Theresa is an administrator at Carroll County Learning Center, an organization that serves children birth-5 with developmental delays. She oversees over 70 employees at multiple locations, serves as due process liaison for state agencies and coordinates transition services to public schools. She is a certified trainer and often presents trainings around the state. She received her Master’s degree in Special Education from UCA. She is committed to cultivating the development of her staff and advocating for the early childhood profession as a whole.
Kris Bertelsen is an Economic Education Specialist with the Little Rock Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Prior to joining the Fed in 2011, Kris was a high school economics teacher in St. Charles, MN. He graduated from St. Cloud State University and earned his Master’s in Economic Education and Entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware. Kris has served on various boards and committees including the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, the 2012 National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] economics assessment writing committee, Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education [AGATE], and the Arkansas Jump$tart coalition.
Sara is the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at National Park Community College. She began her career in higher education at NPCC in 2006 as the Assistant Director of Admissions, Scholarships, and Recruitment. Sara holds a Bachelor in Business Administration in Accounting and Master of Business Administration from Henderson State University. She is an active member of the Leadership Hot Springs, Arkansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the Oaklawn Foundation Education Committee. She is an advocate for higher education and enjoys volunteering, spending time with her family, traveling, and fitness training. Sara and her husband, Jeremy, have two children, Abigail, 6, and Zachary, 3.
Ferris Delph-Jackson is currently an administrator serving the Conway Public School District and has worked in the field of education for going on 13 years. Ferris has taught grades 3-12 in Little Rock and Conway, Arkansas, and has presented at different educational conferences within and out of state, promoting her passion to strive daily to be an uncompromising advocate for student achievement. Within her educational career, she has served as a teacher, library media specialist, and now an assistant principal. Ferris earned her Bachelor of Science in Education; Master of Science in Special Education Curriculum and Instructional Specialist; Master of Science in Library Media and Information Technology; Educational Specialist in Education Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Arkansas and also completed a program of study in Education Leadership from Harding University.
Ferris believes this PhD program will guide her in establishing connections between the different sectors found within the community while developing a collaborative design to promote citizenship and social responsibility. Ferris has taken to heart one of the prominent symbols of her school district, established by the district’s Superintendent, Dr. Greg Murry, “Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it takes.” and believes strongly this philosophy has the ability to be applicable to different sectors within the community.
Leah Horton is a career science educator, with experience in K-12 and higher education. Her current research interest seeks to combine her passion for science education and service-learning, which led her to co-develop the “Science and Society in Rwanda” study abroad program. Leah is currently a Lecturer I and Assistant Chair of the Biology Department at UCA and was the first Resident Master of the STEM Residential College. She is an UCA alumna, earning a BS in Chemistry, as well as an MS from Emory University in biochemistry, cell, and developmental biology.
Affectionately called Matt by friends and family, Matthew Jackson originally hails from Preston, Mississippi, but now considers Little Rock his home. He currently serves as the Information Technology Specialist for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development – Little Rock Field Office. He earned both his BS in Business Administration and MBA from William Carey University, as well as a Master of Information Technology from Grantham University.
Prior to his current position, Matt has worked in many fields, including military, retail, marketing, non-profit, recruiting, and government contracting. He was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated in 2008 and has served as the Hattiesburg, MS alumni chapter president, vice president, and financial secretary.
Matt and his family spend their free time traveling, visiting museums, and watching sports. Matt’s thirst for education and mentoring of others are sources of his motivation, as he believes that anyone who stays the course and never gives up can accomplish anything.
Henry Jones was born and raised in the MIGHTY Mississippi Delta (Clarksdale). He always had a passion for social justice; however, while attending Tennessee State University, he changed his outlook on life. Ten days after graduating college, Henry began union organizing at Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Since then he has worked tirelessly in community organizing across the state of Tennessee around issues such as environmental justice, poverty, education, and equal housing. For a young man, he is an OG organizer, dedicating over 12 years to movement building. Henry currently serves as Stand for Children's Tennessee Organizing Manager.
Kyle L. Jones is a native of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Kyle received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Henderson State University and then obtained his master’s degree in Higher Education/College Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Kyle is a proud brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is currently employed at Henderson State University as Program Coordinator for the McNair Scholars Program. Kyle's academic interests include Twentieth Century Political and Social History, Civil Rights/Black Power Leadership, African American History, African American Religious History, and the History of Access and Diversity in Higher Education.
While teaching, she developed a passion for higher education and returned to Arkansas Tech University in 2010 to work in the Office of Admissions as a recruiter, to encourage students in Arkansas and Oklahoma to pursue a degree. After completing her Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel, she transitioned to Student Services at Arkansas Tech University.
Most recently, Cara has made another move to the Academic Advising Center, where she will serve as an advisor for the College of Education. She satisfies her passion for teaching through experiences with Upward Bound and as an adjunct instructor.
Emily Lane is a lifetime Arkansan who is fascinated by human nature, spirituality, and the interconnectedness of life; these fascinations drove her desires to become a filmmaker. She holds a master's degree in digital filmmaking and is currently documenting the short and long-term impacts of the natural gas industry in Arkansas. When she is not making films, she serves as Assistant Director of ArkansasFracking.org and as a member of the Board of Directors for Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group whose current focus is the Pegasus pipeline rupture and spill in Mayflower, Arkansas.
Elizabeth is originally from Northeast Arkansas. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. She has been practicing as an occupational therapist since 2002 and has been an instructor at the University of Central Arkansas since 2005. Elizabeth has engaged in research regarding fall risk among individuals with developmental disabilities as well as scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects focusing on professionalism of fieldwork students. Her research interests include fall prevention, pediatrics, leisure, SoTL and leadership development.
Katherine Ligon is a native of Ukraine, and a US citizen. She is fluent in three languages: English, Russian, and Ukrainian. Mrs. Ligon graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration and Labor Economics degree from Dnipropetrovsk National University, Ukraine, received a master’s degree in business administration from Harding University Searcy, Arkansas, and obtained a graduate certificate in sociology from the Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Mrs. Ligon is a past President and an active member of the Rotary Club of Cleburne County. Mrs. Ligon has been involved with Arkansas State University on the Heber Springs campus, where she has taught a variety of classes as an adjunct instructor for the past four and a half years. Currently, Katherine is serving as a Graduate Assistant in the Business Department.
With the PhD in Leadership Studies program, Mrs. Ligon intends to benefit Arkansas and her adoptive country to improve educational systems.
Originally from Farmington, AR, Courtney relocated to the River Valley area in 2004 to complete her undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and Journalism: Public Relations from Arkansas Tech University. She later completed her Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from her alma mater.
Courtney currently serves as the Director of Graduate Support Services in the Arkansas Tech University Graduate College. With this position, she serves as an active resource for students and faculty alike, through thesis review, the graduate assistant program, and all recruitment. She has worked in higher education for five years, with experience in undergraduate admissions, Upward Bound, and adjunct teaching.
Courtney has a passion to serve students in their pursuit of higher education. She feels the Ph.D. in Leadership is a perfect fit to provide her with the knowledge and skills to aid students, and influence the realm of higher education for the betterment of the state.
Sheldon is the founder and President of Pentacles of Pride, a nonprofit organization focused on universal religious freedom and human relief. Sheldon travels to various countries each year to expand the nonprofit and has also opened the “River Valley Center for Healing,” a for-profit institute focusing on alternative health and wellness located in Russellville, AR. Leadership plays an integral role in his daily life as an ordained priest, a spiritual counselor, and an internationally recognized online personality.
Noah Washburn is the Program Director for the 4-H Youth Development component of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. His career started in Louisiana where he worked as a 4-H agent, agriculture agent, and parish chair with the LSU AgCenter Extension Service. After 20 years in Louisiana, he came to Arkansas to work as a County Extension Agent – Staff Chair in Union County. He soon advanced to serve as Associate District Director, where he provided administrative leadership to agents in 25 southwest Arkansas counties. Noah earned both a BS and MS from Louisiana Tech University where he specialized in animal and equine science. He and his wife Lisa live in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Shannon, a native of Lake Village, Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminal Justice, Speech Communication, and Sociology; and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership. Currently, he is the Pre-Admission Education Advisor for the University of Central Arkansas’s College of Education. His role in the College of Education includes academic advising, academic success coaching, assisting with recruitment and retention efforts, and aiding in preparing students for the Praxis I Test.
Shannon serves as the Vice-President for Multicultural and Diversity for the Arkansas Academic Advising Network (ArkAAN). He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Lakeside High School Class of 2006 Scholarship Initiative in Lake Village, which provides annual scholarships to at-risk youth pursuing higher education. Shannon anticipates the PhD in Leadership will effectively prepare him to lead at impeccable levels, equip him with the knowledge and expertise to respond to the needs of Arkansans, and help move the state forward. Shannon and his wife Kendra reside in Central Arkansas with their three children, Kaliah, Kavaughn, and Khristian.