News – News https://ualr.edu/news News from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Tue, 21 May 2019 16:29:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 UA Little Rock grad uncovers history of oldest state law enforcement agency in Arkansas https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/21/cody-besett-arkansas-highway-police/ Tue, 21 May 2019 16:29:30 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74398 A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate has honored his family’s legacy by devoting his graduate research to uncovering the history of the Arkansas Highway Police.  Cody Besett, 27, of Rogers, graduated May 11 with a Master of Arts in public history with an emphasis in archives and digital collections. Since his father and […]

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A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate has honored his family’s legacy by devoting his graduate research to uncovering the history of the Arkansas Highway Police. 

Cody Besett, 27, of Rogers, graduated May 11 with a Master of Arts in public history with an emphasis in archives and digital collections. Since his father and grandfather were both officers with the Arkansas Highway Police, he was inspired to write his thesis about the state law enforcement agency.

“I have a personal tie to the Arkansas Highway Police,” Besett said. “My grandfather retired from the agency many years ago, and my father will retire from there in a few years. My dad thought it was interesting, but he knew it would be quite an undertaking.”

Besett wanted to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the formation of the agency but found it difficult to locate official documents related to the agency.

“My father gave me contacts for retired officers and administrators, and I did some oral histories with them. That was very beneficial because some of the official documents don’t exist,” he said. “The Center for Arkansas History and Culture has some records. There was an auditor in the 1950s who complained that the agency didn’t keep records long enough. There have been many iterations of this agency, but there are not many official records. My greatest source was a Highway Department magazine that was put out by the employees.”

The Arkansas Highway Police is the oldest state law enforcement agency in Arkansas. Established as the State Road Patrol in 1929, its duties involve speed enforcement, protection of the highways, hazardous materials enforcement, and federal motor carrier safety.

“Actions of state law enforcement agencies, like the AHP, have made a measured impact on the history of 20th century Arkansas,” he said. “The AHP has played a less visible role at times, but one that is important to the safety, construction, and maintenance of the highway system and drivers in Arkansas.”

In 1933, the agency was transferred to the Revenue Department. When the State Road Patrol dissolved in 1937, the enforcement duties were split between inspectors with the Arkansas Highway Department and Arkansas State Police officers. The enforcement of weight standards was transferred from the Revenue Department to the Weights and Standards Division of the Arkansas State Police in 1953. A decade later, the division was transferred back to the Highway Department. The current Arkansas Highway Police Division of the Highway Department was created in 1979. In 1989, the Transportation Safety Agency transferred to the Highway Department and an additional 34 officers to the Arkansas Highway Police.

One figure that  Besett found particularly vital to the history of the Arkansas Highway Police was John Bailey, who spent 27 years in Arkansas law enforcement and served as both chief of the Arkansas Highway Police and director of the Arkansas State Police.

“Chief John Bailey is the only officer in my knowledge to serve as the head officer of both the highway and state police in Arkansas,” Besett said. “He worked very hard to build the image of the Arkansas Highway Police. He emphasized hiring educated officers. He used standardized training for police officers and wanted to use the most up-to-date training tactics. He took his ideas on recruitment and training when he became chief of the Arkansas State Police.”

While there have been calls over the years to merge the Arkansas Highway Police with the Arkansas State Police, Besett said the agency’s unique duties have kept it alive over the decades.

“Arkansas is very unique in that we have two major state police forces, and they are not under the same umbrella,” he said. “In my opinion, it is the state highway police’s specialization that makes them special and keeps them from getting absorbed by the state police.”

Besett earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Lyon College in Batesville. He worked as a social studies teacher in Farmington until 2017, when his wife got a job in Little Rock after finishing medical school.

While at UA Little Rock, Besett has gained valuable experience as researcher and interviewer with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, where he conducted oral history interviews with women in Arkansas. He also interned with the Arkansas State Library, where he was responsible for making digital scans of historic state documents for preservation efforts. He feels he has gained the most experience working as a graduate assistant in the Center for Arkansas History and Culture.

“I knew I wanted to go back to school, and I chose UA Little Rock. I’ve really enjoyed my two graduate assistantships,” he said. “The value of those positions has certainly kept me here. The program at the Center for Arkansas History and Culture has really ticked off all the boxes for everything I need to learn to become an archivist. Dr. Deborah Baldwin sat down with each of us and reviewed our resumes. I feel like I am fully prepared to apply for full-time positions after working my two graduate assistantships.”

Now that his graduate education is complete, Besett plans to work in archival sciences. He also enjoys his work as an archival digitization specialist with Ancestry.com, where he captures digital images of microfilm records to assist people looking for vital records in Arkansas, including birth, marriage, death, and divorce certificates.

In the upper right photo, Cody Besett stands between two Arkansas Highway Patrol vehicles. Photo by Ben Krain. 

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Cyclists wanted to ride Tour de Rock in support of vice chancellor’s brother https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/21/cyclists-wanted-tour-de-rock/ Tue, 21 May 2019 16:04:09 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74395 The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Cycling Club is looking for 10 students, faculty, and staff members to ride the Tour de Rock on Saturday, June 1.  For the second year in a row, Steve McClellan, vice chancellor for finance and administration, will sponsor a team of people to ride the Tour de Rock […]

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The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Cycling Club is looking for 10 students, faculty, and staff members to ride the Tour de Rock on Saturday, June 1. 

For the second year in a row, Steve McClellan, vice chancellor for finance and administration, will sponsor a team of people to ride the Tour de Rock in honor of his brother, Bruce McClellan, who is battling lung cancer.

“My brother found out that he had a pretty serious situation going on with cancer,” McClellan said. “There is not much I can do other than support him. Sometimes, you want to do whatever you can to let the person know that you are there.”

CARTI’s 16th annual Tour de Rock is a cycling fundraiser that supports CARTI’s continued fight against cancer by providing the most advanced forms of treatment available while also meeting the needs of patients and their families.

“One of the most touching things about the event is that you get to write the name of a person who is fighting cancer on your shirt,” said Martial Trigeaud, business consultant with the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and faculty advisor of the UA Little Rock Cycling Club. “This year, we will write the name of Steve’s brother, Bruce. Many people also write the name of another friend or relative, someone they love, who has faced cancer.”

Last year, the UA Little Rock team rode nearly 500 miles in honor of Bruce McClellan.

Cyclists can ride one of four routes of 25, 50, 62, or 100 miles. The route begins and ends on Riverfront Drive and Brother Paul Drive in North Little Rock. A party with music, exhibitors, and food will follow the race at Heifer International Pavilion.

Anyone who would like to ride should contact Trigeaud at 501-683-7721 or mxtrigeaud@ualr.edu.

In the upper right image, UA Little Rock employees and students ride the 2018 Tour de Rock to raise money for CARTI in honor of Steve McClellan’s brother, Bruce, who is battling lung cancer. 

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International student athlete prepares for next chapter of her education https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/20/ruiz-astorga-graduation/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:25:59 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74326 This spring, UA Little Rock Senior Laura Ruiz Astorga found herself facing the difficult choice of where to continue her education following her graduation in May. Fortunately for her, she had already been accepted to not one, but two of the top schools in her field, and this fall she will begin a master’s program […]

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This spring, UA Little Rock Senior Laura Ruiz Astorga found herself facing the difficult choice of where to continue her education following her graduation in May. Fortunately for her, she had already been accepted to not one, but two of the top schools in her field, and this fall she will begin a master’s program at the London School of Economics.

Ruiz Astorga came to UA Little Rock from Madrid and was introduced to the world of international relations at a young age through her father, who works for the Spanish government.

While in high school in Spain, she was recruited by UA Little Rock’s swim team and soon began her freshman year of college in a city thousands of miles away from her home. Aside from being a student-athlete, Ruiz Astorga also chose to double major in international studies and psychology.

“At first, I wasn’t sure I was in the right major for me, but then I got here and made friends with some of my professors and things got much better afterwards,” Ruiz Astorga said, “Dr. Wiebelhaus-Brahm especially got me interested in international studies and taught in a really engaging way.”

As a student-athlete, Ruiz Astorga represented UA Little Rock with the same level of dedication that she put into her coursework. In February, she and three other swim team members set a new school record for the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“I really loved being a student-athlete, we have a really great athletic department here,” Ruiz Astorga said. “Everyone is very close to each other.  We were also friends with all the other teams, and it all felt like one big family. I like how this campus is small enough to where you really get to know everyone.”

Swim Team Member Laura Ruiz Astorga is honored during the Trojans final home meet of the season. Photo by Ben Krain.
Swim Team Member Laura Ruiz Astorga is honored during the Trojans final home meet of the season. Photo by Ben Krain.

Today, Ruiz Astorga is looking towards the future as she prepares to pursue a master’s degree in human rights at the London School of Economics. Although she’s excited to return to Europe, she’ll be forever thankful for her time at UA Little Rock and encourages all students to look into it for their own education and development.

“UA Little Rock may be small, but that’s anything but a bad thing. We have great professors who really care about your success,” Ruiz Astorga said, “I came from Madrid and had never even heard of Arkansas or Little Rock, but I had so much fun here. This state is beautiful, and I feel like I had a great academic experience overall.”

After completing her graduate program, Ruiz Astorga plans to devote herself to protecting human rights on an international level through work with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations.

In the upper right photo, Laura Ruiz Astorga, left, participates in the UA Little Rock commencement ceremony on May 11. Photo by Ben Krain. 

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Helgestad looks forward to giving back to the community through dentistry https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/20/ingrid-helgestad-denistry/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:06:56 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74369 Ingrid Helgestad, 22, of Bryant, has been considering becoming a dentist since she was 14. To encourage this goal, Helgestad’s parents, Karl and Tara Helgestad, took her on a mission trip to Guatemala with St. James United Methodist Church when she was 17. She can remember the exact moment when she decided to become a […]

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Ingrid Helgestad, 22, of Bryant, has been considering becoming a dentist since she was 14. To encourage this goal, Helgestad’s parents, Karl and Tara Helgestad, took her on a mission trip to Guatemala with St. James United Methodist Church when she was 17. She can remember the exact moment when she decided to become a dentist. 

“When we went to Guatemala, I asked specifically to assist in the dentistry portion. I assisted Dr. Tina Nichols,” Helgestad said. “Since they don’t have enough time to do bridges, the dentists pull all the teeth and the patients get dentures. I remember standing there holding 20 bloody teeth for one woman who was getting dentures. Even though these people were in pain, they were leaving with so much hope because they were about to get their health back. This is when I solidified that dentistry is what I wanted to do in college.”

Helgestad graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on May 11 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and is well on her way to becoming a dentist. She already works as a registered dental assistant with Dr. Kathleen Good Ederle in Little Rock and is applying to dental schools this month.

“I like dentistry because I enjoy doing art and being creative, but I also enjoy business. Combining these areas together is what general dentistry is like,” she said. “Working as a dental assistant, I see how happy people get even with just a little cosmetic work to their teeth.”

After graduating from Bryant High School in 2015, Helgestad decided on UA Little Rock after meeting the faculty and being accepted to the Donaghey Scholars program, which covered her tuition, fees, and housing while providing a living stipend, computer, and study abroad assistance.

“UA Little Rock was the perfect medium between a small school environment and a big school environment,” Helgestad said. “Once I got a tour of the facilities, met the professors, and received the Donaghey scholarship, it was a no brainer. I had a great experience with every professor I met.”

While at UA Little Rock, Helgestad found she had a knack for business and entrepreneurship. She was part of a medical startup company, Spiritum Solutions, with UA Little Rock students Noah Asher and Nick Lester. The start-up was selected for the Delta I-Fund Business Accelerator program in the fall 2017 semester and won first place in the undergraduate division of the Arkansas Governor’s Cup in April 2018. Helgestad developed a prototype for a device that reduces unplanned extubations in critical care units.

“Winning the Governor’s Cup is a highlight of my college career, but the thing that sticks out the most to me at UA Little Rock is how close I am to my professors,” Helgestad said. “To me, that is way more important than being in a lecture hall with 400 students. Dr. Brian Berry from the Chemistry Department, Dr. David Tonkyn from the Biology Department, and Dr. Jessica Scott and Dr. Simon Hawkins from the Donaghey Scholars have always been there for me. Having support from my chairs and the Donaghey Scholars program has led to my success.”

UA Little Rock Donaghey Scholars and best friends Ingrid Helgestad, left, and Abby Resendiz, right, congratulate each other after their commencement ceremony May 11. Photo by Ben Krain.
UA Little Rock Donaghey Scholars and best friends Ingrid Helgestad, left, and Abby Resendiz, right, congratulate each other after their commencement ceremony on May 11. Photo by Ben Krain.

As someone who is very grateful for the help she received in her college career, Helgestad has given back to the community by volunteering with Girls of Promise Annual STEM Conference, Girl Scouts, CARE for Animals, Habitat for Humanity, and the 12th Street Health and Wellness Dental Clinic.

“The Girls of Promise STEM Conference was my favorite volunteer experience in college,” she said. “I became a team leader, and I was kind of afraid because I was in charge of 13- and 14-year-old girls. I’ve always been an advocate for girls and women to do what they can do without feeling like they aren’t good enough. I tell these girls that they are worthy and smart and totally capable of doing anything they want to do. All the girls in my group wanted to do computer science or physics and biology, and it was really fun to see their faces light up when they talked about it.”

Helgestad also continued her love of service in the dental area. At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, she and a classmate, Brendan Frazier, started a student chapter of the Natural Teeth Ambassador program at UA Little Rock. Theoutreach program focuses on dental care that educates at-risk elementary school students and families in the Little Rock area. Last year, the ambassadors visited two elementary schools and hope to reach more this year.

“It’s called the Superhero program, and we use lots of different fun activities to get kids excited about being superheroes,” she said. “They combat the bad guys, plaque and acid, with their special tools, toothpaste and floss. At the end of the program, we give them dental supplies donated by Delta Dental.”

At the end of her UA Little Rock education, Helgestad said that combining her love of dentistry, engineering, and business is what made the journey so special.

“I definitely have enjoyed getting to incorporate business and entrepreneurship into my college experience,” she explained. “I was unsure when I first started how I was going to do that. It’s crazy that I combined everything I love into my college experience – dentistry, engineering through the medical device, and business. I’m really proud and excited that this community has supported me in doing that.”

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Prints by professor on display at North Little Rock library https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/17/joli-livaudais-art/ Fri, 17 May 2019 14:47:17 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74384 Work by Joli Livaudais, assistant professor of photography in University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Department of Art and Design, is on display through June 15 at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library, 420 Main St., North Little Rock. “And Then I Will See” is a series of 21 prints Livaudais […]

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Work by Joli Livaudais, assistant professor of photography in University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Department of Art and Design, is on display through June 15 at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library, 420 Main St., North Little Rock.

“And Then I Will See” is a series of 21 prints Livaudais created using gum bichromate, a historical handmade print process used before film was invented.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, call (501) 687-1061.

Photo of “Breakfast,” courtesy of Joli Livaudais

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College of Social Sciences and Communications Announces Award Winners https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/17/cssc-awards-2019/ Fri, 17 May 2019 14:04:23 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74324 UA Little Rock’s College of Social Sciences and Communication (CSSC) honored its students, faculty, and staff at its annual awards ceremony. More than 230 guests attended the May 7 event at the Governor’s Mansion that celebrated the many achievements of CSSC’s students, faculty, and staff. The college awarded $112,600 to 117 students through 71 scholarships. […]

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UA Little Rock’s College of Social Sciences and Communication (CSSC) honored its students, faculty, and staff at its annual awards ceremony.

More than 230 guests attended the May 7 event at the Governor’s Mansion that celebrated the many achievements of CSSC’s students, faculty, and staff.

The college awarded $112,600 to 117 students through 71 scholarships.

“As one alum told us the next day, the ceremony was an uplifting celebration of academic excellence, rich in spirt and sense of community,” said Dr. Julien Mirivel, interim dean of CSSC. “I want to extend another round of congratulations to all of our award recipients and our gratitude to all who attended.”

The award winners include:

College Excellence Awards

Faculty Excellence Awards – Dr. Cheryl Johnston, Dr. Avinash Thombre, and Dr. Tusty ten Bensel

Above and Beyond Award – Dr. Belinda Blevins-Knabe

Chair of the Year Award – Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter

Student Engagement Award – Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm

Champions for Service Learning Award – Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm and Dr. Molly Smith

Staff Excellence Award – Christina Smith

CSSC Student Scholarship Recipients

Founding Dean Community-Engaged Research Scholarship – Amy King

Laverne Sheard-Britton Scholarship – BreAuna Bailey

Rose Pfeifer Isacson Endowed Scholarship – Jasmin Avery

September Fund Scholarship – Mollee Steely

Douthit Scholarship – Whitney Reuschlig

Julien and Margaret Mirivel Positive Research Scholarship – Nathan Jeffers and Trye Price

The Last Mile Scholarship – Elizabeth Dustonbekov, Samantha Kendrick, Rosalinda Roper, Christina Sanders, Raven Thompson, and Elvin White

Department of Applied Communication

Distinguished Graduate Student – Michael Nesbit

Distinguished Undergraduate Student – Derrick Newby

Making a Difference Award (Undergraduate) – Maggie Mencer

Making a Difference Award (Graduate) – Frankye Jimenez and Bonnie Ward

Making a Difference Award (Alumni) – Christy Standerfer

Community Partner Award – Bridgeway Hospital

Angela Brenton Endowed Scholarship – Tiffany Meeks

Department of Criminal Justice

Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Michael Meziere

Outstanding Graduate Student (MA) – Tyre Price

Outstanding Graduate Student (MS) – James Dorney

Outstanding Doctoral Student – Brooke Cooley

Rob Williams Memorial Scholarship – Brooke Cooley, Willie Horace, and Mollee Steely

Rick Finley Memorial Scholarship – Autumn Davis, Callie Gibson, Ronnie Loftis, Adielle Sadiq, and Luke Samaniego

Melissa Ma Memorial Scholarship – Kashayla Banks, Kristi Stovall, and Kristopher Weatherly

John A. Boyeskie Memorial Scholarship – Shay Gane

Correctional Leadership Challenge Endowed Scholarship – Sydney McEwen

Charles Chastain Founding Chair Scholarship Fund – Chelsea Barnett, Amy King, Cody McMunn, and Daniel Morris

Judge Lee Munson Scholarship – Autumn Davis

David. O. Dillinger Endowed Scholarship – Tanya Higgs, Trye Price, and Melissa Vachon

Harold R. Zook Endowed Scholarship – Heidi Perry

Randy and Diane Johnson Endowed Scholarship – Sarah Williams

Louis Caudell Rotary Club of Downtown Little Rock Scholarship – Brittney Heard

Department of Psychology

Marie Wilson Howells Outstanding Graduating Senior in Psychology Award – Laura Ruiz Astorga and Saiyeeda F. Hussain

Department of Rhetoric and Writing

David and Lucille Chandler Scholarship – Matthew Esteb

Clarence and Judy Albers Quality Writing Scholarship – Tasha Robinson

Luis Gabriel Award for Dedicated Service – Rira Zamani

Milton Stephens Award for Service – Chloe Moses

Write On Awards for University Writing Center Service – Andy Acker, Alyia Goudeau, Jan Jolly, Robert McCarville, Heather McFarlane, Erin Ross, Danny Wagner, and Gwen Williams

Oliver-Breeze-Kennedy Award – Brittany Bartlett, Anita Gipson, and Lee Steht

Bonna Barken Jensen Writing About Families Award – Nicole Zimmerman

Mickey Kamer Cyberspace Award – Kelly Robertson

School of Mass Communication 

Samantha Poe, recipient of the Jane and John Thompson Endowed Scholarship, is shown with donor John Thompson.
Samantha Poe, recipient of the Jane and John Thompson Endowed Scholarship, is shown with donor John Thompson.

The Golden Mike Award endowed by Steve Stephens and Belinda Shults – Renae Goddard

Dan and Johnnie Winn Memorial Scholarship – Jessica Franklin, Dorothea Greulich, and Ana Vujosevic

Herbert and Gertrude Latkin Scholarship Fund – Faith Okeh and Alexandria Trantham

Jerol Garrison Endowed Journalism Scholarship – Laquanda Cook

Arkansas Broadcasters Association Endowed Scholarship – Kelly Connelly and Madison Kilby

William K. Rutherford Freedom of Information Act Memorial Scholarship – Katherine McKee

TreDay.com Scholarships Project Endowment – Carl Bunch

THV 11 Media Scholarship – Adriana Fuentes and Keely Reeves

Television Broadcasters of Arkansas Scholarship – Christopher Banks and Zachary Edwards

Jason Irby Scholarship – Shelby Sites

R.D. Doubleday Endowed Scholarship – Brent Armstrong

Harry Ashmore Award – Madeline Ragan

Roy Mitchell Scholarship – Samantha Poe

Governor Orval E. Faubus Scholarship – Latosha Newman

Edith Woods Sweezy Memorial Scholarship – Willie LeBlanc

K.A. Engel Scholarship – Miram Battles, Remington Miller, Kolton Rutherford

Arkansas Fly Fishers Scholarship – Shakayla Zoss

Jane and John Thompson Endowed Scholarship – Samantha Poe

Patrick and Leslie Rhode Endowed Scholarship – Darrell Farmer and Wilson Hatcher

School of Public Affairs

Bill Gwatney Memorial Endowed Scholarship – Chevelia Benford, Nathan Davis, Landon DeKay, Ravan Gaston, and Madison Rogers

Jefferey C. Ledbetter Endowed Scholarship – Daisy Vasquez

Tim Massanelli Endowed Scholarship for Political Science – Austin Johnson

James R. Garrison Endowed Book Fund – Faith Madkins

Martha Sawrie Stephenson Scholarship – Faith Madkins

Outstanding Graduate in Political Science – Charlana Benefiel

Outstanding Graduate in International Studies – Rosalinda Roper

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Katherine J. Hardy Memorial Award – Nicole Ursin

Mark Hartmann Anthropology Student Fieldwork Fellowship – Noah Currey

Outstanding Graduating Student Award in Sociology – Saiyeeda Hussain

Beth and Earl Richard Endowed Scholarship – Jessica Gonzalez and Latara Williams

In the upper right photo, Interim Dean Julien Mirivel, middle, congratulates recipients of the Last Mile Scholarship: Christina Sanders, Elizabeth Dustonbekov, Raven Thompson, and Rosalinda Roper.

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Doctoral student lands criminal justice faculty position in California https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/17/marc-glidden/ Fri, 17 May 2019 13:21:01 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74359 A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate will soon be sharing his knowledge of the criminal justice system with students on the west coast.  Dr. Marc Glidden, visiting assistant professor of criminal justice, graduated May 11 with a Ph.D. in criminal justice and a tenure-track assistant professor position at California State University, Northridge. “Criminal […]

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A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate will soon be sharing his knowledge of the criminal justice system with students on the west coast. 

Dr. Marc Glidden, visiting assistant professor of criminal justice, graduated May 11 with a Ph.D. in criminal justice and a tenure-track assistant professor position at California State University, Northridge.

“Criminal justice is such a developing field,” Glidden said. “Since it is such a new field of study, there will always be topics to be curious about.”

Glidden came to UA Little Rock in 2013 to pursue his doctorate. He has taught for the Department of Criminal Justice since fall 2014 and adheres to a student-centered, high-impact approach, which emphasizes active learning, critical thinking, and learning assessments.

“Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking forward to having a successful career in academia by providing the mentorship and unique learning experience that I had throughout my education to my future students,” he said.

Since Glidden has a background in housing at East Carolina University and McKendree University, he was thrilled when an opportunity to work as the assistant director of student housing came up in 2014. He later served as the director of campus living and assistant dean of students from 2016 to 2018.

“With my interest and passion in working for students, the ability to continue working in the classroom as an adjunct instructor and also work with students in housing provided me with the opportunity to work closer with UA Little Rock students and to gain experience in the administrative part of the university as I continued to prepare to go into academia.”

UA Little Rock criminal justice doctoral student Marc Glidden, a visiting assistant professor of criminal justice, is hooded during the May 11 graduation ceremony. Photo by Ben Krain.
UA Little Rock criminal justice doctoral student Marc Glidden, a visiting assistant professor of criminal justice, is hooded by Dr. Molly Smith, assistant professor of criminal justice, during the May 11 graduation ceremony. Photo by Ben Krain.

The opportunity to participate in field research with criminal justice professors is an experience that Glidden says  greatly enhanced his career.

“I really appreciated the one-on-one mentorship with faculty in criminal justice and the experience to get to work with Tim Brown on hands-on fieldwork. We went to prisons to conduct surveys with inmates and to rural counties to interview gang members,” Glidden said. “I can talk about research all day, but understanding that experience of how we gain knowledge about these nuanced topics in criminal justice is a unique experience in itself. Having the experience of collecting my own data before I was a professor was very valuable.”

In his dissertation, “Forget the Olive Branch, What About the Bank Branch? An Examination of the Relationship between Financial Access and Community Crime,” Glidden explored how access to banks and financial institutions in a community impacts the amount of crime from a social disorganization framework.

“Similar to churches, banks offer a platform for individuals within a neighborhood to engage in ways of forming bonds within the neighborhood,” he said. “The world runs on money. Money and currency are the basis of any society. Banks are still relevant, especially in rural communities.”

While Glidden has found that access to banks reduces crime rates in communities, he plans to conduct follow-up research to understand why.

“As the number of banks goes up, the amount of crime in a community goes down,” he said. “More research is needed to know how. This has never been looked at before.”

As he gets ready to take the next step in life, Glidden is thankful for all the people who helped him succeed at UA Little Rock.

“My favorite part about UA Little Rock is all the people I have met from colleagues in housing to students in the classroom to faculty in criminal justice,” he said. “Each has contributed to my success and my story at UA Little Rock and has made it a positive experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

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Graduating associate dean says ‘it’s all about the students’ https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/17/richard-harper/ Fri, 17 May 2019 13:10:21 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74365 A well-known associate dean at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said he is looking forward to helping the “most important people on campus” after completing his college education. Richard Harper II, associate dean of students, graduated May 11 with a Doctor of Education in higher education administration. He wears many hats on campus, […]

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A well-known associate dean at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said he is looking forward to helping the “most important people on campus” after completing his college education.

Richard Harper II, associate dean of students, graduated May 11 with a Doctor of Education in higher education administration. He wears many hats on campus, serving as the immediate past president of Staff Senate and the advisor to the Student Government Association.  

“Now that graduation is over, I plan to continually live by my professional motto,” he said. “I’m here to positively impact the lives of students. The other motto I live by is that students are the most important people on campus. Without them, there would be no purpose for us to be here. I will continue to advocate for students and make sure our services are high quality and continue to be an asset for higher education.”

Although he usually attends graduation as a member of the administration to show support for students, Harper said he enjoyed taking his administrative cap off for a day to enjoy his graduation just like any other student with his immediate family, cousins from Mississippi, and godparents from Texas.

“This year, I was just a student, and I loved walking across the stage in front of my friends and family and just cherishing the moment,” he said.

Harper’s students have known of his doctoral aspirations and have been calling him “Dr. Harper” for some time, motivating him to complete his degree sooner rather than later.

“Since I am currently SGA’s advisor, it’s a very cool experience, but also scary, that I get to help shape and mold our student leaders for the future,” he said. “A lot of the students were calling me Dr. Harper before I was done and that served as motivation. I want to inspire and motivate the students as well. If you work hard, stay focused, and do the right thing, you can achieve anything you want, whether it’s in education or in life.”

Harper graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Central Arkansas. He came to UA Little Rock in 2011 to pursue a Master of Arts in higher education administration. After working two years as a graduate assistant in the Office of the Dean of Students, Harper was hired full time as the assistant dean of students.

“I was recruited as a graduate student by John Kuykendall, a faculty member in the higher education department at the time. I got a graduate assistantship, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m happy to be graduating and glad that chapter has come to an end. It’s been a lot of hard work, and it’s great to see my hard work actually be approved by my dissertation committee.”

Harper’s dissertation, A Wrong Made Right: A Qualitative Cross-Case Comparison Study Examining Program Influences On College Readiness, Persistence, and Student Success Outcomes at a Predominantly White University and a Historically Black College,” explored the outcomes of the implementation of the Charles W. Donaldson Scholars Academy at UA Little Rock and Philander Smith College.

The Donaldson Scholars Academy helps students who are at risk due to socioeconomic disadvantages or other factors improve their academic achievement and prepare for college. The programs include ACT Prep Express, which helps high school students in Pulaski County Special School District, Little Rock School District, and the North Little Rock School District prepare for high school graduation, the ACT, and college. The academy also participates in college fairs, hosts meetings with school counselors, facilitates college and ACT prep sessions, and offers fall retreats.

Richard Harper receives a Doctor of Education in higher education administration from UA Little Rock on May 11. Photo by Ben Krain.

Students can participate in the Summer Bridge Academy, a three-week residential program that prepares incoming freshmen for college-level work by eliminating the need for them to take remedial math and English courses. Students who complete the program and attend UA Little Rock, Philander Smith, or University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College are eligible for a $2,500 annual scholarship that is renewable for up to four years.

“This program is a direct result from a 30-year plus desegregation school case,” Harper said. “Part of the settlement was that all the parties agreed that $10 million worth of funds be utilized to increase student success for minority students from Pulaski County Special School District. The students graduate high school, then come to the Summer Bridge Academy, and then they can get up to $10,000 in scholarships for four years to attend UA Little Rock or Philander Smith. I call it a pipeline to student success.”

Harper said he was interested in studying what makes the program successful so that it can be replicated at other colleges.

“I believe that program can be replicated and can really change the narrative of underprepared students coming out of school districts,” Harper said. “When you look at this program, you see how many lives its touching, how many scholarships are awarded, and how many remedial classes are bypassed. How do they get students to bypass remediation, believe in themselves, and matriculate through college? These students are graduating at rates higher than other colleges.”

Richard believes that factors like experiencing college life through the Summer Bridge Academy helps incoming students alleviate many of their fears about college. Having mentors that help them adjust to college, clearly outlined goals and expectations to progress in the program, and a group of peers to share their experiences all help students succeed in college.

“High school students are often told that if you don’t get a high enough ACT score or do well enough in school that college is not for you,” Harper said. “You almost get trapped in another life. If you get these students in a specialized program that helps with academic, social, and financial problems, it exposes them to a different way of learning. We found that students respond well to that. They bypass remediation, do well in their college courses, and persist to graduation. At the end of the day, that is what we are here for.”

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Surprise family visit makes commencement even more special for UA Little Rock grad https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/16/surprise-family-vivian-littrell/ Thu, 16 May 2019 17:53:28 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74349 A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate got the surprise of a lifetime when her family from California flew all night to surprise her on graduation day.  Vivian Littrell’s May 11 graduation from UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice was already a special event, since the 71-year-old grandmother of four […]

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A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate got the surprise of a lifetime when her family from California flew all night to surprise her on graduation day. 

Vivian Littrell’s May 11 graduation from UA Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice was already a special event, since the 71-year-old grandmother of four and mother of two from Little Rock was finishing her lifelong goal of earning a college degree.

“I decided that I wanted to complete my bachelor’s degree before my youngest grandchildren were out of high school,” she said. I’ve been out of college since 1984, when I last attended Philander Smith College. I wanted to major in adult education with a minor in psychology. That was my objective back then, but now many years later, I have a different agenda.”

Littrell has always been passionate about helping others and dreamed of being an attorney. She now hopes to use her degree to help minorities navigate the criminal justice system.

“I want to volunteer with a nonprofit to help people navigate the criminal justice system who have no idea what is going on,” she said. So many people are caught up in the criminal justice system that don’t know anything at all about the procedures, and I want to use my knowledge to help them.”

As a divorced single mother, Littrell left college 35 years ago to concentrate on providing for her children. She spent her career working in employment training and counseling and as a recruiter for adult education, so Littrell never forgot the importance of a good education and career. Her family has been immensely supportive and gave her a nudge to return to college.

“It was my daughter Tyrneese who suggested that I return to college after I had bilateral knee surgery in 2011,” she said. “She told me to find something to do, and a good thing to do would be to return to school and complete my bachelor’s degree.”

When Littrell enrolled at UA Little Rock in 2013, she took classes on the Little Rock campus but eventually opted to go online because it was more convenient for her as she cares for her 93-year-old mother. She’s grateful to the many professors and staff members who have helped make her time at UA Little Rock a success.

“When I first came, I was nervous. I’m thankful to Ms. Susan Boling, who helped me a lot. She taught me academic literacy,” Littrell said. “I’m also grateful to criminal justice professors Dr. James Hurst and Dr. Timothy Brown and Ms. Karen Wisdom. Most of my instructors were sensitive to the needs of a nontraditional student and worked with me in getting a clear understanding of what was expected of me. Many of my classmates were kind enough to help me with notetaking in class. I also have to give kudos to the entire staff in Student Support Services and the Disability Resource Center.”

Littrell is also especially grateful to Dr. Andrew Deiser, interim chair of the Department of World Languages, who helped her pass her foreign language requirement.

“I didn’t know anything about a foreign language, and Dr. Deiser tutored me one-on-one himself,” Littrell said. “There are also two young ladies in that division, Bryana Herrera and Autumn Payne, who tutored me as well. Dr. Deiser has helped me more than any other professor at UA Little Rock. He did everything he could to help me pass my Spanish course. Without him, I wouldn’t have graduated. I also wouldn’t have graduated without the help of my department chair, Dr. Mary Parker, or Reed Claiborne from the Disability Resource Center. ”

Since Mother’s Day was the day after graduation, Littrell’s son Corey planned a brunch on Saturday where family members from Bryant, Dumas, Hot Springs, and Little Rock were planning to visit. Littrell, an inquisitive woman who loves a good mystery, had suspicions that her son was keeping a secret.

Graduate Vivian Littrell, right, reacts reacts in shock after her niece Chauntee Coleman, off camera at left, makes a surprise visit to Littrell's graduation ceremony at UA Little Rock on May 11.  Photo by Ben Krain.
Graduate Vivian Littrell, right, reacts reacts in shock after her niece Chauntee Coleman, off camera at left, makes a surprise visit to Littrell’s graduation ceremony at UA Little Rock on May 11. Photo by Ben Krain.

“My son told me I better clean my room before ‘they come,’ and then he trailed off,” she said. “I don’t know who ‘they’ are, and I wonder if someone is coming that I don’t know about.”

On the other side of the country, Littrell’s niece, Chauntee Coleman, graduated from the University of Southern California with a Ph.D. in social work on May 10, one day before Littrell’s graduation. Littrell was disappointed that she wouldn’t get to see her niece graduate, but didn’t know her family had a big surprise in store.

“My aunt has been the rock of the family and has made many sacrifices for her children, nieces, and nephews along the way,” Coleman said. “My entire family and I flew overnight after my graduation to attend my aunt’s graduation and support the final stop of her educational journey. She was quite disappointed that she would not be able to see me graduate due to the proximity of dates.”

At the special brunch where Littrell did not suspect she would receive a surprise visitor, the appearance of her baby sister from California was the first of many surprises.

“During the prayer, while we were holding hands, I felt a sudden jerk then opened my eyes. I saw my baby sister standing next to me! They say I jumped out of my shoes!” Littrell said. “At the graduation, Ben Krain (university photographer) came up to me and told me he had another surprise for me. A woman walked out covered in graduation regalia. I couldn’t figure out who it was. When I realized it was my niece, I lost it. I couldn’t believe she was there. It was just so special. And to learn that my niece’s husband and children had come too, it was more than I could take!”

Littrell’s special day was made even more perfect since her niece was allowed to attend the ceremony and be by her side as she received her degree.

“For the school to take the time to help with this and to let my niece walk and sit with me while I received my degree, it was just overwhelmingly special,” she said. “I will cherish this special moment forever, and I will forever be grateful to God and everyone for making my day so special.”

In the upper right photo, Vivian Littrell, right, reacts with tears of joy after her niece Chauntee Coleman, left, makes a surprise visit to Littrell’s graduation ceremony at UA Little Rock. Photo by Ben Krain. 

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Livaudais’ photography exhibit on display at North Little Rock library https://ualr.edu/news/2019/05/16/livaudais-photography-exhibit/ Thu, 16 May 2019 17:40:21 +0000 https://ualr.edu/news/?p=74347 Joli Livaudais, assistant professor of photography, will hold a photography exhibit at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library from May 17 to June 15.  The library is located at 420 Main St., North Little Rock, and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 […]

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Joli Livaudais, assistant professor of photography, will hold a photography exhibit at the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Public Library from May 17 to June 15. 

The library is located at 420 Main St., North Little Rock, and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibit, “And Then I Will See,” will feature a series of images printed using an historical printing process, gum bichromate, which involves hand coating watercolor paper with a light-sensitive emulsion combined with watercolor pigments in multiple layers to achieve a print.

“This highly involved process yields images that are softly focused, surreal in color, and are reminiscent of a constructed memory,” she said.

This series is inspired by her father’s search to uncover patterns in the universe that would allow him to win the lottery and achieve financial security for his family.

“My mother’s last battle with cancer financially devastated my parents. When she died, my father fixated on his solution to the crisis. He decided he would win the lottery,” Livaudais said. “My father believed there are patterns in the universe and that by studying nature they could be discerned. Things we believe to be random can actually be predicted, if we could account for all of the variables that go into this pattern. He spent the next several years working on uncovering this great truth.”

Livaudais’ father analyzed thousands of samples of random numbers. He tracked the astronomical objects and weather patterns. He would buy a single lottery ticket every week, but never won the lottery, concluding that there were “just too many variables to account for.”

“When he died, and I sat with the boxes of pages of gridded numbers, I recognized much of myself in the pages – the study of nature in search of something deeper, the same desire for meaning and order,” she said. “In these photographs, I study nature, beauty, and the minutia of my own life and relationships in the context of my father’s data, with all the emotion and ambiguous connections that such a study implies.”

The images were captured on black and white film with a lensless pinhole camera and layered with photographs of her father’s numbers.

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