The father-son duo of Kyle Helms and Quintin Helms shot a 13-under 59 to capture the University of the Ozarks’ Alumni Golf Tournament, held Oct. 18.
Kyle Helms, a 1986 U of O graduate, and his son topped 14 other teams to win the annual two-person scramble, held at the par-72 Clarksville Country Club course.
The team of Bo Funderburk ’00 and Daniel Nichols took second with a score of 61, winning a tiebreaker over the third-place team of Greg Thompson ’91 and Tom Wolf, who also shot a 61.
A total of 30 golfers took part in the annual Homecoming tournament.
Clarksville Mayor David Rieder and Johnson County Judge Herman Houston joined University President Richard Dunsworth and alumna Lisa Gruben-Inness in a proclamation signing event declaring October 14-20 as University of the Ozarks 2019 Homecoming Week throughout the city and county.
The proclamation signing took place on Oct. 14 in front of the Johnson County Courthouse and was part of a pep rally that included more than 100 students from the University. Following the pep rally, many of the students decorated downtown businesses with University signs and decals in a Paint the Town Purple event.
Houston is a 1973 graduate of U of O and Gruben-Inness is a 1993 graduate of the University.
Homecoming 2019 will include a variety of events and reunions. For a complete schedule, please visit www.ozarks.edu/homecoming.
Arkansauce, a genre-hopping, four piece string band from Northwest Arkansas, will perform as the featured act during the final First Friday of the fall semester on Nov. 1.
The event in downtown Clarksville begins at 5 p.m. with the music starting at 5:30 p.m.
There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Marvin Vinson Community Center.
Presented by the Clarksville Advertising & Promotion Commission, University of the Ozarks and the Clarksville-Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, First Friday is an outdoor community event on the green space that is located at the corner of Main Street and the Spadra Trail. Held every month the University is in session, the family-friendly event features live music, a variety of food trucks and vendors as well as lawn games.
Arkansauce blends a mix of bluegrass, newgrass, folk, americana, country, blues and funk music. With a loyal following growing every day in the Natural State and along their tour routes, the band is proud to be stepping into a hard-driving sound unique to the Arkansas quartet.
The band’s third album, “If I Were You,” was released in April 2017. The album consists of all original material and, according to the band’s website, “finds the palate expanded with more complex melodies, intriguing rhythms, and hard-hitting hooks that leave the songs whirling around your head long after the listening experience.”
The band’s roots go back to 2011 when founding members Ethan Bush, Zac Archuleta, and Stephen Jolly began writing together after becoming acquainted through mutual connections in the close-knit Fayetteville music scene. After a couple of years building a repertoire of original music and releasing their first album, “Hambone,” as a trio, they were joined by Tom Andersen on the upright bass and Adams Collins on the five-string banjo. The road-tested chops Andersen and Collins brought to the table helped to cultivate the mature, well-rounded sound needed to accommodate their sophomore release, “All Day Long.”
According to the band’s website, “An Arkansauce show is riddled with improvisational guitar, banjo, and mandolin leads, paired with powerful harmonies and heart-felt songwriting, all held together by deep foot-stompin' bass grooves. There’s an undeniably intimate connection between the band and their fans that's contagious and leaves everyone in front of, and on the stage wanting more. Arkansauce holds their head high, as they look forward to enjoying everything life and music has in store for them and their fans.”
Arkansauce has performed throughout the state as well as Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Colorado, New Mexico and Missouri.
Following the Nov. 1 event, First Friday will begin again in the spring.
University of the Ozarks alumnus Dylan Eakin of Seattle, Wash., will present his art show titled, “The Machines Are Taking Our Jobs So I’ll Take One of Theirs,” from Oct. 14 to Nov. 7 in the University’s Stephens Gallery.
The show is a part of the University’s Artist of the Month Series. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in the gallery, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.
A 2013 art graduate from Ozarks, Eakin was initially focused on sculptural art. He began training himself in photorealism in 2016 because “it was cheaper than pursuing a career in figurative ceramics.”
“Adapting myself into the regiments of photorealistic drawing requires an assimilation into automata,” Eakin said. “There’s not a single facet of the genre that doesn’t necessitate a direct confrontation towards a shopping list of personal weaknesses. Reforming my process of art production becomes a reconfiguration of human habits into mechanical ones, a method of self-improvement via photographic translation and a stick of charcoal. Delete subjectification. Delete inspiration. Draw the picture. Beep Boop.”
The exhibit is open to the public for viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday when the University is in session. There is no cost for admission.
By Jake Sawyer
Fourteen years ago, University of the Ozarks English Professor David Strain had an idea only a mad poetry scientist could cook up. Strain and his fellow English professors were looking for a way to boost submissions to the department’s annual Falstaff literary magazine when inspiration struck from an unlikely source: the reality TV show Project Runway. That epiphany would eventually become the annual Project Poet competition, which is currently enjoying its 14th season as a cornerstone of Ozarks campus life.
No one has seen the impact of Project Poet more than English Professor Brian Hardman, who served as the host for nine seasons of the event, more than any other host.
“I was interested from the start because of how unique the event was, and I loved the idea of giving students across campus a creative space to push themselves and to share their voices,” Hardman remembers.
Project Poet’s run at Ozarks has seen a number of transformations on campus and has changed itself along the way.
“The event has moved locations several times, which has allowed it to grow and evolve. The show is also more sophisticated in its use of atmosphere and production quality, and the talent has increased year after year,” Hardman says. “I hope it continues to grow and evolve, and I hope that it continues as a powerful venue for students to express their talents, voices, and experiences.”
Though the venue and atmosphere may have changed over the years, the competition itself is essentially the same. Each fall semester, one member of the English department sends out a poetry challenge to the campus community, and the students who enter must submit an original poem that meets the challenge, which may vary from a poetic self-portrait to a sonnet or haiku. There are five separate challenges over the five-week competition, and the poets must write a new poem for each challenge.
The poets themselves come to Project Poet from all walks of campus life and for all sorts of reasons. Some, such as Jarret Bain, a junior psychology major from Nassau, Bahamas, enter Project Poet as a way to get out of their comfort zone. “I didn’t expect to get very far, but whether or not I made it far, I was in it for the experience,” Bain explains.
For Bekah Moore, a senior biology major from Alma, AR, what was initially an extra credit opportunity quickly became a new passion. Though Moore’s high school had largely treated poetry as “a necessity that students and teachers alike were more than willing to cross off of their to-do list,” she was blown away by the inclusive artistic community she found at Ozarks through Project Poet. “The reverence this campus has for the arts, and its various forms, will always amaze me,” Moore says.
Both Bain and Moore placed among last year’s five finalists, and their diverse backgrounds and motivations are not unusual in the competition.
“Project Poet draws students from across campus and from all disciplines,” Hardman says. “It really says something that, as often as not, English majors aren't the ones who always win the crown of Poet Laureate of the Spadra Valley.”
Entering a poem for the challenge is only the beginning though. After writing their original poem, the poets must perform it before an audience of their peers and a panel of three faculty judges, all of whom vote for their favorite poems. For most contestants, this performance is the most stressful component of the competition. On the night of Project Poet, many of the poets arrive early to Munger-Wilson Chapel, pacing the flagstones of the chapel plaza or rehearsing their poem one last time. Then there is nothing to do but watch the trickle into the room until the host pulls a name from a faded tweed cap: “Next up, welcome to the mic”— and the applause roars.
The stress is real too. As the Project Poet motto goes, “In poetry, one day you’re a bestseller, and the next you’re out of print.” Each week’s challenge ratchets up the difficulty to a new level, and each week a few of the poets “go out of print.”
This season’s contestant pool has narrowed to the five poets who survived the semifinal round, or “Winter Formal,” which is arguably the most difficult round, as it requires the poets to compose in strict poet forms such as a sonnet or villanelle. The five who “stayed in print” qualified for the Project Poet Finale during Homecoming Weekend. There they will vie for the title of Poet Laureate of the Spadra Valley, as well as the $1,000 cash prize that comes with it.
Despite the high stakes involved, for most contestants Project Poet is as much about collaboration and personal expression with other poets as it is about competition.
“Every time I come into this project, it’s with the mindset that I am able to share parts of my unique human experience through a healthy platform that encourages creative thinking and honest expression. The fact that I get to participate for one week, or three, or five makes no difference,” Moore explains. “I consider myself extremely lucky to have stood beside such a unique and admirable set of poets.”
Bain seconds her opinion. “I’m honestly not a huge fan of competition,” he says, “but being able to go up against other talented poets has been an enlightening experience.”
For Bain, the moments before he steps to the mic are often ones of humility. “I usually think about how great everyone else is, and that if I lost then I deserved it because everyone else has worked hard to earn their spot.”
If the past years of Project Poet have proven nothing else, it is that no one can predict who will end up with the Poet Laureate crown, and if asked, the current poets will agree. One thing is certain though: they will be at the final round on October 19th, either to perform their own work or to support their friends. As Moore sums up, “One thing Project Poet never fails to do is surprise me. Participating or not, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
(Editor’s Note: The Project Poet Finale will take place in the Robson Library rotunda at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, during Homecoming Weekend and is open to all students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni. The five finalists are, Jarret Bain, Lily Marlow, Bekah Moore, Chava Roberts and Maddy Windel.)
The University of the Ozarks Theatre will open the 2019-20 season with three performances of William Shakespeare’s early comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, on Oct. 18-20.
The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20 in the Seay Theatre. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the box office prior to the performance.
Believed to have been written in the mid-1590s for a performance at the Inns of Court before Queen Elizabeth I, Love’s Labour’s Lost follows the King of Navarre and his three companions, Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine, as they attempt to swear off the company of women for three years in order to focus on study and fasting. They are confounded, on signing the vow, when Berowne remembers that the Princess of France and her three ladies, Rosaline, Maria, and Katharine, attended by Boyet, are on an embassy to Navarre’s court. Fun and hilarity ensue.
The cast includes, Petron Brown as King of Navarre, Mason Clough as Berowne, Gracie Bormann as Dumaine, Jimmy Reinier as Longaville, Tiffany Quinton as Princess, Sydney Ward as Rosaline, Jesse Cave as Maria, Nichole Finch as Katherine/Jacquetta, Klara McElroy as Boyet, Haley Wheeler as Holfernes, Lacye Day as Don Armado, Ethan Lubera as Mote, McKenzie Lewis as Costard, Ben Howard as Nathaniel and Ariel McKinney as Forester/Monsieur/Dull.
Rebecca Bailey, assistant professor of theatre, is the director and Lucas Hoiland, theatre technical director and media production assistant, will serve as the play’s technical director, lightning designer and scenic designer.
The student crew includes, Geoshan Lee as sound designer, sound board operator and set carpenter; Fion Chen as graphic designer, props designer and set carpenter; Melissa Rooney as costume designer; Kevin Nawa as light board operator, electrician and set carpenter; Haley Grace Clark as stage manager, set carpenter and scenic artist; Mason Clough as master electrician; Nichole Finch as electrician and set carpenter; Ben Howard as electrician and set carpenter; Paula Jurado Gurdian as follow spot operator; Jake Holland as fly crew; Lacye Day as scenic charge artist and set carpenter; Lillian Olmstead as follow spot operator and set carpenter; Tiffany Quinton as costume crew, set carpenter and scenic artist; Klara McElroy as costume crew and set carpenter; Kenzie Lewis as scenic artist and set carpenter; Jimmy Reinier as set carpenter; Haley Wheeler as set carpenter; Gracie Bormann as set carpenter; Petron Brown as set carpenter; Karie Miller as set carpenter; Ethan Lubera as set carpenter and Sydney Ward as scenic artist and set carpenter.
Gloria M. Arcia has been selected as the new vice president for finance and administration at University of the Ozarks. She will begin her duties on Nov. 1.
Arcia has worked at Broward College in Pembroke Pines, Fla., for the past two years as the college’s dean of business affairs for its South Campus and Partnership Centers. Previously, she was the assistant dean for business and finance at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., from 2014-17.
At U of O, Arcia will be the chief financial officer, serve on the executive management team and lead the University’s administrative and finance operations.
“I am honored and very eager to be joining the University of the Ozark family,” Arcia said. “Giving back is a tremendous part of my personal philosophy and I was excited to see that U of O shares similar philosophies. I am grateful to be welcomed to an institution that values not only my management and financial skills but my personal philosophies as well.”
Arcia has an associate’s degree from Miami Dade College, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Florida International University and an MBA with a specialization in Management from Barry University. She is completing an Ed.D. in organizational leadership and learning with a specialization in human resource development from Barry University.
Arcia worked for Barry University for 11 years, with increasing responsibilities. She served as an administrative assistant and business manager before being promoted to assistant dean for business and finance. At Miami Dade College she served as academic advisor to the Honors College.
At Broward, Arcia managed all operation and financial management of the college’s South Campus and its Partnership Centers. She also managed all construction and renovation projects and served as the deputy incident commander for the campus and centers during emergencies and critical incidents.
Arcia is bilingual in both Spanish and English. She and her husband, Aaron, are foodies and enjoy watching films and cruising. They have a son, Alexandre (13), and a daughter, Alexis (5).
Arcia replaces former CFO Jeff Scaccia, who resigned in the spring to accept a position in South Carolina.
Six University of the Ozarks alumni from a variety of professions will discuss their jobs and career choices during the annual Ozarks Speaks event, scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in Rowntree Hall.
The panel discussion is part of Homecoming 2019 and will feature alumni Ian Bryan ’13, Shannon Huggins ’91, Amy Patton ’10, David Ray ’07, Rev. Bruce Williams ’43, and Tyler Wilson ’11.
The event is free and open to the public.
Ian Bryan ’13
Ian Bryan of Russellville, AR, recently joined Simmons Bank in Russellville as a community banker after serving the previous four years at Arvest Bank. In his role at Simmons, Bryan’s primary focus is on commercial lending, but also works in in treasury management, merchant services, and other services provided by the bank. A baseball player and cross country runner at Ozarks, Bryan has remained involved with his alma mater, serving on the University’s Sports Hall of Fame Committee as well as the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at
Arkansas Tech University. He and his wife, Lauren (Rogers) Bryan, have been married since 2016. He enjoys serving at New Life Church in Russellville, outdoors activities and travelling.
Shannon Huggins ’91
Shannon Huggins of Arlington, TX, is the senior vice president for contract strategy and population health at Methodist Health System. She began with Methodist in 2002 and has system responsibilities for contracting and payor relations on behalf of Methodist. Additionally, she has operational responsibilities for the Methodist Patient Centered ACO (MPCACO). Huggins has more than 25 years of experience in contracting, payor relations, population health, financial analysis and decision support. She earned a master’s degree health care administration from Texas Woman’s University in 1993. She and her husband, Bryan, have two sons, both in college. In her free time, she has volunteered in various civic, educational and church committees. She enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and helping others.
Amy Patton ’10
Amy (Smedley) Patton of Bryant, AR, is a laboratory manager and partner at PinPoint Testing, LLC; a position she has held since 2014. Her responsibilities include maintaining competency in a number of highly complex analytical techniques and mass spectral plat-forms. Previously, she was a chemist at the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory, working in the chemical terrorism section following a year as an APHL Environmental Public Health Fellow. Patton’s research articles have been published in Analytical Chemistry, Forensic Science International, The Journal of Forensic Science, and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Her abstracts and presentations have taken her across the nation, where she has spoken in numerous venues on emerging drugs of abuse. For the past 11 years, she has maintained certification as an Arkansas-licensed and nationally-registered emergency medical technician. Patton received a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary biomedical sciences from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2013. She and her husband, Wesley, have two dogs.
David Ray ’07
David Ray is the chief of staff to Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin. Ray has spent more than a decade working in electoral and issue politics in eight different states. He has managed two congressional races as well as a statewide race for attorney general. He also served as the communications director for U.S. Senator Tom Cotton's successful 2014 campaign. Most recently, he was the state director for Americans for Prosperity Arkansas. Ray currently lives in Maumelle, AR, and is married to his wife Jessica. They have one daughter, Charlotte.
Rev. Bruce Williams ’43
The Rev. Bruce Williams of West Columbia, Texas, who turned 99 in August, is a retired U.S. Navy and prison chaplain. After graduating from Ozarks, Williams spent three years in the Navy, serving as an officer during World War II. He left the Navy to attend Princeton Seminary and was ordained in 1949. He was called to serve as a pastor for Buckingham Presbyterian Church in Berlin, Maryland. Williams stayed at Buckingham for three years before returning to the Navy. For the next 30 years, Williams served as a Navy chaplain. In addition to his time in World War II, Williams served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He retired from the Navy as a commander in 1975. Afterward, he served as interim and pulpit supply in several churches in Texas as well as a chaplain in the Texas Department of Corrections facility at the Clemons Unit in Brazoria, Texas.
Tyler Wilson ’11
Tyler Wilson lives in Oklahoma City where he is an associate’s attorney at the National Litigation Law Group, the largest consumer litigation law firm in the United States. He is responsible for assisting clients against predatory lending practices. He also manages attorneys in over 15 states and has helped clients settle more than $25 million worth of debt. Wilson graduated from Ozarks with honors with a degree in biology. During his time at the University, he was a four-year starter on the tennis team and held numerous officers’ positions in various clubs, including president of the RHA. He also served on the Alumni Board, including a term as treasurer. After Ozarks, he went on to attend the University of Oklahoma College of Law and College of Public Health. He graduated with honors in 2015 with a master’s degree in public health policy and administration and a juris doctorate. He was the first student at Oklahoma to obtain this dual-degree. After law school he would work as the senior associate attorney at Velie Law Firm, a world renown immigration law firm. During his time there he would represent numerous high-profile clients, including internationally ranked tennis players, NFL and NBA players, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the OKC Thunder.
University of the Ozarks Associate Professor of Art Dawn Holder will present some of her latest artwork during a Sabbatical Research Artist Lecture on Friday, Nov. 1.
The lecture will begin at 2 p.m. in Baldor Auditorium in the Boreham Business Building. The campus community as well as the public are invited to attend and there is no cost for admission.
Holder worked on her sabbatical project during the 2018-19 academic year. The project included doing research and creating art in reaction to local Confederate monuments.
“I examined how these public spaces, structures and sculptures have been utilized and aestheticized to promote racial segregation, reinforce social hierarchy and define ethnic and political boundaries,” Holder said. “My recent travels and creative projects in Europe have widened the scope of my research, allowing me to analyze the rich visual history of monuments, with a particular focus on Roman antiquities. My current sculptures, installations and photographs reference the equestrian and obelisk imagery shared by both Roman and Confederate monuments, as well as their inscribed texts and relationship to the landscape. By deconstructing these iconic forms, my art endeavors to destabilize their messages through the lenses of fragmentation, decay, and rearrangement.”
Holder said that during the lecture she will, “discuss this new body of work, and share images of sculptures, installations and photographs that I created while on sabbatical.”
Selections of Holder’s new artwork can be seen in the upcoming exhibition. “Whence This Glory Perish,” at the Stephens Gallery on the U of O campus from Jan. 23 through Feb. 19, 2020. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2020.Clarksville Connected Utilities (CCU) will be the recipient of the University of the Ozarks’ first Community Champion Award, which will be presented during Homecoming 2019. The award will be given at the Ozarks Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in the Rogers Conference Center. Tickets for the ceremony can be purchased at www.ozarks.edu/homecoming. The Community Champion Award was established this year by the University’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement to honor “extraordinary individuals, organizations or businesses that have demonstrated exceptional generosity in support of the University’s mission and who have inspired others to give similarly.” It will be an annual award presented each October during Homecoming activities. Formerly known as Clarksville Light & Water, CCU has collaborated with the University on numerous projects over the past couple of years, including saving the University more than $100,000 in labor and equipment services during the construction of the new Alexander-Boreham Tennis Facility. CCU has also assisted the University in the installation of new HVAC loads on top of campus buildings, underground boring services and the implementation of a dedicated ultra-high speed fiber optic network on campus. “We wanted to create an award to recognize those who are true champions of University of the Ozarks and whose works and actions help advance the University,” said Lori McBee, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. “Clarksville Connected Utilities is the ideal first recipient because of its help and partnership on numerous projects that have benefited both the University and the community.” Homecoming 2019 runs from Oct. 14-20 and includes a variety of events and reunions for both alumni and the public. A full list of events can be found at www.ozarks.edu/homecoming.