Meet Our Family

Desarae Nelson

Program Director | dxnelson1@ualr.edu | (501) 569-3052

Desarae Nelson

Desarae Nelson

Education:  Doctorate of Higher Education Administration (in progress) from UA Little Rock, Master of Science in Sports Administration from Henderson State University, and Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ouachita Baptist University

Short Bio:  Born and raised in Arkadelphia, AR., I come from a family of TRIO professionals. I love fishing and spending time with friends and family. Education is my passion. I love helping people expand their educational horizons because education, once achieved, can never be taken away. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela

What do you love about TRiO:  I love that TRIO provides nontraditional and underrepresented students opportunities to be successful in post-secondary education. There are so many times when students may consider giving up on their hopes and dreams because life just seems to knock them down. Thankfully, TRIO is always there to encourage them and support them along their journey so that they can continue to move forward one step at a time.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS because there are so many ways that SSS can assist them. Students don’t always consider what needs they have outside of everyday academic needs. While SSS provides assistance with academic needs, SSS also provides networking opportunities and relationships that will last well beyond the student’s time here at UA Little Rock. TRIO SSS is a nurturing, family atmosphere. Come join our TRIO family because TRIO works!

 

Julie Shelby 

Advisor for student’s last name A-K| jmshelby@ualr.edu | (501) 569-8746

Julie Shelby

Julie Shelby

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, areas of concentration: Music, Psychology,  Management Information Systems, and Technical Writing

Master of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing

Short Bio:  Music-lover, mother, and cultural navigator of higher education–also, works well with others

What do you love about TRiO:  TRIO bridges gaps between students and success, and I love assisting students to success.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join TRIO if they want to do college better.  We have the resources, staff, and know-how to get students to the next level.

 

La’Donnia Mothershed-Baker

Advisor for student’s last name L-Z| lmmothershed@ualr.edu | (501) 569-8752

Education: Juris Doctor (JD) in progress
Master of Art in Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Short Bio:  My story is still in progress. Come by and see me, and I will be happy to catch you up on the latest adventures of La’Donnia. Hopefully, while you’re here I can learn yours too.

LaDonnia Mothershed Baker

LaDonnia Mothershed Baker

What do you love about TRiO:  What I love most about Trio is the students the program affords us the opportunity to reach and connect with. Every day I am continuously learning from my students. I’m learning who they are, whose they are, where they are, and where they are going. Vice versa I am learning all of those things for myself. I love how Trio allows voices to be heard, where most tend to turn a blind eye or deaf ear. Lastly, what I love about Trio is how the program provides us a platform to tell those who society has deemed unfit, or a waste of time, that they are most definitely worth fighting for.

Why should Students Join SSS:  We are on this wonderful journey called life, and although we are connected through an academic vessel, the connection we make and the bonds that are developed along the way are much deeper than simply moving through a frail academic phase/system. The connections my students and I make are life lasting, and the tools we develop along our union reaches beyond a textbook.Such tools where no matter where they each choose to go in life, they will be able to apply to their situation and overcome all statistics, stereotypes, and broken systems.

 

Teresa Jordan

Tutoring Coordinator | tljordan@ualr.edu | (501) 569-8749

Education: AA and BA in Interpretation: ASL/English
MS in Rehabilitation: Deafness
MEd in Adult Education

Teresa Jordan

Teresa Jordan

Short Bio:  Motivator.  Educator.  Warm fuzzy maker.  Life-long learner.  Person of deep faith.  Educating and supporting students at UALR for more than 17 years, learning daily all-the-while.

What do you love about TRiO:  Working with students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences is both informative and encouraging.  Every day is a learning experience, not only for our students, but for us, as staff members.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Academic progress is defined, encouraged, demonstrated, and expected from SSS students by the SSS staff members; and the students do, indeed, happily progress and successfully graduate at a higher rate than the university-at-large student body!

Jacqueline Durr

Academic Coach/Administrative Assistant| jgdurr@ualr.edu | (501) 683-7481

Jacqueline Durr

Jacqueline Durr

Education: B.A. Psychology, UA Little Rock
B.A. Spanish, UA Little Rock
M.S. Higher Education-Student Affairs (In progress)

Short Bio:  Purpose driven, Nurturer, Educator.
I am a non-traditional, first-generational student who began at UA Little Rock in the fall of 2013 and commuted from Hot Springs to finish a BA in Psychology and Spanish.
Nothing is impossible with hard work and commitment, and TRiO can make the difference.

What do you love about TRiO:  The caring staff, the resources, but mostly making a difference in the lives of our students.

Why should Students Join SSS:  If you want to accomplish your academic goals with the help of an amazing staff and the resources SSS provides, combined with your hard work and determination, then Student Support Services is your bridge to success.

 

Marty Mayfield

Fiscal Support Analyst | mnmayfield@ualr.edu | (501) 682-5632

Marty Mayfield

Marty Mayfield

Education:  B.A. in Management Information Systems, UA Little Rock

Short Bio:  I have over 14 years of professional higher education experience. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas and was the first in my family to graduate from a 4-year institution. I understand and can relate to first-generation college students. Family time is my hobby!

What do you love about TRiO:  What I love about TRiO is how everyone works together to ensure that our students are informed about the different activities happening across campus.  The TRiO program also visits other universities to prepare our students for Graduate School opportunities on their academic journey past an undergraduate degree.

Why should Students Join SSS: Students should join TRiO because we can relate to them.

 

Kristina Yarberry

Graduate Assistant | kmyarberry@ualr.edu | (501) 907-5822

Kristina Yarberry

Kristina Yarberry

Education:   B.A. English-Creative Writing, UA Little Rock; M.A. Professional and Technical Writing (in progress), UA Little Rock

Short Bio:   Writer, artist, gamer, nerd. I love to learn and help others learn, and that’s why I’m here! Education is so valuable, and it brings me joy to assist others in their progress toward it.

What do you love about TRiO:  As a former student in the TRiO program, I always appreciated the kindness and approachability of the staff. As a Graduate Assistant to the program, I still get to see those same characteristics in action every day, and now, I have the opportunity to share them with the students myself. It creates such a positive atmosphere, and I think that is an enormous part of what makes TRiO special.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS because it offers resources that might be otherwise inaccessible and that can truly aid them in reaching their educational and professional goals. SSS also helps students make connections that can lead to excellent career opportunities. We care deeply for the students that we serve, and our mission every day is to help them succeed in every way that we can.

 

Debbie Rogers

SASSEE Coordinator for Tutoring Services | dsrogers@ualr.edu  | (501) 907-5823

Debbie Rogers

Debbie Rogers

Education:   MEd Adult Education, UA Little Rock; BA Liberal Arts (Philosophy, Sociology, English, Business) UA Little Rock; AA General Studies, UA Little Rock

Short Bio:  I have attended UA Little Rock almost my entire life, beginning with its predecessor, LRU (Little Rock University) in the mid-1960’s. I worked for 25 years to earn my undergraduate degree, all the while working 40-60 hours/week in the corporate world from which I retired three times. Perseverance is a trait I learned from my father – never give up, keep trying. I started teaching graduate courses at UA Little Rock in 1995 as an adjunct and have since taught in different disciplines, but most recently for the Rhetoric and Writing Department. I have had the pleasure of serving as a tutor for Student Support Services these past few years and recently finalized SASSEE, a special training curriculum for students new to SSS or those wanting to raise their GPA. I view each student as “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and it is to this end my passion has been to help unlock the learning and understanding process for the student.

What do you love about TRiO:  I love that such a program is available to lend a helping hand and encourages students in their academic career. I like how they develop leadership qualities in the student base, and I appreciate the sincere respect each student in the program receives.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS to stay on track with their academic career, to take advantage of the tutoring help, to be included in various educational seminars, to be exposed to Graduate School, for networking, to learn how to navigate the best outcome of their UA Little Rock experience, for motivation and assistance in various ancillary disciplines (financial help, campus resources, academic advising, etc.), to utilize the services of a personal academic coach to guide them through the college and learning maze, and because adherence to the structure of the SSS program almost always ensures a successful college experience.

 

Stella Osunkwo

Graduate Assistant | soosunkwo@ualr.edu  | (501) 907-5824

Stella Osunkwo

Stella Osunkwo

Education:   B.B.A in Management, Cameron University;
M.S in Business Information Systems (in progress), UA Little Rock;
Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics (in progress), UA Little Rock

Short Bio:  Funny, creative, active learner.  I love traveling, sightseeing, and trying new things.  My friends describe me as a “cheerleader” because I’m a big encourager for people to dream big!

What do you love about TRiO:  The congeniality of the staff.  Every team member is pleasantly dedicated to the success of our SSS students.  I also love that we are constantly challenged to be better than we were yesterday in our service to students.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS so they can become part of a family that truly cares for their academic and overall success.  Students will be equipped with the tools and resources needed to navigate college and will be better prepared for life after school.