Lyon and Nova Joe’s Coffee announce winner of influencers program

Katherine “KJ” Jeane was named the winner of Lyon College’s first-ever Lyon Influencers program.

Jeane will receive a $500 scholarship provided by Zac Stewart, ’19, on behalf of his company, Nova Joe’s Coffee. 

As Stewart expands his company to more locations throughout Arkansas, he said the influencer program was important to support because influencers have the chance to develop their marketing skills, something Stewart utilizes as a young entrepreneur.

“Social media is important because it can make or break your business,” he said.

The Office of Strategic Marketing and Communication launched the program last fall, giving current students the chance to apply to be brand ambassadors by using their personal social media platforms to promote the College to prospective students.

Director of Communications Madeline Pyle, ‘15, said she was pleased with how the first year of the program turned out, even though the COVID-19 pandemic meant not everything went as planned.

“All of the influencers did amazing, and it was so hard to pick just one winner.”

Pyle continued, “KJ demonstrated creativity throughout this past school year. What really stood out to me were her suggestions for content, even when the College closed campus in March.”

When she virtually received the award on June 11, Jeane said she was honored to be one of the College’s first influencers. 

“I enjoyed this year using my social media platforms to highlight my most memorable moments at Lyon for my peers, family, and potential classmates. Our tight knit campus community and opportunities for leadership and success are what make Lyon and the Influencer program so special to me.”

Pyle said the Lyon Influencer program will move away from the competition aspect next year so that the scholarship funds can be used on more opportunities for all of the influencers.

“I am very happy about that decision because picking just one influencer was quite difficult. They have all been outstanding!”

Henderson Named Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement at University of the Ozarks

University of the Ozarks alumnus Brian W. Henderson has been named the new director of annual giving and alumni engagement at the University, according to Lori McBee, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. He will begin his new duties on Aug. 3.

Photo of man wearing a suit
Brian Henderson

McBee also announced two promotions within the advancement office that will be effective July 1: Rebecca Lester will be the director of foundation relations and major gifts, and Mary Jane Spillers will serve as director of operations, data and research.

A 2002 graduate of Ozarks, Henderson has worked in higher education since 2007 and has been at the University of Arkansas since 2013, where he served as the director of employer relations and student placement in the College of Engineering.

“I am happy to have Brian joining our team,” McBee said. “He brings a great deal of experience in relationship building and stewardship of donors and alumni. Because Brian is an Ozarks graduate, he personally understands the value of the annual fund and will be a great leader in his role with donors and our alumni.”

At Ozarks, Henderson will manage the day-to-day operations of all annual giving, athletic giving and alumni engagement initiatives, including donor research and identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship elements of the University’s fundraising cycle. He will also oversee alumni engagement and alumni programing.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Ozarks family,” Henderson said. “I have a deep passion for the University of the Ozarks and the Clarksville community and feel this is a perfect place for my faith and work to mesh in showing God’s love to others. This opportunity is more than a just a job to me. My wife and all of her family are from Clarksville and I have numerous family ties to the area as well. I look forward to building new relationships with Ozarks alumni and, more importantly, I look forward to connecting with alumni that I have lost contact with over the years. Ozarks is a special place and I look forward to working closely with our donors and alumni to make it even more special for future generations.”

“I have more than 12 years of higher education experience and in my wildest dreams would have never thought returning to Ozarks would be a possibility. I am so thankful for this opportunity and look forward to advancing Ozarks mission and leading the annual fund and alumni engagement office.”

Prior to joining University of Arkansas, Henderson was the director of Student Services for the College of Business at UA-Little Rock from 2009 to 2012. He also worked at Arkansas Tech University from 2007 to 2009 in several positions, including career development specialist/instructor and director of intramural sports and recreation.

A native of Berryville, Ark., Henderson was a basketball standout at Ozarks, earning team MVP and team captain honors in 2002. After graduating from Ozarks, he went on to earn a master’s degree in health and human performance from Northwestern State University in Louisiana in 2004.

Henderson and his wife, Jaye, have two sons, Hayes, 8, and Harris, 4. Jaye, a native of Clarksville and professor of nursing at University of Arkansas, recently accepted a new teaching position at Arkansas Tech University.

Henderson’s hobbies include, spending time with family, traveling, playing sports with his boys, golfing, and laying on the beach listening to music when not in Arkansas.

Hendrix College Senior Wins Florence Kahn Memorial Award

Photo of young woman posing in front of a landscape with snow-capped mountains in the background
Jacie Andrews

A poetry manuscript by Hendrix College creative writing major/religious studies minor Jacie Andrews ’20 has been selected as winner of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ Florence Kahn Memorial Award.

The manuscript, Sweetwork, earned Andrews a $500 cash prize, publication of her work plus 75 free copies, and a $300 stipend for travel to the NFSPS Annual Conference in June to read her poetry. Unfortunately, the 2020 NFSPS Conference was canceled recently due to the corona virus pandemic. Andrews’ Sweetwork will be published in June as a perfect-bound 6” x 9” chapbook and marketed through She will receive all proceeds from her book’s sales.

Dawn Leas, judge of NFSPS’ 2020 College Undergraduate Poetry Competition, offered the following assessment of Andrews’s writing:

Sweetwork brims with diction, language, and imagery that immediately pulls the reader into a specific time or scene to learn more about what it means to have faith or to question it; what it means to keep going or give up; what it means to have an abundance of or very little hope. The poems are lean yet full of lyrical lines that often break into a run to the finish line. ‘Magic’ ends with: ‘But nobody pays / attention when you / are usually good / And I was usually good.’ Pay attention to Sweetwork.  It’s so much more than ‘usually good.’”

Murphy Visiting Fellow in Poetry Dr. Erin Hoover encouraged Andrews to submit her work after having her as a poetry student.

“Jacie has written a collection that challenges and pays homage to rural Southern life,” Hoover said. “These sensory, character-driven poems whose people know ‘damn well that / slice and salt was always / our only instruction’ offer those who have been denied power the chance to discover it, perhaps even the opportunity to heal.”

Andrews, a Springfield, Arkansas native who has spent summers during college in Florissant, Colorado, serves as the Hendrix Creative Writing Program’s student assistant, as social media intern for the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference, and as committee chair for Word Garden, a reading series featuring the best in Hendrix student creative writing.

AICU Names Goodman as President

Photograph of Andy Goodman
Andy Goodman, president of Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities

Andy Goodman, the former legislative director for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has been selected as president and CEO of the Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU), an association of the state’s 11 private accredited institutions of higher education.

Goodman assumed his new duties on July 1, replacing Dr. Rex Horne who is stepping down after leading the association since 2015.

Goodman, a graduate of Harding University, has served as a senior legislative aide since 2015. He has been the chief legislative aide to Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren since 2018 and served the same position for Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang from 2015-18. Goodman also was  the legislative director for Gov. Hutchinson in 2018.

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next president of the AICU,” Goodman said. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the board of directors for this opportunity. I truly believe we have a wonderful and convincing story to tell. I appreciate the diversity of our member institutions, and have confidence in the strength we create together. I am eager to begin work as an advocate to further our mission, and would like to thank the members of the search committee and Dr. Horne for their help and guidance throughout this process.  I look forward to visiting with officials from all of the AICU colleges and universities in the coming weeks.

The announcement was made by Richard Dunsworth, president of University of the Ozarks in Clarksville and chair of the search committee. Dunsworth said Goodman was chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants.

“Andy Goodman is not only a graduate of one of our Arkansas independent colleges, he brings extensive administrative and legislative experience to the position,” Dunsworth said. “Andy will be a strong spokesperson and staunch advocate for the value of private education. His experience with the state legislature and with public policy, as well as being a collaborative and influential leader, will enhance the contributions that Arkansas’s private colleges and universities make to a broad set of stakeholders, including the citizens of Arkansas, students and alumni of the member campuses. We are excited about the experience he brings and his commitment to Arkansas.”

Prior to his legislative aide positions, Goodman worked with the Commissioner of State Lands from 2009 to 2015, serving as the agency’s director of real estate for the final two years.

AICU represents the state’s 11 accredited private institutions of higher education. It operates from offices in North Little Rock, specializing in governmental affairs and public affairs for private higher education.

Members of AICU are the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith, Central Baptist College in Conway, Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Harding University in Searcy, Hendrix College in Conway, John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Lyon College in Batesville, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Philander Smith College in Little Rock, University of the Ozarks in Clarksville and Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge.

What is now AICU was founded in the spring of 1954 as the Arkansas Foundation of Associated Colleges. The AICU began as an organization to provide funding for the state’s private colleges and universities, but has evolved to provide public policy advocacy to support legislative policy for the independent sector.  The president is the chief executive officer of the corporation and provides professional leadership, and, with the support of the board of directors, executes the mission of AICU.

Students name Lyon College pet park “Schram Memorial Bark Park”

On Friday, March 1, Lyon College hosted the “leash cutting ceremony” and name unveiling for the new pet park installed on campus. Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick announced the park would be named “Schram Memorial Bark Park” after the late Emeritus Professor of Biology Dr. Mark Schram.

“Schram Memorial Bark Park is a perfect name for this new addition to the campus,” said Mulick. “Dr. Schram was a true animal lover and a fierce student advocate. I am confident he would have been a huge supporter of the move our campus is making to become more pet-friendly. I believe it would bring a smile to his face to know that the campus community wanted to remember him in this way.”

Three men cut a ribbon in an opening ceremony.

The campus community was asked to submit suggestions for the name of the park earlier that week. Naming the park after Schram was the top suggestion by students.

On Thursday, the campus sent out a campus-wide vote with name options. On Friday at noon, over a third of the votes were in favor of naming the park after Schram, achieving over double the votes of any other name option.

“I voted to name the park after Dr. Schram because I know how much of an impact he had on the students while he was here,” said senior Jordan Trant.

Schram joined the Lyon faculty in 1991, and he was known for his dedication to students. While at Lyon, Schram was named Alpha Chi’s Teacher of the Year, served as an advisor for the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, and was awarded the Lamar Williamson Price for Faculty Excellence. He celebrated his silver anniversary—25 years—at the College in 2016. On August 29, 2017 Schram passed away surrounded by friends and family.

In 2016, when he was asked about students over the years, Schram said: “I get a smile on my face when I think of what the students have accomplished. It’s incredible. You should see the track record. If you take a look at the accomplishments of all the students, it’s remarkable. And that suggests that maybe I did something right. There’s a big smile there. I mean, that’s why I’m in the business. Just for that. Because I can see what the students are doing when they leave here.”

Service Awards Presented at WBU

Williams Baptist University has honored several of its own for their service to the university. Williams recently recognized a dozen employees who have reached milestones of service at WBU.

“The combined years of service for these WBU employees comes to nearly 250 years. That is a remarkable testament to the loyalty of our people, who invest their lives into Williams Baptist University and its students,” said Dr. Stan Norman, president of WBU.

Pictured above are (seated, left to right): Lynette Rose, Tonya Bolton, Misty Colvey, Melinda Williams and Kathy Evans. Standing: Aaron Andrews, Eliseu dos Santos, Vickie Travis, Katherine Tippy, Lisa Foley, Dr. Brett Cooper and Dr. Chris Thompson.

Lynette Rose of WBU’s Office of Business Affairs was recognized for 40 years of service to the university, while Melinda Williams, assistant professor of speech, drama & journalism, was honored for 35 years at WBU.

Honored for 30 years of service were Kathy Evans and Lisa Foley. Evans is education coordinator for the Williams Teacher Education Program, and Foley is the transfer counselor in the Office of Admissions.

Dr. Brett Cooper, vice president for institutional advancement, was recognized for 25 years of service.

Tonya Bolton and Dr. Chris Thompson were honored for 20 years at WBU. Bolton serves as the registrar, and Thompson is associate professor of music.

Recognized for 15 years of service was Aaron Andrews. Andrews is director of annual giving and alumni relations.

Misty Colvey and Eliseu dos Santos were honored for 10 years of service. Colvey is the head athletic trainer, while dos Santos serves as the facilities maintenance supervisor.

And Katherine Tippy and Vickie Travis were recognized for five years at the university. Tippy is administrative assistant in the Office of Financial Aid, while Travis serves as a housekeeper.

The employees were honored at WBU’s employee Christmas party on Dec. 13.

US Bank Foundation Presents Grant for Scholarships

Mr. Mike Richardson, Arkansas Regional President, (left) and Scott Teague, Regional Commercial Banking Manager, (right), both of US Bank, present a $5,000 check to AICU President Rex Horne (center).

Mike Richardson, Arkansas Regional President, (left) and Scott Teague, Regional Commercial Banking Manager, (right), both of US Bank, present a $5,000 check to AICU President Rex Horne (center).

U.S. Bank Foundation has granted $5,000 to AICU to fund scholarships for students attending colleges and universities which are members of AICU. The grant was presented to AICU President Rex Horne on Oct. 15, 2018 by Mike Richardson, Arkansas Regional President of US Bank and Scott Teague, Regional Commercial Banking Manager of US Bank.

This gift will help those students who are first generation and are from low to moderate income families to enroll and/or remain in school.  Completing college is vitally important to the economic growth of Arkansas. AICU and its member institutions are most appreciative of this generous gift from US Bank Foundation.

JBU’s Abila Lecture Welcomes Archaeology Scholar Dr. Daniel Master

John Brown University welcomes Archaeology scholar Dr. Daniel Master to speak on “Ashkelon and the Philistines” Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Ozarks. Master’s lecture is part of JBU’s biannual “Abila Lecture in Biblical Archaeology” series that focuses on understanding the history of the Biblical world through archaeology.

During his career, Master has served as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and the general editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology and the Bible. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in near Eastern languages and civilizations and has taught at Wheaton College since 2000 on subjects including ancient near Eastern archaeology, historical geography, and archaeology and the Bible.

For the last 25 years, Master has researched the ancient Philistine port city of Ashkelon discovering the only-known Philistine cemetery. Currently, Master is excavating the largest city in the Jezreel Valley, a project he began last year at Tel Shimron in Northern Israel.

“We’re very excited for Dr. Master to share the valuable insights that he unearthed in the Philistine cemetery,” Dr. David Vila, JBU’s professor of religion and philosophy, said. “Archaeology reveals a deeper understanding of history as we discover a life and culture in the context of their time period. We hope the community will come to a greater appreciation of the Biblical world as it comes to life through these lectures.”

The lecture series, now in its fourth year, is funded by donors to JBU’s Abila Archaeological Project, which excavates in Northern Jordan at Abila of the Decapolis under the direction of Vila. All lectures are free and open to the public.

The Abila Lecture Series is also a part of the university’s Endowment for Academic Excellence, a priority of JBU’s $125 million Campaign for the Next Century. JBU has currently raised more than $115 million toward the $125 million goal and plans to complete the campaign on JBU’s centennial in 2019.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2017), JBU enrolls more than 2,700 students from 40 states and 37 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, degree completion and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 39 majors, with top programs including business administration, graphic design, engineering, construction management, counseling, teacher education and nursing.

Williams Celebrates Homecoming with Alumni Awards, Dedication

Williams Baptist College hosted its 75th Anniversary Homecoming celebration on Saturday, Nov. 5. Three alumni were honored with awards, and an area on the campus known as “Midkiff Meadows” was also dedicated as a part of the day’s festivities.

James Costner was presented this year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Costner, a 1963 WBC alum, was senior vice president of the Property Practice with the insurance company Willis North America. He has been quoted as a property insurance expert by The Wall Street Journal and other prominent business publications. He and his wife, Mary, live in Nashville, Tenn.

Bobo and Amber Newton of Tulsa, Okla., were honored as this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni. Bobo, a 2005 graduate, is chief operating officer and vice president at Kubota Construction Equipment of Tulsa. Amber, an ‘03 alum, does marriage and family counseling at New Beginnings Church, as well as volunteering at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach in Tulsa.

Also taking place during the commemorative Homecoming event was the dedication of Midkiff Meadows, in memory of Dr. J.T. Midkiff. Midkiff served at williams from 1956 to 1974 as professor of social science, dean of mean and director of the Baptist Student Union. He is credited with planting many of the trees on the Williams campus and other beautification projects that the college still enjoys today.

Saturday’s festivities marked the culmination of WBC’s 75th anniversary celebration, which has taken place throughout 2016.

James Costner accepts the Distinguished Alumnus Award from WBC president Dr. Tom Jones while Costner's wife, Mary, looks on.

James Costner accepts the Distinguished Alumnus Award from WBC president Dr. Tom Jones while Costner’s wife, Mary, looks on.

Two of Dr. J.T. Midkiff's sons Paul (left) and Phillip (right) stand with the new Midkiff Meadows dedication monument.

Two of Dr. J.T. Midkiff’s sons Paul (left) and Phillip (right) stand with the new Midkiff Meadows dedication monument.