My Journey to Breathe

Blog Post – January 17, 2019

By Dr. Shaneil Ealy

At the beginning of 2018, I attended a vision board workshop. We were tasked with writing down goals for the year and all I could think about was that I wanted to “just breathe”. I wanted to simply exhale. I wanted to be more present. I wanted to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I had pursued a doctorate degree for 10 years while maintaining a demanding job at UCA, having two sons, supporting my husband in starting his own business and running a small catering business on the side. All I wanted to do was breathe. So, Felicia Johnson, the instructor of the workshop asked me what it meant to breathe. I couldn’t quite articulate it at the time. So she asked me what life looks like when I’m not breathing. Deep sigh … “Oh, that’s good,” I thought.

I had no idea how 2018 would challenge me, promote me, humble me and make me grieve. I had no idea how bad I would really need to breathe by the end of 2018. I used the word “breathe” as my mantra for the year. I placed the word in bold letters across my vision board. I created a bracelet with the word “breathe” and I wore it as a visual reminder to exhale often. I read articles, memes, blogs and anything I could get my hands on that related to breathing. Last fall, I even participated in an online Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer and the title was Breathe: Making room for Sabbath. So, here I am at the beginning of 2019 still learning what it means to breathe and disciplining myself to create breathing space.

Here’s what I have learned on my journey to breathe:

  1. Breathing room is the space or margin we create in our lives to rest.
    Rest is different for everyone. Your breathing room will provide space for you to meditate, worship, listen, read, create or just relax and rest.
  2. Taking time to rest does not mean you are lazy!
    Many women think if they aren’t busy meeting, creating, or producing that they are not effective or can be perceived as lazy. Resting provides just as much value to your life. I took the day off yesterday to celebrate my birthday- something I don’t think I have ever done. I felt so good just allowing myself a day to breathe and to enjoy whatever I wanted. I wish someone had told me to do this years ago!
  3. We sacrifice our breathing room for FOMO (fear of missing out).
    We compromise our time for ourselves to rest and rejuvenate because of our fear of missing something. We suffocate under responsibilities and expectations! We can’t miss the meeting, lunch, church service, game, we can’t unplug from social media, etc. because of fear of missing out or fear of what others may think. Practice saying, “No.” No is a complete sentence.
  4. Learn to savor the small things and small moments.
    I recently read an article about how to become more present. The author suggested that we set an alarm on our phones to remind us to pause and savor the small things throughout the day. You can close your eyes and think of one small thing you are grateful for. Or you can look around and notice one thing you are grateful for. It can be as simple as being grateful for the small heater that is keeping me warm in my office right now or to be surrounded by fifty shades of orange in my office because it just makes me smile.
  5. If you make the wrong choice, you can make another choice.
    Sometimes we obsess over decisions to the point of experiencing anxiety and restlessness. It’s okay. If you make the wrong choice the first time, you can make another choice. It’s that simple. Just breathe.
  6. Breathing room allows me to provide grace to others.
    When I have allowed myself some breathing space, I find that I am more patient with my sons, husband and everyone really. Because I’m not in a state of anxiousness and chaos, I think more clearly. I hear my thoughts and the deep desires of my heart. Oftentimes, I am just filled with so much gratitude that it opens my heart to give. Maybe it’s not monetary, maybe it’s sending a friend a “thinking of you” card or text.

While I would normally stress over having an odd number of points to share (Really?! 6 points instead of 5?), I am taking the time to just breathe. Feels good.

Enjoy your journey,







Dr. Shaneil Ealy
Associate Vice President
Outreach & Community Engagement





5 Tips for Women to Find Self-Worth

Blog Post – October 2, 2018

By Taylor Trevizo

In today’s society, women are constantly being subjected to expectations about beauty, relationships, careers and more. It’s hard to find and maintain self-worth when we live in fear of whether we’re meeting societal standards of what it means to be a woman. It can be hard, but in order to find our value and worth as women, we have to look within ourselves, not out at the world.

Self-worth will set rules that tell others how to treat you. It will show others what you see in yourself, and what you expect from them. With self-worth comes confidence, esteem and personal growth. We are often our own worst critic, but by digging a little deeper and following these five tips, you’ll be able to see all the good you bring into the world.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never feel worthy if you don’t kick the habit of comparing yourself to others. It’s something we all do and it becomes increasingly easier thanks to social media. We’re exposed to pictures of other people’s lives-their vacations, their clothing, their achievements. It can make us feel like we’re less successful, leaving us wanting something we don’t have.

If this sounds like you, take a break from social media or at least be mindful of when you do this. Remember, we only post our best lives for the world to see. We all experience setbacks, hardships, and low self-esteem. Take the time to think about what you do have and be appreciative for that.

2. Do What Makes You Feel Good.
Society will always tell women that we should wear more or less makeup, be skinnier or curvier, or dress a certain way. Your self-worth is not derived from meeting these standards! And if you live your life trying, you’ll never be fulfilled.

Your self-worth stems from doing what makes you feel good. If that means wearing lipstick, go for it. If it means becoming a CEO, don’t stop until you meet those goals! People will always have an opinion about what you should do. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can make yourself happy if you ask yourself what you want.

3. Make Things Happen.
Now that you know what you want, go get it! Things won’t always come easy, but if you try and keep trying, you will make progress. Confidence develops when we overcome challenges. Don’t give up because you failed once. Or twice. Or a hundred times! There is always room for improvement.

4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
Negative self-talk will do you no good. Maybe you told yourself you’d go for a run but then got too busy. Maybe you missed a deadline for no reason other than you totally forgot! Guess what? It happens. We are all human. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t beat yourself up about it. Self-improvement isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime shot. It’s a work in progress, so enjoy the ride.

5. Only You Can Define You.
No matter what you do, remind yourself that there is no right or wrong way to be you. When we learn how to be ourselves, a new world will open up. Explore new hobbies, interests and possibilities. Welcome trial and error into your life!

Taylor Trevizo
Professional Writing Major
Outreach and Community Engagement


Welcome to the Beloved Community!

The Power of Collaborations

Blog Post – July 30, 2018

By Dr. Taine Duncan

Contrary to popular belief, as a professor, my summer is not full of free time and vacation. It is still a time where I must work on research, usually teach a few extra courses to help student scheduling, and a time for professional development. However, it is also a time where I must be especially mindful to challenge myself to develop a productive and re-energizing routine. And in working out those routines over the years, I’ve discovered a few things.

First, I’ve realized that I do better staying on track with research and feeling productive when I create networks for accountability. In the past, I’ve done women’s research groups, had a specific writing partner, or enrolled in development programs with their own schedules. This helps me, as well, to better carve out space for the summer scheduling of family commitments.
Second, I’ve found that even when I do schedule productive space, I often struggle to break the monotony of routine. If I get into the rut of routine, my work and growth stagnate.
Finally, I’ve identified that I work best when I not only push myself but when I collaborate with others.

I suspect that this struggle to get through the doldrums of summer—to balance productivity and rejuvenation—is not unique to being a professor. I’d bet that many women feel the worry of midyear doldrums—whether because of the fiscal year end, or because kids are suddenly on new schedules, or because it is a time for reflection.

These midyear doldrums are like a little microcosm of mid-career/mid-path doldrums. There are points in our lives and choices where we reflect and realize that we must make a choice to actively push ourselves, to get out of rutted routines or unproductive loops. And, I suspect, that just like my mid-summer malaise is helped when I collaborate with others and we push each other to grow, so, too, might our mid-path doldrums benefit from collaboration.

The Women’s Leadership Network has certainly benefited from collaboration. Just recently, WLN merged with Women In Networking to create one of the largest women’s networks in central Arkansas. The benefit of this collaboration is diversity in ideas, careers and life experiences. All the things that make WLN such a rich and fortifying group.

Dr. Taine Duncan
Associate Professor and Director of Gender Studies
WLN Founding Committee Member
University of Central Arkansas

Patti Stobaugh

Patti Stobaugh

Patti Stobaugh, owner of Conway, Arkansas-based PattiCakes Bakery, is 10 years into her “encore career” and loving every minute of it. She left the corporate accounting world knowing she wanted to do something different. Achieving her dream of giving Conway a 100 percent from-scratch bakery has been an arduous task, but she’s almost there.

Patti and her husband David own PattiCakes Bakery and Stoby’s Restaurants together. Stoby’s is an Arkansas legend, and one-time winner of World Cheese Dip Competition. “My husband is my partner – in business and life! We complement each other well… it’s just hard to set work down when we go home!” say Stobaugh.

Patti holds an accounting degree from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. After graduating from Lyon, Patti worked in a number of different industries before moving on to become the CFO of Arkansas One Call, Arkansas’s utility damage prevention company.

After leaving Arkansas One Call, Patti decided to open a bakery in Russellville, across the street from one of their restaurants. The Russellville bakery saw much success, and a piece of property came open behind Stoby’s in Conway. Patti then decided to open a bakery in Conway. The Conway bakery saw much success and astoundingly fast growth. After spending a year working both bakeries, Patti made the difficult decision to sell the Russellville bakery to focus on the Conway store and spend more time with her family.

David and Patti love their community and try hard to give back. Patti is the past president of Haven House, a refuge home for women who are victims of domestic abuse. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the committee to develop Midtown Conway. In 2015, Patti was also asked to join the Board of Directors for the Retail Bakers of America. Patti and David are also active supporters of Bethlehem House in Conway.

Since then, Patti’s life has changed a great deal. Her sons have both married young women she loves. “Alex and his wife Sara made me the happiest Grammy alive 3 years ago. My grandson, Tucker, gets my afternoons 3 days a week. It’s a great time to step away from the bakery and focus on family. We’re looking forward to David and his wife Melanie adding more grandchildren to the mix, in due time. Being Grammy is my favorite job – there’s nothing like it!”

Patti is excited for the future of PattiCakes and Stoby’s. “I hope we are able to continue the phenomenal growth of the bakery, continue adding new products and making our customers the happiest in Conway.” Patti is currently working on the rebuild of Stoby’s, and is excited about marrying the classic Stoby’s that Conway loves with some new ideas.

Community Development Institute to Train Community Leaders

Community leaders from across Arkansas and surrounding states will gather at the University of Central Arkansas from July 29 – August 2 for the annual Community Development Institute. This year’s theme is Sustain, Transform, and Empower Your Community.

Established in 1987, the Community Development Institute-Central (CDI) trains community and economic development professionals through a combination of lectures, small group discussions, simulations and individual projects, each focused on best practices and current trends in the industry.

The most notable additions to this year’s CDI are two new simulations, the Futures Game Simulation and Miller County Simulation, each designed as eye-opening experiences through unique hands-on learning activities.

Participants leave the institute with an enhanced ability to assess their community, build the capacity of community leaders to collaborate on development efforts, and set goals to improve their community’s quality of life and place.

Mayor Gary Baxtor, CDI Class of 2013 believes his experiences at CDI have provided him with the tools to bring economic development and community development together. “After attending CDI Central for two years, I have taken back to my community valuable ideas and techniques that I have put into action, some almost immediately,” said Mayor Baxtor.

The complete CDI experience is a three-year training program, with one week of training per year. Participants progress through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.

For more information, visit

New Community Education Classes

Outreach is offering NEW community education classes for the spring!

Self-Hypnosis, Film Studies and Adobe Illustrator are just a few of our newest offerings, all open to the general public.

Registration for spring course offerings is open now. Find a course that interests you!


New Spring Courses:

Introduction to Film Studies/Film History
A very in-depth course on understanding how films produce meaning and elicit responses through the recognition and analysis of film language and reviews and discussion of various films within the history of motion pictures. Taught by UCA and Hendrix professor, Dr. Glenn Jellenik.

Self-Hypnosis for Self-Help
Uncover the myths and discover the many benefits of self-hypnosis. With expert instruction, you will learn the basic mechanics and techniques that can help contribute to an improved quality of life.

Entrepreneurship-Becoming a Businessperson
Gain the tools and skills necessary for starting a new business, including analyzing factors associating with success, developing a business plan, and the importance of marketing, insurance, accounting and management for a small business.

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator
In this hands-on, instructor-led course, you will learn the fundamental tools of Adobe Illustrator to complete a finished digital illustration, logo or design. Taught by UCA alumni, Jasmine Greer.

Introduction to Computer Programming Using Python
Learn the basics of computer programing; including formal and informal languages, various functions, executions and lists. By the end of the course, you will have practiced programming tasks and created two functioning computer programs.

Charcoal Drawing
An introduction to using charcoal as a drawing medium. Translate three-dimensional information onto a two-dimensional surface while working from a still-life set up.

Mirror Design Art
With just a mirror and a hammer, recognized artist Jimmy McDonald will teach you how to create beautiful art abstracts.

Homeopathic Stress Remedies
A three-part session designed to help educate those seeking emotional enrichment. Part one focuses on anxiety, depression, fear and anger. Part two is centered around guilt, worry, gratitude and stress. Part three covers communication and defining success. All sessions emphasize ways to change those states of being.

View all the spring courses!



Governor’s Challenge Award Presented to Outreach and CDI

Two departments within the University of Central Arkansas have been awarded the Governor Quality Challenge Award by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence.

The award honors groups in the state striving for performance excellence.

The Division of Outreach and Community Engagement and the Community Development Institute-Central were presented the award by Governor Beebe at the 2012 Governor’s Quality Awards Celebration on Sept. 24.

“Excellence is one of Outreach’s core values and we are committed to being the best we can be, and we’re happy to be recognized at this level,” said Kristy Carter, director of Outreach and Community Engagement.

The Governor Quality Challenge Award is the starting point for any organization interested in adopting and applying quality principles to attain performance excellence.

“Even though we’re just at the beginning of the process, we’ve benefited greatly from the experience. UCA is a steward of a valuable state and regional resource and this will help us safeguard its future.” said Kelly Lyon, director of CDI. “Bill Craddock, a leader in the state and national quality process as well as an instructor for CDI, suggested this is a way to help CDI grow to the next level.”

The Governor’s Quality Award program is operated by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, Inc. Developed by a team of volunteers, the program is designed to provide opportunities for all organizations in the state to measure their progress in the journey of performance excellence.

“I am very happy that our Outreach and Community Engagement and Community Development Institute-Central have been recognized for their work and contributions to the people of Arkansas and beyond,” said Dr. Steve Runge, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “UCA was the only four-year public institution recognized at the awards dinner; a remarkable accomplishment for our people and programs. I look forward to see the work of the people in OCE and CDI-Central and the level of recognition continues to rise moving forward.”


Fall Community Education registration is now open!

Work on your body and mind with Burn and Chisel, Beginner’s Yoga, and Homeopathic Stress Remedies.

Improve your fiscal health too with Personal Finance and Entrepreneurship courses.

With a variety of Art Classes and courses on everything from Web Development, to improving Communication Skills, Photography, Cake Decorating and Sewing Classes, there’s something for everyone!

View our full course listings or download the latest catalog!


Community Education Classes Sneak Peek

Community Education classes have been selected for the fall! Many of your favorites are back and a handful of new classes will help feed the need to learn something new. The release of the entire fall course offerings will be mid-June and here’s a sneak peak: Burn & Chisel helps to tone the body; Resources for Starting a Small Business will help get you started, Painting in Acrylics allows your imagination to flow onto the canvas.

It’s never too late to learn something new; take a community education class and enrich your life! Learn more about Community Education!



Summer Learning for Youth

The learning doesn’t stop when the final school bell rings! There are plenty of opportunities
for learning and fun, for all ages. Learn a new language through The Community Language School, improve those standardized test scores with the ACT Prep Course, make your imagination come alive with Bearswrite, or work up a sweat with any of UCA’s popular sports camps.  Fill your summer with fun through a UCA summer camp. Find a camp!




CCED Co-Hosts Exploring Innovation Week

UCA’s Center for Community and Economic Development partnered with the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis- Little Rock Branch to co-host the Federal Reserve’s 2012 Exploring Innovation Week in Little Rock on March 22. Amy Whitehead, Coordinator for CCED, and Andrew Pack, Community Affairs Specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank, screened the documentary Urbanized for over 25 community and economic development professionals from the state of Arkansas. The documentary explored the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders and thinkers. Following the screening, a facilitated discussion led by Whitehead and Pack, focused on populations trends, community consensus-building, place-making strategies, and
innovative approaches to local development efforts.

Exploring Innovation 2012 was attended by community and economic developers, lenders, investors and others community leaders. The annual conference strives to illustrate how innovation can result in new finance models, highlight industry best practices and serves as a catalyst for future discussions around topics of significant importance to community development.



“Exploring Our World” Lecture Series Announces Spring Lineup

The “Exploring Our World,” lecture series continues with three new Spring offerings: Conway’s Creative Approach to Battling Obesity Through Active InfrastructurePersons in the World: Perspectives on Human Ecology, East and WestWomen in the World: Pornography, Abuse and Sexualization of Young Girls;  and Ain’t I a Man: If I Act Like a Women and Think Like a Man?

The series kicks off April 5th with Conway’s Creative Approach to Battling Obesity Through Active Infrastructure Projects and Programs. Dr. Duston Morris, Assistant Faculty in the Department of Sciences at UCA, will share information on current projects within the Conway community designed to stimulate physical activity through the utilization of active infrastructure. Topics of discussions include: the impact of active infrastructure on healthy lifestyle characteristics, developing active infrastructure plans, and how to promote that infrastructure to Conway residents.

All lectures within the Exploring Our World series are open to the public and no cost to attend. For more information, visit or call 501.450.5261. Participants are advised to sign up early.