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Nduku, McElwee, Hendon Named 2022 Faculty Excellence Winners for College of Business, Health, and Human Services

John Hendon
John Hendon

The UA Little Rock College of Business, Health, and Human Services has honored Josy Nduku, Tracey McElwee, and John Hendon as its top professors of 2022.

Nduku, assistant professor of nursing, has received CBHHS’s Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, while McElwee has received the Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award. Hendon, a senior instructor, has been honored with the Faculty Excellence in Public Service Award.

More information about the winners:

Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service

Hendon is a 24-year veteran of UA Little Rock and serves as a senior instructor in the Department of Management and Human Resources. He served as a board member for the Small Business Institute from 2012 to 2017. He also served in a number of executive positions over the years, including vice president of programs, president-elect, and president. He continues to serve as a mentor and fellow.

He also holds the title of Small Business Institute Fellow, which is the highest honor the organization bestows on its members. This honor goes to those who have significant and noteworthy accomplishments in teaching, research, and service involving small businesses. One of his major accomplishments is creating a link between traditional large organization human resources research and small business/entrepreneurial research.

Hendon also serves as a member of the Central High School Technology Committee. His service to UA Little Rock includes being on the Institutional Effectiveness Committee and several terms on the Faculty Senate.

“During his time here, he has routinely gone above and beyond in his efforts to serve, amplify, and promote our university,” said Joseph Bell, professor of entrepreneurship. “He is quick to assist others in the college while at the same time shuns personal credit. His significant corporate knowledge of the university and willingness to share that information with others makes our job easier. His extensive volunteerism is a significant illustration of John’s devotion to our institution, while also demonstrating his competency and tenacity.”

Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching

Josy Nduku
Josy Nduku

Nduku also serves as the RN-BSN online program coordinator. She earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice, all from the University of Central Arkansas.

Since taking on a leadership role in the School Nursing, Nduku has also become a mentor to new faculty members and is instrumental to the program through curriculum revisions, policy updates, recruitment, and research endeavors.

“The School of Nursing is fortunate to have Dr. Nduku as a leader on our team that educates over 800 nursing students every year,” said Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing. “She embodies the description for the Excellence in Teaching Award and is an outstanding representative of everything our school stands for, particularly our vision of inspiring excellence, transforming care, and creating leaders.”

Faculty Excellence Award for Research and Creative Endeavors

McElwee has an impressive research agenda that has resulted in 20 peer-reviewed publications, four manuscripts under review, and four book reviews.

Tracey McElwee
Tracey McElwee

“Tracey has maintained a commitment to students and service, all while maintaining a stellar publication record that rivals those at R1 institutions,” said Dr. Laura Danforth, assistant professor of social work. “Dr. McElwee is a scholar and master researcher, and is always pursuing her goal of adding to the literature in the field of social work. She has demonstrated a passion and commitment to her research agenda, loves challenges, and is one of the most perceptive and prolific researchers in our department and field.”

Her research agenda includes being a part of a team of researchers, led by Dr. Taren Swindle, who received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to complete a seven-year project to address early habits in early childcare and education settings with the goal of reducing cancer. The project will reach 5,000 children and 500 teachers across Arkansas and Louisiana.

McElwee is also studying the results of a research study conducted with a $10,000 grant from the Council on Social Work Education’s Policy Practice in Field Initiative through the New York Community Trust. Approximately 125 students participated in this high-impact learning experience embedded in social work and political science courses at Philander Smith College and UA Little Rock.

In 2017, McElwee and her students assessed the state of campus food insecurity at UA Little Rock after the creation of the Trojan Food Pantry. This project led to her next research endeavor involving a partnership with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and exploration regarding how reduction in SNAP funding would affect SNAP recipients. McElwee and students in her policy course called grocery stores, food pantries, farmers markets, and SNAP recipients across all 75 Arkansas counties. In 2018, McElwee was invited to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to present findings from this study.