Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Adds Staff to Support Program Growth

The Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language recently celebrated 40 years on the Hendrix College campus, and that milestone year included the graduation of its first cohort of Murphy Scholars. The success of the Murphy Scholars Program has led to expanded staffing at the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation, with two Hendrix alumni taking on new roles in the foundation’s work of enriching the study of literature and language at the nationally-ranked liberal arts college.

The Hendrix-Murphy Foundation staff, from left: Henryetta Vanaman, program manager; Hope Coulter, director; Sarah Engeler-Young ’91, assistant director; and Teri Schneider ’99, office and building manager.

Sarah Engeler-Young ’91, who served the Foundation for 13 years as its Office and Building Manager, has received a promotion to the new position of Assistant Director. Her work will focus on the proposal process—helping Murphy Scholars and other students develop proposals for literature and language projects, then administering and tracking the projects as they move toward completion. Given her liberal arts education as a sociology and theatre arts major at Hendrix, and her master’s degree in theatre history and dramatic literature, Engeler-Young is well aligned with the literary mission of the Foundation.

Teri Schneider ’99 has filled Engeler-Young’s previous position of Office and Building Manager. Schneider, a former English major, also holds a master’s degree in English, and taught English and creative writing as an adjunct instructor for a number of years alongside her previous career in retail. With that background, she too fits right in at Hendrix-Murphy as she supplies administrative support to the Foundation, including managing payables and scheduling events in the Murphy House.

Hope Coulter, a member of the English Department, continues with Hendrix-Murphy as Director, and Henryetta Vanaman continues as Program Manager.

“Sarah is especially looking forward to working more closely with students as they develop their proposals,” Coulter said. “And it’s great that Teri is bringing her love of literature and language back to the Hendrix campus to step into Sarah’s former position.”

For the Murphy Scholars Program, first-year Hendrix students from across all academic disciplines apply to become Murphy Scholars through a competitive process — the program accepts just 30 students per year. A shared love of literature and language connects Murphy Scholars majoring in more than 24 fields of study in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. During their time in the program, Murphy Scholars avail themselves of dedicated funds and mentorship by specially hired two-year Fellows to pursue their interests in literature and language. They also take Oxford-style tutorial courses in literature and language, meeting weekly with their professor and one or two other students to discuss readings and exchange essays. The program makes Hendrix one of only a handful of institutions in the U.S. offering traditional Oxford-style tutorials. The expanded Hendrix-Murphy Foundation staff will enable this program to continue to flourish.

About the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation

Hendrix-Murphy Programs enrich the study of literature and language for Hendrix College as a whole, as well as for students with intensive interest in those areas of study. The late Mr. Charles H. Murphy, Jr., former Chair of the Board of Murphy Oil Corporation and former member of the Hendrix Board of Trustees, established the Foundation in 1978 in memory of his mother, Mrs. Bertie Wilson Murphy. A 1905 graduate of Galloway Women’s College — which later became part of Hendrix College — Mrs. Murphy possessed a lifelong love of literature and language, to which these programs are exclusively dedicated. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu/hendrixmurphy.

Hendrix Names Director for Windgate Museum of Art

Mary Kennedy of Little Rock has been named as the director of the new Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College. 

Mary Kennedy

The Windgate Museum of Art will be part of the Miller Creative Quad, which is currently under construction. Scheduled to open in spring 2020, the museum is funded by the Windgate Foundation.

The longtime CEO of the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kennedy brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the arts and humanities, with an extensive background in strategic planning, financial management, exhibition development, collection management, and fundraising. During her career, she has built long-term relationships with board members, staff, colleagues, partners, funders, government agencies, and constituents.

At Hendrix, she will oversee the College’s permanent collection, develop exhibitions, provide hands-on learning opportunities in museum and curatorial work to Hendrix students, cultivate relationships for fundraising and special projects, and coordinate outreach programs to engage the surrounding community with the work of the museum.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the new Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College. The launch of the museum will transform the Hendrix experience for students, faculty, and alumni, and I’m delighted to be a part of that,” Kennedy said. “Connecting the museum to the broader community will allow for new and exciting opportunities to expand the dialogue about art and contemporary life in Conway, as well as across the entire state.”

The Windgate Museum will be a pedagogical resource for the College and an interdisciplinary space that engages students and faculty from across the campus. In addition to the museum, the Creative Quad will include new office, practice, and classroom facilities for the Department of Music, a new auditorium and industry-standard film screening room, and living space for 100 students on the upper floors. 

“We are so fortunate to have someone of Mary’s stature in the arts community to join our community and lead the Windgate Museum,” said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui. “With her passion and proven record of success for connecting the community with the arts, the Windgate Museum will be an incredible resource for our campus, our city, and our state.” 

Kennedy served as CEO and Executive Director of Mid-America Arts Alliance/ExhibitsUSA in Kansas City, Missouri, for more than a dozen years. She raised more than $25 million for the organization and developed a national program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. She also led the team that created HELP (Hands-on Experiential Learning Project), a nationally recognized Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded museum development program, which has provided multi-year, in-depth training to staffs and boards of more than 100 museums across the region.  

Kennedy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from the University of Kansas and earned her Master of Arts degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Southern California. Since 2016, she has worked as a private consultant, assisting arts and culture organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri.

She began her work at Hendrix on January 7.

Expert on Millennials in the Workplace to Speak at Hendrix

Hendrix College will host Bill Imada, the founder, chair, and chief connectivity officer of IW Group and co-founder of the National Millennial Community, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, at 3 p.m. in Reves Recital Hall, Trieschmann Fine Arts Building. An informal reception and networking opportunity will follow in Trieschmann Gallery. The event is free and open to central Arkansas business leaders and employment recruiters.

Imada will speak on how businesses can engage, motivate, and manage employees who are part of the Millennial generation. He will draw upon his own work with IW Group (which, like Conway-based Acxiom, is an IPG agency) related to advertising, marketing, and communications within the growing multicultural and generational markets. Imada will also share what he has learned through working with the National Millennial Community, a group of next-gen leaders in 41 states and the District of Columbia who engage in civil discourse on critical issues our country faces. In less than three years, the group has met with more than 150 corporate, foundation, governmental, and nonprofit leaders.

Earlier in the day, Imada will deliver the keynote address to the approximately 100 students attending Hendrix College’s Career Term, where he will focus on the challenges and opportunities of being a Millennial in today’s workplace.

“Bill is engaged and engaging, and we’re so happy to have connected with him,” said Sarah Donaghy, coordinator of community partnerships for the College. “As plans came together to have him speak to our students, he was enthusiastic about including a time during his visit when he could share his expertise with community leaders, too.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to introduce my friend Bill Imada to the Hendrix community and our neighbors,” said Hendrix College President Bill Tsutsui. “I’m sure his perspectives on generational and multicultural issues will provide a number of thought-provoking concepts to consider.”

For nearly three decades, Imada has worked with some of the top domestic and global companies, including City of Hope, Coca-Cola, General Motors, HBO, Lexus, McDonald’s, MGM Resorts International, Southern California Edison, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Walt Disney Imagineering, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walmart Stores, Walt Disney Studios, Wells Fargo, Westfield Malls and many others. His areas of expertise include advertising, branding, multicultural communications, experiential marketing, crisis management, partnership marketing, public relations, and workforce development.

Imada is active in civic and community affairs and serves on more than a dozen boards and advisory councils, including the Advertising Educational Foundation, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, Center for Asian American Media, Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, LAGRANT Foundation, and the PBS Foundation. He was appointed to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Barack Obama; he and three other commissioners continue to provide a perspective on Asian-American and Pacific-Islander concerns to federal leaders under the current administration. He also serves on the advisory councils for several universities and colleges, including California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles), University of Florida, University of Southern California, and Western Connecticut State University (Danbury, Conn.).

Two Hendrix Projects Receive Continued Support from ACS Mellon Grants

Two Hendrix programs receiving Mellon Foundation grant funding from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) have received additional funding through ACS and Mellon to continue the programs established within the past year: the Hendrix College Microaggressions and Microaffirmations (M&M) Project and ACS FOCUS.

The Hendrix College M&M Project is aimed at raising awareness about microaggressions and promoting the campus adoption of microaffirmations. In the process, the hope is to create a model that can be applied at other ACS schools to encourage greater inclusivity in campus communities.

“The project involves taking pictures of students holding up written signs of their encounters with micro-behaviors, developing a website to feature the pictures, and utilizing the website as part of classroom instruction, faculty and staff development, student leadership training, and the like,” said Dr. Michael Miyawaki, an assistant professor of sociology at Hendrix and administrator of the project. For the calendar year 2018, the M&M Project focused on race, ethnicity, and culture. In 2019, the theme will be gender and sexuality.

The other project receiving continued funding, ACS FOCUS – Faculty of Color Uniting for Success, is a collaboration among three ACS institutions: Southwestern University, Millsaps College and Hendrix College. ACS FOCUS addresses the challenges that faculty of color face in their path to professional success in the academy.

With the additional funding, ACS FOCUS will provide a second summer institute for faculty of color (the first took place in the summer of 2018). The institute will address scholarly productivity through specific goal setting, designated time for scholarship each day, and follow-ups on progress. The project will also bring in trained facilitators to assist faculty with topics such as self-care, cultivating mentors, tenure and promotion, and navigating service demands. In addition, it aims to explicitly build a peer mentoring network by facilitating cross-institutional relationships.

“This grant project also incorporates sustained advocacy, and aims to raise awareness and support for the challenges that faculty of color within ACS consortia schools face,” said Dr. Dionne Jackson, chief diversity officer and vice president for diversity and inclusion at Hendrix. “The project’s overall objectives are to enhance recruitment, success, and the retention of faculty of color at our institutions.”

“These projects are great examples of the work our faculty are doing to promote the liberal arts experience for our students, and to promote diversity and inclusion on our campus and across our academic consortium,” said Dr. Leslie Templeton, professor of psychology and associate provost for faculty development at Hendrix.

Hendrix College Model UN Team Named ‘Best Overall Delegation’

Hendrix College’s Model UN team was recognized with a “Best Overall Delegation” Award at this year’s American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference, held November 17-20 in Chicago. The students represented Italy.

Additionally, five Hendrix students won Outstanding Delegation Awards for their work in their committee simulations:

  • Cordell Campbell ’19 and Charlie McMahon ’21 for the General Assembly Plenary
  • Emmett Hill ’19 for the United Nations Environmental Assembly
  • Sara Hoopchuk ’20 and Stephen Clark ’20 for the World Health Organization Executive Board.

Other student participants and their simulations included:

  • Adam Williams ’19 and Henry Edwards ’20: General Assembly First Committee – Disarmament & International Security
  • Graydon Carter ’19 and Aleck Bratt ’20: General Assembly Second Committee – Economic and Financial Affairs
  • Bailey Brya ’20 and Avery Waid ’21: General Assembly Third Committee – Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs
  • Elliot Anderson ’20 and Taylor Watkins ’22: General Assembly Sixth Committee – International Law
  • Claire Fleming ’20 and Olivia Kelley ’21: Committee on Development Policy Expert Group
  • Alex Tiller ’19: Justice on the International Court of Justice
  • Max Hancock ’19: Commissioner on the 2005 Historical Commission of Inquiry
  • Meredith Warren ’19 served as the delegation’s Permanent Representative, in charge of strategy and logistics for the delegation as a whole at AMUN.

More than 80 colleges and universities sent 1,265 students to represent 125 UN Member States and Observers at AMUN 2018. Since 2008, Hendrix Model UN teams have participated in one Model UN conference each year, and have racked up an impressive 34 awards during that time.

“This was the tenth anniversary of Hendrix’s course-based Model UN program,” said Dr. Daniel Whelan, professor of politics and international relations at Hendrix. “Once again, all of our students were very well prepared for the 2018 AMUN Conference, especially when it came to the rules of procedure. They also did outstanding work caucusing and in resolution and report drafting. That level of preparation was instrumental in our winning one of the six Best Overall Delegation awards, our first since 2015. We also had a number of very strong partnerships on the various simulations, most notably on the GA Plenary, where we won our first Outstanding Delegation award in that simulation since 2009. Hendrix should be very proud of this year’s team.”

Hendrix Alumni Help Shape Success of Little Rock Startup

Apptegy founder and CEO Jeston George has noticed something about liberal arts graduates: They don’t just know things. They know how to learn.

George should know. Around 10 percent of employees at his five-year-old tech startup earned undergraduate degrees at Hendrix College.

Apptegy employees with Hendrix degrees include (front row, from left) Kelsi Stimack ’18, Joy Spence ’18, Barrett Goodwin ’17, and My Nguyen ’16; (back row) Travis Howk ’17, David Allan ’14, and Hunter Owen ’12. (Not pictured: Greg Cameron-Cooper ’09 and Sydney Meyer ’17. [Photos: Lexi Adams ’17]

For example, David Allan ’14, who majored in philosophy, is vice president of marketing.

“When we first hired him, it was just ‘director of special projects,’ which is a made-up title,” said George. “Like a lot of people that we’re hiring from Hendrix, what he does here has nothing to do with his major.”

Apptegy works with about 700 public schools in 48 states to help them strengthen their brands through mobile apps, websites, and more.

“In a startup environment, we’re always figuring things out,” said Allan. “The ways of thinking I learned in my liberal arts education have proven very valuable here.”

Content writer Joy Spence ’18 and Kelsi Stimack ’18, a customer onboarding representative, are the most recent Hendrix alumni to join Apptegy.

Both came to Apptegy through the Arkansas Fellowship, a nonprofit project that works with Arkansas-based companies to keep new college graduates and promising business leaders in the state.

“What we want is to identify where they’re going to add value for us and align that as much with where they want to go in their careers, as well,” George says of the Arkansas Fellows’ two-year opportunities, which can lead to permanent positions.

The company’s home on the eighth floor of Little Rock’s Simmons Tower looks less like a C-suite in a high-rise office building and more like a learning lab where friends are helping public schools find new ways to connect with family, friends, and other community members.

It was George and his wife not wanting to miss their nephew’s school programs that inspired Apptegy.

“I literally asked myself, ‘Does this school not have an app?’…and thought, ‘Maybe we could do something about this.’”

George and Allan recruited politics major Barrett Goodwin ’17 after they noticed his repeated appearances on the Dean’s List.

“We didn’t really know what he was going to do, and now he’s doing data analytics for marketing content, which he’s never done before,” George said.

“It’s difficult doing what we do day after day, but I think Hendrix prepared me for that workload,” Goodwin said. “I was used to having to do a lot, at a high level and high quality, on a regular basis. [So] it’s not a problem to really dig down and come up with new ideas.”

Apptegy’s culture even echoes Hendrix a bit where the line between work and play is blurred. For example, the Apptegy marketing team recently entered the 48-Hour Film Project competition, where Spence and another team member picked up a best acting award.

“We want people to form those personal relationships, because when you have that personal trust, if your friend is screwing up, you just call them out on something,” Allan said. “People get afraid of doing that when they have these stiff, professional relationships. A lot of what we do outside of work, when we’re hanging out, it helps us build a tighter team.”

Sydney Meyer ’17 agrees. A history major at Hendrix, Meyer now works in sales at Apptegy. The company eased her transition into “the real world” in part because it has a similar sense of community to her alma mater.

Travis Howk ’17 and My Nguyen ’16 graduated from Hendrix with degrees in mathematics and computer science. They believe the experiences they gained at Hendrix with problem solving and teamwork make a big difference in their success working on the support and development teams.

“I think the really cool thing about Hendrix is that it doesn’t prepare you just to have a job, it prepares you to be a citizen,” said client success manager Greg Cameron-Cooper ’09.

That’s particularly helpful with Apptegy’s focus on serving public institutions.

Hunter Owen ’12 started his career in the non-profit sector then came to Apptegy. “Hendrix prepared me to view my day-to-day work in the context of the larger systems,” he said.

“When we talk about giving people a lot of freedom in their work and having people form an identity around their work, a lot of those ideas came from Hendrix,” said Allan, citing courses he took from philosophy professor Dr. Chris Campolo and economics professor Dr. Ralph Scott as two he appreciates the most in his daily work.

Standing near the elevator after giving a tour of the office, the philosophy major turned marketing executive stops to reflect.

“The only class I got a C in is the one I use the most.”

Hendrix Named to Washington Monthly 2018 Best Colleges Guide

On November 1, Hendrix College was named to Washington Monthly’s 2018 America’s Best Colleges For Student Voting. A part of The College Guide and Rankings – which rates colleges and universities on their contributions to social mobility, research, and public service – this is a first-of-its-kind list of the schools doing the most to turn students into citizens.

“Over the years, we’ve done a good deal to encourage our students to think about how they can be engaged citizens,” said Dr. Jay Barth, professor of politics and director of civic engagement projects for the College.  “This starts when students arrive on campus with the first-semester seminar The Engaged Citizen. But, in reality, we know the importance of having an on-campus voting site for easing the process of voting for students. I’m so thankful that when having an on-campus site was threatened several years ago, our students stood and fought to be sure we could maintain a voting center on campus.”

The inclusion of Hendrix on the list demonstrates the commitment the College has made to promote civic engagement among the student body, encouraging students to vote and actively participate in community decisions.

According to Washington Monthly Get Adobe Reader, “ Since voting habits tend to crystallize in young adulthood—vote in one election, and you’re far more likely to do so again—colleges and universities have an unparalleled opportunity to create voters not just for the next election, but for life. The colleges that invest in student voting aren’t just helping their Washington Monthly rankings—they’re helping the country.”

Ensuring that the nation’s young people—its future leaders—are inspired to engage civically is key to strengthening democracy. On many college and university campuses, less than half of eligible student voters exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot in presidential elections.

To do its part in improving youth civic engagement, Hendrix College participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which offers colleges and universities an opportunity to learn their student registration and voting rates.

Hendrix also participates in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a national, nonpartisan awards program recognizing colleges and universities for improving civic learning, political engagement, and student voting rates. As a part of this initiative, students, faculty, and staff have worked together to develop and implement an action plan to improve practice and change culture. Through our efforts, we have committed to graduating active and informed citizens.

New Arkansas Policy Program Report Examines Civic Health Among Arkansans

Hendrix College student Cordell Campbell ’19 recently published The Results are In: Gauging Civic Health in the Natural State through the Arkansas Policy Program (APP). He carried out the project under the direction of Dr. Jay Barth as part of the Bill and Connie Bowen Odyssey Professorship of Politics at Hendrix; in collaboration with the Arkansas Community Foundation; and with support from the Arkansas Bar Foundation.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, Campbell’s report examines several indicators of civic health, including types of social connectivity, community involvement, and political involvement.

“Cordell grappled with a great deal of data to tell a subtle story of Arkansans’ engagement in civic affairs,” said Barth. “While Arkansans are deeply engaged with their families and, on occasion, with their neighbors, the further that they move away from those relations, the more they detach from public affairs.”

The report notes significant changes in recent years — mostly declines in participation — and offers a path for improvement, holding up examples and naming resources communities might use to enhance four needs Campbell identifies: volunteer opportunities and coordination; voter registration and get-out-the-vote initiatives; philanthropic and nonprofit efforts; and civic education.

“Civic engagement — voting, volunteering, charitable giving, and participating in community organizations — is essential to the health of Arkansas’s communities,” said Sarah Kinser, chief program officer for the Arkansas Community Foundation, who worked with Campbell on the project. “As Cordell’s research points out, for our state to make forward progress on critical issues like education, health and family economic stability, Arkansans must work together and make their voices heard.”

“Civic engagement has real implications for the health of democracy in our state,” Barth said. “The key question now: What can we do to ratchet up civic engagement to truly have a state where, in the words of the state’s motto, ‘the people rule’?”

For a free PDF file of this report or to learn more about APP, email barth@hendrix.edu, or download the report here.

LULAC Arkansas Council Becomes Hendrix College’s Newest Partner in Aspire Scholarship Program

Hendrix College and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Arkansas have finalized an agreement that will offer Hendrix Aspire Scholarships to cover up to the full cost of attendance for a number of Federal Pell Grant-eligible students of Latinx heritage. Aspire Scholarships support the College’s commitment to making Hendrix accessible for qualified Arkansas students regardless of income level, and to encouraging diversity among the student body.

LULAC Council 750 President/Deputy State Director Dr. Andre Guerrero, left, and Hendrix College President William M. Tsutsui sign a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing LULAC as a partner in the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship program.

Hendrix covers up to the full cost of attendance—including tuition, fees, on-campus housing, and meal plans—for selected students affiliated with each Hendrix Aspire partner school or organization. In addition, Hendrix provides academic support services with the goal of ensuring that Aspire Scholarship recipients graduate in four years. The cohort-based program addresses common challenges among the students it serves.

Hendrix President William M. Tsutsui and LULAC Council 750 President/Deputy State Director Dr. Andre Guerrero signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony on Thursday, November 1 in the Mary Ann and David Dawkins Welcome Center on the Hendrix campus.

“After years of working with LULAC, we are thrilled to formalize this partnership as a component of the Aspire Scholarship program,” said Tsutsui. “LULAC’s investment in Aspire will help make Hendrix an affordable option for more students, and will enrich these students’ lives and the life of the entire College.”

“LULAC has designated Hendrix a Latino Destination Campus,” said LULAC of Arkansas University/College Liaison Dr. Terry Trevino-Richard, who spoke at the signing. “We were proud to honor Hendrix with the University Service Award at this year’s LULAC Scholarship Banquet Gala. The Aspire Scholarship program builds on this foundation of cooperation, and provides even more opportunities for LULAC and Hendrix to work together for the benefit of students.”

Established in spring 2015, the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship program includes as partners the Arkansas Commitment program, Episcopal Collegiate School, KIPP Blytheville Collegiate High School, KIPP Delta Collegiate High School, Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys, Little Rock Central High School, Mount St. Mary Academy, Pulaski Academy, and now LULAC. There are currently 44 students attending Hendrix on Aspire Scholarships.

Genetic Research Program at Hendrix Featured in Science Outreach Publication

A feature article published in September by Scientia describes research projects by Hendrix College biology professor Dr. Andrea Duina and his team of undergraduate students and laboratory technicians in a way that seeks to be more accessible to non-scientists.

The piece, “Professor Andrea Duina – The Many Complexities of DNA Packing and Gene Expression,” outlines the work the Hendrix team has done to understand how genes are expressed within cells by studying the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

“It’s critical that we communicate to those outside of the scientific community the importance of basic research for our understanding of both the fundamental principles of life and the underlying causes of human disease,” Duina said. “Providing this type of research experience to undergraduates is a privilege, and sharing what they are learning brings more meaning to their work.”

The feature begins by explaining how DNA is packaged within a single cell, and goes on to share examples of the research the students have been conducting, including the ways they collaborate with researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

With the motto, “Opening a dialogue between science and society,” Scientia produces outreach publications that share a common mission to connect different groups of people across specialties, inviting more people to take an interest in scientific research. According to the organization’s website, it is “championing a new model and reinventing science dissemination to complement traditional academic publishing in a concise, easy-to-understand language for all to enjoy.”