Promotion and Tenure Announcements

Faculty Distinction: Promotion and Tenure 2021

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock would like to announce the faculty members recognized for their commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service by being awarded tenure and/or promotion for the 2021-22 academic year.

Honors also include the recognition of four faculty members who earned the honorific title of Distinguished Professor, a distinction reserved for those individuals who are “recognized nationally and/or internationally as intellectual leaders in their academic disciplines as a result of extraordinary accomplishments in research, teaching, published works, creative activities in the arts or endeavors of similar merit in other venues.”

One faculty member was named University Professor for “an extended period of exemplary service in a spirit of collegiality to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a combination of service in their profession and to the public through their professional activities.”

The professional milestones of each faculty member underscore their contributions to our mission and uphold the standards of their respective disciplines.

Congratulations to the following faculty for their commitment to our students and the greater community.

Distinguished Professor Honors


Edward AnsonEdward Anson, Ph.D. | Distinguished Professor

Department of History | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Dr. Edward Anson has authored or edited ten books, including Philip II, the Father of Alexander the Great: Themes and Issues, (Bloomsbury 2020); Affective relations and personal bonds in Hellenistic Antiquity: A Festschrift honouring the career of Elizabeth D. Carney, (Oxbow (co-editor) 2020); Eumenes of Cardia: A Greek Among Macedonians Revised 2nd edition (E. J. Brill, 2015), Alexander’s Heirs: The Age of the Successors 323-281 BC (Wiley/Blackwell, 2014); Alexander the Great: Themes and issues (Bloomsbury, 2013; After Alexander: The Age of the Diadochi (323-281 BC) with Victor Alonso Troncoso (Oxbow Books, 2013); published over thirty articles in referred journals, twenty-six book chapters, and over sixty encyclopedia articles.


Juliana Flinn

Juliana Flinn, Ph.D. | Distinguished Professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Dr. Juliana Flinn is a professor of anthropology whose research interests include Micronesia, cultural identity, kinship, gender, migration, and dance. Her teaching interests cover cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and ethnographic methods. In addition to her research in Micronesia, Dr. Flinn has conducted fieldwork in the United States exploring traditional American dance. She taught for a year in Grodno, Belarus, where she collaborated with a colleague to compare Belarusian and American notions of home.


Ann Robinson

Ann Robinson, Ph.D. | Distinguished Professor

Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education | School of Education | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

As the founding director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education, Dr. Robinson serves educators and students through programs for gifted education. Under her leadership, the Center has garnered millions of dollars in grants to help advance education in the state. She recently received the 2021 Presidential Award from the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE).


Xiu Ye Xiu Ye, Ph.D.| Distinguished Professor

Department of Mathematics and Statistics | Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Dr. Xiu Ye is a prolific researcher in the disciplines of mathematics and statistics. Her research interests include numerical solutions of partial differential equations and finite element methods She has received more than $800,000 in grant funds for her research and published over 120 research articles in academic journals.


University Professor Honor


David BriscoeDavid Briscoe, Ph.D. | University Professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Dr. David Briscoe’s long history of collegiality on campus and national service, in particular to the Boy Scouts of America and the World Scout Foundation, are exemplary examples of his dedicated service to the community. He is a Graduate School faculty member and a Distinguished Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. A Certified Family Life Educator and a Marriage and Family Sociologist, Dr. Briscoe is also an author of five books and the co-author of “Plain Talk: The Future of Little Rock’s Public Schools.”


Promotions and Tenure


Anastasia BolesAnastasia Boles, J.D. | Promoted to Professor

William H. Bowen School of Law

Professor Anastasia Boles has published five law review articles and is under contract with Harvard Press to co-author a book tentatively titled “What the Best New Lawyers Do” with colleagues Michael Hunter Schwartz, Lindsey Gustafson, and Amy Pritchard. Professor Boles has presented at a myriad of workshops focusing on cultural competency in legal processes, such as the bankruptcy process and housing law. Professor Boles has worked with the Racial Disparities Project since 2015 and took on the role of co-director in 2017.


Jessie BurchfieldJessie Burchfield, J.D. | Tenure Awarded

William H. Bowen School of Law

Professor Jessie Burchfield is the Director of the Law Library and an Associate Professor of Law who teaches Specialized Legal Research at the Bowen School of Law. She co-authored the Loislaw User’s Guide (2002) and is editor of the Legal Guide for Arkansas Nonprofit and Volunteer Organizations. Her article “Federal and State Court Rules Governing Publication and Citation of Opinions,” 3 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 251 (2001), co-authored with Professor Melissa Serfass, won the 2002 Outstanding Article Award from the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section of AALL.


Michael HeilMichael Heil, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of History | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Dr. Michael Heil regularly teaches large sections of history courses by infusing a “new appreciation for the subject and an expanded understanding of what it encompasses” to his students. His research focuses on law, legal practice, and judicial institutions in early medieval Europe. His book manuscript, “Clerics, Courts, and Legal Culture in Early Medieval Europe,” has been cited and discussed extensively in international literature even in advance of publication. He has published three peer-reviewed articles, made multiple presentations, and received multiple awards for his work centered on ecclesiastical justice and legal culture in early medieval Italy.


Heather K HummelHeather Hummel, MFA | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of English | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Professor Heather Hummel believes “when students have a safe space in which to learn and create, they can thrive.” With this guiding principle in mind, she worked with colleagues to build relationships with the literary community; redesigned the curriculum to offer more flexibility, and tailored the editing and publishing internship after the teaching press model. Professor Hummel the author of “Lessons in Breathing Underwater” (Sundress Publications, 2020) and “Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writers Guide and Anthology” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). She has published numerous poems, co-founded an online poetry journal, and wrote a creative writing guide now used in college classrooms across the country.

(Photo credit: Nancy Hightower)


Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of History | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Dr. Brian Mitchell is nationally known for uncovering previously unknown facts about the 1919 Elaine Massacre. He co-authored the second edition of a book about the massacre, “Blood in Their Eyes,” with Grif  Stockley and Dr. Guy Lancaster. Dr. Mitchell is an accomplished instructor who believes students benefit from practicing the craft of a historian. In his Urban History course, his students created a digital index dataset of Phillips County death certificates from 1917 to 1922, records believed to have been destroyed. These records can now be assessed by the public at the Arkansas State Archive.


John McAllisterJohn McAllister, Ed.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

School of Counseling, Human Performance, & Rehabilitation | College of Business, Health, and Human Services

Dr. John McAllister serves as program coordinator of the Rehabilitation of the Blind-Orientation and Mobility graduate program at UA Little Rock. This appointment made him the first African American male in the history of the field of blindness to lead and/or manage such a program at a major university. Dr. McAllister’s students praise his excellent teaching and his scholarly work includes nine presentations and five journal articles, nine publications under review, and additional research in progress. H also serves as the commissioner of the Higher Education Accreditation Commission.


Bennie PrinceBennie Prince, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation  | College of Business, Health, and Human Services

As the coordinator of the undergraduate Health and Human Performance program, Dr. Bennie Prince advises approximately 150 students and is responsible for 350 students in total. As an assistant professor, her annual evaluations have scored in the outstanding or exceptional range in the last five years. Dr. Prince is very involved in online learning and course development. In UA Little Rock’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Prince served as the first Enhanced Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow. Her work supporting faculty development of internship programs led to the establishment of a grant program to support this effort across the university.


Neveen Shafeek Amin, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of Sociology & Anthropology | College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

A dominant theme throughout Dr. Neveen Shafeek Amin’s work drawing attention to social and cultural influences on population health and well-being. Her research examines the association between acculturation and health outcomes among immigrants in the U.S., with a focus on Middle Eastern (ME) Immigrants in the U.S. She is the author of several publications including the recently released “Health Care Utilization among Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian Immigrants in the US: An Application of Andersen’s Behavioral Model.”


Rene Shroat LewisRene Shroat-Lewis, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of Earth Sciences | Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Dr. Rene Shroat-Lewis’s research interests include paleoecology, taphonomy, and predator/prey interactions in both ancient and modern communities. She has served as a fossil expert for multiple events at the Museum of Discovery as well as instructed merit badges for the Boy Scouts of America. In 2017, she became one of only five people in the state to participate in former Vice President Al Gore’s national Climate Reality Leadership Corps.


Janea Snyder, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation  | College of Business, Health, and Human Services

Dr. Janea Snyder, an assistant professor of health education and promotion in the UA Little Rock School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation works to improve the health of the people in Arkansas through partnerships with the community and grant writing. Her efforts produced numerous initiatives focused on gardening, wellness fairs, cooking classes, farmers’ markets, and nutritious food shopping.


Wei Zhang, Ph.D. | Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Department of Mathematics & Statistics | Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Dr. Wei Zhang teaches teach both undergraduate and graduate courses using a culturally and developmentally responsive curriculum. He serves as a faculty advisor student pursuing their graduate studies each year and has published 17 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals and co-authored two book chapters. Dr. Zhang is currently working on several projects in collaboration with Mount Sinai Hospital, the National Center for Toxicological Research, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


Laurie Knight, MA | Promoted to Senior Instructor

School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation  | College of Business, Health, and Human Services

Ms. Laurie Knight has demonstrated considerable commitment to teaching evidenced by the two student-nominated teaching awards she received in 2014 and 2019. This dedication extends to her colleagues as she utilizes her skills to develop curriculum for the Health Education program and serve the department through various committees and activities. Ms. Knight is also an avid community servant, having served on the Sardis Child Development Center Board and as a volunteer coach for school-age children at the Boys and Girls Club of Saline County and the Benton Fútbol Club which both serve students of all socioeconomic levels.


Tammy Scaife, MA | Promoted to Advanced Instructor

Department of Rhetoric and Writing  |College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education

Ms. Tammy Scaife is an instructor who enjoys breaking the boundaries between the classroom and the real world to the benefit of her students. Fifteen of her Composition I students have had their letters published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In her six years of service at UA Little Rock, Ms. Scaife has served on 7 committees, including two at the college level (CSSC executive and curriculum committee) and the Faculty Senate library committee at the university level.


Joshua Spinler, Ph.D. | Promoted to Advanced Instructor

Department of Earth Sciences | Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

While carrying a course load that is often greater than other faculty, Dr. Joshua Spinler serves as the department lab coordinator overseeing graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants, tutors, and lab operations. He helped redesign many of the introductory courses, including leading the recent accelerated need to move courses online. In addition, to instruction, Dr. Spinler is working with a colleague on a manuscript accepted for publication in 2020. Dr. Spinler is an active member of the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.


Ronia Kattoum Ronia Kattoum, MA | Promoted to Advanced Instructor

Department of Chemistry | Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Mrs. Ronia Kattoum is a Freshman Programs Coordinator for the Department of Chemistry. She also trains graduate teaching assistants and works with chemistry majors who are preparing to become teachers for grades 7-12. She introduced modern teaching tools in her classes to promote active learning and enhance student learning outside the classroom. Mrs. Kattoum has taken a leading role in visiting schools and organizing workshops to encourage students, particularly female students to take up STEM fields in higher education and as a career path.

congratulations to our excellent faculty