Student Leaders in Action

Earlier this month, several LEAD students, alum, and faculty attended and presented original research at the annual International Leadership Association Conference held this year in Brussels, Belgium. Research presentations and posters included topics focused on well-being and leader identity in doctoral students, adolescent leadership development to combat health disparities, probable causes of murder in the United States, and measurements of followership.

Five of our students also participated in the Student Case Study Competition and showcased their knowledge of leadership through the analysis of a contemporary socio-political problem on the global level. Our team made it to the final round of the competition. Congratulations!

A student from Cohort 2016, Emily Harris, also participated in the Emerging Scholars Research Consortium and had the pleasure of being mentored by Barbara Crosby, a heavy-hitter in the field of cross-sector leadership. Congratulations to everyone who presented and participated!

LEAD students, faculty, and staff recently welcomed our incoming cohort 2017 and celebrated our graduates from the past year. Congratulations to our new students: Joyce Ajayi, Laura Bowles, Larissa Collier, Emily Freeman, Jordan Mays, Tom Nowlin, Daniel Orellano, Stephanie Rizzo, Andrew Sherrill, and Michael Turley. Congratulations also to our Graduates: Kris Bertelsen, Sara Brown, Leah Horton, Elizabeth LeQuieu, and Kateryna Ligon!

Congratulations to student, Henry Jones, co-founder of Nuestra Voz in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nuestra Voz NOLA will be receiving the Diana Lewis Citizen Participation Award from the Committee for A Better New Orleans. Go Nuestra Voz!


Congratulations to Jeannie Stone, cohort 2016, who recently presented at the Arkansas League of Artists. Jeannie spoke about her work with integrating arts in the community, and shared information about her trip to Puerto Rico where she will be studying how the arts have been integrated to revitalize urban communities in decay and connect rural communities in isolation. Shown here is Jeannie’s most recent oil painting of a family connecting with each other and nature, as opposed to the vast online world, while traveling.

Cooper and Williams photo

Congratulations to Students Chassidy Cooper and Shannon Williams facilitated their presentation,” Academic Coaching: A Crossroads to Student Retention” at the Nacada Region 7 conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over 60 participants attended this interactive presentation.

Chassidy also facilitated a poster presentation at this conference entitled, Stretched Too Thin: Overcoming Mandatory Advising Roadblocks.

Way to Go!

Thompson PicCongratulations to LEAD student Amy Thompson and her colleagues inthe College of Education, Crystal Voegele and Chris Hogan, on their recent book publication “Leave Your Attitude at the Door: Dispositions and Field Experiences in Education.”

Congratulations also to Amy Thompson for being appointed as UCA’s representative to the R.I.S.E. team which is the governor’s and commissioner’s new initiative!

15037349_1596221260403794_396356480260695352_nThe 2016 Election Night Watch Party was a success! There were around 250 students, faculty, and community members who came out and enjoyed the Watch Party. We had many games that people participated in including, bike races, pin the tail on the donkey, impersonation contests, and hula hoops. The election was watched by all on the jumbotron.

15025621_1607313349294585_7180419050696610038_o“MSCED students, PhD in Leadership students, UCA faculty and staff members, and local community partners attended a free, one-day community and economic development training event. Participants explored topics such as “Introduction to Community and Economic Development,” an interactive session titled the Sommerset Simulation, “Using Data to Align Resources,” “Developing Community Capital,” and “Expect More: Making Sure Tomorrow’s Jobs are Better than.” Presenters represented a variety of statewide organizations such as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Arkansas Community Foundation, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and UCA’s Center for Community and Economic Development.

Shannon Williams HeadshotStudent Shannon Williams recently presented at Arkansas’s annual joint student affairs Partners for Student Success Conference (PSSC). His work is titled “Retention through Coaching: An Effective Approach to a Critical Issue,” which was co-authored by student Chassidy Cooper, and “Understanding How Psychosocial Factors Influence the Retention of African American Males in Higher Education.”

EmCongratulations to student Emily Lane who was recently featured on an NPR affiliate station, KUAF, as interim director of a new statewide advocacy group–Arkansas Environmental Justice Network. Listen to the radio broadcast here. Way to go Emily!

Dr. PCongratulations to alum, Dr. Barrett W. M. Petty! His dissertation, “Factors That Contribute to the Completion of Programs of Study at Arkansas Institutions of Higher Education for African American Males,” has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education Award.

EmStudent Emily Lane was featured this month in a two-part news story on our local ABC affiliate (KATV) about her advocacy work related to environmental justice. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  Congrats Emily!

JapanCongratulations to student Sarah Argue for her recent paper presentation in Tokyo, Japan at the annual Human Development & Capabilities Association conference.  Sarah presented a paper on the Opportunity to Learn Standards, and she really enjoyed her trip!  Way to go, Sarah!

EmStudent Emily Lane was featured in Arkansas Business recently about her stance on the negative impacts of natural gas development and the boom/bust cycle of energy extraction.  See article here.  Emily was also featured in a news segment by about earthquakes in Arkansas. Watch report here.  Congratulations on your recent media appearances, Emily, and keep up the advocacy work.

Congratulations to LEAD student Diane Wolfe for her new position as High School Principal at St. Joseph Catholic Schools in Conway. Diane started on July 5 and says this about her new position, “I certainly recognize the importance of leadership in Catholic education and am excited about promoting leadership within the student population. It is a real honor to be part of the St. Joseph Catholic School community.”

Writing Retreat Writing Retreat 2Students, alum, and affiliated faculty recently attended a writing retreat offered by the LEAD program.  “The LEAD Writing Retreat at Petit Jean State Park was the perfect venue for doctoral students to connect with faculty and alumni and collaborate on important research goals,” said alum Dr. Malcolm Glover. “Nature hikes, private study sessions, and opportunities for meditation gave me a sense of renewal at the retreat and my conversations with colleagues were both informative and inspirational.”

APHALEAD students and affiliated faculty recently attended the 68th Annual conference for the Arkansas Public Health Association in Hot Springs. Students (Emily Lane, Sarah Argue, Shanon Brantley), along with Dr. Rhonda McClellan, presented a poster from a field-based research project focused on health and well-being in the Delta. Hattie Scribner presented her dissertation proposal work that looks at leadership implications for the aging population in the state. Affiliated faculty member Dr. Duston Morris also presented a poster on a current research project looking at use of alternative smoking devices among minority youth and young adults.

Students Amy Thompson and Shannon Williams presented at the National Association for Alternative Certification Amy & Shannon
Conference New Orleans. Williams and Thompson presented a roundtable presentation entitled, “Lessons Learned from the Partnership for Transition to Teaching.” Way to go you two!

Cohort 3 student, Emily Lane, presented at the National Environmental Justice Conference and Annual Conference on EmilyHealth Disparities in Washington, DC.  Her presentation focused on the utility of art in human development and environmental justice.  Emily also facilitated a hands-on training workshop with the goal of encouraging “artful activism” in environmental justice and public health movements.

Students Shannon Williams and Chassidy Cooper facilitated their best of state presentation Shannon & Chassidy“Academic Coaching: Transformative Success Tools for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Retention” at the Nacada Region 7 conference in Manhattan, Kansas. Fifty-nine participants attended the presentation. 

Kristy Carter, cohort 1 student, is coordinating several programs this semester.  Here is one that we would like to highlight: Technical Assistance for Mayors Program will be held March 15-17, 2016 at Kristy_Carter_headshot_1University of Arkansas at Monticello. The technical assistance program is designed to educate Arkansas mayors about the various state and federal resources that are available to help them address affordable housing and non-housing community development issues in an effort to improve the overall welfare of their communities. Please review the website for more information.

Malcolm TEd talkAlum, Dr. Malcolm Glover, will be presented at the inaugural TEDx event at UCA on Friday, March 4. Dr. Glover’s talk was titled “A Return To Civil Discourse: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.”  The synopsis is as follows: In an era when argument and innuendo often supersede fact-based discussions about important local, national, and global matters, there must be a return to civil discourse. Civility is necessary in a world fraught with tensions among diverse people who seek solutions to personal concerns and communal problems. By raising the level of civil discourse, mankind moves irresistibly toward a future defined by collaboration, compromise, shared sacrifice, and mutual understanding. 


LEAD presentation

Students from cohorts 3 and 4 and the LEAD program director presented findings this week from their field-based research project on health and well-being in the Arkansas Delta. The project is in partnership with the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Commission.  Dr. McClellan along with Emily Lane, Sarah Argue, and Shanon Brantley presented to the ATSC commissioners and program directors on the progress of their research. Later in the week, this group along with student Jack Boles presented at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro at the Arkansas Health Disparities Conference.   Student Leah Horton is also a member of the research team and her work was presented at both ATSC and ASU. Congratulations to everyone involved for their hard work.  Keep it up!

MSERACohort 4 students, Dana Tribble, Sarah Argue, and Amy Thompson presented at the 2015 Mid-South Educational Research Association conference in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Amy also won a $100 Research-in-progress award. Way to go ladies.

Malcolm at ILASeveral students and affiliated faculty presented original research at the International Leadership Association conference in Barcelona, Spain in Fall of 2015.  Students who presented included Sarah Argue, Leah Horton, Mariama Laouali Balla, Diane Wolfe, Malcolm Glover, Michael Blanchett, Katherine Ligon, and Jamie Stacks.  LEAD Program Direction, Rhonda McClellan, and affiliated faculty member, Tim Atkinson presented research as well. Congratulations to everyone for their hard work!

Student Mara Cawein travelled to Orlando to attend the biennial convocation of Mara with awardKappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education. Mara is counselor for the Pi Beta chapter at UCA which received the ACE Award for chapter excellence. The chapter participated in a poster session and two workshop sessions: “Strengthening Technology Pathways: Connecting Homes, Communities, and Classrooms” by Mara Casein, Jewel Windsor, and Sammi Hantz and “National Board Certification as Professional Development” by Mara Cawein and Casey Cawein. In addition, Mara received a certificate for 10 years of service as a chapter counselor. Keep up the excellent work and leadership, Mara!

Student Henry Jones has been busy with a new program aimed at empowering parents IMG_3711in the school community.  Henry explains more about the 8-week Parent Champion Circle, “Our circles are designed to give parents an understanding of the state of education and what roles parents can play in improving public education from an academic stand point as well as advocacy.” Keep it up, Henry!

IMG_0500Students Shannon Williams and Chassidy Cooper recently presented at the Partners of Student Success Conference. They presented “Academic Coaching: Transformative Success Tools for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Retention.”  The presentation received the highest evaluation at the conference. As a result, Chassidy and Shannon earned “Best of State” and will be representing ArKAAN at the Regional Nacada conference in Manhattan, Kansas in February.  Way to go you two!

SGroupeveral students, our program director, and an affiliated faculty member attended the 2015 Human Development and Capabilities Association Conference at Georgetown University.  Five students (Emily Lane, Jack Boles, Shanon Brantley, Leah Horton, and Sarah Argue) along with Dr. Rhonda McClellan presented findings from a field-based research project focusing on health and well-being in the Arkansas Delta.

MariamaWith Dr. StoneStudents Leah Horton and Mariama Laouali Balla presented their dissertation work which focuses respectively on environmental leadership in Rwanda and girls’ education in Niger.  Dr. Jayme Stone assisted Leah with her work in Rwanda.

Emily LaneStudent Emily Lane presented a LEAD project at a Land and Water Conference at Brown University in Rhode Island.  Emily’s project used GIS to illustrate environmental degradation in central Arkansas and focused on the effects that pollution has on the social fabric of local communities.  Congratulations on your presentation, Emily.

 CourtneyMullen2012Congratulations to Cohort 3 student, Courtney Mullen.  Courtney has accepted the position of Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services at UCA.  Welcome, Courtney!  We know you will do well.


Jacks BioCohort 3 student, Jack Boles, has been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his work with Winrock International. Way to go, Jack! Your passion for volunteer service shines through! 


Barrett Petty

Congratulations to Barrett Petty. His proposal (Obtaining a Baccalaureate Degree: How High School GPA and ACT Score Affect African American Males) was accepted to the 2015 Association of Teacher Educators conference. The conference will be held in February, in Phoenix, Arizona.  Way to go, Barrett!

Malcolm comm. DeliberationCohort 1 student, Malcolm Glover, engaged community leaders and advocates from across Arkansas in a workshop on Community Deliberation. The event was hosted by the Center for Community & Economic Development at UCA.  Great job, Malcolm!

Thompson PicStudent in Cohort 4, Amy Thompson, recently presented at the Mid-South Educational Research Association conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. Amy worked with Drs. Cotabish, Dailey, and Gallavan on this project, and all are very honored to have been accepted to the 2015 AERA conference to present!  The project is titled “Using Formative Assessment to Provide Differentiated Learning Opportunities: Mentor Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices.”  Congratulations Amy!

Cohort 3 student, Emily Lane, recently released data from a two year study she collaborated on that looked at air Emily at frack conferencepollutants in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas play.  The research was a part of a 5-state study of pollutants around oil and gas development, particularly the hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) process.  A sixth state (New York) also was involved in the study, but they are not included in the academic journal article published by Environmental Health.  Emily’s work along with her colleague April Lane and others also released a national report on October 30th, 2014.  National Geographic also covered the release that showed dangerous levels of chemicals around oil and gas sites.

ILAA total of 18 students from 3 cohorts and 2 faculty members attended the 2014 International Leadership Association’s conference, which was held in San Diego, California.  This year’s conference theme was Conscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of our Collective Realities.  Presentations from students and faculty included a study of economics of educating women in Arkansas, literacy action in higher education, leadership development and community engagement, and several other topics that focus on improving quality of life markers in Arkansas.

One student who attended said, “This year’s conference was an eye-opening experience for everyone involved and provided us with priceless opportunities to network with other scholars and leaders, and it also gave us more impetus to continue the work of enhancing human and community capabilities.”

LigonEmily LaneStudents, Katherine Ligon and Emily Lane, co-produced an informational video for high school students to encourage them to attend college. This project was part of an initiative by Katherine Ligon, a college and career coach at ASU-Heber Springs.  Katherine and Emily shot the short film in several locations around central Arkansas and also produced 3 other short films to encourage high school graduates to attend college.

WRF logoHarvell Howard is being recognized by the Winthrop Rockefellerharvell howard Foundation as an outstanding nonprofit leader as part of WRF’s 40th Anniversary and Year of the Nonprofit Leader.  Harvell will be officially recognized on December 4 at the Clinton Presidential Center.  Way to go!  Click here to see an interview with Harvell!

OACCEmily at frack conferenceCohort 3 student, Emily Lane, attended and presented at the 35th annual Ozark Area Community Congress in southern Missouri. Her presentation focused on the environmental, health, and regulatory issues related to unconventional natural gas production in the Fayetteville Shale in north, central Arkansas.

Tulsa Garden centerEmily LaneEmily Lane of Cohort 3 recently screened her documentary film at the Tulsa Garden Center in Oklahoma. The film focuses on the Guy/Greenbrier earthquake swarm that was triggered by disposal of waste from unconventional processes of natural gas production. Congratulations on the screening, Emily!

Lonnie JacksonStudent Lonnie Jackson recently co-authored a piece on servant leadership that was accepted for publication in a new journal focusing on servant leadership.  The title of Lonnie’s article is: Are servant leaders born or made?  Find a link to the journal here.


Jack Boles, Cohort 3 student, is currently working with Winrock International and ACI Agribusiness to establish an Jack Boles in Bangladeshagricultural advisory service and Extension program to empower Bangladeshi smallholder farmers to improve their quality of life.  This will also be a major step toward food security for the nation of Bangladesh.  Keep up the good work, Jack!  Safe Travels!

Thompson PicCohort 4 student, Amy Thompson has recently been named the MAT program Coordinator in the Teaching and Learning Department at UCA.  Congratulations Amy!


Luan ZhiCongratulations to Luan Zhi. His paper entitled “An introduction to Three-in-One School Counseling Theory” was one of five papers that was accepted into Graduate Student Council of AERA (American Educational Research Association).

LEADERSHIP-0137Barrett Petty has recently been selected as a member of the review board for a new online journal: Transforming Education.  Congratulations Barrett!


HunterCongratulations to alumnus, Dr. Hunter Phillips Goodman, for having her dissertation summary selected for print in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement!  Dr. Goodman’s dissertation research explored the role of university leadership in civic engagement within private liberal arts institutions.

Jamie StacksCongratulations to Cohort 2 student, Jamie Stacks.  She has accepted a temporary position as an emergency hire in the Leadership Studies Department here at UCA.  She will be a great addition to an already phenomenal staff.

PhD in Leadership Studies program boasts three UCA Service-Learning Award winners

At UCA’s inaugural service-learning awards ceremony in April, three of six awards were given to students in the Interdisciplinary PhD Leadership Studies program in the College of Education to recognize their exemplary commitment to and excellence in service-learning and civic engagement. The “Service-Learning Champion” award was given for development of the program.

Mariama Laouali Balla, a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary PhD Leadership Studies program, was awarded the “Spirit of Humanity” award for her work with the field-based service-learning Women’s Foundation of Arkansas project, her work in SLA 2014 Mariamacultural diversity on college and elementary school levels, and the research report of the economics of educating Arkansas women. The project is investigating the benefits of an education and how educational attainment can positively influence the economic landscape of Arkansas. Mariama’s long-term goal is to help address existing and emerging inequalities and concerns among family and community around the world through research and scholarship. Leadership associate professor Dr. Rhonda McClellan said of Balla, “Mariama epitomizes the spirit of humanity.”  

SLA 2014 TimTimothy Bullington, a second-year student in the Interdisciplinary PhD Leadership Studies program, received the    “Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning” award for his work with the with the Stuttgart and Conway Chambers of Commerce on projects to address quality of life and leadership issues in communities. He helped produce Conway’s new master plan and assisted with an investigation of how community development decisions affect the draw and retention of college graduates by providing community leaders a social network analysis – a statistical mapping of how people interact and how these interactions relate to the strength of democratic participation. Tim along with faculty and students presented this study at the International Leadership Association research conference in Montreal, Canada, where it received praise from international scholars. Associate Professor Dr. Rhonda McClellan states, “Tim is a public servant.  His scholarly passions and skills serve the common good and are dedicated to making Arkansas a better place for all Arkansans.”

Dr. Hunter Phillips Goodman, first graduate of the Interdisciplinary PhD in SLA 2014 HunterLeadership Studies program at UCA, received the “Champion of Service-Learning” award for her work with faculty, staff, and administration to build the comprehensive service-learning program and faculty fellows’ development model. Through her doctoral research Hunter explores the role of university leadership in civic engagement within private liberal arts institutions. Nationally, she serves as chairperson of the IMPACT National Student Conference on Service, Action, and Advocacy board of directors.  “The PhD Leadership program at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has helped me explore and connect my practical experience as a leader in the nonprofit and higher education arenas with theory and research,” said Goodman.  “It has deepened my theoretical understanding and practical application of leadership.”The Group

“ I am proud of the service work that these PhD students have done under the leadership of Dr. Rhonda McClellan, PhD Leadership Program Director.  Given the mission of the program, these awards verify that the PhD program is effective in attracting and developing ‘servant-leaders’ for public sector and not-for-profit organizations.”  Dean Pounder

rwandaLeah HortonLeah Horton serves as a faculty member for Science and Society in Rwanda which is an interdisciplinary service-learning opportunity for students. These Study Abroad courses investigate the intersection of science and culture through service-learning. Students discuss issues such as the colonial creation of race, modernity, material culture, environmentalism, & society, and the 1994 genocide.  All students participate in projects that address quality education, environmental conservation, access to basic needs and social entrepreneurship.  Rwanda Study Abroad is currently raising money for students to travel and participate in this fieldwork.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for information on upcoming opportunities for you to contribute.  You may also contact Ms. Horton directly to donate

Sheldon Slinkard waLEAD student, Sheldon Slinkard hopes to vitalize religious discussions on campus, particularly on Paganism. Pagans United meets every Thursday evening to discuss various forms of paganism and how they differ from each other and other religions. Read about his recent efforts in this story covered by the Log Cabin Democrat.

ukraineLigonKatherine Ligon, a native of Ukraine and member of Cohort 3, discussed the crisis in her home country on March 18th at the College of Business on UCA’s campus, and she plans to speak about the crisis on future dates around campus.  Please stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates about upcoming lectures on this important global issue.

 Emily Lane and her nonprofit organization,,Frack conference 2Emily at frack conference co-hosted a conference in mid-March in Conway with Coming Clean Collaborative (a national organization focused on toxic chemicals and environmental justice).  They engaged conference goers and local media in a toxic tour of Northern Faulkner County and the Fayetteville Shale natural gas play.  The tour was featured on the front page of the Log Cabin Democrat on Saturday, March 15.  See story here.

StuttgartLEAD students and faculty collaborated with the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce to help in the development of the city’s emerging leaders.  Students and faculty lead four leadership development workshops in the spring of 2014.  The project also provided students the opportunity to examine their own experiences and development as emerging leaders.

Tim GradsLEAD students Wes Alford and Tim Bullington, along with LEAD director Rhonda McClellan, recently presented findings from the Community Development and Graduate Draw and Retention research project to leaders from the City of Conway, City of Conway Chamber of Commerce, UCA, Hendrix, and Central Baptist College.  This research was also presented at the 2013 Conference of the International Leadership Association in Montreal, Canada.  This project represents a year of work from seven LEAD students.

IMG_0702Craig Lindholm and Michael Blanchett, along with other members of the Conway Parks Project research team, recently presented progress reports to members of  the Conway City Council.  Team members also worked on scheduling town hall meetings to discuss the project with the public.  Learn more about the Parks Project here.

Sara BrownCohort 3 member, Sara Brown, was named the Director of Development for National Park Community College in Hot Springs.  Congratulations, Sara!


Jamie2A group of LEAD researchers recently presented their research proposal to the board of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas.  The proposed research will examine the economics of educating women in Arkansas.  Watch for more on this project in the coming year.

Kristy_Carter_headshot_1Congratulations are in order for Cohort 1 student, Kristy Carter!  Kristy was announced as the recipient of the Advocate for Opportunity award from the Minority Enterprise Development committee, an arm of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce designed to foster growth and sustainability of minority businesses.  The Advocate for Opportunity award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated significant accomplishments in educating and advocating for minority business enterprise.

Kristy serves as the Executive Director of the Division of Outreach and Community Engagement at UCA but she also volunteers her time and talents to assist minority entrepreneurs and minority-owned nonprofits and small businesses with branding and marketing initiatives.

LEADERSHIP-0119Congratulations to Hunter Phillips Goodman on her book review in The Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.  She reviewed the book The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good by Stephen Goldsmith.

Craig CDICraig Lindholm, a member of Cohort 1, presented at the Community Development Institute (CDI) about how community leaders can act as Network Weavers when working on community development projects.  CDI trains community and economic development professionals in Arkansas and surrounding states. The institute builds the capacity of individuals and communities to positively impact economic and social development. This is achieved by expanding individual’s ability to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring together groups of people to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.  Craig is a graduate of CDI and the recipient of the Ernest Whitelaw Award.

IMG_0617LEAD students Wes Alford, Tim Bullington, and Craig Lindholm presented at the National Conference of Academic Deans.  The presentation focused on how provosts, deans, and associate deans can connect informal social networks that exist within organizations in an effort to create collaborative and ethical academic communities with shared accountability.

Check out our Facebook page for more pictures.

Girl Rising ThumbnailLeadership students and faculty partnered with officials from The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and UALR to show a documentary titled “Girl Rising.”  The film tells the story of nine girls from nine different countries who buck the status quo and seek knowledge because they believe education offers hope for a brighter future and an escape from poverty and and persecution.  This film in important to Arkansas because recent statistics reveal that one in four young women in the state do not complete their high school education.

Read more about the event in the KUAR article by LEAD student Malcolm Glover.

Girl Rising PanelLEAD students Jamie Stacks, Jenny Hunt, Diane Wolfe and LEAD Director, Rhonda McClellan participated in a panel discussion with members of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas after a screening of the movie “Girl Rising.” The panel discussed statistics about women in Arkansas and took questions from members of the audience.

IMG_0268LEAD students are working with faculty and students from the GIS masters program and the Environmental Science program to prepare a City Parks Master Plan.


IMG_1267Harvell Howard, LEAD student and coordinator of the African American Male Initiative, recently spoke to the Little Rock chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.  Harvell shared his experiences working in the nonprofit sector and provided tips on building a professional network in order to create positive community change.

LEADERSHIP-0106LEAD student, Craig Lindholm, was recently certified as a Professional Community Economic Developer (PCED).  Only those professionals with adequate applied experience can take the certification exam.  Craig was able to sit for the exam due to his extensive background and experience in community and economic development and because of the preparation he received by participating in the Community Development Institute at UCA.

Craig serves as the Executive Director of Community Redevelopment and Grants for the City of Texarkana, Texas and as Health Director for Bowie County, Texas.

UCA’s Division of Outreach and Community Engagement, directed by LEAD student Kristy Carter, and the Community Development Institute, which is held on the campus of UCA, were the recent recipients of the Governor’s Quality Challenge Award by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence. The Challenge Award is the starting point for any organization interested in adopting and applying quality principles to attain performance excellence.

Read more about this story on the Division of Outreach’s blog.

 LEAD student Mara Cawein and Dr. Patty Phelps of the College of Education recently submitted a book chapter proposal to Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.  Sixty two proposals were received by Kappa Delta Pi and theirs was one of only twenty accepted for development and inclusion in the book. The chapter is on teacher leadership among nationally board certified teachers.

LEAD student, Malcolm Glover, was recently named to Arkansas Business’ list of the “The New Influentials: 20 in their 20s.”  Click here to see the story from Arkansas Business.


damond1LEAD student, Damond Jackson, was recently named as the University of Central Arkansas’ first SREB Doctoral Fellow. The fellowship assists minority graduate students interested in pursuing careers in academia.  Read more about Damond and his fellowship in an article by the Log Cabin Democrat here.

LEAD student, Craig Lindholm, recently completed the 3-year program at the Community Development Institute (CDI) held on the campus of UCA.  Craig was also selected by his peers in CDI to be the recipient of the Ernest Whitelaw Award.  Recipients of the Whitelaw Award exemplify the highest standards of dedication to the field of community development and demonstrate strong leadership throughout their CDI experience.  Craig serves as the Executive Director of Community Redevelopment and Grants for the City of Texarkana, Texas and as Health Director for Bowie County, Texas.

Learn more about the Community Development Institute here.

Hunter Phillips Goodman, a member of the inaugural class of the LEAD program, completed her second year of teaching the Working with Nonprofits course at the Community Development Institute held on the campus of UCA.  For six years, Hunter served as Executive Director of Arkansas Coalition for Excellence (ACE), Arkansas’ association for nonprofit professionals, businesses, individuals, and foundations invested in Arkansas’s nonprofit sector.

LEAD students Wesley Alford and Hunter Phillips Goodman and faculty members Dr. Amy Hawkins, Dr. Tim Atkinson, and Dr. Rhonda McClellan lead a panel discussion at the International Leadership Association’s annual conference in Denver in October.  The panel discussed the shared experiences of faculty, staff and students involved in implementing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at a primarily undergraduate institution. The emphasis was on overcoming traditional boundaries in Higher Education to establish an innovative doctoral program.