Faculty and Staff accomplishments

Stephanie VandersliceStephanie Vanderslice was recently interviewed by Tasha Golden on the Ploughshares online literary magazine for an article entitled “Writing In A Changing World” at http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/writing-in-a-changing-world-craft-readerships-and-social-media/.

In June, she published the essay, Creative Writing is Not a Fast Food Nation, with the “gang of five” creative writing professors in the daily news source Inside Higher Education http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/07/05/essay-defending-way-creative-writing-taught.



copelandDr. Jud Copeland, associate professor, received the Pat McDonald Outstanding Individual Achievement Award during the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media (AAIM) conference in Rogers, Arkansas in April.

The Arkansas Association of Instructional Media is a group of professional educators dedicated to the improvement of education through the use of technology and media. The group hosts a professional development conference each spring providing educators with workshops specific to instructional technology, media usage, and current innovations in library media.

Dr. Jud Copeland has been teaching at UCA for five years. During his time at UCA, he has been teaching subjects such as cataloging, classification, intellectual property, and copyright. “AAIM inspires us to become more effective teachers with a passion for learning,” Copeland said.


Amy WhiteheadAmy Whitehead, director of the University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development, was recognized by the Arkansas Community Development Society (ACDS) at their annual conference and awards presentation on Thursday, October 24.

ACDS awarded individuals in five categories. Whitehead was awarded in the New Professional category, which was designed to recognize and encourage community developers who are new to the field.

ACDS is an educational nonprofit organization that works to advance community development and the community development profession by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of common interest among the members of the Chapter, providing for the publication and dissemination of community development information to members of the public, advocating excellence in community development scholarship research and practice for the good of mankind, and promoting citizen participation as essential to effective community development.


Deb Dailey wins Outstanding Dissertation Award PICDr. Deborah Dailey from the College of Education was awarded the Herbert M. Handley Outstanding Dissertation Award at the Mid-South Educational Research Association’s (MSERA) annual conference in early November 2013. For the award, Dr. Dailey received a plaque and a $250 cash award. Dr. Dailey’s dissertation, The Effects of a STEM Intervention on Elementary Teachers, was also presented in a paper session at the conference. Teaching and Learning Department Chair Tammy Benson indicated, “I heard the presentation of Debbie’s dissertation and it is very impressive.” Each year, MSERA sponsors the Herbert M. Handley Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Award. Any current member of MSERA who has completed a dissertation or thesis (in the current year) within the member states of MSERA may submit their dissertation abstract for award consideration. In addition, the abstract from the winning dissertation is recognized on the MSERA web site and in the MSERA Educational Researcher publication. Dr. Dailey is currently serving as a faculty member in the Department of Teaching and Learning and earned her doctoral degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


candace barnesDr. Candice Barnes, Assistant Professor Early Childhood and Special Education, spoke to faculty at the Instructional Development Center’s (IDC) Eat, Engage, and Energize lunch session, October 31. Barnes joined fellow faculty members Kim Little-History, Sophie Dix- Writing, and Amy Pitchford-Communication for an interactive discussion about ways to incorporate service-learning pedagogy into teaching, research, and scholarship at UCA.

Barnes addressed the specific benefits of service-learning pedagogy as a teaching strategy for students in her education courses. As the Coordinator of Service-Learning activities for the Institute for Research on Social and Emotional and Service Learning, a part of Barnes’ role is to support the Mashburn Institute and colleagues. Within both the department and college, she organizes service-learning projects that support the scope and aim of teacher education. Teacher candidates must have varied and rich experiences engaging in service-learning projects so that they can more effectively engage their students in deep, rich learning. Therefore, working to create richer partnerships with local schools is vital to engaging students in both local, school-community and global projects.

Barnes is one of eight faculty who took part in UCA’s inaugural service-learning faculty fellows seminar. The seminar engaged faculty from colleges across campus for an interactive seminar focused on strengthening and incorporating service-learning pedagogy into teaching and learning.