Alumni Engagement

2021 Class Notes

1970s     1980s     1990s     2000s     2010s     2020s   Former Students


1970s

Judge Gary Arnold (‘70) retired from the bench after 30 years on January 1, 2021. 

Dr. Robert Fisher (‘70) retired as president of Belmont College in May 2021. 

Melissa Davis (‘72) established the John and Melissa Davis Alumni Scholarship, an endowed fund through Henderson Foundation that provides scholarships for liberal arts majors.

Dr. Sally Carder (‘74, ‘78) received the 2021 Volunteer of the Year award from the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce for her work with the homeless community in Garland County. 

Courtney Brown (‘77) was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021. 

Coach Brenda Joiner (‘79) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 28 years of service, most recently as the Head Cross Country and Tennis Coach.

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1980s

Lecia Franklin (‘83) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 32 years of service, most recently as Controller. 

Doretta Griffin (‘83) retired from the Hamburg School District as an administrator in June 2021 after 36 years in education. 

Ermatine Johnson (‘83) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 13 years of service, most recently as the Administrative Specialist over University Travel. 

Coach John Ware ('83) was named the 2020-21 Arkansas Junior High Boys Coach of the Year by the Arkansas Basketball Coaching Association.

Keith Crews (‘84) was sworn in as Arkadelphia’s City Ward #3 Director in January 2021. 

Debbie Keller (84) released the children's book Buffalo River Adventures in December 2020. 

Steve Eddington ('84) was appointed by Governor Hutchinson to the ASU System Board of Trustees in February 2021.

Shirl Walter ('84), Carl Frank ('85), Mike Zachary (‘85), and Steve Ballenger ('86) established the Whitehouse Academic Scholarship through Henderson Foundation. 

Carl Frank ('85) was named as one of five finalists for the 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year award.

Karen Spradlin (‘85) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 19 years of service, most recently as Director of Accounting. 

Charla Renfro (‘86) was named the 2021 Gurdon School District Teacher of the Year. 

Dr. Katie Hatley (‘87, ‘17) was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021. 

Dr. Donna Smiley ('88) was hired as the Chief Staff Officer for Audiology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in January 2021. 

Diane Meredith-Johnson (‘89) was elected as Treasurer of the Greater Hot Springs Alumni Chapter in April 2021. 

Annette Scogin ('89) was elected as President of the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in March 2021.

Annetta Trice (‘89) was named the 2021 District Teacher of the Year for the Helena-West Helena School District.

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1990s

Chris Roberts (‘90, ‘91, ‘94) launched the personal finance app ForeKash in July 2021. This budgeting app helps people manage day-to-day finances. 

Bishop Robert Rudolph (‘90) was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the ASU System Board of Trustees in February 2021.

Retired Colonel Eric Toler (‘90), executive director of the Georgia Cyber Center, was recently nominated and inducted into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Robyn Caldwell (‘91) was named Accountant for Garland County Habitat of Humanity in May 2021. 

Tim Jones (‘91) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 28 years of service, most recently as Director of Purchasing. 

Coach Kevin Kelley ('92) was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in April 2021.

Kenny Haskin ('92) began as City Manager for Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in June 2021.

Dr. Bobby Hart ('93) started as Superintendent for Searcy School District in July 2021.

Shelley Loe (‘92) was named Vice President of Commercial Lending at Citizens Bank in Arkadelphia in April 2021. 

Don Benton (‘94, ‘03, ‘13) was inducted by the Arkansas Academy of Computing in October 2020.

Chris Porter ('95, '14) was reelected and sworn in as the City Ward #2 Director in Arkadelphia in January 2021.

Kaethe Hoehling (‘96) was named Director of Counseling Services at University of the Ozarks in February 2021. 

Amy Anderson Jackson (‘96, ‘00) started at Dillard’s Federal Credit Union in Little Rock as the Accountant in May 2021. 

Pam Ligon (‘96, ‘02) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 34 years of service, most recently as Associate Dean of Academic Services. 

Emily White, J.D. ('96), joined the Caddell Reynolds Law Firm in January 2021, bringing 20 years of experience as an attorney, District Court Judge and having served twice by special appointment to the Arkansas Supreme Court. 

Dr. Tonelli Hatley (‘97) defended her dissertation and received her Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and Public Policy in August 2021 and was named Treasurer of the Black Alumni Chapter in December 2020. 

Jodi Coffee (‘98) completed her third Ironman in July 2021 at the 2021 Ironman Lake Placid in New York. 

Deborah Collins (‘98) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 14 years of service as the  Director of University Health and Counseling. 

Dr. Stanley Ellis ('98, '00) co-authored Winning is Planned with his wife, Dr. Jessica Ellis, and they were featured on Fox5 Plus Global Television Network when they were interviewed by Dr. John (‘96) and Dr. Jacque (‘95) Eaves.

Lottie Ware-Hamlin (‘98) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 after 28 years of service, most recently as the Purchasing Specialist. 

Dr. Traci Martin (‘99) started teaching the graduate level internship class at Tarleton State University in Fort Worth in August 2021.

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2000s

Dr. Brandie Benton ('00, '06) was named Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Virtual Arkansas in July 2021.

Jim Duke (‘01, ‘10) retired from Henderson in Spring 2021 as Physics Instructor and Physics Lab Manager after 19 years of service. 

Dr. Elizabeth Eoff (‘01) was named Assistant Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and began in July 2021 after completing her fellowship there. 

Bobby Bones ('02), a New York Times bestseller, announced his third book Stanley the Dog and His First Day of School in October 2020. Additionally, his Breaking Bobby Bones, began airing on the National Geographic Channel in 2021.

Amber Taggard ('02, '10) and her business The Organizer Chicks received the Torch Awards for Ethics in September 2020.

Henry Torres ('02) was named Inaugural Vice President for Technology with the ASU System in January 2021.

Jameel Wesley (‘02) was a host on Safe Money Radio.

Monica Brown (‘03) started as a Mary Kay Consultant in Fall 2020. 

Krishna Ellington (‘04) was named Vice President of the Black Alumni Chapter in January 2021. 

Mandy Hall ('04) was hired as a third grade teacher at Mountain Pine Elementary School starting in August 2021. 

Jewelie Mills ('04) was named the Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator at First United Methodist Church of Arkadelphia in October 2021.

Desiree Rowe Taggard ('04) received the 2020 Young Alumni in Procurement Award from the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP).

Annie Abbott ('05) was named EOC TRiO Director at Florida State College at Jacksonville in October 2021.

Glenn Lansdale (‘05) released his first book, a children’s book, Let’s Go Fishin’! Charlie’s Big Catch, in November 2020.

Nathan Looper ('05), a Marine Corps Veteran, started as the Veteran Service Officer for Saline County in July 2021. 

Erika Pope (‘05) was inducted as the National President for Tau Beta Sigma for 2021-2023 in July 2021. 

Amanda Ritter-Maggio ('05, '12) was hired by Texarkana College as Associate Professor of English starting in August 2021 and was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021. 

Nevada Mills ('06) was named Interim Associate Director of Bands/Coordinator of Athletic Bands at Henderson State University in July 2021. 

Craig Bentley (‘07) was named the Sporty Award Winner in April 2021. 

Jessica Childs (‘07) was named Assistant News Director at KTUL in Tulsa in October 2020.

Anna Eudy Espinoza ('07, '17) was named Coordinator of Counseling and College and Career Readiness at Goose Creek CISD in July 2021. 

Brandon Randle (‘07, ‘13, ‘19) was selected as the 2021 Teacher of the Year at Forest Heights STEM Academy Middle School.

Meghan Miller ('07) was hired as an Academic Advisor with the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at University of Arkansas in July 2021. 

Ashlee Dixon (‘07) was named Interim Director of Admissions at Henderson in July 2021. 

Laura Neal (‘09) was featured in Issuewire.com from New York City about her work as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Claudine James (‘09) was featured on KATV-Channel 7 for using TikTok as an innovative way to teach students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2010s

Britney Hickman (‘10, ‘12) was named Principal at Sylvan Hills Elementary School for the Pulaski County Special School District in August 2021. 

Josh Jackson (‘10, 13) was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021. 

Coach Forrest Schultz ('10, '12) was named Head Coach at NCAA DI Troy in Alabama.

DeeDee Robinson (‘10) was promoted to Instructional Leadership Team Math Teacher Content Lead.

Chelsea Goza ('11, '12) was hired as Campus Success Consultant at Ready Education in June 2021. 

Holly Holland ('11) was featured in Southwest Louisiana's 2020 Leading Ladies in Business as the Public Information Officer for the Calcasieu Parish School Board. 

LaToria Randle (‘11) was named the 2021 Chenal Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Holly Schultz (‘11) was hired as a kindergarten teacher for Troy Elementary School in the Troy, Alabama, City Schools District in July 2021. 

Ishrael Wordlaw ('12) moved his Farmers Insurance Agency to Arkadelphia in May 2021 after serving in Oklahoma. 

Nikki Chandler ('13) was named Executive Vice President of the Arkadelphia Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce in June 2021. 

Courtney Clark  ('13, '18) is a Mental Health Therapist who began at UAMS in June 2021. 

Zach Mitchell ('13) graduated from culinary school in May 2021 at UAPTC and opened his own catering company Three Seven Catering.

Kristin Brown (‘14, ‘20) completed her MSN degree in Family Nurse Practitioner from Henderson in 2020 and accepted a FNP job at CHI St. Vincent in Arkadelphia that began in August 2021. 

Amber Brownlee (‘14, ‘19) and Mesha Leeper (‘16) launched their event planning business, Watch Me Do It 360 Entertainment in July 2021. 

First Lieutenant Bryant Cunningham ('14) became a certified military helicopter pilot. 1st Lt. Cunningham serves in the Arkansas National Guard and flies a Blackhawk aircraft. 

Angelo Goshen ('14, '16) released Spilled Milk: From Trauma to Triumph in October 2020 and released Myopia: Blurred Vision in June 2021. 

Colbie Jones (‘14) was promoted to senior account executive at MHP/Team SI in November 2020 and was elected to the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council board of directors and the International Association of Business Communicators Arkansas Chapter board as vice president of professional development. 

Hunter Lively (‘14, ‘16) was hired as the Video Production Teacher at Fountain Lake High School in July 2021.

Ricki Rebollar ('14, '17) was named Director of Student Involvement at Centenary College of Louisiana in July 2021, was elected as Vice President of the Greater Hot Springs Alumni Chapter in April 2021, and was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021.

Scotty Serio (‘14) was named Head Coach of the Henderson Red Wave in July 2021. 

Sarah Williams (‘14) was featured in December 2020’s Eclectic Shades Magazine about her journey in the modeling industry.

Mae Estes (‘15) was nominated for Song of the Year with Recycled and was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2021 Arkansas Country Music Awards. She also released the single Hell You Raised in March 2021. 

Erica Hart (‘15) was named the 2021 Cabe Middle School Teacher of the Year as a Gurdon School District Middle School Social Studies Teacher. 

Charlie Wardlaw ('15) graduated from Liberty University with his MS in exercise science health and fitness with an emphasis in human performance in Summer 2021. 

Heath Sims (‘15) was named Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for Communications at Hendrix College in October 2020.

Mallory Turner ('15, '17) was named Assistant Director for the HSU Center for Student Excellence in July 2021.

Theron Asbery (‘16) Professional Bass Fisherman, placed 5th in the BFL Gator Division Super on Lake Okeechobee in September 2020.

Emily Blanton (‘16) was named Interim Assistant Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life at Henderson in July 2021.

Brooke Cornelius (‘16) was hired as an Associate Attorney for the Sexton Firm in August 2021. 

Amber Puckett (‘17) was named Grant County 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Ophelia Akoto (‘18) was one of the two first recipients of the International Public Service Project Scholarships from the Lauren T. Remedios Foundation for her field service project in Summer 2021. The scholarship honors the late Lauren T. Remedios (‘08).

Alli Brown (‘18) started as a K-1st Virtual Teacher for Dawson Education Cooperative in Fall 2021. 

Dawn Coffman ('18) was crowned Miss Red River Valley 2020-21 and competed in Miss Arkansas in June 2021 where she was named Miss Congeniality and received the Don’t Limit Me Scholarship. 

Mylee Evans (‘18) is utilizing her marketing degree for her own business as a freelance Court Reporter for the State of Arkansas while working from home and raising their son.

Tripp Evans (‘18) accepted the position as Mill Production Supervisor for Canfor Southern Pine in Urbana, Arkansas.

Rory McKinney (‘18) was named to the HSU Alumni Advisory Board in July 2021. 

Rachel Plant ('18) was hired as a Medical Social Worker at Baptist Health Medical Center - Little Rock in January 2021. 

Corey Stanley ('18) was hired in July 2021 as a 6th Grade Math Teacher for Magnet Cove.

Jimmilee Yarbrough ('18) opened her own gym, Simply You Fitness and Health in July 2021 in Bismarck, Arkansas.

Alex Anthony ('19) completed the Airline Career Pilot Program at ATP Flight School. (ASEL/AMEL) CFI/CFII/MEI in November 2020.

Adrienne Sparks (‘19, ‘20) was hired at Pioneer Scale Co., Inc. as the Staff Accountant in January 2021. 

W. Pete Tubbs (‘19) was named Editor in Chief for the Malvern Daily Record in June 2021.

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2020s

Joseph Dees (‘20) was accepted to the PhD Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Arkansas in Fall 2020. 

Rebecca Fellers (‘20) was hired in July 2021 as the Marketing Communications Specialist at Pain Treatment Centers of America in addition to being a freelance photographer for AY Magazine. 

Jordan Reed (‘20, ‘21) began Pharmacy School at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in August 2021 after completing his Masters of Business Administration at Henderson in May 2021. 

Nick Robertson (‘20) started his own lawn care business, Lazer-Lawn Care in Fall 2020 for Clark County, Ark., and the surrounding area.

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Former Students

Paula Golden retired from Henderson for the second time in Spring 2021 after 10 years of service, most recently for Teachers College.

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