Meet Our Family

Desarae Nelson, Ed.D.

Project Director | dxnelson1@ualr.edu | (501) 916-6165

Desarae Nelson

Desarae Nelson

Education:  Doctorate of Higher Education Administration from UA Little Rock; Master of Science in Sports Administration from Henderson State University; 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!

Sharina Miller

Advisor for student’s last name L-Z | sxjones3@ualr.edu | (501) 916-6164 

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Sharina Miller

Sharina Miller

Education: Master of Arts in Counseling with emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling; Bachelor of Science in Biology

Short Bio: I am a TRIO Alumni (Upward Bound and Student Support Services Program).  I have a lot of TRIO experience as a student and as a professional. I am very passionate about education. I believe any student can be successful, but he or she must be focused, dedicated and utilize the resources available to him or her. I love spending time with family and friends.

What do you love about TRIO:  I love that TRIO offers what was given to me and now I have the opportunity to guide, mentor and pay it forward.  I love the supportive and team-minded staff that makes sure each student’s needs are met.  I love being able to assist students in achieving their goals and preparing for their future endeavors.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS to receive the necessary encouragement from an SSS advisor who will help guide them to accomplish their educational goals.  A student in our program will be able to participate in Grant Aid scholarship, Textbook Loan Program, cultural events, and specific topic workshops, just to name a few resources SSS provides.  Free individualized tutoring opportunities are also available.  Are you planning on Graduate School? Another resource SSS offers is the opportunity to participate in graduate school trips; which is another rewarding experience SSS provides toward ensuring that students are successful and graduate.

Ulonda Frazier

Advisor for student’s last name A-K | udfrazier@ualr.edu | (501) 916-6161 

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Ulonda Frazier

Ulonda Frazier

Education: Master of Science in Adult Education with emphasis in Workforce Development Education from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

Short Bio: Born and raised in beautiful Hot Springs, AR, where I’ve worked in higher education since 2002. I serve as a mentor in my community and have a deep passion for education and helping students fulfill their educational goals. I love traveling, entertaining, and spending time with my family and friends.

What do you love about TRIO:  What is there not to love about TRIO?! TRIO offers awesome resources for the students, that include academic tutoring, career advising, and cultural events. The staff work together to ensure the students have everything they need to thrive.

Why should Students Join SSS:  Students should join SSS to get that extra push or motivation they may need to successfully complete their program of study. SSS provides a number of tools and resources, that gives the student a greater advantage to be successful and obtain their undergraduate degree.
“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

Marty Mayfield

Project Coordinator | mnmayfield@ualr.edu | (501) 916-6163

Marty Mayfield

Marty Mayfield

Education:  M.A Human Resources Management, Webster University; 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.

Mahesh Thombre

Graduate Assistant |mmthombre@ualr.edu | (501) 916-3481

Mahesh Thombre

Mahesh Thombre

Education: Pursuing my full time MBA from University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Masters of Personnel Management from Pune University in 2005 in First Division;
BA from Indira Gandhi National University in 2003 in Higher Second Division; Languages known : English, Hindi, Marathi, basic Spanish

Short Bio: I am working as Graduate Assistant at Student Support Services for TRIO. My professional experience is a mix of serving for the Air Force in India in Human Resource to working in the corporate sector in the capacity of Human Resource Business Professional as Director – Human Resources for India, Middle East and Africa region. During my corporate life, I worked to set up an Engineering Design Centre in Pune, India, to work in a manufacturing plant and Sales and Service division (Frontline Unit) for my organization. As a part of my work, I have been responsible for Recruitment, Talent Management and developing & implementing training programs for employees in my organization. I have also led the IMEA Market Area safety team consisting of 4 members coordinating country safety efforts in line with global Safety policy.

What do you love about TRIO: TRIO is a program which supports the students from first generation or economically unprivileged backgrounds to get their footing in the educational institution. It helps them to get them professional education, so that they perform better in their professional careers and be a role model for their friends and family in society. It also supports the students to get wholesome learning by arranging fun workshops, field study trips, books and tutorships classes whenever there is a need.

Why should Students Join SSS: Students should join SSS, as it is very professional and at the same time friendly when it comes to taking care of their needs. The advisors are very open and welcoming to guide them in their studies. The whole staff of Advisors / Coordinators make available resources from other departments to support the students in their educational journey. It also has a fully equipped computer lab with printer and other stationery material for students to not only study but to do their assignments or school projects. The students can rely on SSS to get timely support at any time.

Jennifer Harrison

Graduate Assistant/Tutoring Coordinator | jxharrison2@ualr.edu | (501) 916-3481

Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer Harrison

Education: Currently enrolled in a Master’s of Education program in Learning Systems Technology; Graduated Summa Cum Laude from UA Little Rock in 2021 with 2 Bachelor degrees: English and French with a minor in secondary education.

Short Bio: I am a graduate student of UA Little Rock. I work full time as a Business Office Manager at an assisted living facility and part time as a Tutor for the TRIO program. I’m married and have a 9 year old son with autism. He was my motivation to go back to school and advance my career and life. I hope to one day be an administrator and couple my love for helping people with my educational background to help people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. I love spending time with my family, playing video games, watching TV, and playing with my cats when I have free time.

What do you love about TRIO: There’s a sense of family in TRIO. I know that every staff member who works in TRIO cares about me as not only a student, but a person, and they will do anything for their students.

Why should Students Join SSS: SSS is a great resource for students, not only for the additional help they provide, but for the knowledge they provide their students.