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Professor Eakin Announces Retirement

Professor Eakin Announces Retirement

A wind comes up the snowy slopes of the great mountain. It comes from the Valley of Muses where grass is imprinted by sheep hooves and shepherds’ feet. The wind is made eloquent by something too deep to be seen or heard or even felt in human terms. Do you hear it, there along the snowy ridge overlooking the vast bays and the Odysseus-rocks of the shore, the wine-dark sea and the columns of orange cloud? Do you feel it on the hilly slopes where the laurel leaves tremble? Do you heart the silence, too? The poetry of the wind?
William R. Eakin, Redgunk Tales (2001)

University of the Ozarks Professor of Philosophy and German Dr. William R. Eakin, who explores issues of philosophical inquiry in imaginative ways through his fictional short stories, has announced that he will retire after a nearly 30-year career with Ozarks at the end of the 2020 Spring Semester.

Eakin joined Ozarks in 1991 as an adjunct professor and has been a full-time faculty member since 2000. He served as coordinator of the study abroad program from 2009-2014 and has been a full professor since 2009.

Eakin said he made the difficult decision before the academic year that this would be his final year at Ozarks.

“I have found my most-loved colleagues and friends here,” Eakin said. “I came to a place where I felt at home, where I could do what I felt I needed to do vocationally, and where I hoped I could make a difference.  It was where my children too could find their best paths in life. They, too, were nurtured by U of O. I have been to a lot of colleges, studying and teaching, but U of O has given me the best education I could have received. I say that with gratitude.”

The recipient of the University’s 2003 Bagwell Outstanding Faculty Award, Eakin developed the Philosophy program in the early 2000s and more recently helped establish a minor in Creative Writing and Thought.

Dr. David Daily, professor of religion and dean of the Humanities & Fine Arts Division, praised his colleague for his ability to reach students.

“When I think about Dr. Eakin and the long arc of his career here, I think of how he introduced generations of students to the riches of the world’s many cultures and religions and philosophies,” Daily said. “Whether it was taking students to see an ancient Hindu fire ritual in India or opening up a passage from Plato’s Symposium, Dr. Eakin had a gift for helping students take delight in new ideas and new possibilities. Day in and day out, he has done the hard work of hospitality in dialogue, and we are all the better for it.”

Eakin earned his undergraduate degree from Hendrix College, master’s degrees from Baylor University and University of California at Davis and his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. He said he was always interested in how other people thought and how their views of the world differed from his.

“As a freshman in college in a course called ‘Views of Man,’ we read a book of philosophy each week,” Eakin said. “One week we’d be in Plato’s world, the next Augustine’s; we’d see the contributions of Descartes, then Marx. Each philosophical work opened another world. I find this incredibly important—that the edges and limits of our thinking can themselves be expanded and opened.”

Eakin said that view led him to not only teach philosophy, but to also write fiction, asking the “so-called boundary questions in both.”

“What am I as a person? Is there meaning in the universe? What is real? Is there a God? What can I learn from others with very different religious viewpoints? What is language and knowledge at all?,” he said. “At University of the Ozarks I found a place where my students and I could explore these things and a place where we encouraged students and faculty to open new conceptual worlds and literally go abroad. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with students in places like Greece, Italy, France, Germany, India and Egypt.”

In addition to his fictional short stories, Eakin has written scholarly papers and book introductions on poets and philosophers like William Blake, Thomas Reid, Plotinus, Shelley and others. He has also co-edited numerous books on the world religions and issues of ecology, feminism, justice and pluralism for Orbis Books. His short stories have appeared in more than 100 publications, including in five of his own book collections. 

After retiring, Eakin said he will oversee the publication of a 30-year complete compendium of his short stories and will be helping a composer in New York City to adapt five of them as a musical theater production.

The University of the Ozarks team of David Bondy, Juan Fernando de la Cruz, Nicolas Dunsworth and Richard Javier Rodriguez took home second place overall in the 2020 Arkansas Undergraduate Mathematics Competition, held Feb. 29 at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

It is the second consecutive year that a team from Ozarks has finished in the top two in the state-wide competition. Rodriguez and de la Cruz were part of Ozarks’ first-place team in last year’s event, the first U of O team to ever finish first overall in the AUMC.

A total of 10 teams from five universities competed in this year’s event, with Henderson State taking first place.

Also competing for Ozarks were, Jonathan Duffel, Nadine Karabaranga, Dakota Frits, Brilliant Pasipanodya, Misael Perez-Medina and Carlos Leon Beauregard.

Students competed in teams of 2-4 with no calculators, computers, books or notes available to them on the three-hour, 10-question test that emphasized problem-solving skills. Teams received 10 points for every correct answer and partial credit for incomplete but significant work.

The final results of the competition were not tabulated and confirmed until more than two weeks after the competition. The students learned of the results last week, according to the U of O team’s sponsor, Dr. Matt Myers, professor of mathematics. “All of our students competed with character and integrity and we are proud of the way they represented Ozarks,” Myers said.

“All of our students demonstrate a true passion for mathematics and they enjoyed the opportunity to test their skills against other top students from throughout the state.”

University of the Ozarks is extending Spring Break and cancelling all classes, effective immediately, for the next two weeks to best protect students and the broader community in response to risks associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Classes will resume on Monday, March 30, in an all-online method of delivery and continue online for the remainder of the semester, University President Richard Dunsworth announced on Friday. 

The University will remain open and most student services, including housing, dining and academic support, will continue to be provided for students who choose to remain on campus. All campus events, including intercollegiate athletic competitions, concerts and theatre performances, have also been cancelled. 

While there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on the U of O campus, the move to transition to an all-online format and cancel on-campus events allows the University to implement “social distancing” protocols that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to minimize the spread of the virus.

“The last few days and weeks have been unlike anything any of us have ever seen,” Dunsworth said. “The fluidity of the situation and the pace at which the environment is changing is creating an ever-growing sense of angst and worry. However, this University has an incredible legacy of navigating through uncharted waters and difficult times and I am certain that our core Christian values, such as service, hospitality and justice, will help guide us through these trying times.” 

Dunsworth said the University will spend next week preparing faculty and students for the transition from face-to-face teaching to virtual instruction. 

“One of the greatest strengths of our University is the tight-knit and supportive community that we have all come to rely on,” he said. “While this situation presents many unique and serious challenges, we are confident that this collective spirit of collaboration and support will elevate us as we navigate the coming days and weeks.”

Spring break extended one week and classes to move to remote instruction.

3.13.2020
The last few days and weeks have been unlike anything any of us have ever seen.  The fluidity of the situation and the pace at which the environment is changing is creating an ever growing sense of angst and worry.  I have asked myself and others countless times in the last few days what not only our mission, but our history calls us to do in order to prepare students to live life fully. Below you will see our current position.  It reflects a collective best thinking for today.  I believe, also, it is true to our Christian heritage.

Immediate Campus-Wide Changes

  • Effective immediately, the University of the Ozarks is suspending all classes. 
  • Classes will resume after spring break on Monday, March 30 in an all online method of delivery and continue online for the rest of the semester. 
  • The University is open. Housing, dining, library, academic support and other services for students who remain on campus will continue to be provided.

No faculty, staff, or student should come to campus if they have any symptoms of the COVID-19.  The most common symptoms include fever, cough, or respiratory symptoms. 

Students

Please consult with your family, friends, and mentors and decide whether it is best for you to continue your Ozarks coursework from home.  If you believe campus/Clarksville is the best place for you to continue the semester, we will do our very best to serve you.  The residence halls, houses, and apartments will remain open and there will be no break in food service from now until the end of the semester. 

If you believe the best course of action is for you to go home, please make plans to check out of your residence hall at your earliest convenience.  Residence Life is prepared to begin checking people out as early as tomorrow, Saturday, March 14.  If you would like to take some time to prepare, please know that we will work with you. Please check your email regularly for communication from the University, especially your faculty.

Student Athletes

All athletic activity including practices, strength and conditioning, and competitions have been suspended for the remainder of the semester.

Faculty

Thank you!  Thank you for leaning into these trying times.  There will be training opportunities throughout the week for you and your colleagues to collaborate on moving courses away from face-to-face delivery.  I hope over the next few days you review with your advisees their plan for the rest of the semester.  Many of them will be preparing to leave campus and may need to check-in with you regarding best means of communication or challenges for finishing special projects from a distance.  If you have challenges that prevent you from moving to an online environment taught from your homes, please work with your respective dean to find an appropriate solution.

Staff and Administration

If your work can be performed remotely, please work with your colleagues to make that a reality.  If your work requires you to be on campus, please continue to monitor your health and behavior to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

All Employees

If you have a personal situation that makes you vulnerable to the virus, please work with your supervisor to develop a plan to ensure your well-being and the well-being of those you love.  Knowing every situation is a little different, supervisors have been given broad authority to find solutions while demonstrating institutional values. 

Campus Events

All campus events intended to draw an audience are suspended.  This includes the Walton Arts & Ideas Series, Winter Formal, Ozarks Fest and University Theatre’s Pinocchio.

Travel

In order to protect the most vulnerable among us, we suspended all official and previously-authorized international travel.  Moving forward, all institutional travel is suspended.  If you believe your circumstances warrant an exception, please consult with your respective vice president, dean, or director.  Any member of the campus community who travels outside of the state is asked to self-report their travel plans.  Any travel could result in initiation of self-quarantine protocols.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • While students have the option to leave campus and return home, we are asking that if they check out of the residence halls that they stay away from campus for the remainder of the semester. Students will be able to check out of their residence halls starting Saturday by contacting the Office of Student Affairs.
  • Many of the University’s student services will remain operational, including Robson Library, the Jones Learning Center, Borck Cafeteria, Rawhouser Fitness Center and computer labs.
  • No outside guests will be allowed on campus.
  • More information regarding online instruction will be communicated in the next few days to students from Provost Gill as well as from their respective professors.
  • Staff members should check with their supervisor to determine their work protocol during this period.
  • The University’s custodial team continues the enhanced environmental cleaning practices that have already been implemented, including increased sanitizing of touch points. We encourage all members of our campus community to adhere to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.
  • A decision about the Commencement in May will be determined in the upcoming weeks.

Coronavirus Updates Website

The university continues to provide important information and updates about coronavirus on a dedicated website.

I know there are still a lot of unanswered questions. We will continue to provide updates on the transition in the next few days. The University’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.  While there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 at Ozarks or in Johnson County, we believe these measures are necessary to implement social distancing in the interest of public health.

Respectfully,

Rich

Richard L. Dunsworth, J.D. University President

University of the Ozarks Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Isaac Hunter and five of his students are heading to the Mile High City this spring to share their research on calling as it applies to vocation and profession.

The U of O contingent will participate in the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference in Denver in April. The trip is sponsored in part by the Dr. Helen McElree Enrichment Endowment, a fund established in 2015 by the Ozarks alumna and long-time professor of biology at Emporia (Kan.) State. Dr. McElree created the fund to support faculty scholarly and creative activities at Ozarks.

The students who are participating are a part of a research team that Hunter pulled together called the Good Life and Meaning Making Lab, GLAMMLab for short.

The self-proclaimed Glammies include, Katerin Alvarado, a sophomore psychology major from Honduras; Laura Gochez, a senior business administration and psychology major from El Salvador; Isabella Matute, a sophomore psychology major from Honduras; Diana Ocampo, a junior psychology major from Paris, Ark.; and Angel Wyatt, a sophomore psychology major from Lamar, Ark. Allie Alayan, a visiting psychology professor at Ozarks and a graduate student at Colorado State University, is also a part of the team and will attend the conference.

Calling, as it applies to meaningful life domains, has been a recent academic area of interest for Hunter, a native of Idaho who earned his Ph.D. from Colorado State. He will present some of his most recent research on calling across generations at the conference.

“This research is an extension of my published master’s thesis work and is focused on better understanding how the term ‘calling’ is understood within the Generation Z population, or current college students,” Hunter said. “I have around 400 students in my sample size and can compare this to the millennial data I examined for my master’s thesis.  Calling research is a hot topic in the field of psychology right now and is a construct that is growing in popularity in general. I conceive a part of my job as professor, advisor and mentor as someone that is helping students grow and find work that feels like a calling in this world. The more we can understand this the more we can help promote it and live into our mission of helping students live life fully.”

The students will also present oral reports at the conference regarding the GLAMMLab’s research on how personality dimensions and parent influence affect meaning and calling.

Hunter said about one in a thousand psychology undergrads have the opportunity to present oral research at a major academic conference.

“Not only were these projects accepted, but they were accepted as oral presentations, which is very much something to celebrate for these five students,” Hunter said, “None of them have ever attended a psychology conference or given such a presentation. This will be tremendous educational opportunity for them, and their enthusiasm will no doubt ripple outward with their peers when they return. Very few undergrads have this opportunity at a regional conference, and I am thrilled for them and for us being able to represent University of the Ozarks. These types of high-impact learning experiences will not only help our students love their education and this school, but also set them up well for whatever future goals they have.”

One of the more interesting findings in the Glammies research was the impact of parents on the Gen Z population.

“Students were asked to identify if their parents approached their careers as a job, career or calling and then we also asked the student to identify what sort of message their parents or guardian gave them, regarding a job or career,” Hunter said. “Essentially, we wanted to find out what had a greater influence on students — what parents did or what parents told their kids to do. Our findings showed that the message had a more positive impact on both meaning and calling for college students; Do as I say, not as I do seems to be true in this case. It’s cool stuff.”

McElree funding also went to the following professors for upcoming research and professional development projects:

  • Dr. Edward Ardeneaux IV, assistant professor of English, will be attending the Popular Culture Association (PCA) conference in Philadelphia in April. He will serve as a session chair of the panel, “The Dark Side of Technology,” which covers topics related to his literature courses and the digital technology unit in the academic writing curse.
  • Dr. William Clary, professor of Spanish, will attend the Central American Studies Conference at Cal State Irvine in April, where he will present his current research project that focuses on the novel “El informante nativo” by Ronald Flores and its reflection on the long history of colonialist archeology projects carried out in Guatemala.
  • Dr. Greta Marlow, professor of communication, will enroll in a 15-week online screenplay story and structure workshop offered by the New York Film Academy during the summer of 2020.
  • Dr. Amy Oatis, associate professor of English, will attend the American Literature Association conference in San Diego in May. She will present a paper based on her scholarly research on Nathaniel Hawthorne and will also present a paper at a pedagogy panel sponsored by the Society of Early Americanists.
  • Dr. Warren Sconiers, assistant professor of biology, will present at the Entomological Society of America (ESA) Joint North Central and Southwest Branch meeting in March in Oklahoma City, Okla. He will also attend a research symposium during the 2020 ESA meeting in Orlando, Fla., in November. The symposium is "Entomology in Urban Food Systems: Growing Food for All", and the topics include the challenges growers in urban system face.
  • Dr. Danielle Young, assistant professor of political science, will attend the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, in March.

University of the Ozarks junior Luis Garcia had not travelled much outside of his hometown of Clarksville when he decided to spend the Fall 2019 Semester studying abroad in Spain. He called the decision to step outside his comfort zone one of the best he’s ever made.

The business administration major spent the semester studying at the Universidad de Granada in Granada, Spain, through a company called Sol Education Abroad.

“As a commuter student, it was a tough decision to go since I’m so used to being with my family,” Garcia said. “But I’m so glad I did it. This opportunity helped me experience a true college experience and grow individually in a whole new continent. Studying abroad taught me that learning isn’t just in the school but also in the various settings you place yourself. Granada is a city rich in history and culture, and I learned more in that semester abroad than any other semester.”

Garcia took 15 credit hours in courses such as Latin American civilization and culture, Spanish literature, Spanish grammar, marketing communication, and economics and business in Spain and Latin America.

“One great thing about doing my courses abroad was the language difference,” Garcia said. “All my classes where in Spanish, which helped me learn Spaniard Spanish and learn the subject in a different language. Another benefit about being abroad is having the opportunity to learn the different education system. The way they teach in Spain is different from the USA. They have different priorities and standards which was really nice to learn about as well.”

The lessons were just as valuable outside the classroom as well.

“I was learning many new things every day in so many different aspects,” Garcia said. “it helped me gain skills in money management, self-awareness, courage and problem-solving as an individual. I grew so much as a person.”

Garcia said one of the most memorable parts of the experience was staying with a host family that was organized through Sol Education Abroad. He said a typical day would start with breakfast with his host family before walking to classes.

“Our classes would be two hours long but we had a short break during class to get a snack or buy a coffee,” he said. “After class, my friends and I would walk to a coffee shop called Qarmita, owned by a Venezuelan refugee who became a great friend of ours.  We would finish our homework for the day and then would head back home to eat lunch at 3 p.m. with our host families. After lunch we would take a siesta, which is very common in Spain. As a professional napper, there wasn’t much to complain about. Once nap time was over, my friends and I would gather again and walk around the city of Granada and go for tapas, which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. To finish most of our days, we would usually head to the church of San Miguel Alto, which is the highest viewpoint of Granada. It had a great view of La Alhambra and was the perfect place to watch the sun set.”

Luis Garcia

Garcia became fast friends with many of his classmates who came from around the United States as well as Europe and South America. They were also able to bond though long weekend excursions around Europe.

“In Europe, it is easy to travel to many countries for an affordable price, so we took advantage of that,” he said. “We also had the chance to really explore Granada. It seemed like every day we got to see something new in the city. Granada would host many events like art shows, comic book sales, local market sale, movie week, Christmas light shows and other family events where we discovered new things to do.”

Garcia said once he made up his mind to study abroad, he was surprised how easily and quickly the experience came together. Much of his trip was funded through a University grant, the Academic Enrichment Fund, that assists students with study abroad trips or research projects.

“The professors and staff at Ozarks were really helpful in providing information and tips for my study abroad opportunity,” Garcia said. “They always encouraged me and informed me about grants I could apply for to help me financially, such as the Academic Enrichment Fund. And, Sol Education Abroad handled many of the details and set me up with a great host family.”

Garcia said his study abroad experience is just the latest step in his growth as student. “This University has encouraged and pushed me outside my comfort zone in so many ways and that’s helped me learn and grow,” he said. “I was fortunate to take the roles as student ambassador and Ozarks experience mentor leader while I’ve attended here. These two important roles allowed me to grow and the study abroad trip was the next step. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

University of the Ozarks has announced its academic honor lists for the 2019 Fall Semester.

To be included on the President’s List, a student must carry at least 12 hours and maintain a 4.00 grade point average. To be included on the Dean’s List, a student must carry at least 12 hours and achieve between a 3.5 and 3.9 GPA.

President’s List

Abby Asencio, Gentry, AR

Katherine Barnwell, Van Buren, AR   

David Beck, Conway, AR

Kerigan Bradshaw, Harrison, AR

Petron Brown, Bahamas

Michelle Delgado Chacon, Costa Rica

Shaykera Charlton, Bahamas

Xin Yi Chen, Malaysia

Tanesha Collie, St. Joseph MN

Javier Coronado, Clarksville, AR       

Fabrice Cotin, Haiti

Lindsey Cross, Harrison, AR

Kelsey Dixson, Hector, AR

Carly Dougan, Clarksville, AR

Fielder Dufrene, Clinton, AR

Max-Guerlee Eloge, Haiti

Ellen Engro, Dallas, TX

Stacey Ettiene, Bahamas

Daniela Flores Valladares, Honduras

Monica Flores, Clarksville, AR

Levi Ford, Clarksville, AR

Elodie Jabouin, Haiti

Aspen Jasna, Sallisaw, OK

Nadine Karabaranga, Kingsville, TX  

Josue Maldonado Paredes, Guatemala         

Jenna Mandel, Collinsville, OK

Kneisha McDonald, Bahamas

Lyndi Melton, Oologah, OK

Alec Mertin, Russellville, AR

Djouberg Mingot, Haiti

Isaac Julio Montenegro, Panama

Teranne Morrison, Bahamas

Isaias Ortiz Namendi, Nicaragua

Kevin Nawa, McKinney, TX

Rosa Ordonez Ochoa, Honduras

Brillant Pasipanodya, Zimbabwe

Mitchella Pierre, Haiti

Cassidy Rolle, Bahamas

Perla Osorio Ruiz, Mexico     

Brittney Sain, Lake City, AR

Miguel Quisquina Saloj, Guatemala

Laure Gochez Sanchez, El Salvador

Codi Shannon, Ozark, AR

Alec Severe, Haiti                  

Sade Seymour , Bahamas

Emily Spillers, Scranton, AR

Joshua Stephens, Springdale, AR

Glory Sweet, Clarksville, AR

Fernanda Pichardo Urbina, Nicaragua          

Cassandra Valdez, Plano, TX

Trey Vance, Fayetteville, AR 

Vicente Vasquez Velasquez, Panama           

Brian Wilken, Claremore, OK 

Cory Wilhelm, Ratcliff, AR

Madeleine Windel, Ozone, AR           

Dean’s List

Erick Aguirre, Hot Springs, AR

John Alexandre, Haiti

Laura Allcon, Benbrook, TX

Blanca Almaraz-Martinez, Clarksville, AR

Camyren Antu, Arlington, TX

Ronald Flores Argueta, El Salvador

Wilkens Aristyl, Haiti

Mason Badour, Richardson, TX

Miguel Baray, Dumas, TX

Jamee Barham, Claremore, OK

Giorgio Baudin, Haiti

Marck Berotte, Haiti

Sarah Birchfield, Huntsville, AR

Ohany Roman Blandon, Nicaragua

Hayden Bohannan, Arlington, TX

Katherine Martinez Bojorquez, Honduras

David Bondy, Dallas, TX

Shelby Bosken, Valley Center, KS

Donna Bouzi, Waltham, MA

Kevvin Brown, Bahamas

Michel Brun, Haiti

Bradley Buck, Clarksville, AR

Macie Buckaloo, Wynnewood, OK

Juan Cano, Belize

Aaron Capehart, Siloam Springs, AR

Robin Carlton, Ozone, AR

Luis Hernandez Castillo, Nicaragua

Jessica Cave, Clarksville AR

Nickerson Chatelier, Haiti

Haley Clark, Tulsa, OK

Meline Clerisier, Bahamas

Daniel Cloud, Russellville, AR

Carlissa Colebrook, Bahamas

Joshua Collins, Pottsville, AR

Faith Curry, Bahamas

Briana Davis, Coweta, TX

Makayla Davis, Springdale, AR

Kimberly Lacey Day, Oolagah, OK

Natalie Dettmann, Conway, AR

Kaylea Dewinter, Clarksville, AR

Devis Garces Diaz, Panama

Jodi Dodge, Gilbert, AZ

Jonathan Duffel, Clarksville, AR

Melle Van Duijn, New Zealand

Nicolas Dunsworth, Clarksville, AR

Escobar Duran, El Salvador

Tracey Eitel, McKinney, TX

Sebastian Emile, Brockton, MA

Andrew England, Little Rock, AR

Diana Estrada, North Little Rock, AR

Heaven Farmer, London, AR

Amber Ferguson, Bahamas

Jose Arias Fonseca, Costa Rica

Stephen Fox, Bella Vista, AR

Skylar Frazier, Pocahontas, AR

Tyler Gale, Russellville, AR

Daicza Garcia, Clarksville, AR

Blanca Garcia-Almaraz, Clarksville, AR

Melissa Garcia, Clarksville, AR

Odalis Garcia, Clarksville, AR

Max Gardy Jean Francois, Haiti

Edwin Gallegos Vota, Mexico

Edith Olivas Garrido, Mexico

Jacquelyn Gearhart, Clarksville, AR

Lorna Georges, Haiti

Sheena Lesczynska Gervais, Haiti

Chania Gibson, Bahamas

Ralph Sebastian Goldman, Matthews, NC

Kennedy Goodnight, Owasso, OK

Cherokee Gott, Kansas City, MO

Daniel Martinez Gomez, Honduras

Victoria Gonzalez, Clarksville, AR

Trevor Gulledge, Combs, AR

Otoniel Gumbs, Panama

Gladis Alvarez Guzman, Guatemala

Riki Haase, Argyle, TX

Brandon Hall, Royal, AR

Logan Harderson, Oark, AR

Lyndee Lou Hardin, Clarksville, AR

Karlee Hart, Eureka Springs, AR

Ashley Hawkins, Altus, AR

Your Heh, Clarksville, AR

Jordon Henley, Eureka Springs, AR

Brody Holland, Clarksville, AR

Jacob Holland, Meadows Place, TX

Brittany Holt, Alvarado, TX

Korrey Housel, Fort Smith, AR

Garrett Houston, Scranton, AR

Ricktak Iban, Springdale, AR

Ed Jean, Haiti

Ralph Jean-Pierre, Orlando, FL

Ndayambaje John, Memphis, TN

Jacob Jones, Longview, TX

Annael Julien, Haiti

Chanel Kattich, Van Buren, AR

Britney Kirk, Dardanelle, AR

Connor Klein, Bella Vista, AR

Aaliyah Knowles, Bahamas

Doryce Lafleur, Springfield, OH

Ruaya Zamora Lagos, McKinney, TX

Cole Lankford, Knob Noster, MO

Braxton Leding, Altus, AR

Geoshan Lee, Malaysia

Sarah Lewis, Mulberry, AR

Twanesha Lightbourn, Bahamas

Benjamin Lillagore, Granbury, TX

Joelle Long, Austin, AR

Nicole Lopez, Belize

Ethan Lubera, Siloam Springs, AR

Berben Macario. Guatemala

Megan Madden, Flower Mound, TX

Abigail Mansur, Little Rock, AR

Maria Fabian Manzanares, Clarksville, AR

Charles Martin, Little Rock, AR

Ingrid Alonzo Martinez, Guatemala

Jonah Martinez, Fort Worth, TX

Alondra Martinez-Galan, Clarksville, AR

Rachael Masterson, Clarksville, AR

Isabella Hernandez Matute, Honduras

Rebecca McCarron, Covington, LA

Klara McElroy, Austin, AR

Derrick McKee, Hartman, AR

Kamryn McKinney, Alma, AR

Kade McMahon, Rockwall, TX

Elvia Yax Menchu, Guatemala

Sarah Millard-Brown, Clarksville, AR

Russell Miller, Houston, TX

Walves Miller, Hope, AR

Jaret Milligan, Hillsboro, AL

Fred Milord, Haiti

Lorfils Milord Pierre, Haiti

Norlin Vicente Montenegro, Guatemala

Rebekah Moore, Alma, AR

Daniela Picado Mora, Costa Rica

Maria Rivas Morales, El Salvador

Andrea Carias Morillo, Honduras

Malik Moss, Bahamas

Walker Murray, West Helena, AR

Dominique Musgrove, Bahamas

Christopher Neal, Bella Vista, AR

Shea Neumeier, Bigelow, AR

Steve Neumeier, Bigelow, AR

Kayla Newman, Clarksville, AR

Derek Nix, Holdenville, OK

Savannah Noblett, Ola, AR

Nicholas Nonez, Haiti

King-Berline Norcius, Haiti

Onyekachi Nwosu, San Antonio, TX

Diana Ocampo, Paris, AR

Hendrick Octavius, Haiti

Sarhitza Octavius, Haiti

Isabella Olarte, Miramar, FL

Olaide Olawoyin, Bahamas

Lillian Olmsted, Bentonville, AR

Diana Oudomvilay, Paris, AR

Sandra Amoako Packham, Eureka Springs, AR

Yves Pateau, Haiti

Sara Ambrocio Paque, Guatemala

Macy Pelts, Knoxville, AR

Rebecca Peterson, Coweta, OK

Maria Reyes Peralta, Destrehan, LA

Lidia Caz Perez, Guatemala

Coryne Phanor, Haiti

Brizeida Martinez Picazo, Clarksville, AR

Ashante Pratt, Bahamas

La’Shadae-Anise Rahming, Bahamas

Kristaphor Rakestraw, Russellville, AR

Jehanne Rameau, Haiti

Hannah Randt, Lamar, AR

Michel Rankin, Charleston, AR

Janna Rhinehart, Danville, AR

Emma Rinard, Windermere, FL

Chava Roberts, Bahamas

Laura Bruce Rodriguez, Panama

Richard Rodriguez Rodriguez, Nicaragua

Candace Rogers, Batesville, AR

Rebeca Mariscal Ruelas, Mexico

Anna Ryan, Woodville, MS

Yeimy Rodriguez Sanchez, Panama

Danitra Sargent, Bahamas

Rachel Simon, College Station, TX

Hannah Smith, Schertz, TX

Daniella Spencer-Rogers, Gentry, AR

Chase Stephenson, Mansfield, TX

Willow Stratton, Fayetteville, AR

Amber Taylor, Tulsa, OK

Gaetane Ternier, Haiti

Lea Terrell, Murfreesboro, AR

Patrick Thom, Atlanta, GA

Bradley Thompson, Keota, OK

Jacob Toland, North Little Rock, AR

Angel Umuhoza, Columbus, OH

Logan Valestin, Bryant, AR

Fabrice Valles, Saint Leo, FL

Sarah Vardal, Hot Springs, AR

Mario Varela-Pecina, Lamar, AR

Jordan Vilma, Bahamas

Christina Waddle, Pleasant Hill, MO

Zackary Walker, Clarksville, AR

Vivien Wambugu, Tulsa, OK

Hannah Warren, Lamar, AR

Miracle Warren, Van Buren, AR

Katie Watson, Jerusalem, AR

Hailey Weathers, Coal Hill, AR

Catherine Wellborn, Metairie, LA

Rowan Westheimer, Houston, TX

Coleman Wheeler, Cave Springs, AR

Winston Wheeler, Combs, AR

Austin Williams, Conway, AR

Shawna Woodside-Ellis, Bahamas

Angela Wyatt, Coal Hill, AR

Yailin Blackman Zamora, Panama

Casie Zapf, Cabot, AR

Christopher Zapf, Friendswood, TX

Andres Jimenez Zumbado, Costa Rica

Jacobus Van Zyl, Longview, TX

University of the Ozarks conferred degrees upon 24 graduating seniors during the 2019 Fall Commencement, held Saturday, Dec. 14, in Munger-Wilson Chapel.

Dr. Angela Wheeler Spencer, a 1998 U of O alumna and an accounting professor at Oklahoma State University, served as the keynote speaker. Dr. Jim Bruning, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, also commended the graduates on earning their diplomas.

Janae Williams, an environmental studies major from the Bahamas, gave the students’ welcome address and classmate Micaela Winters, a psychology major from Fort Smith, Ark., provided the scripture reading.

The Fall 2019 graduates were:

Bailey Sierra Albertson
Shell Knob, MO
BS, Marketing

Shelby Lynn Bosken
Valley Center, KS
BA, Art
Magna Cum Laude

Lillian Marie Bostic
Rogers, AR
BA, Art

Johnathan Scott Bowen
Hartman, AR
BS, Political Science

Madison Carol Chaney
Sikeston, MO
BS, Health Science

Fielder Thomas Dufrene
Clinton, AR
BS, Physical Education

Monica Flores
Clarksville, AR
BS, Health Science
Summa Cum Laude

William Merrem Forbes
Houston, TX
BS, Mathematics

Brittany Alexis Holt
Mansfield, Texas
BS, Biology
Cum Laude

Jordan Alexander King
Moore, OK
Bachelor of General Studies

Rebecca Anne McCarron
Covington, LA
BS, Health Science
Magna Cum Laude

Alec Daniel Mertin
New Blaine, AR
BS, Mathematics
Summa Cum Laude

Jaret Kyle Milligan
Hillsboro, AL
BS, Health Science

Abigail Rae Mork
Aurora, CO
BS, Chemistry

Siaygnoun Somphone Nhamnhouane
Van Buren, AR
BS, Health Science

Cecilia Marie Pearson
Clarksville, AR
BA, Communication Studies

Aaron Elliott Smith
Bentonville, AR
BS, Health Science

Taylor Antionette Snellback
Lonsdale AR.
BA, English

Manuel Tambriz Sac
Aldea Palacal, Solola, Guatemala.
BS, Management, International Business
Magna Cum Laude

Amber Lennex Taylor
Tulsa, OK
BS, Business Administration

Jacob Austin Toland
Little Rock, AR
BS, Health Science

Cody Lane Walters
Rogers, AR
Bachelor of General Studies

Janae Danielle Williams
Nassau, Bahamas
BS, Environmental Studies
Magna Cum Laude

Micaela Elizabeth Winters
Fort Smith, AR
BS, Psychology

Rebecca McCarron just may be the ideal poster student for the University of the Ozarks’ LENS program.

The senior from Covington, La., is graduating on Saturday with Magna Cum Laude honors with a major in health science and minors in English and business administration. The unique combination of disciplines is a trademark of LENS, which stands for Learning Environment for New Synthesis. LENS was implemented at Ozarks in 2016 as a new academic model to provide students a more customized and diverse educational experience. It allows students to choose a major and two minors, all from different academic divisions.

McCarron, who plans to pursue a career in occupational therapy, said her particular areas of study fit perfectly within both her personal interests and career ambitions.

“I originally chose health science as a major and business administration as a minor in order to be an occupational therapist who could run her own practice,” McCarron said. “English came into the picture because literature is a hobby of mine. Over the course of my years here, I realized my major taught me the science, but my minors taught me how to communicate more effectively with others and to be able to analyze and assess situationally. I believe they fit together nicely because, like the LENS program was intended, I am able to pull knowledge and information from any of the areas to have different perspectives for any given situation. I think that will be beneficial in a career that is always evolving. I appreciate that in my LENS arsenal I am able access the scientific, the hard line of rationale and the creative.”

A member of the women’s soccer team for four years, McCarron earned all-conference honorable mention honors as a freshman before a string of knee injuries kept her off the field and in the training room for most of the next three seasons. That experience of rehabbing and recovering was the impetus for her career choice and is something she believes will make her a better occupational therapist.

“As I was going through my clinical experiences, I definitely found myself relating to patients that I observed, even more than I thought I would,” McCarron said. “I hope to have a career in the pediatric occupational therapy field, and I chose this path because I wanted to help individuals, especially the youth, find a independence within themselves that they may have thought wasn’t possible because of a disability or illness. Believing in yourself and working to achieve your goals is an amazing feat. I want to be able to help others accomplish those feats.”

McCarron said the injury experience also helped put things in proper perspective.

“I’ve just learned to appreciate every second of everything I get the opportunity to participate in,” she said. “I used to have a mindset that I ‘had’ to do this or that but now my mindset has changed to ‘I have the chance to’ or ‘I am able to.’ You never realize the things you take for granted until you lose the ability to do them all together. I also learned that you can still be a part of something without being the biggest contributor. I like to consider myself the glue to the team these past few years because I was able to bring everyone back together for one purpose and that was to be grateful for the opportunity to play collegiate soccer.”

Serving as a student ambassador and an Ozarks Experience mentor, McCarron was one of the University’s biggest cheerleaders and advocates, especially when it came to helping recruit prospective students and showing them around campus. She was reminded of that recently when a freshman, whom she escorted around campus on a tour as a prospective student, stopped her to talk.

“She remembered me giving her a tour last year and she came up to me and thanked me,” McCarron said. “She told me that she came to Ozarks because she fell in love with the stories that I had shared during the tour about the professors and all the experiences I had. She said she wanted to have experiences and stories like that too and then she told me that she had already had those experiences during her first semester. That’s what is great about Ozarks; the connections and memories you create here. And those connections and memories can begin immediately. It will be hard leaving behind the memories and people that I have grown to appreciate having around me because they represent what Ozarks is all about.”

McCarron said that when she walks across the stage on Saturday to receive her diploma, it will be the relationships she’s developed at Ozarks that she will be most thankful for.

“I will forever remember the relationships I have made here,” she said. “I am so thankful for the professors, coaches, teammates and friends that have pushed me to be better than I originally was. I will never be able to show how much appreciation I have towards all of them for helping me strive toward my goals.”

And, as if right on cue, the future occupational therapist provided another strong testament to the LENS program by quoting a symbolic line from the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a book she had recently read in a class led by English Professor Dr. Amy Oatis.

“As I told Dr. Oatis, I intend to carry the fire into whatever comes next for me, and I am able to thank Ozarks for that,” McCarron said. “Ozarks will always have a place in my heart as home, and one day I hope to return the favor to the place that helped me start on the path towards achieving my goals.”

Dr. Stewart Dippel, professor of political science at University of the Ozarks, is the editor of a new scholarly book that offers a narrative history of the relationship between the British Parliament and the Crown during the 18th century.

The book, which was released this month, is titled, “The Struggle for the Scepter: A Study of the British Monarchy and Parliament in the Eighteenth Century.” It was written by Dr. Clayton Roberts and published by Peter Lang Inc.

Dippel, who has taught at Ozarks since 1992, said Roberts was his Ph.D. advisor when Dippel was a graduate student at Ohio State University. Roberts, who died in 2018, was a professor of history at Ohio State from 1952 to 1991.

While Roberts’ works included a textbook of English/British history and a book on historiography, his scholarly focus was on the political history of England during the 17th century. He published two previous books on the topic.

“The Struggle for the Scepter” is in essence a sequel advancing the argument into the 18th century, according to Dippel.

“Upon Dr. Roberts’ passing a little over a year ago, his widow reached out to me to see if I could put his last book manuscript in order and get it published,” Dippel said.

Dippel is considered a leading academic in 17th century religious history and has written several books on the topic, including “A Study of Religious Thought at Oxford and Cambridge, 1590-1640,” (1987);  “The Professionalization of the English Church from 1560-1700: Ambassadors for Christ,” (1999); “The Sacralization of the World in the Seventeenth Century: The Experience of Holiness in Everyday Life,” (2009); and “The Fast Day Sermons Before the Long Parliament (1640-1660): Their Role in Shaping Intellectual and Political Life in 17th-Century England,” (2014).

In 2017, he also wrote, “Redeemed at Countless Cost: The Recovery of Iconographic Theology and Religious Experience from 1850-2000.”

Dippel was the recipient of the University’s Bagwell Outstanding Faculty Award in 2004. He also serves as the college’s faculty athletic representative.