PEAW First Year Experience Faculty

Meet the PEAW (PErsonal AWareness) Faculty


Dr. Trakenya Dobbins

Trakenya DobbinsPEAW Director and Instructor for Online and E-University

From North Little Rock, Arkansas, Trakenya Gordon Dobbins was the first in her family to attend college, and then to graduate with three degrees. She holds a doctorate in Adult Education/Workforce Development, a Master’s in Higher Education, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administrative Management, all from the University of Arkansas. Along the way, she married her high school sweetheart and as two adult girls and two school-aged girls. Dr. Dobbins is committed to fostering the first years of students’ collegiate experiences and assisting students to explore their passions, declare a major, and successfully graduate. By the way, the 1976 American comedy Carwash is her favorite movie; she enjoys family time; and dances Chicago-Steppin’ style with her husband!

Bringing To You As Your FYE Instructor:
In addition to being first-generation, Dr. Dobbins was considered low-income and academically at-risk when entering college. Growing up, she became familiar with being resourceful, shopping at thrift stores and even chopped cotton as a teen-ager. Being academically at-risk in college, she visited tutoring labs and participated in the federally funded TRiO program, Student Support Services (SSS). Eventually, SSS is where she got her professional start after graduation, becoming one of the youngest TRiO directors in Arkansas! She has managed teams ranging from 4 to 18 and overseen budgets ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million.


Avestine Ward

WardPEAW Instructor of Trojan SOAR Learning Communities

Raised in a “shotgun” wooden-frame house in Southeast Arkansas with 11 siblings and both parents, Avestine Ward is a family-oriented person. She started her college career in the Pacfic Northwest and lived there for 8 years. She moved back to Arkansas and landed a job teaching Kindergarten for 5 years. UA Little Rock is her Alumni, where she received two baccalaureate degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice, her master’s degree in Public Administration, and two graduate certificates in Conflict Mediation and Non-Profit Organization. Mrs. Ward is married to her soulmate of 22 years and together they have two adult girls, 5 adult boys, 4 grandsons and 6 granddaughters. She has a passion for visiting the elderly and helping young adults reach their full-potential. Harriet Tubman, Daisy Gatson-Bates and Jewel Ford (her mother) are three of her most admired role models. Some of her favorite hobbies are traveling, swimming, writing, and eating seafood. You would never guess, but Mrs. Ward was a fashion model for several years on the West Coast and designed unique fashion and hosted fashion shows, while donating all proceeds to non-profit organizations.

Bringing To You As Your FYE Instructor:
Mrs. Ward practices self-discipline, self-motivation, time management, and organization in every area of her life. Being part of a large family, she recalls her childhood upbringing from a religious household. Her mother was a housewife and cooked 3 meals a day, did laundry everyday, and kept the house so clean you could eat off the floor. Her father owned his own logging company and started working at the age of 14 years old. As you can see, Mrs. Ward has a humble beginning. Her parents instilled in her the importance of getting an education. She committed most of her career working with young adults and encouraging them to fulfill their dreams. She believes that all young people have gifts and talents that when nourished properly, will allow them to live their dreams while contributing to society.
For 9 years, Mrs. Ward led prominent non-profit organizations and served as Program Director for the Watershed Inc., as Childcare Director for the Carver Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), as Executive Director of the Carver YMCA, and as Executive Director of the College Station YMCA. While at the Carver YMCA, Mrs. Ward supervised 20 employees and oversaw more than 10 community programs, one of which was The Future 500 program, created for high school students in 10th-12th grades.

Mrs. Ward previously taught College Seminar as an adjunct at UA-PTC for three years and served as adjunct instructor for three years teaching the Personal Awareness (PEAW) First Year Experience (FYE) course at UA Little Rock. Mrs. Ward later became the FYE Coordinator for two years. While in this position, she and her team wrote the first edition of this book, “The Making of a Trojan: First Year Experience.”


Dominque Thomas

Dominque ThomasSuccess Coach of Student Affairs Diversity Initiative | PEAW Adjunct for General Sections

Dominque Thomas was born in Pine Bluff, AR, but was raised in North Little Rock, AR.  He is an alumnus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts in Higher Education with a concentration in Student Affairs.  Mr. Thomas is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  In his spare time, he likes to work out, hang with family and friends, read, and watch sports. Mr. Thomas currently serves as a Student Success Coach for Student Affairs Diversity Initiative (S.A.D.I.)

Bringing To You As Your FYE Instructor:
Mr. Thomas has spent most of his career working in higher education in the capacity of mentorship, instructor, and coach for collegiate students.  He enjoys working with students, helping students become outstanding critical thinkers and problem solvers.  Mr. Thomas has history at UA-Little Rock both as a student and staff, and has a lot of wisdom to give.


Corrigan RevelsCorrigan Revels

Associate Dean for Student Leadership and Development, Student Affairs | PEAW Adjunct for Chancellor’s Leadership Corp (CLC)

Corrigan Revels was born in Magnolia, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication: Motion Pictures and a Master’s degree in Higher Education: Student Affairs, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He currently serves as the Assistant Director for Student Leadership & Development at UA Little Rock. This position allows him to serve CLC students, student organizations, and the Student Activities Board. The rest of his time is dedicated towards film and service. Corrigan has a strong passion for telling meaningful stories that can impact viewers. He believes in the power of storytelling and understands the influence that filmmakers can have, when given the platform. One of Corrigan’s most rewarding moments is when he was nominated for the Arkansas Community Service Award and he was one of six honorees of 2018. Giving back and community service is something that Corrigan is very passionate about. In fact, he is the founder and executive director of the Arkansas Minority Film & Arts Association. This organization is dedicated to the development and awareness of filmmakers and artist of color. Overall, pursuing his purpose, being a husband to his beautiful wife, and mentoring, drives him to become better everyday.


Tiffani Silvey

Chancellor’s Leadership Corp (CLC) Success Coach, Student Affairs | PEAW Adjunct for CLC

Tiffani Silvey was raised in Rison, Arkansas. She was the first person in her family to attend college. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Communication Studies in 2021 from UA Little Rock, while concentrating in marketing, advertising and public relations. Tiffani is currently furthering her education by pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Business Analytics from UA Little Rock. On top of being a full-time employee and student, Tiffani owns and operates a small business, where she sells her handmade products. Tiffani has a passion for helping others and serving the community. You can find her volunteering, spending time with family and playing with her dogs.

Bringing To You As Your FYE Instructor:
Tiffani is an alumna of the CLC program, which has allowed her to grow and develop into a strong leader. She served as a student mentor for CLC for three years during her undergraduate experience, followed by becoming the program’s graduate assistant for one year. Tiffani favorite part of being a Student Success Coach is being able to build relationships with students while helping them set and reach their goals.