Sarah Argue is an Arkansas native committed to improving educational and economic conditions in her home state. She currently serves as the Early Childhood Education Project Director for the Arkansas Research Center. After graduating from college and receiving her teaching credentials, she taught fourth and fifth graders in the Boston Public Schools. There she experienced first hand with her students the importance of a strong early childhood foundation in learning. She returned to Arkansas to attend the Clinton School of Public Service, where she concentrated in education policy. Upon graduating from the Clinton School, Sarah worked with The Colon Club, a small non-profit dedicated to education and awareness of colorectal cancer for people under forty, and then joined the team at the EAST initiative, an education non-profit pairing service and technology to engage students. Sarah brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to the LEAD program and looks forward to exploring innovative strategies to serve Arkansas.
Robyn Beard is an educator and has worked in the K-12 and educational setting for over 15 years. She is currently a school administrator in Central Arkansas, but has also served as a teacher, a Scholastic Auditor for the Arkansas Department of Education and an educational trainer in both Texas and Arkansas. Her educational background includes a BS in Education from Jackson State University (Jackson, MS); a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas (Denton, TX); a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX) and an Educational Specialist degree in Leadership from the University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR). Robyn’s educational background and related experiences have ignited a passion in her to positively influence society and change misconceptions that limit educational progress. As a student in the Interdisciplinary Leadership program, she hopes to develop meaningful, professional relationships and gain insight through research and other educational opportunities that will allow her to promote change in education and in society as a whole.
Shanon Brantley resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She is a career Speech-Language Pathologist with 15 years of experience in acute care hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals. Shanon received a master’s degree from Arkansas State University in 1999. She returned to ASU in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders where she teaches voice disorders, motor speech disorder, and swallowing disorders courses, along with providing clinical supervision to undergraduate and graduate level students at the Arkansas State University Speech and Hearing Center. Shanon is the program coordinator of ASU’s Head and Neck Cancer Interdisciplinary Treatment and Education Program, where a multidisciplinary team approach allows for best clinical practices, optimal outcomes, and improved quality of life for program participants. Shanon chose to pursue a PhD in Interdisciplinary Leadership (LEAD) at UCA to prepare her for future career opportunities in higher education, to support and encourage her students to be confident leaders within their future profession, and to acquire the necessary skills for facilitation of successful community development programs.
Chassidy Cooper is a native Arkansan. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Sewanee-the University of the South and then obtained her master’s degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Currently, she serves as Supplemental Instruction (SI) Coordinator/Advisor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her role at the Academic Success Center is to increase the retention and graduation rates of UALR students through academic coaching and program coordination. She has always envisioned herself working for a university or non-profit, helping students gain the tools necessary for college success. Her previous participation and current involvement in Arkansas Commitment, a non-profit program designed to institute a corps of talented, young minority persons throughout central Arkansas to serve as future state leaders, is the catalyst for her desire to continue to serve Arkansans. Leadership, mentoring, and service are major aspects of her life. The University of Central Arkansas’ interdisciplinary curriculum ensures her that academically she will be trained to continue to influence her campus and community but also teach diverse students that will go out and change the world. She hopes to conduct research that contributes to furthering the knowledge of how to improve the quality of higher education for students especially minorities but also how to improve the quality of life for Arkansans.
Raymond (Roddy) Dawson
Support Systems contract. Roddy currently oversees Application Design and Development teams responsible for supporting 17 divisions, 60+ applications and over 7000+ DHS employees. Having more than 15+ years of experience with design and implementation of programs within the healthcare and business sectors, he is an accomplished professional having managed state and federal contracts supporting both Medicare and Medicaid initiatives.
In addition to his professional experience, Roddy holds a BA in Communications from UALR, a MS in Health Informatics and Information Management from Northwestern University, and a MBA with emphasis on Process Improvement and Quality Management from Union University. In addition, he holds professional Baldrige and ISO quality management certifications along with health information technology credentials.
Through the LEAD PhD program, Roddy plans to focus research efforts on community development and the adoption of technical solutions to drive change within the health and human service sectors. As a public health professional with experience in technology design and implementation, he looks to improve health and education outcomes through computer based tools, virtual learning environments, and mobile applications/solutions to support improvements of Arkansas’ Human Development Index (HDI). By providing education and knowledge at the point of impact/service Roddy believes that improvements can be made on literacy, life expectancy, educational degree attainment and other measures defined within the HDI metrics.
Originally from Dumas, Arkansas, Ron Hudson earned a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Arkansas Monticello. Involvement in Greek Life, residence life, student activities, Trio programs, and tutoring developed into a passion to pursue a career in Higher Education. He attained a master’s degree in college student personnel from Arkansas Tech University and expanded his experience to include: academic advising, admissions, international programs, orientation, and recruitment.
Ron has held board positions with the Arkansas College Personnel Association and the Arkansas Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. Currently, he is the Project Manager for International Student Scholar and Services at the University of Central Arkansas.
A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and veteran of the Arkansas Army National Guard, he is dedicated to service. During his military career, he went on deployments to Egypt and Iraq. He now resides in Conway with his wife, Shlynda and daughter, Janaya. Ron has a goal of building communities through education and feels the PhD in Leadership program will better prepare him for the next level of higher education administration as well as develop his skills as a servant leader.
For over 20 years, Hattie has benefitted from numerous experiences that have shaped her perspective with regards to spirituality, relationships, and the human condition. Having traveled to the outer villages of Belize and Guatemala serving impoverished areas enriched her career for working with community-based organizations as well as underserved hard-to reach populations (i.e. homeless, youth, and substance abuse users) via healthcare management including educational and community programs.
She is an honor graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (Bachelors), the University of Central Arkansas (Masters), as well as having obtained the Master of Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credentials. She is a fellow of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership where she received comprehensive training in principles of public health prevention and strategic planning and management.
Presently, she is employed at a state agency as the Principal Investigator for the Title V State Abstinence Education Program that provides abstinence education to youth between the ages of 12-19, and as the Grant Coordinator for the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) Program, a community health program that targets vulnerable at-risk young women – who are learning how to care for a child.
Hattie and her husband, Kevin, are Associate Ministers at a local church in Central Arkansas. They are the proud parents of Michael, Brittany, Keagan, Jasmine, Morgan, and Christopher.
Academically, this program will enhance her skills thus providing a holistic approach as a researcher in the field of health disparities regarding determinants that affect risky behaviors of Arkansans.
Amy Thompson, a native of Conway, graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Elementary Education. After beginning her career teaching in the Little Rock School District, Amy soon graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Master of Arts in Reading Education. Amy taught in the Little Rock School District for 14 years at Fulbright Elementary. She is certified as a 1-6 teacher as well as middle school social studies. Amy has earned her National Board Certification in Literacy and is a K-12 certified reading specialist. Currently, Amy is the MAT Field Placement Coordinator and a Clinical Instructor in the Teaching and Learning Department in the University of Central Arkansas’s College of Education.
Amy and her husband Daniel reside in Conway with their son, Matthew, a sophomore at UCA.
A native of Wilmington, Illinois, Dana Tribble moved to Russellville, Arkansas, in 2005 after being awarded a volleyball scholarship. She played volleyball for the Arkansas Tech University Golden Suns while pursuing her undergraduate degree in management and marketing. She graduated in 2009 and went on to earn her Master of Science in College Student Personnel in 2011 also from Arkansas Tech University.
Prior, Dana was Director of Career Services at Arkansas Tech University. She has served the institution in several capacities and will continue to do so. Currently, she is an adjunct professor and Chapter Advisor for Phi Mu Fraternity.
Dana strives to be a well-educated leader who contributes to the creation of a society that builds on the principles of intelligence, community, diversity, and integrity for its entire population. She believes the Ph.D. in Leadership program will arm her with the skills and understanding to be successful in her future endeavors.