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Volume 2 No. 1 Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement James Tyson, CFRE Senior Editor

Tisha D. Arnold Copy Editor

Donna Mooney


Creative Director

Brian T. Williams Contributing Writers

Debbie Archer Tisha D. Arnold Staphea Campbell Donna Mooney

Former President Bill Clinton visited UAPB to encourage the campus and community at large to make their voices heard by being active voters in the upcoming election.

Contributing Photographers

Kristyna Archer Brad Mayhugh Richard Redus Niguel Valley Brian T. Williams Correspondence and Address Changes University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ATTN: Pride Magazine 1200 N. University Drive, Mail Slot 4789 Pine Bluff, AR 71601 870.575.8946

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Email Website Pride Magazine is published three times a year by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a member of the University of Arkansas System. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations. The university has pledged not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status or disability. This policy extends to all educational, service and employment programs of the university. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604. Let Us Know What You Think! We want to know what you think of this issue of PRIDE. To share your opinions, email us at

STAY CONNECTED Niguel Valley/The Design Group



am honored to work with such a committed faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders who all share the common goal of enriching the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This degree of unity has given us the opportunity within our 141 year history to remain steadfast in pursuing excellence and developing the talents of all who pass through the doors of our great institution. The beginning of a new year at UAPB is always exciting, but this year we have already made strides in the pursuit of greatness. As you are aware, last year we participated in a national recruitment tour, visiting several states. As an expansion of our recruitment efforts, we are engaged in a bus tour in the state of Arkansas in our newly purchased motor coach buses. On board we have representations from key administrative and academic departments, the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South, our spirit teams, and the athletics department. This tour allows us the opportunity to not only recruit prospective students state-wide but also to re-connect our local communities with our university. So far we have visited El Dorado, AR, and we have plans to visit Stuttgart, Helena-West Helena, North Little Rock, Maumelle, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and many more. We also have developed new partnerships with our local high schools and we look forward to partnering with more community colleges in the state. Needless to say, recruitment remains a TOP PRIORITY, and our goals to increase enrollment are well in order. As we look forward to growth and advancement in our initiatives, academics, and research, we remain dedicated to providing an atmosphere that maximizes the educational experience for our students. Increasing the breadth and depth of our programs, upgrading lab equipment, and improving learning spaces are all important steps in providing a holistic learning environment. Therefore, we are elated about the completion of our STEM Building and Conference Center, which you can read more about in this issue of PRIDE. You will also read about some of our alumni and friends, who have demonstrated by their

generosity that they know that the meaning “the end of education is to know God and the laws and purposes of his universe, and to reconcile one’s life with these laws.” These individuals include the Dorothy Magett Fiddmont New Millennium Leaders, who are among our most valuable stakeholders who have exemplified extraordinary zeal, commitment, and involvement with the university. Also included in this group of distinguished alumni is Dr. Vertie L. Carter, who was recently inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. The good work of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff endures because of the vested interests and investment of our faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders. Thank you for your continued support and upholding the mission of our institution. Sincerely,

Laurence B. Alexander, J.D., Ph.D. Chancellor Fall 2014



GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Conference Several AM&N and UAPB alumni converged in Kansas City, Missouri for the annual national alumni conference. Hosted by the Kansas City Alumni Chapter, the three day event featured workshops on chapter development and leadership training and featured a recruitment fair that attracted more than 100 potential students. The 2015 conference will be held July 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Clockwise from left: Dr. Minnie Hatchett, director of the UAPB North Little Rock location, talks with prospective students at the recruitment fair Chris Robinson, director of Recruitment talks with parents, students and other attendees about the opportunities available at UAPB The Honorable Jimmy Hammock, International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated shares his professional journey as keynote speaker at the Closing Banquet. He received a standing ovation after his presentation. Photos by Brian T. Williams


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

STARTING ON A DIFFERENT BEAT Welcome Back Week at UAPB Photos by Richard Redus

The school year began with Welcome Back Week featuring a lecture and Q&A session with Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons. Simmons shared lessons learned from his path to fame with attendees and shared advice on ways they can succeed. Scan the code at right with your mobile device to view the event on YouTube.

Fall 2014



Alexis Cole, Spring 2014 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff graduate and 84th Miss UAPB was one of 10 campus queens to appear in the September issue of EBONY Magazine as part of their HBCU Queens feature.


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

“My experience being featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the Top 10 HBCU Queens was extremely overwhelming!,” exclaimed the Memphis, Tennessee native. “It was truly an honor to be in the presence of so many influential AfricanAmerican young ladies.”

84th Miss UAPB Alexis Cole (fifth from the right) is shown with nine other university queens as part of the HBCU Campus Queens feature in EBONY Magazine. Photo by Kristyna Archer. Provided courtesy of EBONY Magazine/Johnson Publishing Company.

Fall 2014



Veteran gives 25K to start scholarship endowment fund by Tisha D. Arnold | Photos courtesy of Rudolph Miller

The love story of two veterans resulted in the culmination of a love to give an opportunity for others to be educated. 43 years ago, Rudolph Miller met his soul mate, the late Louise Henderson-Miller at Womack Army Hospital in Fort Bragg, North Carolina during military service in the United States Army. “I admired her as she cared for seriously injured soldiers in the emergency room,” recalled Miller. “Her beautiful eyes captivated me.” Louise wanted to become a registered nurse but didn’t complete her studies. Nevertheless, she worked in health care helping senior citizens and shutins. She volunteered countless hours and welcomed the forgotten into their home. Through her years of service to others, it was evident that she had the heart of a nurse but had health problems of her own. As years went by, her health deteriorated and she was no longer able to help others. She passed away May 22, 2014. “Our 43 years together flew by so fast,” said Miller. “Through the years, our different personalities strengthened our marriage like steel rods reinforce concrete.” Mr. Miller always admired the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and was accompanied by his mother-in-law Corinne Jones to present the institution with a check for $25,000 – the initial part of a $100,000 endowment for the Louise Miller Endowment Scholarship. The proceeds will benefit any student majoring in nursing at UAPB.


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Above: Rudolph Miller in his official United States Army photograph At left: Louise Henderson-Miller

“It’s gifts like these that come from the heart and show what a big heart [Mr. Miller] has for this institution and his deceased wife,” said UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander. “This is a great way to honor her memory and continue giving life through the university. It is admirable that he would see the need and demonstrate his commitment by contributing so significantly in this way. This is a major gift and we are honored to receive it.”

PARTNERING TO HELP BLACK MALES Foundation for the Mid South partners with UAPB for “Males of Color: Cultivating Leaders for Today and Tomorrow” initiative (L-R) Thomas Dortch, Jr., founder and Chairman of the Board of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation is photographed with UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association President Calvin Booker, Sr. and Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

ALUMNI PRESIDENT OF THE YEAR Calvin E. Booker, Sr., a 1979 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), was recently named National Alumni President of the Year by the National Black College Alumni Association, Incorporated. A Hamburg, Arkansas native, he currently serves as Corporate Vice President of Public Affairs for the Southern Group of Waste Management Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. He joined Waste Management in July 1991 in Dallas, Texas and has become an invaluable asset to the company utilizing his knowledge and relationships with local, state and federal legislators. He is responsible for the organizational development and strategic implementation of Governmental Affairs, Community Relations and Communications programs across 12 Southeastern states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Corporate Round Table (the financial entity) of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, after serving four years as the Chairman of the Board. He received his degree in Education from UAPB and obtained his Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. Booker’s presidency of the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Association is the culmination of more than 30 years of service in support of UAPB. His involvement began as a student-athlete on the Golden Lions football team 1975-1979. He then served as a coach, assistant to the dean of education and worked in the Alumni Office and in student recruitment. He has served on various university boards and committees. He believes in giving back and in the late 1980s became the youngest person to be elected to the Pine Bluff City Council. Since moving to Atlanta, he has served as president and vice president for the UAPB Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

UAPB received a $100,000 grant from the Foundation for the Mid-South to assist with efforts to identify challenges and address opportunities for males of color preparing for college or careers. The Foundation for the Mid South understands that assessing and addressing the disparities among males of color is critical. Quality of life measures for black males in the region are of great concern, specifically graduation rates and employment. The purpose of this initiative is to support efforts that strive to improve outcomes by addressing high school graduation rates, college preparedness, and career readiness. Our objective is to connect with existing programs and services that support males of color and to identify successful strategies and lessons learned that can be replicated in new communities. “As leaders, we must take proactive steps to undo the barriers that impede males of color as they strive toward pathways to opportunity and success,” says Ivye L. Allen, Foundation for the Mid South President. “Our expected outcome is to improve academic performance and greater connectivity to college and career opportunities for Pine Bluff males of color. The Foundation for the Mid South is a regional foundation dedicated to improving lives and expanding knowledge in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Foundation seeks to increase opportunities for residents and communities by supporting and strengthening the knowledge and skills of the organizations and individuals working to bring about change. The Foundation supports efforts that ensure high-quality education; promote physical and mental health; build financial security; and enable communities to grow and prosper.

Fall 2014




The Tau Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated established a scholarship endowment fund with an initial contribution of $10,000. Pictured is James Horton, Glen Freeman, Quranner Cotledge, UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, Director of Annual Giving Dr. Margaret Martin-Hall and Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Development James B. Tyson. Photo by Brian T. Williams

UAM ROTC MOVING TO UAPB The Army ROTC program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, which is part of a larger program hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, is being consolidated and will move to the Pine Bluff campus during the 2015 spring semester. The announcement was made Tuesday by Jimmie Yeiser, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. UAM students wishing to participate in ROTC will attended classes at UAPB. The UAM ROTC program will close at the end of the 2015 spring semester.


“We have considered it an honor to have the Army ROTC presence on our campus and will work to assist ROTC students during this time of change. I plan to meet with ROTC students in the near future to assure them that UAM will continue to support their academic needs during spring registration, the ensuing spring semester and for the duration of the ROTC presence on our campus.” The current ROTC program started on the UAM campus in 2004.

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Social Justice

Dr. Cornel West talks about being Black in America by David Hutter of the Pine Bluff Commercial | Photos by Richard Redus

Renowned professor Cornel West discussed social justice issues and building character and accountability as the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “I am who I am today because someone loved me,” West said. “I am able to be true to my calling.” The grandson of a preacher, West has been a professor for about 37 years, including at Princeton University, Harvard University and Union Theological Seminary. West discussed integrity, honesty and decency, while citing from a book by intellectual trailblazer W.E.B. DuBois. Black people endured hundreds of years of racial discrimination in America and these pains cannot be forgotten, he said. Yet he also urged people to build bridges of healing, rather than walls of differences. He lauded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Ella Fitzgerald for contributing to American culture. “Our young people lack memory because we live in a culture of mass distraction,” West said. “Our culture promotes the body being stimulated rather than the soul being nurtured.” American civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. ushered in great racial equality but suffered by literally being murdered for the cause, he said. To move beyond an America marked by racial struggles, West urged people to examine their own presuppositions, to open their minds and to connect with other people. “You will find greatness in ordinary people,” West said. “There have always been white brothers and sisters supporting black people. “I grew up in the chocolate side of town but not in the ghetto,” West said. “We had pastors who were not CEOs. …

Entertainers today give the impression that you should be happy if they show up.” The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates taught about questioning oneself, he said. But people need to take action, love their neighbor and cry over injustice. “Forty percent of black children live in poverty in the richest nation on earth,” West said. “Rich kids get taught; poor kids get tested.” He called for new leaders to build bridges among all Americans and within black American communities, which he called divided. Mourning the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., West called for people to stage an organized act of civil disobedience in that town on Monday, Oct. 13. “If our upper-middle class black people care more about the poor black people, we would have different leaders,” West said. “Do not tell me about your huge house.” As a professor, West said that he asks his students to make a difference in the little time they have between their mother’s womb and the coffin. He said that he does not care about wealthy people boasting about their material possessions. “Everyone and everything is up for sale,” West said. “People are obsessed with pecuniary interests. If you view life as a gold rush, you worship the golden calf as an idol.” UAPB Chancellor Laurence Alexander congratulated West for a lifetime commitment to fostering change on social issues, calling him a great democratic intellectual. Noting West marched in civil rights demonstrations, Alexander said the students benefit from his actions and his message. “We are honored by your presence,” Alexander said. “We are blessed to have such a passionate and profound speaker.” West thanked UAPB for hosting him. Fall 2014


Sydney Reed Chemistry Pine Bluff, Arkansas Sophomore

"I didn't realize that books for class were so expensive. Thanks to the donors to the Jewel Minnis Scholarship, I was able to purchase books for class. I am so grateful."

u o y k n a Th

To help deserving students like Sydney, contact the Development Office at 870.575.8701


UNDERSTANDING OTHER CULTURES The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has been awarded scholarships to send up to five students to study at SIAS International University in China. Awarded by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the scholarships were awarded based on a proposal written by Dr. Pamela Moore, director of the Office of International Programs in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The goal of the opportunity is to enhance the access of minority students to the global world of opportunity; increase computer science and STEM participation in international learning experiences by 50% or more within the next one year period; and broaden students’ appreciation of Chinese culture and enable them to develop competencies in Chinese language fluency, cross-cultural interaction, learning and team-building. Having led the campus in ensuring that undergraduate students participate in international conferences and programs including India, China, Japan, France, Germany, and Turkey, the Mathematics and Computer Science department is confident that it can continue its trend-setting performance by enabling a cohort of students to graduate with a solid proficiency in Chinese language and culture. “Through the collaboration with SIAS, UAPB students will have the opportunity to spend a semester rather than merely weeks overseas,” said Dr. Walker. “Such an experience will change the academic and career trajectory of our students forever.” An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations. 14

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Making an Investment Jackie Cason, president of the Chicago Chapter presented a check for $2,000 to UAPB on behalf of Chicago business owner William Phillips. Phillips was compelled to give to the institution after hearing a presentation on the benefits of investing in UAPB. "My brother and sister-in-law both went to UAPB," Phillips said. "When I see schools [that are] trying to do good things, I do what I can to support them."

ALL ABOARD Three motor coach buses were purchased for use by University departments and units for the purpose of promoting the institution, and making travel easier for large groups of students and faculty. The University recently began a bus tour that will take the buses to cities in Arkansas such as Fayetteville, Little Rock, Conway and Maumelle.

Fall 2014



PRESIDENTIAL VISIT Former U.S. President and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton held a Get Out and Vote rally at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff around the W.E. O'Bryant Bell Tower. Clinton encouraged the large crowd to get registered and play an active role in this year's election by going to the polls.

UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander speaks with former President Bill Clinton after the event Photo by James B. Tyson At right, President Clinton greets rally attendees Photo by Niguel Valley/The Design Group

Hall of Famer

Dr. Vertie Carter, a 1959 graduate of Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College was recently inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame for her efforts to ensure equal opportunity in the workforce. Vertie L. Carter, historical trailblazer, was born in abject poverty October 19, 1923, in a two-room shack on a white man’s plantation. She walked five miles to the Negro one-room school, studied used books from the white school, lost her eyesight for a year at the age of nine, and raised pigs to graduate from Yerger High School in Hope with honors. She received a B.S. Degree at AM&N College, an M.S. Degree at the University of Arkansas in Education, and her Ed.D. at the University of North Texas (Denton). A highly sought-after doctoral candidate with offers from numerous colleges and universities, Dr. Carter chose to work at Philander Smith College because they needed her credentials for Teacher Certification. She established a Teacher Education Laboratory with personal funds, and led the college to accreditations by the North Central Association and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

In 1969, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller appointed Dr. Carter to the Arkansas Merit System Council to monitor Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in state jobs; she was the First Black, First Woman, First Educator to do so. When she first arrived on the job, Dr. Carter discovered the Council operating under antiquated laws—discriminatory practices and procedures in testing, hiring, firing, promotions and appeals. Laws enacted by the General Assembly provided that the council operate under an “Act to create and establish a Merit System to control and Regulate Employment in services of the State of Arkansas. The purpose ensures all citizens of demonstrated capacity, ability, and training and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) to compete for services with the state of Arkansas.” While working with the Arkansas Merit System Council Dr. Carter, who became the 2nd Vice-President of International Personnel Management Association (IPMA) to monitor national activity in EEO Action Programs in 13 states and the Canal Zone, and Vice-President of the Advisory Committee on Affirmative Action for several regions, approached her challenge

with confidence. Dr. Carter’s “RESOLVE” was to transform Equal Employment Opportunity into reality. Procrastination on embracing EEO laws was no longer an option. She resolved to monitor employers writing job descriptions to correspond with qualifications of pre-selected applicants, to integrate the Oral Review Board, and to close the gap between test scores of minorities and their white counterparts. She obtained permission to select two African Americans to add to the Oral Review Board; Elijah Coleman, Civil Rights Proponent and Principal of Townsend Park High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Mrs. Irene Childs, ·Social Studies teacher at Booker Jr. High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Carter published the book How to Get a Career Job which contained sample test items and tips on taking Employment Test. The concerted efforts of Dr. Carter had far-reaching implications for discrimination throughout the nation; her “RESOLVE” to transform and bring Arkansas’s Merit System operation into compliance with federal and state laws had become a reality. Fall 2014



FOR THE BODY AND MIND S tanding noticeably on the south side of the campus is a salmon-colored two-story structure once known by some as the finest gymnasium in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Today, that building is known as the Walker Center for MultiPurpose Research and Sponsored Programs, housing four programs, labs, and offices. The Walker Center was built in 1933 during the administration of former AM&N President John Brown Watson. History shows that it was the first real gym on campus before the Hazzard Gymnasium arrived on University Drive. “They used to have all of the SWAC tournaments and high school tournaments in that gym years ago,” said Dr. Lawrence A. Davis Jr., former UAPB Chancellor. “I played my first basketball game in that gym. The bleachers used to be on the left and right side of the building (coming through the front door) and the dressing rooms were underneath the bleachers. Where the conference room

is now was where the gym floor was.” For many years, a stately grey paint coated this multipurpose facility which also used to house the U.S. Army ROTC Program. Located in the building today are the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the STEM Program, the Master of Science Degree in Addiction Studies Program, the Office of Continuing Education, and the Cyber Security Research Labs – a program of the Computer Science Department. The Grants Accounting Office was previously located in Walker Center, but moved to administration as a part of the Controller’s Office, according to Earnette Sullivan in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. In 1989, under Chancellor Charles Walker, the Walker Center underwent extensive renovation and modernization at a cost of approximately $1,164,000. The U.S. Department of Education provided the funding for the 16,500 square foot building through a grant from the Office of Post-Secondary Education, Title III Historically Black Colleges

and University Program, according to the University Museum and Cultural Center. Most recently the Walker Center Conference Room received renovations to upgrade the furniture, media equipment, flooring and to add an interactive whiteboard. Dr. Jerry Lewis, Program Director of the Addiction Studies Program, said funding for the project was provided by the Arkansas Department of Health Division of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. Lewis said that the requirement for renovations developed because the building needed a training setting that could be used for future trainings and classrooms that were conducive for services. From gymnasium to research, the Walker Center has become a central location for research innovation and advancement. (Portions of this story were contributed by the University Museum and Cultural Center.)



by Debbie Archer | Photos by Brad Mayhugh

Above: Keith Admire, director, Natural Resources Conservation Service National Water Management Center in Little Rock, explained the Phaucet Computer Programs and Furrow Irrigation Soybeans during Field Day. Below: Dr. Mark Cochran, vice president for agriculture, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture (left), and Dr. James O. Garner Jr., dean/director of UAPB research and Extension programs, cut cakes at the Lonoke Farm Field Day commemorating the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension.

Synonymous with summertime at land-grant institutions are field days. They have passed the test of time as effective teaching tools to become traditions. The School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences kept with that tradition by hosting three events this summer. The 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension was celebrated in conjunction with Lonoke Farm Field Day at the Pearlie S. Reed/Robert L. Cole Small Farm Outreach Wetlands and Water Management Center in Lonoke, Arkansas. The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created Cooperative Extension and provided funding for outreach programs and activities at landgrant universities founded by the Morrill Act of 1862. On August 30, 1890, Congress passed the Second Morrill of 1890. It provided for the establishment of Negro land-grant colleges in the southern states. The 1890 Cooperative Extension Program at UAPB partners with the 1862 University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in extending university research to Arkansans. UAPB’s Department of Agriculture showcased research and Extension activities that take place at the Lonoke Farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) computer generated program, Phaucet, was featured. Originally designed with Best Management Practices in mind to improve furrow irrigation on soybeans, Phaucet improves irrigation by reducing field runoff, pumping time and water usage up to 25 percent. Other tour stops and topics included native tall prairie grasses, alternative crops, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service weed science studies, Arkansas Forestry Commission progeny testing and the U.S. Geological Survey long-range study on groundwater reduction initiated at the UAPB Lonoke Farm.

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford and Butch Calhoun, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture, were the luncheon speakers. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor was the luncheon speaker at Aquaculture/Fisheries Field Day at the UAPB Aquaculture Research Station where attendees learned about the latest aquaculture research. A tractor tour featured presentations on preventing fish losses from hydrogen sulfide, developing crappie hybrids and triploids, whether golden shiners can be raised in the new split-pond production systems and the fundamentals of split-pond engineering. A walking tour focused on evidence collected to date of fish losses due to diving ducks, successful trials growing largemouth bass indoors, treating diseases in split ponds and intensive systems, veggie diets for bass and what consumers will pay for catfish and baitfish. The Field Day also included a trap shoot and a poster session. A similar event was conducted for area high school students. Nearly 200 students from nine high schools enjoyed a fun day of learning at UAPB’s Aquatic Sciences Day. Hosted by the Aquaculture/Fisheries Center faculty, staff and graduate students, Aquatic Sciences Day featured hands-on activities including a fishing derby and fish as art. Students also learned about biology, chemistry, math, nutrition and careers in aquaculture and fisheries.

Above: Ernest Bradley, UAPB multicounty Extension agent, spoke to Lonoke Farm Field Day participants about Southern pea breeding. Below: Dr. Steve Lochmann, professor, told Aquatic Sciences Day students how and why fish are aged.

Fall 2014




| photo by brian t. williams


orld traveler, social skills trainer, teacher and grant administrator aren’t words often used together to describe a mathematics and computer science chairman, and yet, Dr. Jessie R. Walker walks confidently in each of those classifications while carefully drawing students into the same exciting network. Sometimes brash and often outspoken, Dr. Walker is not timid about who he is, his humble beginnings and where he is now. Dr. Walker became the Chairman of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on July 1, 2014. He attended the University from 19952000, where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in computer science. As a freshman he was a political science major until he said he realized that he had to have a master’s degree in that field, so he changed to computer science. Not long after, he said he met Dr. Cortez Henderson, Director of the UAPB Ronald McNair Program at the time, and discovered that he could receive a PhD without getting a master’s degree first. McNair took participants to the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) conference in Orlando, Florida, where Dr. Walker said he made important contacts with people like Dr. Karl Walker, an SREB Fellow. “I received my PhD in Computer and Information Science from the University of Iowa at 27 years old,” Dr. Walker said. “I tell all of my students to go get your PhD in your 20s while you are poor. Then [in your 20s] you don’t have to worry about responsibilities.” Prior to graduate school Dr. Walker enlisted in 22

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

the U.S. Air force from 2000-2004, followed by duty with the Air Force Reserves. “I was a supply manager, but it was all about logistics,” he said. During this interview, Walker is in his element in the Cyber Security Research Lab where he meets with undergraduate and graduate students twice a week in the Walker Center for MultiPurpose Research and Sponsored Programs. The students (16) work in the lab, performing cyber security research studies and experimental tests Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The lab is small but effective - full of students, equipment and lab furniture. No one complains. Dr. Walker knows and calls each student by name and knows their backgrounds, cultures and potential. Each student is well-spoken, courteous, welldressed, confident, and not by coincidence. They’ve all been trained in social etiquette by Dr. Walker. “My students get to travel to national conferences and international conferences and I want them to be self-sufficient.” Chirone Gamble, a senior computer science major says he has been well prepared. “He teaches


Dr. Jessie Walker (center, seated) is joined in the cybersecurity lab by his undergraduate and graduate computer science students where they perform research and experimental tests

us soft skills and how not to be intimidated to talk with others in the same field because we are well prepared.” Recently, Gamble traveled with Dr. Walker to India. Dr. Walker said that the students have to compete globally when they graduate, so they must have the experience outside of the classroom. Since arriving at the University, Walker said he has been working to advance the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. “When I arrived the Computer Science Curriculum was outdated,

but now it is current – it took 24 months to change it,” he said. “I started a Computer Science Master’s Degree Program in 12 months. We currently have 15 students enrolled, and we are always recruiting females because the area needs them.” Also, Dr. Walker said he is proud that UAPB is one of four HBCUs with a Super Computer – named Apollo. When students step into the Cyber Security Research Lab at the University Pine Bluff, they’ve stepped into a different culture. This is a lab funded solely through five

federal grants written by Dr. Walker. To date, he’s received funding for 11 grants ranging in award amounts from more than $350,000 to $14,000. Most recently, Dr. Walker received a grant to send five to seven students to China to study abroad for a summer or semester. “I enjoy what I do. I get to go all over the world, and work with cool students,” Dr. Walker said. “I have online classes, but I prefer face-toface. I’m always ready to recruit.”

Fall 2014



PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff


A Beautiful Accident by tisha d. arnold

| photos by brian t. williams

Eleven years ago, Tish Bullard was planning her own special memory - wedding to her fiance’ Oscar. After their nuptials, another bride-to-be called to have her plan their wedding. After she planned that wedding, another bride called and things blossomed from there - Tish Bullard Events was born. Bullard gets joy from being able to see a blank canvas and how to transform it into something chic and beautiful. The reaction of the bride and groom and the joy in the room never gets old and is the adrenalin she needs to continue to plan more events. She operated her business from home for five years before she went to the Business Support Incubator operated by the

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Economic Research and Development Center (ERDC). While there, she was able to receive training about business practices and utilize an office space to meet with clients but still wanted to branch out and do more. “While assisting brides, I would always want to do something extra [for them],” said Bullard. “I would do their toss bouquet or whatever was needed that we didn’t have. More and more brides would call and ask for table tents and other decorative elements and it grew from there.” That growth caused her to add Tish Bullard Paperie to her growing list of services to give customers the opportunity to purchase personalized items online. Although weddings are her Fall 2014


“I love being able to help create great memories and moments to celebrate life.”

'O1 Brian T. Williams

favorite events to plan, she also does parties, baby showers and other events. In the midst of all of her success, she always knew she wanted to open a space where she could do wedding planning, host special events, and offer her paperie, jewelry and gifts for purchase. After months of preparation, she opened Studio 22 in July this year in the Pines Mall in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The interior design of Studio 22 mimics a posh New York boutique. Bullard uses the bold contrast of black and white colors with splashes of soft pink and crystal accents to compliment the unique furniture in the lounge and event spaces. From the “Think Outside the Box” pillows to the origami style light fixtures, clients get a great sense of Bullard’s style – especially at the checkout counter that is embellished with hundreds of crystals. “This has always been a dream, I just didn’t realize I would get it this fast,” Bullard said. 26

Growing up with her mother Eddie Rayford, who was also a wedding planner, Bullard recalls going to the weddings her mother planned and helping her prepare favors. She was told by her mother that the receptions were always her favorite – she never wanted to leave. This influenced Tish Bullard to work with events at UAPB and hone her talents. Bullard’s approach to planning events is an adventure that is centered around the client – no two events are alike – she asks lots of questions to

make the event something that they enjoy and love. When it comes to weddings, she’ll ask about where they met, what they ate on the first date to make their event truly personal. An advocate of celebrating life daily, she believes you should take the extra step to do something different and honor it. Frequently, Bullard gives appreciation gifts to teachers for what

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

they do or makes special treats for recitals. She makes a conscious effort to infuse her gifts in every facet of life. In the midst of her success – from acknowledgements in Arkansas Bride and SEA Life Magazine to a growing list of clients – she continues to work full time as a Human Service Worker at a local high school. She graduated from UAPB with a degree in Psychology in 2001 and has figured out how to use it in both arenas. “I can understand the stresses that my clients go through and can interact with them and the dynamic of working with different personalities,” said Bullard. “I’ve always been the one to be able to bring people together if there’s conflict.” While interviewing her, I saw firsthand the amount of work and dedication that goes into an event as she prepared for the arrival of her guests for a Dedication Luncheon that was being held that day. The celebration was in honor of the christening of five month old Avery,


SkyTouche Photos

Brian T. Williams

Above: The Bullard Family Ryan, Tish, Oscar and Riley At left: From Weddings to Baby Showers and other special occasions, Wedding Receptions continue to be her favorite event to plan Jamie Fender

daughter of Travis and Carla Martin. Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at UAPB, Mrs. Martin won the party from a drawing she entered in when Studio 22 first opened. “She took care of the invitations and decorations for the party,” said Martin. “All I had to do was show up – it was breathtakingly beautiful.” Her guests from near and far were equally impressed. She remarked that it was important for them to see what Pine Bluff has to offer. “I want people to know that this kind of talent lies within our community,” said Martin. “You don’t have to go to Little Rock. It’s right here in Pine Bluff.” Bullard is also mother to daughters Ryan and Riley and wife to Oscar Bullard. How does she balance all of these things while operating a full-time business? With the help of friends and family. Her husband is her number one fan and saw Tish’s gift early on. “The things she did to plan our wedding showed me that she was gifted and had passion about what she was doing,” says Mr. Bullard. “No

matter the ups and downs, I support her vision.” She has a great support system that will help get her daughters to their extracurricular activities and make sure she’s taken time for herself. Her husband steps in and helps with events from setup to service to breakdown - they work together as a team. Daughters Ryan and Riley love helping their Mom finish something once they finish their homework. Opening Studio 22 not only brought their family closer together but also helped her separate work time from home time. She enjoys what she does, but also enjoys who she is with her family away from work. “When we’re at work, we’re at work, but when we’re home, we’re home,” said Bullard.

Legacy and Looking Forward

Her twelve year old daughter Ryan has been influenced by the entrepreneurial legacy and has already named her business, Ryan and Co. Although Ryan hasn’t settled on

everything she will offer, her first items included friendship bracelets that she made signs for and sold them in Studio 22. She is looking to create business cards for her venture soon. Four year old Riley knows how to set a table and helps with setup whenever she can. She plans to eventually spend all of her time at Studio 22 and wants to offer workshops for women and aspiring planners. Because the demand for use of the space continues to increase, expansion into a larger venue will be necessary to accommodate more than 50 guests at a time. She credits her time at UAPB as being the foundation for being where she is. From being at the Business Support Incubator to the partnerships she’s created to the business she gets from UAPB employees, the experience has been monumental.

“This wouldn’t be what it is if I hadn’t gone to UAPB,” Bullard said. “UAPB started it all.”

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PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

FROM START TO STEM by donna mooney photos by brian t. williams and richard redus


Inset: The progression of the inside of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy and Conference Center shows the attention to detail and green building practices put into building the structure. Photos by Richard Redus

or the first time in the history of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the area of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics has a dedicated educational facility for the pure and applied sciences that will prepare students for professional STEM careers. Consequently, at the corner of L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive and Watson Boulevard stands the impressive UAPB STEM Academy, and what was once a vision and a dream, has now become a reality of brick and mortar, students and faculty, growth and advancement for this region. Dr. Mary E. Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development has been the driving force behind the monumental task of bringing this dream to completion over the past few years. From 1992 to 2002, Benjamin has successfully completed the University’s North Central Accreditation process, and she orchestrated the facilities project to complete two new buildings – Dawson-Hicks Hall and CaineGilleland Hall, but she said she knew the students needed more. Fall 2014


At left: The Groundbreaking Ceremony was attended by prominent officials including Governor Mike Beebe, University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt, Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway, Representative Henry "Hank" Wilkins, IV and Senator Stephanie Flowers

Counterclockwise from bottom: Innovative site design strategies were employed by using water efficient landscaping and maximizing open space that ultimately provided a pedestrian friendly site that also welcomes alternative means of transportation.

From the Beginning

“After reading Halfway Home and a Long Way To Go distributed by the Southern Regional Education Board, I found that the book talked about being a long way off even though universities had made great strides, and how STEM was a critical factor to move the South to a 21st Century Information Age,” Benjamin said. “Then I took a look at UAPB technology and thought about how to move it to a higher level of excellence.” Benjamin said she had always been dedicated to helping move the underrepresented minorities to positions of competitiveness in the job market and graduate school. “The goal was to get them in a science career and prepare them for the rigor of all curricula and prepare them for the demands of the workplace,” she said. “There is a need for growth in the Arkansas Delta, and there is a belief that a STEM career will help [students] move toward being well-prepared professionals and good citizens.” 30

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

In 2002, UAPB responded to an invitation from the National Science Foundation funded Quality Education for Minorities organization to attend a workshop on NSF proposal development. From the meeting, we applied for a STEM grant to plan a program for students at UAPB. "We looked at feeder schools to get an understanding of how to build an interest in STEM,” Benjamin said. “We brought in high school teachers and students for a community-based forum, and then we started a Saturday Academy for local high school students for four Saturdays.” The first successful planning grant was for $50,000. Next, the University made a site visit to Prairie View A&M University. Whereas Prairie View A&M has an emphasis on engineering, UAPB is more interdisciplinary, with an outreach that includes chemistry, physical science, biology, industrial technology, mathematics/computer science, and agriculture.

Benjamin said she believes the STEM Academy will help UAPB gain other research programs. For example, she said that Chancellor Laurence Alexander wants a biotechnology science center on campus to include nanotechnology. “Five years from now, I see STEM coming to flourish with more students enrolling in it,” Benjamin said. “I hope to see designated scholarships and receive endowments for STEM. This is needed to support students for the academy. We have made an investment in the future of our students; now let’s carry it forward.”

The Wow Factor Had Benjamin gone with the first design of the STEM Academy, the building would be quite different. “I sent the first drawing back and told the Architect that I did not want a match box building; I wanted to make a statement,” Benjamin said. “Even the stairs leading up to the second floor had to make a statement. There is

a wow affect when a person walks through the front door. The only missing puzzle piece that keeps this academy from being a STEM village is a dormitory.” Studies show that students who live, study and work together tend to be more successful, she said. “I put the request in several years ago to fund a village so we could have a dormitory, but the additional funding was not available, so we went forward with the academy and the conference center. We received Title III funding mainly and state funding in the end.” “I am thankful for a supportive administration,” said Dr. Benjamin. “From the beginning, Dr. B. Alan Sugg said he knew that this was something special. His wish was to do this for every student at UAPB. Also, from the start former Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. supported this program. He facilitated the meeting with Dr. Sugg.”

Above: For water conservation, gray water from the roof runoff will be recaptured and channeled underground and stored in the reflective pool

Continued on next page >

Fall 2014


COVER STORY Pipes showing the recapturing and channeling of water remain exposed for viewing by visitors. The building has a high performance skin composed of glass, masonry, metal wall panels and two insulation layers that create performance by a minimum of 20% over the standard building structure The building’s mechanical systems are free of refrigerants containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) that could be released in the atmosphere

What STEM means to UAPB and Arkansas

Alexander added that in STEM and other areas, it is important that we prepare our students to advance in global leadership and contribute to the economic prosperity of our community, state and nation. Former Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis, Jr. said that the STEM Academy speaks for the University. “The STEM building authenticates that we are making a commitment to producing more graduates in the STEM Program,” Davis said. “In order to fund the building we needed money up front, and the administration made it a top priority to get it funded. This project should be a magnet to attract students with an interest to pursue a career in those areas. It is critical to the nation’s future to support the program because [people in STEM areas] give this nation worldwide leadership. This will assist us in producing more native born professionals in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander said that STEM Education is a high priority at UAPB! “The STEM Academy gives students the opportunity to thrive in a professional STEM Community,” Alexander said. “It also offers a distinctive experience that contributes to their academic and personal development. Our STEM majors reflect the diversity present at UAPB, breaking stereotypes about women and minorities in STEM fields.”

The 29,000 sq. foot building includes a wet lab, computer lab, class/seminar rooms, student resource center, conference rooms, and a conference center for assemblies and other events


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Dr. Calvin Johnson, Interim Chancellor 2012-13, said the STEM Program will broaden the impact of what the university wants to provide for students, faculty and the state of Arkansas. “For students, the STEM academy will provide them with the opportunity to prepare them for global competition,” Johnson said. “When students receive preparation in that area, they graduate with degrees ready for the job market tied into the state and nation. This is the first time we’ve prepared a physical facility at a time when we are at the top of the chart for demand for well-trained students. UAPB will be competitive with other universities in the state of Arkansas.” Johnson added that faculty who are trained in STEM areas will have access to a physical facility with the visibility and labs needed for practicing their skills. “The Delta has the greatest need for students in STEM,” Johnson said. “The economy in Arkansas needs to be

improved to do that. I commend Dr. Mary Benjamin because she took the challenge. I commend Chancellor Davis and Dr. Sugg, who gave support to this initiative.” Dr. Charles R. Colen Jr., Chairman of the Industrial Technology Management & Applied Engineering, has been a part of the STEM project since its inception beginning with the 2003 Planning Grant. “The UAPB STEM Academy has impacted the University, community, state and nation by infusing a synergistic approach to STEM disciplines, as well as stimulating underrepresented student groups to be more engaged in STEM research and the workforce. Over $15 million in supported grants have been obtained to enhance the number of STEM graduates at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff,” Colen said. As a major STEM team player, Colen’s roles have included CO-PI, Project Director, Recruitment and placement for internships, graduate school and

permanent employment. Dr. Margaret Hall, Title III Director, said that the STEM discipline is unlike other main stream areas because you have to constantly update it to stay current. “Today’s modern science lab is tomorrow’s obsolete learning environment,” Hall said. “We need a STEM Academy with modern facilities, and we hope environment will provide the classroom experiences our students need to meet the challenges in their disciplines. Some things remain constant for longer periods of time and still will be relevant, but the learning environment for STEM students cannot remain the same and still be relevant.” Hall said over $7 million in funding for the building was provided by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Institutional Services Program, Title III Part B Strengthening Historically Black Colleges & Universities Program or Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.


“I was a student going into my last semester and was being nosy while walking past the construction crew,” said Billy Hill III, a recent UAPB graduate and Industrial Technology major. “The [construction] manager at the time asked me if I wanted a job and I said, yes.” Hill likes the challenge of finding answers to questions most people never thought of, like placement of materials and how things are put together. This was essential in his role as project engineer for Con-Real, LP the

company that handled the construction of the STEM Academy and Conference Center. His primary duties included scheduling of subcontractors throughout the project, monitoring the budget and submitting information to architects to send to their engineers for approval. Working 16-hour days was a norm for the Industrial Technology graduate who considers it an honor to impact his alma mater in such a grand way.


“I had the best opportunity to make a difference,” said Hill. “[The building] stands out.” He credits his preparedness to O.C. Duffy, the main instructor for Construction Management in the Industrial Technology program at UAPB. Hill says he used a lot of what Duffy taught him on the project. Hill came to UAPB as a baseball player and subsequently took advantage of opportunities to intern in California, Washington, DC, and Blytheville, Arkansas, where he worked for Nucor. Once he returned from his cooperative education with Nucor, he noticed the construction of the STEM building, was offered a job and the rest is history. Now that the building is complete, Hill will be heading to Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas, to work as project engineer and possibly superintendent.

Fall 2014




MICHAEL SMITH - Project Manager, Con-Real, LP

JOHN WOODS – Woods Group Architects

"It was our job to take the issues and turn them into a building. There’s a lot that has to happen before we go from drawing to building. It was a lot of fun."

"This was the first time we had a chance to do a signature building. This is one of the best experiences I’ve had with a client. With this project, we had a chance to be creative about how we approached the solution to the building."

DR. CHARLES COLEN – Co-Principal Investigator: HBCU-UP and ARK-LSAMP grants; Chairperson - Department of Industrial Technology, Management and Applied Engineering

O.C. DUFFY – Quality Control Manager and Industrial Technology Professor

"We’re doing this for the students. I’m grateful we have a building but it’s the people that will make the building effective.

ROBERT WALL, JR., – Director of Facilities Management "I’ve never been a part of a project that meant so much to the campus. The work that we’ve done here has been more fulfilling than any other project I’ve done in my career."


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

"This is the first time we’ve had a mainly minority team – from the General Contractor to the construction manager and the architect. I hope this building will serve as a beacon light, help give Pine Bluff a new image and give students something to look forward to."

DR. MARGARET MARTIN-HALL – Director of Title III Program


"When I think of the STEM building, I think of it being all about change. It was change that brought the initial idea of the building being a conference center to becoming a full academic center."

university of arkansas at pine bluff

Dorothy Magett Fiddmont New Millennium Leaders This special section is an excerpt of a larger publication that honors more than 150 individuals who vowed to be part of the many positive things that would occur at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) at the turn of the century and beyond. The approach of the year 2000 was a time of excitement, fear, and anticipation. There was much ado, much preparation, and much trepidation as to how technology would make the transition. Would mass transit systems in large cities be immobilized? Would Wall Street and major financial institutions collapse? Was UAPB positioned for the 21st century and all that it entailed? Indeed, the new millennium was upon us, and just as pundits the world-over readied for international and national technological challenges, one individual came forth with an idea that would keep UAPB in the forefront of educational excellence. Dr. Dorothy Magett Fiddmont set forth the idea of identifying a group of individuals who would agree to be ambassadors for the university and as evidence of their commitment donate $2,000 to provide much needed scholarship funds for deserving students at UAPB. The institution, from its earliest days as Branch Normal, had always had the good fortune to have persons who were

deeply committed to its mission, goals, and objectives. The group now being formed would comprise some of the individuals from the earlier years of Arkansas AM&N College and many more from more recent years of the institution. They would be the New Millennium Leaders. As ambassadors, they would be the individuals who could be counted on to share the many positive things happening at the university. They would be kept abreast of happenings at the university by remaining connected, involved and well-informed. The Millennium Leaders have met the challenge. They have stayed the course. Through good times and not so good times, the Millennium Leaders have been strong advocates for the university. They have focused on all the good and positive things UAPB has forever encompassed in the midst of no publicity, poor publicity and negative publicity. The Millennium Leaders have been a positive force. They are among the leaders of this millennium! Some of them have passed away. Though they are gone, they are remembered for the trails they blazed, the commitment they made, and the legacy they left for others to emulate.

The following are levels of commitment individuals and groups may choose to support: Individual Classes & Alumni Chapters Entry Level $2,000 $10,000 Bronze Support Level $3,000 $20,000 Silver Support Level $4,000 $30,000 Gold Support Level $5,000 $40,000 Platinum Support Level $6,000 $50,000

Fall 2014


carolyn frazier blakely, ph.d. Platinum Small towns can have varied influences, both positive and negative on its residents, and Magnolia, Arkansas, the hometown of Carolyn Frazier Blakely with about 15,000 citizens, was no different. Before she was school age, she became the ward of her paternal grandmother when her mother passed. Her grandmother took good care of her granddaughter, protecting her from all perceived ills at that time. Carolyn graduated from Columbia High School as its valedictorian and enrolled in Arkansas AM&N College on a $50.00 scholarship. She married Neal N. Blakely from Ft. Smith, Arkansas and after graduation they attended Atlanta University together to begin work on their master’s degrees. Later, Carolyn earned a doctorate in English. Neal passed in 2006 after they had been married for 47 years. As a member of the English Department at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Carolyn was engaged in work that she loved. As the years progressed, she was brought into administration by Dr. Charles Walker, then chancellor at UAPB, who asked her to serve as his assistant. During his tenure, she assumed the position of interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and later, interim chancellor when Dr. Walker resigned. When Dr. L. A. Davis, Jr. became chancellor, he asked Carolyn to develop an Honors College which she did and became its 36

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

dean. Through the rest of her tenure at UAPB, she served as interim chair of the Department of English, Theatre and Mass Communications on four different occasions, during three of which she also served as dean of the Honors College at the same time. At the request of the students, the Honors College was named in her honor. Carolyn experienced a severe and unpredicted heart attack in 2002. She was working out on a stationary bike at the Wellness Center and experienced a severe heaviness in her chest, no pain. Thinking that she had indigestion, she drove home, bypassing the hospital, and waited for her husband to return from his morning walk. When he entered the house, she asked him to take her to the emergency room for an examination. As she gave the receptionist her insurance information, she passed out. The doctors worked to revive her, but were unable to do so and they finally came out and told her husband and her pastor that she was dead from a heart attack. The news immediately spread all over town. However, her primary care physician, Dr. Simmie Armstrong, continued to hit her with the defibrillator more than twenty times, and she came back, miraculously with no brain damage! When she returned to her classroom and the students asked her if she saw “the light,” she responded, ”Not yet!” She’s still listening and looking.

letha harper branch Platinum Letha Harper Branch, has been a long-time advocate for the university, and she is inspired to assist and support the students of UAPB with her personal assets (finances, Southern California Alumni Chapter fundraisers, and similar activities). A native of Scott, Arkansas, she is the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Harper. Her elementary education was in the Scott Elementary School for Colored, and she is a graduate of Nelson High School of Scott, Arkansas. Letha is a proud alumnus of the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College, currently known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She and her husband left Arkansas in 1965 before graduation, and she continued her education in Chicago, Illinois for a brief period before moving with her husband to Los Angeles, California. Letha continued her education in California at Harbor College and California

State University Dominguez Hill of Carson, California where she received an advanced american production control certificate with emphasis on “Just-in-Time” technology. Letha took an early retirement in 1966 from Hughes Aircraft Company and transitioned into real estate sales where she continues to work as a sales person. Letha’s employment history spans 30 years and takes her from Sylvania Electronics in Maywood, Illinois to Hughes Aircraft Company. Her range of expertise includes Engineering assembly and testing of spacecraft hardware to senior project planner for the manufacturing of military radar and satellites. Letha’s marriage in 1964 to the love of her life, Lonzell, has been a 50-year success. They have three wonderful children and six grandchildren.

Fall 2014


lonzell a. branch, ll.d. Platinum Dr. Lonzell A. Branch’s employment history took him from a brief stay in Chicago, Illinois, with Automatic Electric (the makers of General Telephone) as a hardware self-test engineer to Los Angeles, California, where he spent over 30 years in the aerospace industry with the Hughes Aircraft Company as a software engineer and program manager. His primary area of expertise was in radar signal processing, and guidance and control of ascent space vehicles. Dr. Branch, a native of Watson, Arkansas, is the son of Ezell and Grace Branch. His early education thru sixth grade was in the Watson Elementary School for Colored. His high school education was at Wolfe High School of Tillar, Arkansas. He graduated with honors. He is a 1965 graduate of Arkansas Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal College (AM&N), currently the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). There he earned the bachelor of science degree in mathematics. He continued his education at numerous California universities, and company sponsored programs in management and software engineering with a concentration on real-time software for space exploration and military radar technology.


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Early retirement in 1997 from Hughes Aircraft Company enabled him to focus primarily on the UAPB National Alumni Association and its support of UAPB’s many needs: student financial support, student recruitment, and retention—just to name a few. As a proud alumnus of UAPB, Dr. Branch has been a long-time advocate for UAPB with aspirations to improve all aspects of student life on campus and to assist the University in all of its endeavors to grow. Distinguish honors he received are: honorary doctor of law from UAPB in May 2005; past president of the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association, Inc.; induction into the UAPB/ AM&N National Alumni Hall of Fame; and trustee emeritus of Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, California—active service for 39 years. He is married to Letha Harper Branch with whom he has enjoyed a wonderful marriage, a lovely relationship, and a remarkable friendship for 50 years. Their immediate family is comprised of three wonderful children and six grandchildren.

larry cooper Platinum Larry B. Cooper recently took a 4,100 miles road trip to reconnect with some ole friends that he had worked with in the past and found that quite refreshing. Seeing some of his former high school students, who are now grand and great grandparents, was an eye-opener!! Larry, who is fondly called “Coop” by close friends, is a native Arkansan. The second oldest of ten children, he was born in Fordyce, Arkansas, and at the age of four his parents moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he received all of his primary and secondary education. His high school years were quite notable: He played Hail to the Chief for both President John R. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson when they visited Las Vegas on separate occasions and graduated with honors from Las Vegas High School. While in college, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the campaign manager for Ms. Senior and for the editor-in-chief of The Arkansawyer, the college newspaper—both candidates won, and advisor to the student body president. Larry graduated with a bachelor of science in mathematics, and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he taught high school math and was assistant coach of the varsity basketball team and head coach of the junior varsity team. After three years of teaching in Kansas City, Larry was offered a job at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Little Rock,

Arkansas. He decided to leave a profession that he thoroughly enjoyed. Cooper joined Southwestern Bell in 1972 as a management trainee in the Engineering Department and served in several capacities. In December of 2000, he was appointed to the position of vice president-emerging markets. Larry retired in 2006. Many honors have been bestowed upon him during his more than 33 years with Southwestern Bell/AT&T. The list (which is not finite) includes: the 1985 recipient of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Outstanding Achievement Award; 1986 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Bernard de la Harpe Community Leadership Award for 1989, 1990, and 1991; the NAACP Black Corporate Executive Award in 1992; and an Executive MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1996. In 2008, Larry was one of six charter members inducted into UAPB/AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame, and he was an honoree at the 2012 Annual Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts. Larry is the chairman of the UAPB Foundation Fund Board and a board member of the University of Arkansas Foundation, Inc. He is very active in the local alumni chapter and national alumni association, and he is a platinum life member of the national association. He has one daughter and a 14 year old grandson. Fall 2014


dr. dorothy littlejohn magett fiddmont Platinum Dorothy Littlejohn’s first visit to the campus of Arkansas AM&N College occurred when she was a sophomore in high school attending a statewide conference for the New Homemakers of America. It was on that visit that she reaffirmed her goal to return as a student. This was truly an irrational goal, for she knew that there was no money for college because she was a poor little girl from a poor community in a poor State who could not sing, dance, or play football. There were no student loans in those days, and there were few scholarships. Those scholarships that were available were tuition grants for all students who finished first in their high school graduating class. She was valedictorian and earned a scholarship to AM&N. From the outset, Dorothy’s academic performances received high ratings that earned her placement on the dean’s list. One of her most outstanding college experiences was her participation in a program sponsored by Cornell University. The four-day experience brought together students from HBCUs across the country to the Cornell campus for a series of seminars interspersed with social events. Another significant event for Dorothy was the chartering on campus of the first chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. She was one of 19 women invited to pledge. After earning her bachelor’s, Dorothy went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctor’s degree. She enjoyed a fruitful and fulfilling career. After taking an early retirement in 1991, 40

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Dorothy became more actively involved with her alma mater. Responding to a request from Chancellor Davis, she initiated, planned, and provided the leadership for a series of activities for UAPB alumni attending Gateway Classic football games. At the same time, for four years she handled ticket sales from her home for more than half the tickets allocated to the university. Subsequently, Dr. Fiddmont was appointed to the UAPB Foundation Fund Board where she served six years. As chairman of the Special Projects Committee for the Board, she produced two major proposals which were accepted and implemented: “Return of the Lion Kings” and identifying 200 alumni who would contribute $2,000 during the first two years of the millennium, generating $400,000 for which matching funds would be sought. When presented, then chairman of the UAPB Foundation Fund Board, Dr. William “Sonny” Walker and director of Development, Dr. Margaret Martin-Hall reacted with enthusiasm. It was with a great amount of pride that she watched her spouse, Frederick Fiddmont, contribute the requested $2,000 and become the first New Millennium Leader. Dr. Dorothy Magett-Fiddmont has received numerous honors and awards; however, none of the honors have been more satisfying than recognitions she has received from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

frederick fiddmont Platinum Most people know Freddie Fiddmont only by his performances on the football field. Exceptions are those who shared his classes, his Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., brothers who saw another aspect of his leadership skills, his major professors, and a few scattered others who were given a glimpse of his more serious side. Otherwise, he tended to be a loner, to be found on the periphery of groups rather than in the mix of active participation. For those who got to know him, he was introspective and thoughtful. All agreed that he was different after his stint in Korea. He never expected to be drafted. After all, he was a graduating senior in good standing. Yet, even after appeals from college leadership including Prexy (Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr., then president of the college), Freddie, along with three other young men, was mandated to report to the induction center at Little Rock. When they arrived at the induction center, they were marched into the rear entrance to be dispatched to a country about which they knew little, to fight for a cause not well-defined, in an undeclared war. Of Freddie’s twenty-three months of military service, twenty were spent in combat in Korea. Freddie was especially fortunate in that he wanted to return to complete his college education and he was able do so with a

year of eligibility left for college football. He participated with a vengeance generally unmatched, and he experienced a great final year. Not only did he love football, but he also loved the institution. Early in his dementia, Freddie was able to discuss football, watch weekend games and agonize over the success, and lack of it, of the Golden Lions. Sadly, by the time the SWAC championship was won, he was no longer able to follow games and rarely showed interest. However, he was provided several mementos commemorating this event by the Development and Alumni Offices, including a football autographed by the team and a DVD of the game. Months later on a spring afternoon when he appeared to be more alert, the second half of the game was played for him. And while it was necessary to explain many times who was playing whom and where, he finally connected. It was at this point that he explained to a worker that was HIS TEAM from HIS SCHOOL, and they were playing in the championship game. It did not matter that it was April and no one was playing football. For Fred Fiddmont it was real, it was current. He was back. His son and daughter, became professional musicians who have traveled the world. Together they gave him six grandchildren, five boys and one daughter.

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cleon aurelius flowers, sr., m.d. Platinum Known by his patients as the “Godfather of Medicine,” Dr. Cleon Aurelius Flowers, Sr., was a man who loved his family, supported his community, committed to his church and lived for practicing medicine and his patients. Dr. Flowers, born to Alonza W. Flowers and Beulah Sampson Flowers and raised in Stamps, Arkansas, grew up in a close knit family that emphasized the value of a good education. He and brothers, Harold and Curtis, were inspired to pursue every educational opportunity available to them. His mother was a teacher and his father was a store owner and insurance agent. He graduated from Stamps Colored High School in 1928, continued his high school education at Philander Smith College High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and later attended Arkansas AM&N. He graduated in 1939 with a degree in biology. Ultimately, he graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1943. That same year, he married Martha L. Raspberry and they returned to the state of Arkansas in 1944. After graduating from Meharry Medical College, he worked for two years at the McRae Tuberculosis Sanitarium in Alexander, Arkansas. Then in 1945, he opened a family medical practice at the Masonic Temple in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Dr. Flowers was a physician who was very devoted to his patients— so devoted that he never turned away anyone regardless of their ability to pay. Due to the racial discrimination that prevented 42

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Black physicians and their patients from hospital care at the time, Dr. Flowers performed all of his medical procedures at patients’ homes or his office. His office virtually never closed, as he opened the doors of his practice early in the morning and stayed open late to accommodate the working hours of his patients. He even made house calls to patients who could not come in to his office. Without advanced technology and tools, Dr. Flowers delivered babies at home. He even performed complex operations such as a transverse lie and the delivery of Siamese twins at the homes of his patients. Dr. Flowers continued to provide healthcare to his patients until a few months before his death on his 89th birthday. He was an active member of several civic and professional organizations, including the NAACP, Pine Bluff Chapter (lifetime member); 20th Century Club; National Medical Association; Arkansas Medical, Dental, and Pharmaceutical Association (AMDPA); Southeast Arkansas Medical, Dental, Pharmaceutical Association (SAMDPA); UAPB Board of Trustees; and the Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, Eastern Light Lodge No. 6. Dr. Flowers and his wife, Martha Raspberry Flowers, successfully raised six children: Cleon Flowers, Jr., DDS; John Flowers, Sr., MD; Martha A. Flowers, MD; Clifford Flowers, Sr., RPh; Clyde Flowers, BS; and Randall Flowers, RPh.

martha a. flowers, m.d. Platinum Practicing medicine, traveling, and indulging in culinary creations are all a part of what Dr. Martha Ann Flowers’ life has been about. But of all those things, making a difference in the lives of others has always been a priority. She’s more than a woman, more than a physician; she’s a trailblazer and always advocates for the betterment of others. Dr. Martha Flowers was born the third of six children to Dr. Cleon & Mrs. Martha L. Flowers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She attended local schools graduating from Southeast Junior and Senior High School in 1963. After graduating from Howard University in Washington D.C., she taught laboratory science at Arkansas AM&N College for two years under the tutelage of Dr. Rufus Caine and Dr. Cleo Bentley. Afterwards she matriculated at Meharry Medical College where she received her medical degree in 1974. While at Meharry, she experienced an externship in Ganta, Liberia for ten weeks which better prepared her for a lifetime of service to others. After training at Martin Luther King General Hospital in Los Angeles, California, she returned to Arkansas where her initial work was at the Lee County Cooperative Clinic in Marianna. She joined her father in private practice in Pine Bluff in 1978 where she continues to practice medicine to this day. Dr. Flowers is involved in numerous community organizations

and especially those involved in preparing young people for a medical career and educating patients about preventive medicine. For almost 20 years, Dr. Flowers has dedicated her practice to preventive medicine and patient education by conducting diabetes prevention and management workshops. She has also tried to expand this work through the Southeast Arkansas Medical Network (SAMN), one of the numerous medical associations that she serves. Additionally, she is a member of the National Medical Association (past executive board member), Arkansas Medical Dental and Pharmaceutical Association (AMDPA) and Arkansas Medical Society. Her commitment to serving others has extended well beyond the boundaries of medicine. She is a lifetime member of the NAACP, Pine Bluff Chapter and a current member of the UAPB Foundation Board. She has helped numerous youth through programs that she’s sponsored over the years and regularly mentors two pre-med high school and college students a semester. As an avid reader, she is constantly in search of knowledge and information and aggressively seeks to give that knowledge back to youth, her family and community. She is the mother of one daughter, Elizabeth Taylor; and a member of St. James United Methodist Church.

Fall 2014


martha raspberry flowers Platinum A teacher, wife, mother, musician, and volunteer, Martha Flowers’ impact was felt by many and reached beyond the state of Arkansas. Martha LaVeda Raspberry Flowers was born out of a rich family history in Van Duza, Arkansas, to Elizabeth (Degraffenreid) and Charles Raspberry. Martha Raspberry’s father worked as a Veterinarian until he became ill. Her mother was a midwife who also supervised a canning factory located outside of Camden, and was a descendant of grandparents who moved to Ouachita County, Arkansas, as part of a back to Africa movement, settling in Van Duza after realizing that they could not afford to move back to Africa. Van Duza was a small rural community just outside of Camden, where Charles and Elizabeth Raspberry raised their family of eight children until their move to Pine Bluff, where the best educational opportunities were accessible. The tenth of Charles and Elizabeth’s eleven children, Martha Raspberry graduated from J.C. Corbin High School and later graduated from Arkansas AM&N in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree. Immediately following her college graduation, Martha Raspberry taught kindergarten for two years until she married her sweetheart Dr. Cleon Flowers, Sr. in 1943. She decided to devote herself to raising what would be a family of six children, including five sons, one daughter and later a granddaughter; all


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

of whom received college educations. Mrs. Flowers was very active in the social culture of the African American community of Pine Bluff. She was a member of the Excelsior Club, Cosmopolitan Choir (charter member), Junior Social and Arts Club (founding member), AMDPA Auxiliary, Links, Inc. (charter member of the Pine Bluff Chapter), Jack and Jill, Girl Scouts, and the Cub Scouts (one of the first African American troop leaders). She was passionate about working with young people, extending herself with activities beyond those of just her own children. She was one of the first PTA presidents at Southeast Junior and Senior High Schools. Mrs. Flowers was also a highly skilled bridge player and was a member of the IQ and Town and Country Bridge Clubs. She performed her civic service and participated in these activities with a vivacious flare and sense of style. Religion was an important part of Mrs. Flowers’ life. She was a longtime member of her childhood church home, St. John AME Church, and later joined her husband at St. James United Methodist Church. The value of family and education defined her as a teacher, as well as a mother of her children and of all those whom she taught and mentored in her community. This foundation served as a platform for her vast body of community service and passion for music.

freddie d. hartfield, ph.d. Platinum Dr. Freddie D. Hartfield’s dedication and passion to his alma mater is demonstrated by his efforts to aide young people in their pursuit for excellence. His noteworthy legacy will be immortalized forever on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. A native of Elaine, Arkansas, he is an outstanding professor, philanthropist and alumnus of our university. Dr. Hartfield’s academic preparation includes: a bachelor of science (agriculture) Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical, and Normal College (AM&N College), 1950; a master of science (mathematics education) University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, 1958; and a doctor of philosophy (mathematics education) Kansas State University, 1976. Among his further studies, professional development, and activities are: the University of Arkansas Graduate Center; mathematics/computer science studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; participation in the Institute to Service in Education ((ISE); Inservice Institute in Mathematics National Science Foundation, Washington, DC (NSF); Fulbright-Hay Mid-Eastern Seminar, Israel and Jordan; Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project; and proposal reviewer. Dr. Hartfield’s initial appointment to the Arkansas AM&N College was in April 1947. He has held the titles of professor of mathematics, chairperson, coordinator of developmental

mathematics, associate professor, coordinator of developmental mathematics, and assistant professor coordinator of developmental mathematics. Prior to his retirement in June 2014, he held the titles of professor and university supervisor for teacher practicum - mathematics. Dr. Hartfield has received numerous outstanding service awards, certificates and recognitions including: The Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project Certificate of Appreciation; Man of the Year Award (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.); proposal reviewer National Science Foundation, Washington, DC; honoree, Chancellor’s Benefit for the Arts; “Keeper of the Spirit” Lifetime Service Award; dedication of the 2013 The Lion yearbook; and a Proclamation, City of Camden, Arkansas, declaring March 3, 2013, as “Dr. Fred D. Hartfield Day.” He, along with his wife, Verna Hartfield, established “The Hartfield Endowed Scholarship” for students majoring in mathematics education and physical education. Dr. Hartfield, Bishop Chester Thompson, and a group of concerned colleagues organized the “Hartfield Initiative” to benefit students in dire need of financial assistance to attend and remain at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Dr. and Mrs. Hartfield have three children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They are faithful members of Pine Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

Fall 2014


shirley johnson Platinum

While at Arkansas AM&N College, Shirley Johnson developed strong ties to the institution and to the friends she made in her dormitory, classes, labs, and at extracurricular activities. Upon graduating from college, her ties grew even stronger to her alma mater and college friends. Shirley, born and raised in Rosston (Nevada County), Arkansas, graduated from Oak Grove High School in 1966. She then enrolled in Arkansas AM&N College and graduated in 1970 with a degree in sociology/psychology. She regularly attends various events at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), gives generously of her time and financial resources, and when called on, gives unwavering support to initiatives that benefit students. Shirley is seldom absent from games played by the Golden Lion Football team. With unwavering dedication to her alma mater, Shirley is a woman of few words and many actions that benefit her beloved institution. Shirley has been employed with Arkansas Department of Human Services for 42 years. In 1970, she began as a caseworker in Arkansas County (DeWitt & Stuttgart); then, with her move


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

to Little Rock in 1974, she worked as a quality assurance reviewer monitoring State and Federal Government Programs, Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA), and Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps). As a result of exemplary job performance, she was promoted to a supervisory position in 1978. Her memberships include: Arkansas State Employee Association Inc. (ASEA); UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association, Inc. (life member) and several years as secretary/ assistant secretary; and affiliation with the Little Rock/Pulaski County Alumni Chapter, where she serves in the capacity of secretary. In 2010, because of her unwavering support of her alma mater, Shirley was inducted into the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame. She is a proud and steadfast member of the Gaines Street Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves as trustee in the Media Ministry. Shirley has been married to Amos Johnson for 36 years; they have two sons, Anthony and Derek; and three grandsons, Anthony, Ashton, and Derren.

margaret j. martin-hall, ed.d. Platinum

Dr. Margaret J. Martin-Hall, an employee of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), is director of Development and Title III (a federal grant program). External to UAPB, Margaret’s experience includes grant proposal writing and fundraising with economic development and community development corporations. Her undergraduate studies were at Baldwin Wallace College (Ohio) and Philander Smith College (Arkansas). Graduate studies were at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Margaret has also received formal training in all aspects of fundraising including grant and proposal writing, planned giving, major gifts, annual fund, phonathons (telephone solicitation), special events, and capital campaigns. She holds a certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and participated in the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund National Capacity Building Training. Margaret is a 2005 graduate of Leadership

Pine Bluff. During her tenure as director of University Relations and Development, much was accomplished. Fundraising results consistently exceeded $1,000,000 for the first time in the history of the institution; endowments increased by more than $3,000,000 within a ten year period—the largest increase to date; and the direct marketing center and the Annual Phonathon, now in its 15th year, were established. Margaret has served on the board of the Arkansas Association of Fundraising Professionals where she held the positions of assistant program chair, program chair, and president elect. She also served on the Diversity Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International. She is also a member of Zeta Nu Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) and the Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women. She is married (Arthur) and is the mother of five children and grandmother of seven.

Fall 2014


helen harris page Platinum Helen Harris Page, a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was born on Christmas morning during the Great Depression of the 1930’s to J.W. and Viessa Harris. She is the seventh of 12 children. She was an early enrollee at the AM&N College Nursery School and the private Training School—both located on the college campus. She attended Merrill High School and returned to the college campus to receive her baccalaureate degree in 1954. After graduation, Helen re-located to Los Angeles, California, where she continued her education at UCLA and Pepperdine Universities. She earned her master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University. In 1980, Helen married Lt. Colonel Solomon J. Jamerson, a retired Army officer. After being employed 25 years within the Los Angeles Unified School District as both a teacher and administrator, Helen took early retirement in 1990. She worked mostly at schools in West L.A. and Hollywood. Since retiring, she and her husband have devoted much of their time to political, educational, and community improvement projects. They have both earned certificates of completion in such varied projects as Computer Literacy, Personal Financial Planning,


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

and an in-country Conversational Spanish and Cultural Program in Costa Rica. They both continue to enjoy foreign and domestic travel, and in an attempt to maintain physical and mental alertness, Helen participates in daily water-aerobics while Sol works out at the fitness center. Helen has devoted many years to genealogy research, and she is a member the California African American Genealogical Society (CAAGS). Other affiliations include-Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (1863-1865) in which her paternal great grand-father served, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a long time member of Founders Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles. She continues to give back to her alma mater as an annual donor to the UAPB Foundation Fund, her parents’ memorial scholarship fund, and she is a Platinum life member in the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association and platinum level member of the New Millennium Leaders. Helen has three children from her first marriage: Donald E. Page, Terre Page Ermitano, and Jennifer Page. She has three grandsons: Anthony and Aaron Ermitano and Devin M. Page.

doris hurst wallace Platinum Doris Hurst Wallace works tirelessly with projects and causes that help others. She is relentless in her support of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)—an avid Golden Lion supporter. Doris served on the UAPB Alumni Board and because of her extensive involvement in promoting the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), she was inducted into the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011. Doris graduated from Anna Strong High School in 1966. She was the fourth person from her community to go to college, and that was a proud day for the Spring Lake community. She is a graduate of Arkansas AM&N College with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. She has used her degree to positively impact the lives of people she has met on the job, in her community and church, and especially in connection with her alma mater. Doris is the personification of the Golden Lion spirit and the consummate embodiment of all that an alumna should be.

She began her professional life as a caseworker for the Arkansas Department of Human Services. After her promotion to supervisor, she became a service representative for Social Security in 1974. As a social insurance specialist, she developed policies for the Dallas Region, and she taught employees to be claims representatives with the agency. Doris served on a Management Team that trained managers and supervisors until she retired in 2009 as district manager of the Forrest City, Arkansas, Office of Social Security. She is an active member of the Marianna community. She is a member of the Finance Ministry at Paradise Missionary Baptist Church; a volunteer at the Marianna Larger Parish Food Pantry; a member of the NAACP; and an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Doris is the mother of two adult sons, Robert and Daniel Wallace.

Fall 2014


samuel and zelma staples Gold Samuel and Zelma Staples attended Arkansas AM&N College and were present at many college events where they heard the words of the school’s alma mater: “Alma Mater, we love thee, we love thee dear mother, and all that we have we cast down at thy feet.” The chorus of the school song left a lasting impression on the Staples. Since leaving Pine Bluff, the Staples have logged a million miles between Los Angeles and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to heed their “dear mother’s” call. The Staples are natives of Camden, Arkansas, where they graduated from Lincoln High School. Samuel graduated in 1963 from Arkansas AM&N College with a bachelor of science degree in art. Then, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where Zelma soon joined him. Samuel found employment in the display department of Bullock Department Store. He quickly established himself in his field and rose to become the manager of the graphic arts department. He later worked for Berkley Photo and GAF Photography, as manager of their graphic arts division. By 1968, Mr. Staples had started his own graphic arts company, Aladdin Enterprises, which he operated until his retirement in 2002. The many banners displayed during homecoming week at UAPB are contributions of his company. Today, Mr. Staples manages the family’s real estate interests. At AM&N College, Zelma pursued a major in health & physical education. After moving to Los Angeles, Zelma continued her


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

education at L.A. Southwest College and earned her associate of applied science degree in nursing and later a bachelor of science degree in health care administration. Receiving her registered nurse practitioner certification in 1973, Mrs. Staples retired after 35 years of service at USC Medical Center in 2000. She was an active member of the NAACP, the Council of Black Nurses and is a platinum life member of the UAPB/ AM&N National Alumni Association. Despite her busy schedule, Zelma always finds time to accompany her husband to various alumni functions and provide support to UAPB. Sam has served several terms in various positions at the state, regional, and national level for the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association: president and board member; and vice president /resident, Southern California Alumni. Sam has received numerous awards and citations for his community involvement and service to his alma mater including: the Alumnus of the Year Award – UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association; the Presidential Citation from NAFEO; and the Outstanding Service Award - UAPB/AM&N Southern California Alumni. The Staples are the proud parents of a son, Kenneth and a daughter, Lela Rochon (an actress and star of Waiting to Exhale). Ms. Rochon is married to film director, Antoine Fuqua.

james maxwell bosley, col. (retired) Silver Colonel James M. Bosley, a native of Warren County, Mississippi, retired January 31, 2000, from the United States Army after 29 years of service. He is currently employed with SAVA Solutions, in Huntsville, Alabama as a Senior Analyst in the area of Logistics Integration. Colonel Bosley was solely employed with Computer Systems Corporation (CSC) as an Operations Strategist prior to employment with SAVA in 2011. Colonel Bosley’s last active duty assignment was as Military Deputy to the Army Chief of Legislative Liaison, the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army on all legislative affairs relating to the United States Congress. He served as the principal Legislative Strategist in developing the Army’s Top Ten legislative priorities for the United States Congress. He received his commission in 1970 as a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps from Arkansas Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal College, where he attended on a band scholarship and earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration. In 1980, he earned a master’s degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology. His military education includes the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Airborne Training, Quartermaster Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College. Prior to assuming the position as the Military Deputy, Colonel Bosley served as the Chief of Congressional Affairs for the

Army Material Command. Other key assignments include: Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4, 2nd Corps Support Command, 7th Corps, Germany. Team Chief, Force Development for Logistics Organizations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Washington, DC; Strategic Logistics Coordinator, US Army 22nd Support Command, Saudi Arabia; S3, 541st Maintenance Battalion, Fort Riley Kansas; Missing in Action (MIA) Team Leader, Joint Casualty Resolution Center, Vietnam; Chief, Plans and Operations Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Washington, DC. Colonel Bosley’s awards and decorations include two awards of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, the Parachutist Badge, Army General Staff Badge and various other decorations for Foreign Service. He has provided humanitarian service through The Real Life Today Church Outreach Ministry in Washington, DC, and is now an active member in the Union Chapel Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Colonel Bosley is a life member in the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and the ROCKS, Inc. Colonel Bosley has one daughter, Quin; two sons, Sean and James; and four grandsons, Victor, Jacob, Michael and Connor.

Fall 2014


lawrence a. davis, jr., ph.d. Silver Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., has often been heard to say, “I grewup in my daddy’s house.” This may seem an odd statement since most of us grew up in our daddy’s house. But for Dr. Davis, the statement has greater meaning as it applies to his leadership of the “Flagship of the Delta.” For it was in “his daddy’s house” (Dr. Lawrence A. “Prexy” Davis, Sr., house), that he grasped the full understanding and appreciation for all that is involved in heading a historically Black institution. Dr. Davis began his up close and personal relationship with the institution now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) at the age of four when his father, Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Sr., began his tenure at Arkansas AM&N College as a teacher, later serving as president and chancellor. His early education—nursery school through college (except for the year spent at Merrill High School from which he graduated) —was obtained on the campus of AM&N College. Graduating from AM&N with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He also attended Iowa State University of Science and Technology at Ames, where he earned a doctorate in engineering mechanics, an area of mathematics not to be confused with mechanical engineering. Through the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees, Dr.


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Davis was appointed chancellor in November of 1991. Dr. Davis has been active within the community, state, and on a national level. He has worked with Leadership Pine Bluff; the United Way; the Presidents Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities; the Industrial Foundation; Partners for a Better Pine Bluff; the Merrill High School Restoration Alliance; the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. He is an active member and deacon of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church. He is the recipient of many accolades and awards as the result of his professional and volunteer work. He has received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from each of his alma maters. Although becoming chancellor of UAPB was not his primary goal early in life, he once said, “I am happy to be sitting in the leadership role because I understand the importance of this university and its great heritage.” He was married to the late Ethel Grant Davis. He is the proud parent of two children, Sonya Davis Cole, and Lawrence A. Davis, III; he has nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. One daughter, Catherine Davis Harvey is deceased. Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., retired from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, May 2012.

wanda garrett, jd Silver There was always an Arkansas influence in the life of Wanda June Jones, born to Willie and Georgia Hockenhull Jones March 3, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan (where Willie and Georgia moved following a cross burning in the yard of their home in Little Rock, Arkansas). At age 16, Wanda chose to attend Arkansas AM&N College. She captained the cheerleaders until her junior year to yield to the pull of dramatic arts, which became her major field of study with foreign languages as her minor. She became a Student Government Association Queen, a Campus Charmette, an Omega Psi Phi Queen’s Attendant, a Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities selection (freshman and senior years), Miss AM&N Junior, and ultimately Miss AM&N. In 1950, her concerns for racial and social justice led her to membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as a charter member of Delta Eta Chapter. Additionally, she served in the Spotlighters, Rho Kappa Epsilon, and on the college year book staff. Her awards included the Van Heflin Award and the Elia Kazan Award. These awards were commissioned by two Hollywood moguls who had been college friends of AM&N drama chairman, John McLinn Ross. During her college years, she met and married William Gregory Wofford of Stuttgart. William died in January 1955. In September 1958, Wanda married Nathan T. Garrett,

making a family of four including her young son, Devron Marc Wofford, and Nathan’s young daughter, Andrea Shahida. Their third child, Nathan Jr., was born in 1963 in Durham, North Carolina. The Garretts have seven grandchildren: Dorian, Sulaiman, Rashid, Malik, Nathan III, Lalia Corinne and Dalton Myles; and 11 great-grandchildren. Her varied career included teaching, producing, and hosting a public affairs television program entitled Black Unlimited. The program served as a forum to highlight the talents of the famous and not so famous while also addressing the concerns and interests of African Americans. During this period, Wanda completed the master of arts degree in speech communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At age 50, she and Nathan enrolled in Law School at North Carolina Central University and earned doctor of jurisprudence degrees in 1986. At the end of the second year of law school, she received a gubernatorial appointment as one of five statewide North Carolina Parole Commissioners. She and her husband have been inducted into the UAPB/ AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame. Wanda and Nathan still love experiencing other cultures through travel. They have visited all 50 of the United States and thus far have been to 49 foreign countries.

Fall 2014


bertha m. neal harrison, ph.d. Silver Although she was born in St. Louis, Missouri, Bertha M. Neal Harrison has always called Pine Bluff, Arkansas, her hometown. She attended Missouri Street Elementary School and Merrill High School, graduating from high school in 1949. After graduating, she attended Arkansas AM&N College (now UAPB) from 1949 to 1954 and earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. After graduating from college, her first job was with the Lincoln County Star City High School as a mathematics and biology teacher. At the end of the school year, she moved to Peoria, Illinois, where she worked as a chemical technician for the Northern Agricultural Regional Research Lab for one year leaving to attend Howard University for one year. She worked as a chemist at the National Institutes of Health and in the Heart Institute for five years. From there, she went to the Food and Drug Administration, where she worked as a research chemist in nutritional sciences. At the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a nutritional scientist, she was first involved with studies on the effect of zinc deficiency in animals and on young males in Iran. The later studies were on iron bioavailability, deficiency and iron overload.


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

While working at FDA, having little knowledge of nutrition, she decided to take a course in nutrition. This led to her studying for a master’s and a PhD. in nutrition. Her doctoral dissertation was titled, The Effect of Excess Dietary Iron and Ascorbic Acid on Copper and Zinc Storage in the Guinea Pig. The guinea pig was used as the animal model because it had the same requirements as humans. She retired from the FDA in 1988 and became an assistant professor in food and nutrition at UAPB School of Human Sciences for six years. Dr. Harrison served as chairperson of the UAPB/AM&N College Alumni Board from 1978-1982. While serving as chairperson, she suggested having an alumni meeting during the summer. That trend continues to this day. Retiring for a second time when she left UAPB, she returned to Washington, D.C. (where she had made it her home off and on since 1957), to be with her children and grandchildren. While working at the National Institutes of Health, she met her husband, Edward T. Harrison, Jr. She married him in 1961 and to that union, two children were born, April D. and Edward Neal Harrison. She has four grandchildren.

myrtle j. hyman Silver Hardworking, dedicated, and dependable are just a few words to describe Myrtle J. Hyman who has won trophies in Fashion Designing and Fashion Modeling for three consecutive years. She was born Myrtle Jewelle Brown in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to Mollie Jackson Brown and Herbert Benjamin Brown. She was one of three children. After graduating from Merrill High School, Ms. Hyman attended the Arkansas AM&N College, Springfield College in Massachusetts, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and Springfield College. She received additional professional training at Marquette University, Cardinal Strich College, Concordia Technical College, and National College of Education. Her professional experience includes that of teacher, coach, guidance counselor, and administrator—all in the Milwaukee Public School System in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Among her many awards are Counselor of the Year of West Division High School, Milwaukee; Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals; and Dedicated Service Award from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Alliance of Black School Educators. Since retiring from the Milwaukee Public School System, Myrtle Hyman successfully established her independent

business, Ms. Myrtle Designs—Elegant Cocktails and Casual Apparel. In May 2003, she successfully completed the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ Division of Educational Outreach Fashion Design Certificate Program. She made the National Dean’s List twice during the years 2001 and 2002. Ms. Hyman is a member of various organizations: Las Vegas Girl Friends, Inc.; Green Valley United Methodist Church, choir member; National Council of Negro Women (lifetime member); Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (lifetime member, 50+ membership); NAACP; YMCA; Milwaukee Urban League; Women’s Abuse Center, Milwaukee Health Department; Administrator’s Supervisory Council; life member Black Administrator’s Supervisory Council; Delta Kappa Gamma; Phi Delta Kappa, emeritus membership; Women’s Health Initiative National Observational Study; UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association, Inc., life membership. Among the awards she has received are: Counselor of the Year; Commencement Speaker Award; Phi Delta Kappa, Project Pride-Special Recognition Award; Milwaukee Health Department Distinguished Service Award; National Association of Secondary School Principals; and Delta of the Year Award, Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Fall 2014


jacquelyn williams mccray, ph.d. Silver Jacquelyn W. McCray, a native of Monticello, Arkansas, is retired dean/director and professor emeritus of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She was named dean/director in 1995 and retired in 2008. Under McCray’s leadership, the School made significant strides in image enhancement, program and faculty expansion, resource development, and student recruitment and retention. The School emerged as the University’s fastest growing academic unit having shown an enrollment increase of 40% during her tenure as Dean. Prior to her appointment as dean, McCray served in numerous administrative positions in the School. She entered administration from a faculty position in the Department of Human Sciences where she conducted housing and community development research in Arkansas and the Southern Region for more than 20 years. During this time she served as chair of two Southern Region Housing Research Projects, conducted contract research for the Lower Mississippi Delta Commission, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Professionally, McCray is a long-time member of the American Association of Housing Educators having served as its National President in 1991-92. She has been a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, DC, and she is widely published in 56

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

major housing, family and community development journals with more than 50 referred publications to her honor. McCray also served as chair of the Association of 1890 Extension Administrators and as a member of the National Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. McCray earned the bachelor of science degree from Arkansas AM&N College (now UAPB), the master of arts degree from Michigan State University, and the doctor of philosophy degree from Florida State University. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both UAPB and Florida State. She is one of 200 Centennial Laureate Scholars named by The College of Human Sciences at Florida State University during its recent Centennial Celebration. McCray is a former member of the Board of Directors of Southern Bancorp, Inc. (SBI), a CDFI Bank-Holding Company with branches in eastern Arkansas and Western Mississippi), and now serves on the Southern Bancorp Community Partners Board, the nonprofit arm of SBI. She was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to serve two terms on the Arkansas Burial Association Board. In 2012, she was inducted into the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame. After 42 years of service, she retired in 2008. She returned to her alma mater in January 2014, to serve as interim vice chancellor of academic affairs

floyd e. morris Silver Floyd E. Morris grew up in Magnolia, Arkansas, where he attended public schools. While at Columbia County High School, he played football, basketball, and ran track. He graduated as the valedictorian of his class in May 1952, and that same year, enrolled in Arkansas AM&N College on a football scholarship. During his senior year in college, he was listed in Who’s Who Among Students of American Colleges and Universities. Morris earned a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education. While attending college, he was a member of the Student Christian Association, the Royal Knight, PanHellenic Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He served in the armed services for nearly three years. He was a player, coach, and cocaptain of the Fort Stewart Rockets football team in 1957. During this time, he was selected to be Most Valuable Player by his teammates. Morris received his master’s degree in health and physical education from Indiana University in 1966; a certificate for community school directors from the Mott Institute, Flint, Michigan, in 1971; and a 5-year certificate in administration and supervision from Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, Georgia, in 1972. His professional experience include: teacher of health and physical education at Johnson High school, Savannah, Georgia; line and chief assistant football coach, varsity track coach, and Jr. Varsity basketball coach; head football coach and director of

athletics at Richard Arnold High School, Savannah, Georgia; assistant coach on the All-Star coaching staff that was headed by Savannah High’s Arvel Holmes; director of community education; assistant superintendent for the Division of Support Services for the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education, Savannah, Georgia; and he officiated football and basketball games at the local and state levels. Morris was named Atlanta Constitution’s Coach of the Week in 1972. He retired in 1986. His affiliations include: life member, and former polemarch (president), of the Savannah Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; past president, secretary, and former member of the Savannah Chapter – Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International; member of the Georgia State Advisory Board for Adult Basic and Secondary Education; charter member and past president of the Savannah Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Professional Fraternity for Persons in Education; member of the Planning Division Steering Board of the United Way of Savannah and Chatham County; emeritus member of the Board of Trustees and Honors Court of the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame; member of the Board of Directors for the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club; former member, and chairman of Safe Kids of Savannah; and the Community Advisory Council for Union Camp. He is a member of the Historic Second African Baptist Church. Morris and his wife Agatha have one son, Edwin Charles. Fall 2014


patrick w. sanders Silver “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela As a proud spring 2009 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Patrick W. Sanders majored in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Like most collegiate experiences, the time Patrick spent at UAPB was filled with highs and lows. However, the lifelong relationships he built, and the memories he created as a Golden Lion are the two things he values most. Sanders was able to forge lasting relationships with mentors like Dr. Charles Colen, Jr., (chair of Industrial Technology, Management and Applied Engineering) and advisors like Dr. Harry Campbell (dean of the School of Business 2007-2009). Both men genuinely cared about his well-being and wanted to see him succeed in life. “To this day when I need a little encouragement [tough love] or advice, I can call on Dr. Colen and/or Dean Campbell,” states Sanders. He sends a special thank you also to a host of administrators, professors, advisors and/or coaches that go unnamed, but still played a pivotal role in his life. “My most vivid memories on 'The Yard’," recalls Sanders, “include probating on the steps of the John Brown Watson


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Library and hosting the 2008 [Barack Obama] election watch party with my line brothers. So many of my most cherished times are anchored around UAPB, and for that I’m sincerely thankful.” After receiving his bachelor’s from UAPB, Sanders enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) to pursue a master’s of business administration degree. He graduated with honors in December 2010 and soon after completed a postbaccalaureate degree in sociology, also from UALR. Sanders worked for Acxiom Corporation as a product manager. As a product manager, Sanders had the opportunity to build amazing marketing database products with the ultimate goal of changing the world of marketing forever. Today, he resides in Cleveland, Ohio, where he works for Explorys, Inc., as a product manager. As a product manager, Sanders builds dynamic healthcare information technology products with the ultimate goal of improving the landscape of healthcare for years to come. Most recently Sanders, along with two other UAPB alumni, launched Tailored by Stephen B. (www.TailoredbyStephenB. com)—a men’s fashion brand focused on providing the “everyday male” with handcrafted bow ties and other high-end accessories.

william “sonny” walker, ll.d. Silver William “Sonny” Walker is founder and principal of The Sonny Walker Group, a management consulting/networking firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Born in Arkansas, he has held leadership positions at local, state, regional and national levels, working on matters pertaining to strategic planning, early learning, education reform, political campaign management, economic and human resources development, worker productivity, partnership development, networking and fund-raising. He served as executive director and chief operating officer of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., and as an assistant to Mrs. Coretta Scott King for speech preparation and development. Before assuming the position at The King Center, Dr. Walker was vice president of the National Alliance of Business (NAB) for 13 years. The NAB was a business sector-led partnership dedicated to establishing an internationally competitive American workforce. He began his professional career as an educator in the Arkansas public schools as a teacher, athletic coach and administrator. He also served as president of both the Little Rock and Arkansas Associations of Teachers.

Following his directorship of the Economic Opportunity Agency of Little Rock and Pulaski County, he served in Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s cabinet as head of the Arkansas State Economic Opportunity Office. After a stint as a division director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Walker was appointed director of the Southeast Region for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity and its successor agency, the U.S. Community Services Administration. He served as director for ten years under four U.S. Presidents—Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. Sonny assisted in organizing and providing leadership for one of the first Head Start programs in the nation, The Crusade for Opportunity in Syracuse, New York. He also led a team that developed a recent comprehensive strategic plan for the National Head Start Association. In the summer of 2011, Sonny was inducted into the internationally known History Makers in recognition of his civil rights contributions and achievements in the state of Arkansas. Among his many, many honors, awards and recognition, Dr. Walker is listed in Outstanding Personalities in the South, 1974– 2010; Who’s Who in Black America, 1976–2010; and Who’s Who Among African Americans, 1997–2010.

Fall 2014


bettye j. williams, ph.d. Silver Dr. Bettye J. Williams was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She attended and received her formal training at Townsend Park High School in the Dollarway School District (1964). Dr. Bettye J. Williams is a professor emeritus in the Department of English, Theatre, and Mass Communications, at the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff (UAPB), where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in English (1968). She received a master of science degree in English from Pittsburgh State University, in Kansas (1970), and a doctor of philosophy from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1993). She is named in the Cambridge Who’s Who of World Achievement; International Who’s Who of Contemporary Achievement; and Dictionary of Notable Women. She has published chapters and articles in African American Literature: A Biographical Bibliographical Study; CLA Journal;


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Oxford Companion to African American Literature; African American Literature, A Biographical Bibliographical Study, 1745-1945; Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Edition; Masterplots II: Juvenile and Young Adult Literature; Magill’s Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature; Arkansas Journal; Studies in the Humanities; and The Journal of the National Association of University Women. Invited by the Trustees of the Oxford Round Table, she traveled to Oxford, England, as an Oxford Scholar in 2010. Dr. Williams is a member of the Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women where she serves as the National 2nd vice president. She is a past president of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and she attends New Town Missionary Baptist Church.

leon crumblin, ltc (retired) Bronze Leon Crumblin is originally from Jenkinsville, South Carolina. He graduated from South Carolina State College (now University) in 1975 with a degree in civil engineering technology. Upon graduating, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He later received his master’s degree in business management from Central Michigan University. His assignments in the military included tours at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Frankfurt, Germany; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana and to Pine Bluff as the professor of military science for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ’s ROTC Program. After 21 years of service he retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel. After retirement, he started working for UAPB as the director of recruitment.

He later served as the dean of student life and concluded his second career of almost 17 years as the dean of Student Life and Enrollment Management. Leon is active in the Pine Bluff community serving as a member of the Chairman’s Club, better known as the Red Coats, the official host and hostesses for the city. He was also nominated by the Mayor and approved by the Pine Bluff City Council to serve on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He is a member of the Rollin’ Lions RV Club, the Bluff City Corvette Club, and the Pine Bluff Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Leon is married to Lillie Crumblin and they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Fall 2014


frances harris-wadell Bronze Frances Harris-Waddell, a native of Brinkley, Arkansas, is a 1967 graduate of Marian Anderson High School. She obtained a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and government in 1970 from AM&N College. Frances earned two additional degrees in education from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and from the University of Southern Missouri in Joplin, Missouri. She obtained additional college hours in gerontology, public administration, psychology, vocational education, and counseling. Frances has maintained her certification throughout her career. She taught school at Girls Town and Dominican High School (currently Father Flanagan High School) in Omaha, Nebraska. Frances currently serves as a resource specialist for the Arkansas Department of Human Services/ Division of Children and Family Services. She has served as a reintegration worker for incarcerated youth at the Youth Services Center and city and county jails, and served as an advocate for youth in court, school, and the community. She has over 40 years of community service. Frances has served two terms on the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Board of Directors, and she served as Pulaski County/ Little Rock Alumni Chapter committee chairperson for the 2011 and 2012 Tom Joyner School of the Month Initiative. Frances has served for several years as chairperson of the Pulaski County/Little Rock Chapter’s Annual Scholarship Banquet. She won 1st place in the 2011 “Beat the President” for 62

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

the chapter’s local membership drive. She is a life member of the National Alumni Association. Each year, she assists with the Arkansas Classic and Homecoming Golf Tournament to secure donors and sponsors for the Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund. She supports UAPB in every way possible and has played a major role in persuading others to participate as well as give in various initiatives throughout the University. She can usually be found soliciting support for the University. Frances is also the recipient of numerous awards: Center Stage Award from Centers for Youth and Families (the highest award an employee can receive); induction into the UAPB/AM&N Alumni Hall of Fame; Community Service Award from Boy Scouts of America; Community Service Award from the Royal Knight Society; several Community Service Awards from the local, state and National Black Social Workers Organization; and the National Historical Black College Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of exemplary service and support to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Frances is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and of the local, state and National Black Social Worker Associations. She is the mother of two sons, Ernest Edward Waddell, Jr., and Aaron Durand Waddell; and the grandmother of Darius Waddell.

keita stuckey todd Bronze Keita Stuckey Todd followed in the footsteps of her great grandparents Walter James Everett, Sr. and Beatrice Caroline Wade (1907), grandmother Bessie Everett Stuckey (1937) and father Everett Eugene Stuckey (1967). She is a 4th generation family member to attend Branch Normal/AM&N/the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Keita is proud to have continued the legacy. Graduating from UAPB in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in computer science, Keita went on to obtain her master of business administration with an emphasis in computer resources and information management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1998. Keita’s professional career began as an associate computer programmer with Union Pacific Technologies (UPT). During her tenure with UPT, she held several positions the last of which was senior project engineer. Keita joined the May Department stores company which was later acquired by Macy’s, Inc., where she transitioned from programming into the business analyst role. From 2007 to the present Keita has worked at Cass Information Systems as an integral part of the Business Systems team in the transportation division.

Keita is a former Miss UAPB (1989-1990), past member of the board of directors for the National Alumni Association of UAPB (2004-2006), life member of the UAPB National Alumni Association and the current president of the Gateway Chapter of the UAPB National Alumni Association. She is a Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Member of Union Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Reverend James Nicks Pastor. The reasons Keita supports UAPB are simple; the knowledge, guidance, encouragement, experiences, and lifelong friendships (to name a few) she gained while matriculating at UAPB are priceless. It is imperative that UAPB continues to be a viable institution for the future Golden Lions yet to discover their potential while traversing its hallowed halls. Her motto is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Keita enjoys reading (the science fiction/fantasy genre in particular - anything nominated for a Hugo or Nebula award) and spending time with family and friends. Keita currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband David.

Fall 2014


xavier b. stribling Bronze “The reason I chose to become a New Millennium Leader is because I can see the impact it can have on current and future students. When I think about what the university has done to help prepare me for life outside of school, I am overly appreciative”, states Xavier B. Stribling. Xavier, a proud native of Pine Bluff and the son of Johnny and Tracye Rabun and Anthony Jenkins, graduated from Pine Bluff High School in May 2005. During high school, Dr. Charles R. Colen, Jr. (Chair, Industrial Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering) and Mr. Ralph Owens, Jr., served as mentors to him. Stribling credits their patience and kindred spirits to opening his eyes to the opportunities and rich history that existed at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). It was this influence that convinced him to enroll at UAPB just one week before his high school graduation. There he joined the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy. STEM had an unprecedented effect on his overall experience at the University. Throughout his college years, Colen and Owens continued to be instrumental in his matriculation and acquisition of the bachelor of arts degree, in industrial technology, May 2009. While enrolled at UAPB, Stribling was actively involved in campus life as demonstrated by his on-campus activities: freshman, sophomore, and junior Class senator; Student


PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Government Association, chief-of-staff (08-09); STEM Academy (president 07-08, 08-09); National Society Black Engineers (senator); Union Programming Board Career Service Ambassadors (vice-president 07-08); Election Board; Honors College; and Gamma Sigma Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (polemarch/president). Among Stribling’s accomplishments are: full academic tuition scholarship, Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, Thurgood Marshall Conference (School Representative for conference), International Organization for Black Security Executive (University student representative to the conference); completed three internships; and graduated cum laude. Shortly after graduation, he began a career with the United States Department of State in Washington, DC. In fall 2009, while working full-time, Stribling enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and attained a master of science degree in operation management in May 2011. Though in the early stage of his professional life, Stribling has traveled to distant places. He states, “I have had the opportunity to see some parts of the world I never would have imagined. Having been posted to Iraq and Afghanistan gave me great personal and professional experiences. As my career continues I look forward to being able to see more of the world.”

jewell m. walker, ed.d. Bronze Dr. Jewell Mitchell Walker enjoys working with students and has derived the greatest gratification from helping students achieve success. Dr. Walker was born and reared in Gregory and Augusta, Arkansas, and graduated from Carver High School. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business education from Arkansas AM&N College; a master of science degree in counseling from the University of Central Arkansas; and an doctor of education degree in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She began her career as a public school teacher in the Altheimer School District in 1969, and later moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she was employed as manager of the Student Health Services Center at Meharry Medical College. At the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), Dr. Walker held several positions including administrative assistant in the office of the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Development Office; public relations officer for the Cooperative Education program; counselor for the Counseling and Testing program; academic advisor and director of Basic Academic Services; and finally as dean of University College and the Carolyn Blakely Honors College. Dr. Walker retired from UAPB on June 30, 2014, after more than 23 years of service to the university. She has served on a number of committees and academic teams: Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee; Enrollment Management Team; LIONS Program Advisory

Board; UAPB-NSF STEM Advisory Committee; Educational Access Conference Committees; NCATE Committee; and as chair and co-chair of the Founders’ Observance Committee for several years. Dr. Walker also served as chair for the UAPB Building Engagement and Attainment for Minority Students (BEAMS) Team project. Dr. Walker’s professional organizations and affiliations include the National Academic Advising Association, National Association of Developmental Education, National Orientation Directors Association, National Association of Deans and Directors of University College and Undergraduate Studies, International Mentoring Association, American Association for Higher Education, Arkansas Association of Developmental Education, Southeast Arkansas Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Chi National Honor Society (Arkansas Mu Chapter advisor), and Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society (serving as Alpha Beta Tau Chapter). She has also served on the Arkansas State American College Testing Council, and on the Boards of the Arts and Sciences Center of Southeast. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and received the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Woman of the Year Award in 2000. She is a member of Christ Temple Church where she has served as youth director and Sunday School teacher. Dr. Walker was married to the late Dr. David Earl Walker, Sr., and they are the parents of six children. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, bowling, and playing bridge. Fall 2014



o s '7

UAPB Graduate, Colonel retires Army Reserve Colonel Lynn Barden'79 has retired from the U.S. Army Reserve after serving honorably for 34 years. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history. Barden retired as the comptroller of the 85th Support Command. Barden, a native of Forrest City, is a 1974 graduate of Forest City High School. He was commissioned as an infantry officer on 13 May, 1979. He is the son of the late Roosevelt Barden and Delta L. Barden of Forest City and father of Brandon L. and Courtney L. Barden of Bellwood, Ill. Barden’s leadership roles began as a infantry platoon leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry, Fort Carson, Colo., and culminating as the security officer and project manager, Combat Equipment Group Europe, Federal Republic of Germany. The colonel has held numerous positions within the 85th Support Command and the 85th Training Division. Barden’s military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic

Course, the Infantry Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms and Service Staff and the Command and General Staff College. Barden has also completed the Basic Airborne Course, the NBC Officer/ NCO School, the Infantry Mortar Platoon Course, the Supply and Service Management Officer Course, the Security Manager Course, RC Senior Transportation Officer Qualification Course, and most recently the Finance Officer Advanced Course. Barden’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, The Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), the Army Commendation Medal, the Army

Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one service star, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (8 awards with 3 SOLC), the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (3 awards), the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Expert Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge.


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o s '8 Bacon honored for 31 years of military service

U.S. Army Colonel Ronald A. Bacon'84, a native of Pine Bluff, Ark., and a member of the 1st Brigade, Southern Division, 75th Training Command, was recently honored during Col. Ronald A. Bacon of the 1st Brigade, Southern Division, 75th Training Command, (center) was officially retired from the U.S. Army Reserve at Ellington Joint Base, Houston, Texas on June 8, 2014 Brig. Gen. a retirement ceremony from the U.S. William P. Barriage, commanding officer, Southern Division (left), presented Bacon with his retirement certificate and a Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of Colonel Bacon’s 31 years of service. Also Army Reserve following a distinguished pictured is Bacon’s wife Doris, who also was honored. 31-year career that included multiple deployments and four tours in combat for being the recipient of numerous decorations and awards. zones. During the retirement ceremony, Bacon was presented with: Bacon, who began his military career in 1984 after • The Bronze Star Medal authorized by Executive Order graduating from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ’s from the President of the United States. Army ROTC Program, was officially retired during a ceremony • Certificate of Appreciation for service in the Armed June 8, 2014 at Ellington Joint Base in Houston, Texas. Forces of the United States from President Barack Obama. Prior to retiring in June, Bacon served one year in • Order of Saint Maurice from The National Infantry Kandahar, Afghanistan as Deputy Commanding Officer of the Association. consolidated Fielding Center. • The Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. William P. Barriage, meritorious achievement or service to the United States. commanding officer, Southern Division, presented Bacon with • The Legion of Merit Award for exceptionally meritorious his retirement certificate and a Meritorious Service Medal in conduct in the performance of outstanding services and recognition of 31 years of service. achievement. Bacon attended the ceremony with his wife Doris, who the Bacon is the son of Arethias Bacon, Sr. of Pine Bluff, Ark. military honored for her support. Doris also is a 1984 graduate and the late Melzener Bacon. He lives in Houston with his wife of UAPB and a former UAPB Stepperette. and their two children. Bacon was lauded for his many leadership positions and

Colonel Jennifer D. Wesley'89 graduated from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pa., and earned a master’s degree in strategic studies. Wesley earned a bachelor’s degree in 1989 from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and is a 1985 graduate of Camden Senior High School at Camden. Having served in the military for 25 years, she is a strategic planner with the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology at the Pentagon in the District of Columbia. The 10-month curriculum of the Army’s senior officer school is designed to prepare officers of all the U.S. military branches of service, foreign military officers, as well as senior civilian officials of federal agencies, for top-level positions with the U.S. Armed Forces worldwide. Fall 2014



The Boys &Girls Club of Jefferson County recently hired Nyeshia Aldridge'12 as its new chief executive officer. Aldridge is a 2012 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff graduate with a degree in professional studies. A Texas native, she has served youth as assistant and interim head volleyball coach at UAPB, as athletic director/volleyball coach at St. Joseph Catholic School and head volleyball coach at Philander Smith College. Most recently, she served as a mental health paraprofessional at People Advocating Transition. Aldridge said she plans to go back and retrace the steps of the previous chief executive officer to see where she can make things better. She said her goal is “to service all children in Jefferson County by trying to increase the number of sites. To convince more people to get involved, Aldridge said she is meeting with

THE BOOKSHELF Grandma's Rose is a novel everyone can relate to no matter what nationality or culture they are. You’ll laugh and cry with the characters in the story. Once you read it, you’ll realize how much we’ve changed as a family, and understand the true meaning of a mothers love. Available at, barnesandnoble. com ( and other online book retailers.

ine’s unexpected death g a life full of roses. get about her past and minded her of the scars e’s death but is soon y challenges, obstacles, from her past.

ly discovers the real she learns about the her mother. Christine se truly realized that ve and hope beyond and never forgotten. es her special place in e plays in the Creston that if there was any een it was her.

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This book recounts the life of Thedora Clemmons Trammell who uses her skills as a beautician to build a business and life beyond hair care in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Following in the tradition of other notable Black women from small towns, Mrs. Trammell from Elmyra, Arkansas, becomes a successful beautician and business woman. Using the skills she learned at home and from working for others, she establishes a substantial family enterprise. The book recounts 68

PRIDE Magazine • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

churches, UAPB and contacting alumni of the club to form an alumni association. “I want the community to be aware of the programs the club has to offer and how they are different from other programs. I want to get the children to experience different things outside of their community,” she said. Aldridge said she plans to work directly with the board of directors to serve more youth in Jefferson County to ensure that these children receive adequate programs. The Boys &Girls Club of Jefferson County serves 500 young people, ages 5-17 annually through educational, recreational, health and fitness programs. Known as the positive place for kids, the club provides a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, life enhancing programs, character development experiences with hope and opportunity for the youth we serve. Dr. Kristen Crawford Ellis, D.D.S.'07 was appointed for counsel in the field of expertise in dental health, recruitment and retention of health care providers, and access to health care in underserved areas to the National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps. The Council advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to implementation of all aspects associated with The National Health Service Corps; including The Affordable Health Care Act, grants, and other related programs. As a group of health care providers and administrators who are experts in the issues that communities with a shortage of primary care professionals face in meeting their health care needs, The Council is committed to improving the health of the nation’s underserved. As an accolade of Dr. Ellis’s career in dentistry, she will be an influential member of The Council as she has experience of practicing dentistry in Community Health Centers, The Indian Health Service, and The Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as well as a background in law and policies. Prior to appointment, Dr. Ellis served the NHSC as a NHSC mentor and NHSC Scholar. Dr. Ellis is licensed to practice dentistry in the state of Louisiana and Texas. Dr. Ellis is a graduate of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff '07 & Meharry Medical College- School of Dentistry '11. She is married to William Ellis - a 2005 UAPB alumnus and they have two children, William, age 3 and Lauren, age 1. her early work on the AM&N campus college canning factory and her work for the then president of the college. The book is written by Dr. Sandra E. Gibbs, a graduate of AM&N College (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff) and the University of Illinois. Gibbs is a former Associate

Executive Director and Senior Program Officer for a national professional organization of English language arts educators. The book is available for purchase at Trammell’s Beauty & Barber Supply located 2700 W. Pullen street in Pine Bluff.

Profile for University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

PRIDE Magazine | Fall 2014  

The Fall 2014 issue features the opening of the STEM building and its impact on the campus, contains an insert on the Dorothy Maggett Fiddmo...

PRIDE Magazine | Fall 2014  

The Fall 2014 issue features the opening of the STEM building and its impact on the campus, contains an insert on the Dorothy Maggett Fiddmo...

Profile for uapbmag