Henderson celebrates Founder's Day

— Joining the Henderson State Academy of Scholars are, from left: Lori Stewart, Chris Horton, and Dr. Johnnie Roebuck.

Henderson State University celebrated Founder’s Day with an academic convocation on Oct. 2. Three alumni were inducted into the Henderson Academy of Scholars, which is comprised of Henderson graduates who have gained distinction in their professional fields. Joining the academy this year are: Chris Horton, Dr. Johnnie Roebuck, and Lori Stewart.

Faculty excellence awards were presented to: Dr. Bernie Hellums (Teachers College), Michael Taylor (fine arts), Dr. Steven Todd (liberal arts), Janice O’Donnell (science and mathematics), Dr. Ajay Aggarwal (School of Business), and Dr. David Bateman (Outstanding New Faculty Member).

Chris Horton
Chris Horton is the Midwestern States director for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). He works with the established state sportsmen’s caucuses in the Midwest region by providing counsel and information on legislation and assists in management and infrastructure development within the caucuses to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Horton received his B.S. in biology from Henderson in 1995 and his M.S. in fisheries science from the University of Arizona in 1997. Horton, his wife Kim and two children live in Bismarck.

Horton serves as point of contact for inquiries from legislators and conservation organizations interested in establishing state caucuses. He also serves as a liaison for the Midwestern regional members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC); assists the caucuses and governors with identifying and addressing priority issues; provides comments on behalf of CSF to federal policy proposals in the 16-state region; and performs many other duties.

Horton served as associate director of conservation for the Bass Angler’s Sportsmen Society (B.A.S.S.) from 2003 to 2007 and as conservation director from 2007 to 2010. As associate director, he served as the company’s fisheries biologist, assisting with tournament fish care and fish health issues, and he worked with state and federal agencies on regulatory proposals and aquatic habitat projects.

As director of conservation, he served as the company’s point of contact on aquatic resource conservation issues and represented B.A.S.S. and its 500,000 members on several national boards and committees.

Dr. Johnnie Roebuck
Dr. Johnnie Roebuck, while serving as a special education teacher and administrator, earned her master of science degree in education in counseling at Henderson State University. While serving as special education supervisor at the Dawson Education Cooperative, she realized she could help her students best by returning to college to prepare for developing school leaders. After earning her educational specialist and doctor of education degrees from the University of Arkansas, she was hired by Henderson in 1990.

Roebuck was instrumental in securing a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation that formed a P-16 partnership with service-area public schools to improve teaching strategies and the development of school leaders. Originally known as the Teacher Professional Development Partnership, the highly successful partnership is now self-supporting and is known as the HSU Partners in Education.

Before her retirement from Henderson in 2007, she served as a professor, dean of the Graduate School, and coordinator of the Educational Leadership Program. Among her many accomplishments at Henderson was developing the program for the M.S.E. in Educational Leadership and helping gain approval for the Education Specialist in Educational Leadership.

Roebuck served two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives where she was a distinguished leader. One of her many successes was legislation establishing the Arkansas Professional Licensure Standards Board for educators. The board established the Arkansas Code of Ethics for Educators and the procedures for receiving, considering and investigating complaints. During her final term in the House, she served as majority leader. In fall 2011, she sponsored landmark legislation that resulted in the Teacher Excellence and Support System (TESS). TESS is receiving national recognition.

Appointed by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, Roebuck serves on the Southern Regional Education Board. She remains actively engaged in the improvement of educator preparation.

Lori Stewart
Lori Stewart is a lifelong resident of Arkadelphia with deep ties to Henderson State University. Henderson is a family tradition. Both of her parents attended Henderson in the late 1940s.

Stewart graduated from Henderson with a business management degree in 1987. Her husband Randy graduated in 1986, and her daughter Spenser O’Brien graduated in 2011. Her son Jacob also attended Henderson.

Stewart has been in the housing industry for 37 years. Her career began in the property management business managing and/or owning private, commercial and subsidized properties including USDA Rural Development, HUD, Tax Credit and HOME programs. In 2003, Stewart Properties was organized, and Stewart acquired an Arkansas Brokers License and formed Stewart Real Estate.

Other associated businesses include: Stewart Construction of Arkansas; Stewart Farms; and Stewart Services.

Stewart is a director and current president of the Affordable Housing Association of Arkansas, founding board member of CASA of Clark County, past president of Clark County Home Builders, and currently serves on the HSU Business Advisory Council.