Instructor Bios 2020


Leslie Collier – Introduction to Landscape Painting with Acrylics

Art has always been an important part of who I am and has been an essential constant in my life. I am truly amazed at the wonder of the creative process in any art form whether it be the visual arts, writing, or even music production, however; it all starts with a belief that you can.

I started drawing at four years old and haven’t stopped yet. I grew up in Russellville and graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a BA in art education. I went on to teach elementary art for eight years; four of those years were spent teaching in Conway.

I have experience with acrylic and watercolor painting, drawing, and printmaking. I really do enjoy them all! I am also involved in a local art group that holds a yearly art show where I have exhibited my work and placed for the past four years. When I am not creating art, I enjoy spending time outdoors and reading


Donna Hill – KBYG: “Show Me the Money!” – Finding New Avenues for Scholarships

As a former community college English instructor and vice president, Donna has served on several statewide student success committees and is passionate about helping students succeed in college. She earned her BA in English and an MA in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as well as a MEd in in Higher Education Leadership from North Central University.

Donna is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. She and her husband, Kevin, have five children, all of whom have received full scholarships to college.

John Holden – Estates, Wills & Trusts

John C. Holden is a graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law. John has practiced law in Northeastern Oklahoma for more than 30 years. Recently, on June 15, 2020, John was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Arkansas. For the last 25 years John has limited his practice to elder law, asset protection planning, estate planning and estate settlement. John is a member of ElderCounsel, a national network of elder law and asset protection attorneys. John provides his clients with cutting edge asset protection strategies and assist the client in determining the best planning option that will meet the client’s overall goals and objectives. John’s mission statement is: “…to create estate plans that work…”.



Daveante Jones – Minority Vendor Workshop Series

Professional Experience

Daveante Jones is a labor and employment attorney who represents employers and professionals in a variety of employment matters. His areas of practice include discrimination (Title VII, ADEA, ADA, ACRA), minimum wage and overtime (FLSA, AMWA), employee leave (FMLA), employment contracts, severance agreements, covenants not to compete, and unemployment claims and investigations. He frequently speaks and writes on the emerging topic of surveillance in the workplace. His recent experience includes:

  • Defending employers in class action and individual lawsuits alleging wage and hour violations;
  • Defending employers in lawsuits and EEOC charges alleging discrimination, retaliation and constitutional claims;
  • Lead investigator in internal investigations of complaints;
  • Advising employers on practices and procedures, including drafting employment policies and employee handbooks;
  • WLJ e-Discovery Solutions team member, handling review and production of electronically-stored information (ESI) in complex litigation;
  • Educating start-ups on common labor and employment issues they may face as their workforce grows; and
  • Providing guidance to employers on issues surrounding surveillance in the workplace.

Before joining the firm, he worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Brian S. Miller, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Academic Experience

Jones earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law, graduating cum laude in 2016 and receiving the M. Jeff Starling, Jr. Award, given annually by the University of Arkansas School of Law for excellence in labor & employment law. While in law school, Jones served as an Articles Editor for the Arkansas Law Review and as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Advocates. His article, “Protecting Biometric Information in Arkansas,” 69 Ark. L. Rev. 117 (2016), was published in the Arkansas Law Review. He also worked in the University of Arkansas School of Law Civil Litigation and Advocacy Clinic representing clients seeking to enforce their rights in a variety of employment law matters.

Jones graduated from Ashdown High School. While earning his Political Science degree with a minor in Africana Studies as a member of the Southern Arkansas University Honors College, he received the University’s Mulerider Leadership Award and the History, Political Science, and Geography Department’s Outstanding Student Award.

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas
  • Board Member, Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board
  • Member, Arkansas Bar Association
  • Member, Pulaski County Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Jessica Ann Lane – Intro. to Journal Making & Bookbinding, Intro. to Mixed Media Art Journaling and Methods of Mixed Media Painting & Layering on Canvas

I live in Conway, and I am from Morrilton. I have three sons – my youngest is in his senior year in high school. I have four cats. I graduated from UCA in 2000, and I went on to graduate school where I earned a degree in Education. I was a classroom Science and English teacher for almost 10 years. I have taught Art to students from preschool to adult. I am a self-taught artist, and I have been a mixed media artist and teacher for nearly 10 years. I have been published in art magazines, shown my work in galleries, and sold my work at art shows and online. Follow her on Facebook – @messyjessycreatesart.




Laura Niswonger – ACT Prep Sessions: Reading

Laura Niswonger has a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Arkansas Tech University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCA. Her teaching speciality is First-year composition.





Leslie Knox – KBYG: Understanding the FAFSA Application Process

Leslie is an Alum at the University of Central Arkansas. She currently serves in the role as one of the Assistant Directors in the office of Financial aid at UCA where she has worked in the field for over 18 years.





Carl Olds – ACT Prep Sessions: English

Carl Olds joined the Learning Communities faculty in 2018 after 15 years of service at UCA teaching Film, Writing, Literacy, and Success courses as a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Student Transitions. He holds a BA (1995) and MA (2001) in English from UCA and is a graduate from the Schedler Honors College. Prof. Olds has traveled across Europe with the UCA Concert Choir and plays bass and guitar for a wide variety of musical projects.  He also enjoys camping, biking, and stargazing in Arkansas’ beautiful parks with his two children.




Laura Spradley – Disaster Preparedness for Seniors and Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia Disease

Laura Spradley, M.S. is the Outreach Coordinator for the Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) at UAMS.  AGEC’s mission is to provide high quality programs that support healthy aging in Arkansas. AGEC provides programs throughout the state to older adults and family caregivers. They also offer a variety of  free continuing education programs.  When Laura is not working she enjoys gardening, hiking and fishing with her family!