to the Teachers and Technology workshop at the National Gallery of Art in 2005, used the project

by Apple to go onto the App Store, but with Android you just need the file to upload.” The student response was mixed but overall positive to the assignment, according to Stoddard. “Some people love it, others are a little concerned with the coding aspects,” he said. “Some are embracing it and working around the code, but its not a favorite thing to others.” As with many things, game design is more than just drawing the characters and environments: there are a lot of technical details and the code that makes it work. “I’m pretty excited about this project.” Mallory Poole, a senior digital art and design major, said. “It’s something new that we get to experience because most people haven’t really ever made their own version of a game.” Poole

industry. “For students especially, choosing a very limited scale project that can be finished in a relatively short amount of time is key,” he explained. Robbins graduated from Henderson in 2005 with a BFA in digital arts and design and went on Stephanie Watts’ Coffee Catch to get his BS in computer app. (left) animation from Full Sail University in Florida. Mallory Poole’s Unicorns vs. He worked with Raven Leprechauns game (below) Software, Activision and is currently an animator at Insomniac, which recently released the anticipated “Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One” which Robbins worked on. “I learned this as a student and am still learning it –­ you always want to go big and epic but if you limit yourself to doing just one or two things you’ll end up with something that’s much more polished and at a much higher level than you could have produced if you tried to make few aspects concerned her. “I feel like its a ‘Avatar.’ ” really cool opportunity even though its a small As time goes on, media and technology mechanic,” she said. “It’s really cool to put your continue to integrate, and gaming is no feet in the water with a video-game you can exception. A decade ago, the most advanced share with millions of people.” game on a cellphone was “Snake” in simple Though the project is in an upper level pixelated graphics. Now Flash games are digital arts class, students of other majors becoming more complex and the demand for took interest in the idea. “I took a class in designers is growing. “Anything I feel I’ve had which I designed a simple RPG-ish (Role the privilege to learn will help me be better Playing Game) game,” said Brian Milum, a prepared for my clients’ demands,” added senior physics major. “Granted, that wasn’t the Amber Rebman. “You have to be well rounded purpose of the class, but that’s what I did with in the design world.” what I learned in it.” For students pursuing a job in game design, Henderson Alumnus and animator for Insomniac Games, Paul Robbins, believes that app games are a great way to break into the also stated that while it was a fun project, the coding aspect was something that presented more of a challenge than expected. Amber Rebman, a senior digital art and design major, was enthusiastic, although a


by Sara Richards One of Henderson’s professors was awarded the Distinguished College or University Teacher of Mathematics Award. The 74th annual meeting was held March 29-31 at Henderson by the Oklahoma-Arkansas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Each year, one person from either Oklahoma or Arkansas is awarded the Mathematics award. The ceremony was held on March 30. “It was a shock to me, obviously an honor. I feel like someone else deserved it more than I,” said David Gardner, associate professor of mathematics. “David’s influence on students and other teachers of mathematics has been, and continues to be, immeasurable,” Carolyn Eoff, chair of mathematics and computer science, said in a nomination letter. Gardner has now retired from Henderson after four decades of teaching. “I’m a little apprehensive about the retirement,” Gardner said, “but mostly excited.”

“A Molecular Genetic Survey of Extremophile Microbes from Blachard Springs Carverns, Arkansas,” began three years ago when a group of students and Dr. James Engman, chair of the biology department, made a spring break caving trip to northern Arkansas. The team included undergraduates Mark Castleberry, Shannon Fiser, Jonathan Shields, Lauren Story and alumnus Claudia Gonzalez. The Undergraduate Research Project was selected for presentation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on April 24. The project was one of 74 selected out of more than 850 submissions in the “Poster on the Hill” program. “It’s great to see their hard work and dedication paying off,” Engman said. The project was also awarded first place in the state at last spring’s annual meeting of the Arkansas Academy of Science.


Henderson’s State art department has suffered a tremendous loss with the death of Edward “Mac” Arthur Hornecker. “Mac,” as students fondly called him, passed away on Oct. 10, 2011. A talented sculpture instructor, Mac touched the lives of students at Buena Vista University and Henderson State University for over 40 years. Colleagues spoke of the sparkle he had in his eye, as he told a joke, or poked fun. “He loved what he did,” one former student recalled. “He loved passing on his knowledge and pushing his students to the next level. Mac saw extreme potential in everyone. He didn’t let students stop when they’d created a piece of art that was just good. He strived for his student’s excellence. Mac invested his heart and soul into his students and their goals. He will be missed by anyone who had the extreme honor to know him.”

by Ashleigh Mayes

At the end of spring break, a group of students were given the opportunity to present their independent research at the American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting in San Diego, Calif. They left for the four-day trip on Friday, March 23, and came back on Tuesday, March 27. Chemistry professors Dr. Martin Campbell, Dr. Vincent Dunlap and Dr. Terry Bateman chaperoned the trip. Students Diamond Shelman, Brandon Burdette, Erika Bass, Azaria Johnson, Katarina Bejarano, Lucas Whisenhunt, Justin Jones, Austin McCown and Wesley Griffen went to present their various projects at the meeting. Shelman and Burdette worked together on a research project using Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer pharmaceutical drug. They worked on adding fluorine to medicine in order to theoretically increase its water-solubility and make it easier for the body to absorb. Improving pharmaceuticals with fluorine has become more common, and their research could be used for cancer treatment. “The trip showed me the importance of research in the medical field,” Shelman said.


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In spring 2009, Dr. Jane Dunn, associate professor of biology, had something growing inside of her that she will never forget. The former first lady of Henderson State University had tumors inside her breast that had been growing for 10 years. The tumors were so small they could not be felt; they were only found because Baptist Health Hospital in Arkadelphia bought the latest digital mammogram machine. Many thoughts can race through someone’s mind when diagnosed with cancer. “It was scary and a bit humbling,” Dunn said. “I worried about my family, and I worried about my grandchildren not knowing me like I knew my grandparents, if I did not make it.” Battling breast cancer was not an easy task for Dunn – especially as a teacher working long hours – but she handled it with grace. Dunn was not surprised when she was told she had breast cancer, due to a history of different types of cancer on both sides of her family. “I was very grateful that my doctors worked around my teaching schedule, and the radiologist scheduled my treatments later than usual so I could continue with my classes,” she said. Being diagnosed with breast cancer can change anyone’s life. Being told something so significant can make you think about life differently. “I appreciate each day more now, and I do not take anything for granted,” said Dunn. Dunn said she was lucky to catch the development early on. Although she didn’t have chemotherapy, she did have to undergo radiation. Luckily she didn’t have to experience both, but said, “radiation is no picnic either. On the days when I was so tired and my skin was burned from the radiation, I could always look around the room at the clinic and see people who knew they probably didn’t have a good outcome waiting for them.” Going through the process allowed Dunn to meet caring and wonderful people. “I know that they truly have a calling to do what they do,” she said. Dunn shared her experience in the classroom to help students understand the process of mitosis, cell division, and why the process is important. “It allows the students to have a better understanding of the cells’ cycle,” said Dunn. When having rough days, Dunn always remembers how lucky she is to have survived breast cancer. Dunn came to Henderson State University because, at the time, her husband Charles Dunn was president. She didn’t know she wanted to

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become a professor until she started teaching part time at Henderson. When the department chair at the time, Dr. Dennis McMasters, needed to drop his special methods course, Dunn realized that she could teach the class that he had to drop. After a while, Dunn was assigned an introduction to biology lab and lecture, and began to do her own biological research in area ponds and lakes. After Dunn taught part-time for a few years, she decided to pursue a doctorate. She commuted to the University of Arlansas at Little Rock for four years. With the help of her husband, children, and their two sets of parents, she received her Ed. D. in higher education teaching in December of 1996. At the time, the Dunns had twin 16-year-old sons and a 6-year-old daughter still at home. Their oldest daughter was working on her doctorate at Vanderbilt. After beating cancer and returning to the classroom, Dunn decided to retire in 2011, although her husband is still teaching political science at Henderson for the coming academic year. When they can, the Dunns have been traveling around the United States, as well as spending time at their cabin north of Clarksville. Jane is an active photographer, recording nature throughout their travels. She still takes daily medication to prevent the return of cancer. “I now have time to help with my grandchildren when I am needed,” she said. “I spend some time every day with one of my cameras, and I am digitizing family photos dating back to four generations.” by Julie Robinson

Dr. Jane Dunn and her husband, former Henderson President Dr. Charles D. Dunn, near Sedona, Arizona, doing what they enjoy most, traveling and visiting interesting places. Photos courtesy of Jane Dunn Design by Cari Elliott

The Ellis College of Arts and Sciences 1100 Henderson Street Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Arkadelphia, AR 71923 Permit No. 60

Physics professors share once-in-a-century view Dr. Rick McDaniel, chair of the physics department; Dr. Jules Mollere, retired professor of physics; and Mr. Jim Duke, along with other physics department faculty, hosted a public observance of the transit of Venus across the face of the sun June 5. The event occurs in pairs eight years apart, once every 121 years. This spring’s transit was the second of a pair; Dr. Mollere and Dr. McDaniel saw the first of this pair together eight years ago. Working with Jim Duke, planetarium manager, they provided an 8-inch telescope with a filter that cuts out 99.99 percent of the sun’s rays to enable public observation without damaging the human eye. Dr. Mollere noted that Galileo had destroyed his eyesight looking at the unfiltered sun to discover sun spots. The department also provided a wooden device called a sun spotter (see photo) to allow the crowd to witness the event. The next transits of Venus will occur Dec. 10–11, 2117, and again in December 2125. Perhaps Henderson’s physics department will enable public viewing of these as well.

MASS TRANSIT – Venus enters and slowly crosses the sun’s disk as a black dot in these images from the sun spotter and telescope.

Below – Dr. Jules Mollere is shown manning the telescope.

Forge Magazine 2012  

The Forge Magazine is by Ellis College Arts and Sciences.

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