PEAW First Year Experience Faculty

Meet the PEAW (PErsonal AWareness) Faculty

Dr. Trakenya Dobbins, PEAW Director & Instructor

Trakenya DobbinsFrom North Little Rock, Arkansas, Trakenya Gordon Dobbins was the first in her family to attend college and then 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. She married her high school sweetheart and has two adult girls and two school-aged girls. Dr. Dobbins is committed to fostering the first years of students’ collegiate experiences and helping students explore their passions, declare a major, and successfully graduate. Her favorite movie is the 1976 American comedy Car Wash, She enjoys family time and dancing Chicago-Steppin’ style with her husband.

What She Brings To You As Your PEAW Instructor: Dr. Dobbins was considered low-income and academically at-risk when she entered college. Growing up, she became resourceful, shopping at thrift stores and even chopped cotton as a teenager. Being academically at-risk in college, she participated in  tutoring labs and 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, PEAW Assistant Director & Instructor

WardRaised in a “shotgun” wood-frame house in Southeast Arkansas with 11 siblings and both parents, Avestine Ward is family-oriented. UA Little Rock is her alma mater. She received two baccalaureate degrees in psychology and in criminal justice, and a master’s degree in public administration. She also has graduate certificates in conflict mediation and in non-profit organization. Mrs. Ward is married to her soulmate of 22 years. The couple has two adult girls, 5 adult boys, 4 grandsons and 6 granddaughters. Harriet Tubman, Daisy Gatson-Bates and Jewel Ford (her mother) are three of her role models. Her hobbies include traveling, swimming, writing, and eating seafood.

What She Brings To You As Your PEAW Instructor: Mrs. Ward’s parents instilled in her the importance of getting an education. She committed most of her career to 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.

Mrs. Ward served as program director for the Watershed Inc. and as executive director of the College Station YMCA. She also served as childcare director and executive director of the Carver YMCA. In that position, she  oversaw more than 10 programs, including The Future 500 program for students in 10th-12th grades.

Mrs. Ward taught College Seminar at UA-PTC and taught the Personal Awareness (PEAW) First Year Experience (FYE) course at UA Little Rock. She  later became the FYE coordinator. While in this position, she and her team wrote the first edition of the book, “The Making of a Trojan: First Year Experience.”

Corrigan Revels, PEAW CLC Instructor

Corrigan RevelsAssociate Dean for Student Leadership and Development, Student Affairs | Coordinator of 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 artists of color. Overall, pursuing his purpose, being a husband to his beautiful wife, and mentoring, drives him to become better everyday.