Jamie M. Byrne, Associate Professor and Director of the School of Mass Communication
Through her continuous and extensive leadership in the American Cancer Society, Jamie M. Byrne has used her mass communication skills and knowledge to help raise millions of dollars at the local, national, and international level in the fight against cancer.
Professor Byrne has been nationally recognized by the society for her dedicated service to Relay for Life, the organizationâ€™s largest fundraiser. As chair of the Relay for Life Marketing Task Force, Dr. Byrne was responsible for developing and implementing a national marketing strategy for the event that included re-branding Relay for Life. She is also a member of the Relay for Life International Training Team and presents training sessions for international anti-cancer organizations interested in starting a Relay for Life event.
As chair of the National Relay for Life Advisory Team, Professor Byrne was the lead volunteer nationwide for Relay for Life and helped plan and implement policy and establish strategic priorities for the event.
The National Vice President of Relay for Life says, â€śDr. Byrneâ€™s insights in marketing, meeting management, communication, and effective strategy development led to her role as chair of the Advisory Team and the development of a more concise strategic plan to guide Relay for Lifeâ€™s future growth.â€ť
Professor Byrne is also a founding member of the Mid-South Relay Task Force and past co-chair of the River Cities Relay for Life â€“ Little Rock. She has published numerous articles in American Cancer Society national newsletters and helped produce a â€śSurvivors Celebrating Lifeâ€ť video to show what Relay for Life means to survivors and their families.
Dr. Byrneâ€™s service to the community also includes her work with the Saline County Water Study Task Force, which helped solve a decades-old dispute and resulted in the creation of the Saline County Rural Water Development District. She is also a founding member of the Pulaski County United Wayâ€™s Communications Action Team. She has involved students in many of her external projects through service-learning, allowing them to design public relations campaigns for non-profit groups and university outreach efforts.
Dr. Byrne received her Ph.D. in mass communication from Pennsylvania State University.
Jennifer Buie Hune, Assistant Professor of Special Education
As a nationally-known expert in special education, Jennifer Buie Hune is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and skills and partnering with local, state, and national colleagues to enhance the lives of children with learning disabilities.
Dr. Hune has served on the U.S. Department of Educationâ€™s Digital Equity Task Force for the past three years and assisted schools in improving access to technology for learners from diverse backgrounds by training teachers on how to incorporate technology into the classroom and directing them to resources to obtain funds for purchasing technology equipment and software.
Through her advisory work with the national Council for Exceptional Children and as president of the Arkansas chapter of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders, Professor Hune has helped improve services for children with disabilities in the state and nation by providing support and professional development to special education teachers, helping teachers obtain necessary resources for effective instruction, developing new programs and services for children at risk, and advocating for appropriate governmental policies.
She continues to provide extensive professional development services in program evaluation and special education to school districts across the state and gives them access to nationally-known researchers in their field. Dr. Hune is on the board of Little Rock and Pulaski County Head Start, serving as co-chair of the Education Advisory Committee and assisting with the required annual self-assessment of the program. She works regularly with the faculty and families in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters Program. Dr. Hune has also worked with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
Professor Hune received her Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky.
Johanna Miller Lewis, Professor and Chair of the Department of History
As an expert in public history, Johanna Miller Lewis knows that the lessons of history survive best when the non-historians sit up and take notice. Thatâ€™s why she uses her expertise to direct projects designed to spark our interest and direct our attention to some of historyâ€™s most defining moments.
Her leadership on opening the Central High Museum (which became Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in 1999) helped heal decades-old scars in Arkansas by focusing on the heroism of the nine African-American students who integrated Central High in 1957. The historic site empowers by enlightening and informing national and international visitors about the crisis and its historical significance. Dr. Lewis continues to work closely with the siteâ€™s cooperating association, serving as president of its Board of Directors. Prior to her work on this, Dr. Lewis co-directed the National Dunbar History Project, preserving the history of this black high school in Little Rock by establishing an archive and creating a traveling exhibit.
In 2000, Dr. Lewis led the team of graduate students and exhibit designers who produced the traveling exhibit and Web site â€“ â€śA Gathering of Women: Arkansas Women, 1930-2000.â€ť This regional project documented the lives and achievements of Arkansas women from the depression era to today.
Her most recent work has brought national attention to UALR. â€śLife Interrupted: The Japanese American Experience in World War II Arkansasâ€ť tells the story of Japanese Americans incarcerated in Arkansas war relocation camps at Jerome and Rohwer during World War II. The project includes eight exhibits, a one-hour documentary, educational programming, publications, and a national conference this fall expected to draw thousands, including many well-known Japanese-Americans such as Star Trek actor George Takei, whose family was interned at Rohwer, Sen. Daniel Inouye from Hawaii, who visited Jerome while training for the military, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.
Dr. Lewis also brings history to the public through the classroom as part of a special community classroom series developed by the UALR College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Last fall, she co-designed and taught a course open to the community on â€śThe Civil War in Contemporary America: Searching for a Common Historyâ€ť and she is currently teaching a course on â€śBrown vs. Board of Education in Arkansas.â€ť
Dr. Lewis received her Ph.D. in early American history from the College of William and Mary.
Kelly Browe Olson, Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Programs
As director of the Law Schoolâ€™s mediation clinic and clinical programs, Kelly Browe Olson offers her legal and mediation expertise to the underserved populations in Arkansas while providing UALR law students with hands-on learning opportunities.
In only three years at the UALR Law School, Professor Olson has received numerous grants allowing her to expand the Law Schoolâ€™s efforts to provide more Arkansans with free legal services by using mediation to settle their disputes outside the courtroom. Mediators are trained in facilitation and negotiation to help parties resolve their issues and create a mutual settlement. Under her supervision, UALR law students learn negotiation and facilitation skills, practice mediation, and eventually mediate cases. According to Olson, the skills her students learn help them become well-rounded lawyers.
Professor Olson and her staff recently developed a mediation program for the Arkansas Department of Education to settle special education cases between parents of children with disabilities and school officials. This program gives parents and individual schools the opportunity to work out their differences in a non-confrontational setting and develop a solution that meets the studentâ€™s unique learning needs. The clinic is also working with the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission to educate and provide mediation services to the growing Hispanic community in Central Arkansas.
Professor Olson and the Administrative Office of the Courts have also expanded the Arkansas Dependency and Neglect Mediation Program statewide so Arkansans involved in dependency/ neglect proceedings could have access to qualified mediators across the state. She has also served as a consultant to the Administrative Office of the Courts on dependency and neglect issues in the court system.
She continues to train mediators across the state in the federally funded Arkansas Access and Visitation Family Mediation Program. She also served on the UALR committee that developed the Conflict Resolution Mediation Graduate Certificate, which gives law students and graduate students access to conflict resolution techniques, such as mediation and arbitration, for settling legal problems out of court, and she continues to teach in the program.
Professor Olson received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her LL.M. from Loyola University Chicago.
Robert T. Swindell, Professor of Chemistry
Robert Swindell is using his expertise to improve the quality of science and math education in school districts across the state.
He played a significant role in developing the curriculum used in the Science Crusade, a multi-million dollar program funded by the National Science Foundation to upgrade science and math skills of middle and secondary school teachers in Arkansas. He also taught one of the courses developed for the program. He served as an adviser to the Pulaski County Special School District and the K-12 Science Coordinator. Dr. Swindell also taught classes in the Junior Teams Program, a science and math initiative for local minority children, and frequently serves as a judge for Science Fairs at local schools.
One of his UALR colleagues says, â€śProfessor Swindell works diligently to increase the number of students pursuing math and science careers â€“ he inspires and challenges these students in the classroom, laboratory, and field.â€ť
In addition to his work with K-12 schools, Dr. Swindell also served as an adviser to the Arkansas Gamma Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national premedical honor society, and was chair of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Chemical Society. He also organized a local student chapter of the Manataka American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Professor Swindell represents UALR at scientific conferences across the world and helped organize the first Trans-Atlantic Environmental Conference in Little Rock in 2000.
As a Native American Indian, Dr. Swindell is also personally committed to preserving American Indian history and culture and improving the lives of this underserved group. He serves as an elder and vice-chairman of the Manataka American Indian Council, an international non-profit educational and cultural organization. Professor Swindell is currently working with the group to construct a medical and educational facility to serve Native Americans and other groups. He recently obtained a gubernatorial declaration of an annual Manataka American Indian Student Association Week on campus.
Dr. Swindell received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of South Carolina.
Mihail Eduard Tudoreanu, Assistant Professor of Information Science and Systems Engineering
As director of UALRâ€™s Virtual Reality Center (VRC) and a faculty member, Mihail Eduard Tudoreanu has played a significant role in the universityâ€™s public service efforts to give the community, region, and state access to leading-edge technology that can help solve critical problems. UALR is one of only 20 universities in the country with a VRC and one of two in the Southern United States.
Dr. Tudoreanu recently managed the half-million dollar upgrade to the VRC, which included the addition of two display walls with CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) technology and a new annex laboratory where researchers can develop applications for virtual reality.
The VRCâ€™s CAVE technology projects 3-D virtual reality images allowing researchers to interact with data and immerse themselves in a 360-degree virtual world. Dr. Tudoreanu is working with all kinds of industries across the state â€“ medicine, aerospace, architecture, engineering design, computer science, environmental studies and more â€“ to teach them how to use the VRC to visually model situations and test solutions to problems. He is currently forming collaborations with researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in the area of bioinformatics to help solve problems in the health, medical, and life sciences fields. Bioinformaticists can use the VRC to develop a range of solutions – from creating personalized medicines and determining the genetic makeup of humans and other organisms to designing ecological management strategies.
Professor Tudoreanu also manages the VRCâ€™s Access Grid â€“ a giant, wall-sized audiovisual display system â€“ that connects UALRâ€™s VRC to more than 40 video-teleconference sites simultaneously, enabling UALR and its business and research partners to participate in joint conferencing with their colleagues from around the world.
Through his work at the VRC, Professor Tudoreanu has helped recruit students and faculty, assisted with UALRâ€™s governmental and legislative affairs efforts by hosting key officials in the VRC, increased the universityâ€™s public service role by applying the VRC services to local and state initiatives, formed partnerships with Arkansasâ€™ leading businesses through the CyberCollegeâ€™s 160-member corporate advisory council, and expanded research collaborations with institutions and universities across the nation.
Dr. Tudoreanu received his Ph.D. in computer science from Washington University.