Cohort 2013

Theresa Baker

Baker, TheresaTheresa Baker is the Manager of Institutional Research and Effectiveness with the University of Arkansas System eVersity. eVersity allows students to receive degrees totally online and Theresa’s job is to ensure regulatory compliance with all necessary agencies. Teresa 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.

Jack Boles

 Jacks BioJack Boles is a retired 4-H Program Specialist of the University Of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. During his career with Extension, he worked in a variety of positions: agriculture agent, state environmental management specialist, and county staff chairman to name a few. Jack has also had the opportunity to work with the native Indonesian Dayak tribes of Borneo and the Khmer people of Cambodia addressing issues ranging from forest degradation to human trafficking. Participation in these programs has developed into a personal passion for international development, and has provided him with a unique insight into issues faced by an international audience. Jack’s research interest is aimed at youth leadership development. He believes as youth leadership models are developed, implemented, and expanded to an international audience, the result will be an improved quality of life on a global scale.

Ferris Delph-Jackson

FerrisDelphJacksonFerris Delph-Jackson is currently an administrator serving the Conway Public School District and has worked in the field of education for going on 15 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; and 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.

Matthew Jackson

Matthew JacksonAffectionately 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, nonprofit, 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

Henry JonesHenry 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. Henry has dedicated over 12 years to movement building and currently serves as Regional Campaign Director at Parent Revolution.

Cara Knight Slone

CaraCara completed her degree in English and Creative Writing Education from Arkansas Tech University in 2007. She taught English for two and a half years at a rural high school in central Arkansas. 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

Emily LaneEmily Lane is a lifetime Arkansan who is fascinated by human stories and the interconnectedness of humanity and nature. These fascinations ground her desires to serve the planet and its people. Prior to entrance into the PhD in Leadership Studies (LEAD) program, Emily worked as a filmmaker who documented human interest stories in Arkansas, which eventually led her to focus on the plight of Arkansans living in communities that faced environmental injustice (EIJ). This experience with EIJ prompted Emily to pursue further study and to learn how to do academic research that would inform and assist community, academic, and policy leaders in uplifting quality of life and well-being in the state. She is excited for the opportunity in the LEAD program to continue her documentation, data collection, analysis, and presentation of issues that affect Arkansas communities–particularly those that face environmental and social injustices. 

In addition to pursuing her doctorate, Emily serves UCA as the Project Director for the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission evaluations. She also is an Adjunct Instructor in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. In her spare time, she enjoys nature and spending time with her family, friends, and her soulmate Gabriel.

Courtney Bryant (Mullen)

CourtneyMullen2012Originally 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 Director of Admissions at the University of Central Arkansas. Formerly she served as the Director of Graduate Support Services in the Arkansas Tech University Graduate College. She has worked in higher education for seven 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.

Noah Washburn

Noah Washburn pic 1Noah 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 Williams

Shannon Williams HeadshotShannon, 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. Currently, he serves as an Organizational Development Specialist with Baptist Health System.

Shannon anticipates the PhD in Interdisciplinary Leadership will equip him with the knowledge and expertise to respond to the needs of Arkansans, specifically youth and underrepresented populations, and help move the state forward through education.