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Adult students say goodbye to leader

Submitted by Valerie Ginsburg on May 6, 2011 – 3:56 pmOne Comment

By Valerie Ginsburg, Contributing Writer

The Adult Student Advocacy Program will be losing its leader in June, Adult Student Advocate, Patricia Hornbeck, will be getting married and moving to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands to assist in opening the first writing center at the University of Virgin Islands.

For the last three years, Hornbeck’s mission has been to welcome, mentor, assign peer mentors to help adult students returning to college find their way around financing and academics and to help build a sense of community among returning students at UALR. Hornbeck pushed information through emails, held come and go lunches, so students could, and hosted seminars with featured speakers. Hornbeck previously worked for two years in the Provost’s office as exiting Provost, David O. Belcher’s assistant.

Once a 38-year-old college freshman, and single mother of 12 and 17-year-old boys and Hodgkin’s disease survivor, Hornbeck is now 50 with a graduate degree, two grandsons and a career that is taking her to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She said her college education expanded her world and her perspective and has provided her the confidence to speak with authority rather than relying on just opinion.

Hornbeck’s “regular person” exterior conceals a wealth of knowledge and courage according to Dr. Sally Crisp, who has known Hornbeck as both an undergraduate and graduate student, directing her thesis project and a colleague. Crisp remembers her first day in class with Hornbeck and says she was a bit shy at first and that she is a “surprising, courageous, intelligent and adventurous person.”

Hornbeck said that she was partially inspired by getting through a tough class and her son’s No Fear cap that said “Face your fears/ live your dreams,” she went skydiving and did summer internships for Heifer International in Georgia and Costa Rica where she took the opportunity to explore the area on her own.

ASAP students Cloyce Brooks, health and science and secondary education major, and Mark Stanley, rhetoric and writing major, said they are very happy for Hornbeck but a little sad for themselves. Brooks and Stanley both feel she has been a valuable asset in their education, keeping them on time and updated about university events through emails. “Pattie made me feel like I’m as important as anybody and that I’m not an outcast, I’m not alone, and I have an ally” Brooks said. Stanley said of Hornbeck, “she’s always pushing me up; she’s helped me get involved on a whole different level.” They both said they are big fans of Pattie.

Hornbeck has a busy few weeks ahead. She inducted 75 new members into the Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society, Monday, April 25. She is updating the student guide, putting on ASAP lunches and has a host of personal ends to tie up.

Hornbeck will marry Steve Goode, director of grants for the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas.

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