University Welcomes New Faculty, Staff

University Welcomes New Faculty, Staff

University of the Ozarks welcomed more than 30 new faculty and staff to the campus community this week during the University’s annual opening workshop, held on Aug. 14, in the Rogers Conference Center.

Among the new employees for the 2019-20 academic year are (pictured, seated, from left) Dr. Argelia Garcia Saldivar, visiting assistant professor of Spanish; Tina McCain, academic support coordinator in the Jones Learning Center; Heaven Oliver-Kozup, instructor of biology and health science; Dominique Broadus, assistant women’s basketball coach; Jennifer Amatya, director of the Walton International Scholarship Program; Nicole Justice, international program and global outreach manager; Suzanna Gardner, strength and conditioning coach; Austin Huckfeldt, public safety officer; Dr. Dennis Bublitz, assistant professor of psychology;

(Standing, from left) Tucker Hughes, assistant baseball coach; Dr. Chris Skinner, assistant professor of health science; Brandon Barnes, office of administrative services assistant; Jaime Encinas, instructor of marketing; Justin McCormick, associate director of alumni engagement; Thomas Orr, assistant men’s basketball coach; Dr. Yassine Dguidegue, assistant professor of sociology; Vinny Barber, assistant wrestling coach; and Valerie Hardesty, campus store manager.

The new employees not pictured include, James Bowen, public safety officer; Grace Brown, women’s clay target coach; Lance Brown, men’s clay target coach; Morgan Frazier, adjunct professor; Jane Harris, adjunct professor; Katelynn Hopson, adjunct professor; Jessica Mongeon, adjunct professor; Gene Morgan, public safety officer; Tyler Mosby, assistant director of residential life; Shane Rogers, public safety officer; Melissa Rooney, adjunct professor; Janette Russell, public safety officer; and Will Vick, public safety officer.

Dr. Radwan Al Faouri, visiting assistant professor of physics at University of the Ozarks, has had a paper accepted for publication in the prestigious academic journal, Scientific Reports.

Scientific Reports is an online, open access journal from the publishers of Nature.  Nearly 1.5 million people visit Scientific Reports each month and the journal has an impact factor of between 4.0-4.5 , making it higher than 87% of all other journals awarded an impact factor.

Al Faouri joined the Ozarks faculty in 2018. The title of his paper is, “An Effective Electric Dipole Model for Voltage-Induced Gating Mechanism of Lysenin.”

“The paper is considered a part of a project where we are trying to design a controlled pore or channel to be used in drug delivery applications,” he said. “For such purpose liposomes, a spherical lipid holders, are used to be loaded by the drug and then released through the surface of these liposomes. In this paper, we revealed the mechanism of voltage gating of a channel, made by a protein named lysenin, where we proposed that alterations of charge distribution could influence the function of the channel. Based on the surface charge distribution of the protein, we proposed the existence of an electric dipole which interacts with external electric signals, such as action potentials in the nerve cell leading to close or open the channel. In this paper, we modified the charge on the protein by amino acid substitution and therefore the effective electric dipole strength of the protein. We have employed a novel combination of experimental and computational techniques in examining this model, where we got interesting match results.”

The paper will be published in the journal in August.

Scientific Reports as part of Nature publications is a peer reviewed journal that publishes very good researches in natural and clinical sciences,” Al Faouri said. “To have my work published in Scientific Reports means personal appreciation of my novel science which might be cited and used by other scholars all over the world. On the other hand, it also means appreciation to University of the Ozarks as my affiliation.”

A native of Jordan, Al Faouri earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in biophysics from the University of Arkansas. He also has a master’s degree in nuclear physics from Al-Balqa Applied University and a bachelor’s degree from Yarmouk University in Jordan. His research on graphene won first place at the Arkansas INBRE Conference in 2016 and his research on lysenin pores took third place at the conference.

University of the Ozarks has announced its academic honor lists for the 2019 Spring 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

  • Olivia Allard, Rogers, AR
  • Sara Ambrocio, Guatemala
  • Katherine Barnwell, Van Buren, AR
  • Sarah Birchfield, Huntsville, AR
  • Yailin Blackman, Panama
  • David Bondy, Dallas, TX
  • Shelby Carlton, Clarksville, AR
  • Xin Yi Chen, Malaysia
  • Maria Corea Dubon, Honduras
  • Fabrice Cotin, Haiti
  • Lauren Dotson, Harrison, AR
  • Stacey Ettiene, The Bahamas
  • Monica Flores, Clarksville, AR
  • Ronald Flores, El Salvador
  • Makara Frazier, Camden, AR
  • Laura Gochez, El Salvador
  • Haley Hanks, Carthage, TX
  • Logan Harderson, Oark, AR
  • Fernanda Hernandez, Mexico
  • Mary Hoiland, Clarksville, AR
  • Jacob Holland, Meadows Place, TX
  • Elodie Jabouin, Haiti
  • Ralph Jean-Pierre, Orlando, FL
  • Isaac Julio, Panama
  • Nadine Karabaranga, Kingsville, TX
  • Brooklyn Keeling, Farmington, AR
  • Cole Lankford, Knob Noster, MO
  • Twanesha Lightbourn, The Bahamas
  • Megan Madden, Flower Mound, TX
  • Jenna Mandel, Collinsville, OK
  • Abigail Mansur, Little Rock, AR
  • Daniel Martinez, Honduras
  • Alec Mertin, New Blaine, AR
  • Julio Molina Pineda, Honduras
  • Hendrick Octavius, Haiti
  • Edith Olivas, Mexico
  • Carlos Orozco, Nicaragua
  • Isaias Ortiz, Nicaragua
  • Tonya Palmer, Monticello, AR
  • Brilliant Pasipanodya, Zimbabwe
  • Stephanie Payton, Hackett, AR
  • Fernanda Pichardo, Nicaragua
  • Jehanne Rameau, Haiti
  • Janna Rhinehart, Danville, AR
  • Maria Rivas Morales, El Salvador
  • Gabriela Rivera, Clarksville, AR
  • Kenia Roa Reyes, Costa Rica
  • Candace Rogers, Batesville, AR
  • Ohany Roman, Nicaragua
  • Jasmine Rosales, Berryville, AR
  • Brenda Sandoval, Guatemala
  • Danitra Sargent, The Bahamas
  • Jacob Sawyer, Mena, AR
  • Sade Seymour, The Bahamas
  • Emma Sisson, Clarksville, AR
  • Manuel Tambriz, Guatemala
  • Jamy Teni, Guatemala
  • Sarah Vardal, Hot Springs, AR
  • Catherine Wellborn, Metairie, LA
  • Cory Wilhelm, Ratcliff, AR
  • Madeleine Windel, Ozone, AR
  • Angela Wyatt, Coal Hill, AR
  • Bahar Yapal, Germany

Dean’s List

  • Bailey Albertson, Shell Knob, MO
  • Christopher Alexandre, Haiti
  • Ingrid Alonzo, Guatemala
  • Gladis Alvarez, Guatemala
  • Abby Asencio, Gentry, AR
  • Emily Autry, Hot Springs, AR
  • Jarret Bain, The Bahamas
  • Skyler Barnes, Farmington AR
  • Lamara Bazashvili, Russia
  • David Beck, Conway AR
  • Paul Bien-Aime, Haiti
  • Shayanah Bien-Aime, Orlando, FL
  • Shelby Bosken, Valley Center, KS
  • Megan Boughman, Oologah, OK
  • Donna Bouzi, Waltham, MA
  • Kerigan Bradshaw, Harrison, AR
  • Hailey Bromley, Hensley, AR
  • Kevvin Brown, The Bahamas
  • Petron Brown, The Bahamas
  • Michel Brun, Haiti
  • Samantha Burke, Berryville, AR
  • Christina Burns, Memphis, TN
  • Aaron Capehart, Siloam Springs, AR
  • Andrea Carias, Honduras
  • Andrea Casco, Honduras
  • Meghan Cave, Clarksville, AR
  • Lidia Caz, Guatemala
  • Shaykera Charlton, The Bahamas
  • Haley Clark, Tulsa, OK
  • Daniel Cloud, Russellville, AR
  • Cristin Connor, Gunter, TX
  • Divina Cox, The Bahamas
  • Ashton Davis, Clarksville, AR
  • Makayla Davis, Springdale, AR
  • Kimberly Lacye Day, Oologah, OK
  • Juan De La Cruz, Mexico
  • Michelle Delgado, Costa Rica
  • Emily Dice, Brookshire, TX
  • Kelsey Dixson, Hector, AR
  • Max-Guerlee Eloge, Haiti
  • Diana Estrada, N. Little Rock, AR
  • Maria Fabian, Clarksville, AR
  • Rebecca Fabien, Haiti
  • Fardy Faustin, Haiti
  • Amber Ferguson, The Bahamas
  • William Forbes, Houston, TX
  • Tyler Gale, Russellville, AR
  • Edwin Gallegos, Mexico
  • Devis Garces, Panama
  • Daicza Garcia, Clarksville, AR
  • Sean Garcia, Fort Worth, TX
  • Jacquelyn Gearhart, Clarksville, AR
  • Lorna Georges, Haiti
  • Sheena Lesczynska Gervais, Haiti
  • Chania Gibson, The Bahamas
  • Sara Gonzales, Bryant, AR
  • Victoria Gonzalez, Clarksville, AR
  • Diamond Goodwyn, Gladewater, TX
  • Otoniel Gumbs, Panama
  • Riki Haase, Argyle, TX
  • Nicholas Hagerty, Atkins, AR
  • Bailey Hall, Grady, AR
  • Benjamin Hall, Fairbanks, AK
  • Victoria Haney, Russellville, AR
  • Falon Hanson, Fayetteville, AR
  • Karlee Hart, Eureka Springs, AR
  • Shantanna Heffley, Clarksville, AR
  • Zane Henderson, Piggott, AR
  • Grayson Hill, Springdale, AR
  • Nathan Hodge, Olive Branch, MS
  • Mark Holder, Arlington, TX
  • Aspen Jasna, Sallisaw, OK
  • Spence Jean, Haiti
  • Max Gardy Jean, Haiti
  • Megan Johnson, Oologah, OK
  • Annael Julien, Haiti
  • Jonathan Julmiste, Cape Coral, FL
  • Paula Jurado, Nicaragua
  • Koya Kimura, Japan
  • Adam King, Bartlett, TN
  • Aaliyah Knowles, The Bahamas
  • Chance Koy, Haltom City, TX
  • Chanelle Lasater, Clarksville, AR
  • Sierra Lasher, Olive Branch, MS
  • Kimika Lawson, Tampa, FL
  • Braxton Leding, Altus, AR
  • Geoshan Lee, Malaysia
  • McKenzie Lewis, Hermitage, AR
  • Sarah Lewis, Mulberry, AR
  • Nicole Lopez, Belize
  • Kaylanii Loudon, Greenbrier, AR
  • Ethan Lubera, Siloam Springs, AR
  • Andrea Macario, Guatemala
  • James Malin, Lexington, KY
  • Maria Marcia Mora, Nicaragua
  • Jonah Martinez, Fort Worth, TX
  • Brizeida Martinez, Clarksville, AR
  • Max Mathis, Cabot, AR
  • Isabella Matute, Honduras
  • Rebecca McCarron, Covington, LA
  • Whitney McCrary, Conway, AR
  • Nicholas McDaniel, Derby, IA
  • Derrick McKee, Hartman, AR
  • Ariel McKinney, Malaysia
  • Kade McMahon, Rockwall, TX
  • Gracie Millar, Larue, TX
  • Cheyanna Miller, West Plains, MO
  • Emily Miller, Gravette, AR
  • Maggie Miller, Pittsburg, KS
  • Fred Milord, Haiti
  • Teranne Morrison, The Bahamas
  • Malik Moss, Bahamas
  • Walker Murray, West Helena, AR
  • Dominique Musgrove, The Bahamas
  • Paige Myers, Harrison, AR
  • Kayla Newman, Clarksville, AR
  • Krystle Nicholson, Clarksville, AR
  • Nicholas Nonez, Haiti
  • Diana Ocampo, Paris, AR
  • Sarhitza Octavius, Haiti
  • Isabella Olarte, Miramar, FL
  • Olaide Olawoyin, The Bahamas
  • Daniel Olvera, Garland, TX
  • Rosa Ordonez, Honduras
  • Perla Osorio, Mexico
  • Hailey Ostrander, Clarksville, AR
  • Chloe Peacock, Weatherford, TX
  • Daniela Picado, Costa Rica
  • Shaq-uanya Pickstock, The Bahamas
  • Mitchella Pierre, Haiti
  • Marcelina Pop, Belize
  • Regan Puryear, Gravette, AR
  • La’Shadae-Anise Rahming, The Bahamas
  • Abigail Ramirez, Clarksville, AR
  • Daniela Ramos, Little Rock, AR
  • Hannah Randt, Lamar, AR
  • Amada Reeve, Arlington, TN
  • Jimmy Reinier, Sapulpa, OK
  • Darnel Renelique, Katy, TX
  • Chava Roberts, The Bahamas
  • Edwin Rodriguez, Pureto Rico
  • Richard Rodriguez, Nicaragua
  • Yeimy Rodriguez, Panama
  • Rebecca Rogers, Claremore, OK
  • Oscar Roldan, Mexico
  • Cassidy Rolle, The Bahamas
  • Aaron Rolle, The Bahamas
  • Clinton Rolle, The Bahamas
  • Yajaira Roman, Clarksville, AR
  • Anna Ryan, Woodville, MS
  • Brittney Sain, Lake City, AR
  • Alec Severe, Haiti
  • Jacob Sherrill, Katy, TX
  • Rebeca Silva, Rockwall, TX
  • Joshua Stephens, Springdale, AR
  • Delanei Stephens, Coal Hill, AR
  • Willow Stratton, Fayetteville, AR
  • Glory Sweet, Clarksville, AR
  • Amber Taylor, Tulsa, OK
  • Brady Taylor, Plano, TX
  • Gaetane Ternier, Miami, FL
  • Nelcica Therassens, Flushing, NY
  • Kengor Thermozier, Haiti
  • David Thomas, White Hall, AR
  • Bradley Thompson, Keota, OK
  • Manuel Torres, Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Brookley Trammell, Gentry, AR
  • Divine Umuhoza, Rwanda
  • Cassandra Valdez, Plano, TX
  • Logan Valestin, Bryant, AR
  • Mario Varela-Pecina, Lamar, AR
  • Vicente Vasquez, Panama
  • Tyler Vernon, Benton, AR
  • Jordan Vilma, The Bahamas
  • Holly Vire, Clarksville, AR
  • Patrick Walker, Clarksville, AR
  • Zackary Walker, Clarksville, AR
  • Cheryl Waller, Clarksville, AR
  • Vivien Wambugu, Tulsa, OK
  • Georgia Warren, Ireland
  • Miracle Warren, Van Buren, AR
  • Brandon Watkins, Brentwood, TN
  • Winston Wheeler, Combs, AR
  • Anicka Wilcox, Ola, AR
  • Brian Wilken, Claremore, OK
  • Emilie Williams, Keller, TX
  • Janae Williams, The Bahamas
  • Jasmin Williams, The Bahamas
  • Alexis Woodside, The Bahamas
  • Isaias Zapata, Panama
  • Casie Zapf, Cabot, AR

Jaime F. Encinas has joined the University of the Ozarks faculty as an instructor of marketing, beginning the Fall 2019 Semester.

Encinas has 40 years of business and industry experience as well as teaching experience at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS). He served as a visiting and adjunct instructor of marketing at UAFS from 2013-2017. He’s also been an independent consultant in marketing, sales and business development, primarily oriented to Latin American countries, since 2013.

“Joining the University of the Ozarks faculty is very exciting,” Encinas said. “Teaching has been in my blood for a long time, but my professional career in industry and traveling internationally extensively for years, including long-term foreign assignments, did not leave room for a teaching commitment. Now is the time, not only to enjoy teaching but to give back and share a rich and successful business experience with students.”

Encinas, who earned an MBA from the University of Detroit, served as an executive at Baldor Electric Company in Fort Smith from 2001-2013. As director of region marketing and sales for the motors and generators unit, Encinas was a member of Baldor’s key management team in areas such as international integration, sales and marketing, and channel management and leadership.

Encinas has lived and worked in five different countries in Latin America and has had numerous short-term international assignments in Europe and Asia.

He has also held marketing, sales and management positions with Mettler-Toldeo, Inc., in Ohio; Potters Industries in New Jersey; Roburn International in New Jersey; The Parker Pen Company in Wisconsin; Merck & Co., in New Jersey; and Chrysler Corporation in Michigan.

“My teaching goal is to lead students through a challenging, value-added experience, blending the best classroom theory with a wealth of real-life examples,” Encinas said. “I want to inspire their interests and reinforce opportunities to advance their knowledge, as well as to prepare them with the tools and skills for successful business careers.”

Encinas earned his bachelor’s degree in economic sciences from the Universidad of Chile and also has an engineering degree in business administration and a licensure in economics – business administration in addition to his MBA.

He and his wife, Elena, have three adult children, Raoul, Katerina and Alexandra, and three grandchildren, Silas (9), Elijah (7) and Nora (2). Encinas’ hobbies include drawing, primarily using India ink, and he is an avid soccer aficionado. He played soccer for decades and holds a National C Coaching License.

The impact that University of the Ozarks senior Shelby Carlton made on her students during her teaching internship at Lamar Elementary School this past year was quite obvious on her final day in the class.

Shelby Carlton

As Carlton was about to leave Beth Mayes’ second-grade classroom for the final time, she was quickly enveloped by a large number of children in a farewell group hug. It was a moving culmination of a rewarding and educational year-long internship for the elementary education major from Clarksville who graduate with honors in May.

While most teacher education programs require just one semester in the classroom for education majors, the Pat Walker Teacher Education program at Ozarks requires a full year, something that Carlton believes makes a big difference in preparing future teachers.

“Being in the classroom all year long has been so helpful to me,” Carlton said. “I was able to see how crazy a first day of school can be, but I also got the chance to really bond with and get to know my students and fellow teachers. When it came time for me to begin teaching full-time, my students were used to me and respected me, and that allowed them to be receptive and able to learn from me. I know that this is an opportunity that not many have, and I feel like I was able to learn so much more from a full year in the same classroom rather than having only one semester.”

Carlton said she first got interested in teaching when she was in high school and visited her mother, who was working at a local elementary school.

“As soon as I walked into the building, I fell in love,” she said. “I saw teachers who were passionate about teaching and I saw students who were genuinely excited to learn, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that.”

The teaching internship reaffirmed her decision to go into teaching.

“I remember sitting back one day and just watching my students read and work quietly. The classroom was peaceful, I had soft music playing, and I took a moment to soak in the learning environment that my cooperating teacher and I had created,” she said. “I realized in that moment that I genuinely love what I do, even all of the difficult parts. I love my students, I love seeing them grasp a concept, I love lesson planning, and I even love staying late to make sure everything ends up just right. I knew then that I am where I am supposed to be and I am doing what God has called me to do.”

Carlton said the biggest lesson she learned during her internship was the importance of patience.

“It took time for me to realize that every student is different and all of the students are not going to immediately understand everything that I teach them,” she said. “I learned how important it is to show patience and kindness to the students. It really helps them to learn when they know that you are on their side and are willing to help them.”

Carlton also said she learned that teaching is often a balancing act.

“I always joke that teachers have a million tabs open in their brains, and we can’t figure out which one is playing music,” she said. “Lesson planning, attending meetings, recording grades, actually teaching, assessing students, and working one-on-one with students are only a small part of the balance that I had to tackle. It was difficult, but I was able to find the balance. The most rewarding aspect was teaching full-time successfully and seeing my students learn from me. I was nervous about teaching everything, but before I knew it, I did it, and then it was over.”

Carlton credited her coordinating teacher, Mayes, on helping her throughout the internship.

“I cannot say enough about my Mrs. Mayes,” Carlton said. “I believe that we were placed together for a reason, and I truly have a lifelong friend in her and all of the other teachers that I met at Lamar Elementary. She answered my questions and was a true guide and light throughout the whole process. We worked so well together, and I wish that I could take her with me.”

Even before graduating from Ozarks, Carlton had secured a position as a fourth-grade teacher at Clarksville Elementary School, even though she did not feel good about her initial interview.

“My family is from Clarksville, so I really wanted this job,” Carlton said. “The day before my interview, my brother’s house burned to the ground. While everyone was safe, their possessions were not, and I spent the entire day helping to rescue what we could from the house. Going into the interview, I felt underprepared. I completed the interview with peace and confidence that was God-sent, and the next day I received a call that the position was mine if I wanted it. This happened in early March, so I have been extremely blessed and grateful to have had a position so early on. I am so excited to be teaching at my alma mater.”

Carlton praised the University’s education professors for helping prepare her for a career in the classroom.

“The education department here at Ozarks is amazing,” she said. “They have been more than willing to drop everything and answer my questions, and they make themselves available for guidance at any time. Ms. Pam Terry gave us real-life application skills and practice, Dr. Doris Metz ingrained the lesson and unit planning process in our minds, Dr. Allison Freed taught us how to manage our classrooms, Dr. Javier Taylor taught us how to teach in a way that allows students to understand deeply, and Dr.  Brett Stone was the support system behind it all. Although I sometimes complained about all of the work, it was so beneficial to me in the long run. I feel almost over-prepared for my first teaching job.”

Dody Pelts has been named as the new director of the Jones Learning Center at University of the Ozarks, effective July 1 Pelts has worked in the JLC for the past 18 years, including the last 12 as the center’s assistant director. She replaces Julia Frost, who announced her retirement in April after serving the past 25 years as the director. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve Ozarks and the JLC,” Pelts said. “By building upon her rich history and sturdy foundation crafted by many dedicated professionals who served before me, the JLC is well-prepared to launch into the future.” Pelts, who has also served as the JLC’s school psychology specialist, said that unemployment and underemployment for students with learning disabilities, specifically for those impacted by social skills challenges, will be an area of emphasis for the JLC staff. “Helping graduates gain skills beyond those of the classroom to obtain meaningful employment will be a focus of our efforts to support students as they seek to truly live life fully,” she said. Pelts worked as the school psychology specialist for the Dover Public Schools in Dover, Arkansas, before coming to Ozarks in 2001 as the school psychology specialist. She started teaching developmental classes in the JLC a few years later and was named assistant director in 2007. Pelts has presented at various state and national level learning disability association conferences and is a nationally certified school psychologist, a psychological examiner, and a certified school psychology specialist in Arkansas.  She is married to Jeremy and has two children: Macy, who will be a freshman at Ozarks in the fall, and Ike, a senior at Lamar High School. “I am delighted that Dody will be taking on the new role of director of the Jones Learning Center,” said University Provost Dr. Alyson Gill. “I know that the JLC will continue to grow under her leadership and she brings with her new ideas that I am excited to explore with the group. I look forward to working with her as we think about how best to use this incredible resource.” Frost has served as the director of the JLC since 1994. Her 30 years in the JLC included a stint as director of assessment from 1986-91. “It has been a joy to work with Dody as the JLC assistant director for the past 12 years and to watch her become a highly respected colleague not only in the JLC, but also campus wide,” Frost said. “I am confident in her leadership abilities as she builds on the JLC past successes and looks forward with a new vision for its future.” The Jones Learning Center is a comprehensive support program for students with documented learning disabilities, Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with average or above average intellectual abilities.  It was established at U of O in 1971 as one of the first of its kind in the country. University of the Ozarks officials are reimagining the campus bookstore in order to streamline the learning materials process, provide expanded inventory and offer additional programming. The University will take over management of the campus store beginning this summer. Valerie Hardesty will continue as the manager of the store and it will be housed under the University’s Office of Enrollment and Marketing. Though the campus store will not change its physical location, there are numerous changes planned to enhance the student experience, beginning in the Fall 2019 Semester. “With the University managing the campus store, we believe we can make the distribution of books and learning materials much easier and more efficient,” said Reggie Hill, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “We will also be able to provide more diversity in apparel and other items and we can offer new programs and events. It will enhance the entire student-campus store engagement.” One of the major enhancements includes a partnership with eCampus as the University’s new textbook provider through their ALL Access learning materials program. Under this program, students will be provided with all of their course materials a week before classes begin each term. An annual learning materials fee ($1,000) will cover the cost of all course materials, including books, access to online learning platforms (when added by faculty), open-educational resources and all course fees, with the exception of individual music lessons. “We are excited to partner with eCampus to bring digital and print course materials, access to online learning platforms, and open-educational resources to our students in the fall,” said Alyson Gill, University provost. “Students will also have the ability to choose their preferred text format and have it delivered in print or digitally as a rental. This program not only underscores our commitment to accessibility, it also lowers costs for our students and ensures that they have the materials that they need on the first day of class.” Under eCampus’ All Access program, once students register, the course materials will be reserved and individually packaged for each student based on their schedule. Students will then pick up all materials before the first day of class in the campus store. By providing course materials ahead of the first day of class, students will be better positioned to succeed while the costs of materials are decreased. eCampus will also simplify the return  process by setting up a pop-up return station at the end of the semester where students can return their books. “We are streamlining the learning experience at Ozarks as we bring textbook delivery or the learning materials themselves directly to the iPads that the students use through our Compass learning initiative,” Gill said. Hill said that University also plans to take advantage of the campus store’s proximity to Campus Perks, the adjacent coffee shop. “We want the store to have a seamless integration with Campus Perks and offer events like author talks, community-based book readings with local school children and open-mic type events,” Hill said. “We want it to be a place where the campus and Clarksville communities can come, have coffee and listen to authors, poets and other speakers.” In addition, the campus store is expected to offer a wider variety of clothing, accessories and other items, according to Amy Lloyd, director of marketing. “We will have more control over what we can carry and that will lead to more options and diversity in apparel,” said Lloyd. “We will have both local and national brands that we haven’t been able to offer before. We will also have a wider selection of books beyond those that are required for classes.” Lloyd said the new campus store will most likely be renamed and undergo a rebranding initiative this summer. University of the Ozarks conferred bachelor degrees upon 131 graduating seniors during its 2019 Spring Commencement ceremony, held on Saturday, May 18 on the campus mall. The Class of 2019 is the largest graduating class in the University’s 185-year history. More than 2,000 family members and friends attended the ceremony. The University awarded 92 bachelor of science degrees, 32 bachelor of arts degrees and seven bachelor of general studies degrees. Alumna Dr. Jeannie Oliver, an educator and evangelist from Horn Lake, Mississippi, served as the keynote speaker.  Oliver is a professional academic advisor at Arkansas State University and the founder of the Women Without Walls nonprofit ministry. Graduating senior Angie Castro-Flores, a strategic communication major from El Salvador, provided the senior’s welcome address and Emilie Williams, a religion and philosophy major from Keller, Texas, led the seniors in the Turning of the Tassel ceremony. The Class of 2019 includes: Olivia Lorraine Allard, Rogers, AR Alma Elena Arredondo Lopez, Paris, AR Melissa Wmanda Stessyka Augustin, Port au Prince, Haiti Emily Grace Autry, Fort Smith, AR Vincent Orazio Barber, Highland, NY Jonathan Henry Barham, Emmet, AR Skyler Bleaux Barnes, Farmington, AR Lamara Bazashvili, Moscow, Russia Shayanah Ortance Bien Aime, Orlando, FL Paul Anthony Billings, Dallas, TX Hailey Elizabeth Bromley, Hensley, AR Christina Janean Burns, Memphis, TN Neyssa Maella Cadet, Port au Prince, Haiti Fantasia Carol Canady, Hartman, AR Shelby Lynne Carlton, Clarksville, AR Angie Nathaly Castro-Flores, San Salvador, El Salvador Katherinn Jamileth Chamalé López, Guatemala City, Guatemala Clay William Conley, Roland, OK Cristin Rhiannon Connor, Gunter, TX Maria De Los Angeles Corea Dubon, San Pedro Sula, Honduras Eleazar Nava Coronado, Jonesboro, AR Justin W. Crider, Dallas, TX Jeremy Brent Cripps, Paris, AR Ashton Daniel Davis, Clarksville, AR Derric Colton Davis, Mesquite, TX Haley Marie Deal, Fort Worth, TX Ny'Trell Je Qukian Dean, Amarillo, TX Emily Kathleen Dice, Houston, TX Lauren Josephine Dotson, Smithville, AR Bernis Dakota Ebarb, Nevada, TX Richard Travis Farrar, Plano, TX Brandi Rochelle Fischer, Dickinson, TX Makara Julise Frazier, Smackover, AR Duston Ray Furtick, Crandall, TX Sean Andrew Garcia, Fort Worth, TX Rosendo Garcia Cortes, Clarksville, AR Lance Martez Gardner, St. Paul, MN Jonathan Cody Gonzales, Austin, TX Diamond Chavae Goodwyn, Gladewater, TX Dylan Cole Gray, Siloam Springs, AR Christopher Shakur Green, Lewisville. TX Shanice Courtney Guzman, Corozal Town, Belize Bailey M. Hall, Sheridan, AR Benjamin Louis Hall, Fairbanks, AK Daniel Lee Hall, Sherwood, AR Haley Ann Marie Hanks, Carthage, TX Falon Kay Hanson, Fayetteville, AR Edladin Hensen Harmon, Dallas, TX Selena Alexandria Haunty, Belton, MO James Austin Hedgpeth, Frisco, TX Kaitlyn Elizabeth Henrietta, Aledo, TX Fernanda Hernandez Sanchez, Michoacan, Mexico Nathan Woodrow Hodge, Olive Branch, MS Mary Cathleen Hoiland, Clarksville, AR Chauzney Breanna Hooks, Texarkana, TX Spence Jean Baptiste, Tabarre, Haiti Kenneth Skylar Jewett, Bryant, AR Romeo Desmond Josey, Nassau, The Bahamas Brooklyn Nicole Keeling, Farmington, AR Claire Elisabeth Kennedy, Arlington, TX Adam Michael King, Memphis, TN Chance Arivann Koy, Haltom City, TX Grasyn Michelle Langley, Dallas, TX Sierra Nicole Lasher, Olive Branch, MS Gabriel Vincent Lavoi, Lake Charles, LA Tristian Dale Leonard, Fort Gibson, OK Rocky David Liveoak, Granby, MO Jada Kimecia Mack, Monroe, LA Maria Eugenia Marcia Mora, Rivas, Nicaragua Henry Aldair Marín Arias, Colón, El Salvador Fredy M. Martinez, Hot Springs, AR Andrew Reid Mashburn, Little Rock, AR Whitney Nicole McCrary, Mayflower, AR Kaci Reene McDonald, Traskwood, AR Ryan Carter McNeill, Rogers, AR Rodman Stewart Mena Cespedes, Medellin, Colombia Cheyanna Jordan Miller, West Plains, MO Emily Anne Miller, Gravette, AR Maggie Elizabeth Miller, Pittsburg, KS Julio Andres Molina Pineda, Tegucigalpa, Honduras Shelby Taylor Morales, England, AR Kimberly Lizbeth Moran, Danville, AR Kaija Javee’ Muldrew, Texarkana, TX Paige Michele Myers, Harrison, AR Krystle Desha Nicholson, Clarksville, AR Robert James Norton, Lamar, AR Ana Paulina Ojeda Gonzalez, Chihuahua, Mexico Riley Jackson Oliver, Bowie, TX Daniel Olvera Cruz, Garland, TX Carlos Israel Orozco Castillo, Jalapa, Nicaragua Hailey Nicole Ostrander, Alma, AR Tonya Michelle Palmer, Monticello, AR Stephanie Lynn Payton, Hackett, AR Regan Douglas Puryear, Gravette, AR Mitchell Dae Rains, Pangburn, AR Cody Alan Rea, Clarksville, AR Samantha Leann Reed, Wynne, AR Amada Maria Reeve, Memphis, TN Miguel Angel Reyes, Canyon, TX Bradley Dean Rice, Fort Smith, AR Edwin Antonio Rodriguez Matta, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico Rebecca Ann Rogers, Oologah, OK Oscar Rodrigo Roldan Leyva, Mexico City, Mexico Jasmine Nicole Rosales, Berryville, AR Brenda Gabriela Sandoval Hernández, Guatemala City, Guatemala Rhett Allen Sells, Wagoner, OK Jacob Ezekiel Sherrill, Katy, TX Rebeca Briana Silva, Rockwall, TX Emma Aubree Sisson, Clarksville, AR Hannah Nicole Smith, Blue Eye, MO Savannah Katelyn Smith, Perryville, AR Dalton Emerson Spurgeon, Lee’s Summit, MO Zachary Dale Stanley, Fayetteville, AR William L. Kaden Stuart, Keller, TX Samuel Jaden Swartz, Granby, MO Brady Andrew Taylor, Plano, TX Jamy Odeth Tení Beltetón, Cobán, Guatemala David Tyler Thomas, White Hall, AR Catherine Marie Thompson, Conway, AR Samuel Pearce Todd, Bentonville, AR Manuel Ray Torres, Keller, TX Mackenzie Paige Turley, Clarksville, AR Breyden Lee Varner, Collinsville, OK Shane Alan Walker, Fort Worth, TX Zachary Taylor Walker, Fort Worth, TX Georgia Warren, Wexford, Ireland Anicka Danielle Wilcox, Ola, AR Emilie Katelyn Williams, Keller, TX Bahar Yapal, Berlin, Germany Katherine Yosmeri Zamora Lagos, McKinney, TX Isaías Daniel Zapata Batista, Volcan, Panama Thanks to a rescue dog named Pico, Cristin Connor had her career aspirations determined at a young age. Connor is a University of the Ozarks senior biology major from Gunter, Texas. She will graduate from Ozarks on May 18 with Magna Cum Laude honors and then pursue a degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in the fall. Connor said her interest in veterinary medicine started in her pre-teenage years when her family rescued Pico and brought him into the family. “He had been abused as a puppy and there were times he would snap for just a second before coming back to himself,” Connor said. “We could tell that he hadn’t meant to hurt anyone and that he was just scared. I knew that it wasn’t his fault and I wanted to help him, but being a child I didn’t know how. As a veterinarian, I may not always know how to help my patients but I plan to help as many as I can. I want to study animal psychology and behavior in the hope that maybe I can figure out what I could have done to help Pico and apply that knowledge to help other dogs like him.” That a young woman from a small north Texas town of 1,500 would end up studying veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh is quite remarkable. Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. “The University of Edinburgh is the best possible place for me to end up,” she said. “I will have so many opportunities to travel through internships, which is something that I have always wanted to do. Also, the veterinary school is considered among the top six in the entire world, which is amazing. The Roslin Research Institute is a part of the school and has been home to really impressive projects. Finally, when I graduate I will have more practical experience than if I had chosen a stateside school and I will be able to practice in most of the world.” Connor said she began thinking of pursuing an advanced degree in a foreign country after taking part in an Ozarks study abroad trip to Italy and Spain with Walton Professor of Music Dr. Sharon Gorman and later taking part in an independent research project on armadillos in Cambridge, UK. “I had an amazing time going for fun with Dr. Gorman and my desire to travel became so much stronger,” Connor said. “I absolutely loved integrating myself into another culture, even if just for a few days. The biggest impact came from my trip to Cambridge for my research project. I was able to experience what it is like not only visiting somewhere amazing but working there as well. We would spend our mornings working on our project and our afternoons sightseeing. This trip is what really got me thinking that going to veterinary school abroad could be an amazing and attainable experience. In the end, I decided that going to Scotland would be the best thing for me to do in order to grow as a person, both intellectually and culturally.” Connor took it upon herself to gain practical experience while at Ozarks, working several days a week for a local veterinarian, Dr. Neal Jones at Clarksville Veterinary Clinic. “In the summer after my junior year, I was remaining in Clarksville to work on my research project and I wanted to use my spare time to get some experience in a clinical setting,” she said. “Dr. Jones was glad to help me and allowed me to begin shadowing him immediately. I learned so much from him during the summer and he even came to be one of my references for my vet school application. Dr. Jones continues to teach me every single day and has made me even more excited to begin learning to do all of the things that he does.” Connor was accepted into three of the four veterinary schools that she applied to, an accomplishment that she gives a couple of her professors credit for. “Dr. Frank Knight was a huge help during the application process because he helped me to figure out who to ask to be my references and even read over my resume to make sure that it looked all right,” Connor said. “He and Dr. Karen Frank both acted as references for my application and filled out the VMCAS evaluation for me. They have been amazing and I really appreciate everything that they have done for me.” Helping animals is the simple answer that Connor said drives her to pursue her career choice. “I plan to open my own animal hospital sometime down the road, but I hope that I get the opportunity to travel to underdeveloped countries for aid work as well,” she said. “There is so much good that a veterinarian can do for communities that do not usually have access to that kind of care. I also plan to continue working closely with animal shelters because I have a great appreciation for all of the time, emotion and hard work that shelter workers put into the animals in their care.” Whatever lies ahead for her, Connor is grateful for her Ozarks experience. “Ozarks has provided me with many opportunities to grow and experience new things,” she said. “While my classes have been informative and given me the basic knowledge that I will need moving forward, I believe that the biggest impact that Ozarks has had on me has been in the extracurricular realm. As a member of the soccer team and an orientation leader and peer mentor, I learned how to be a leader. I gained confidence in myself that has allowed me to excel. My study abroad experiences, along with the diverse campus community, has left me with a great appreciation and curiosity for that which is different from me.” “Moving forward from here, I plan to seek out more opportunities to experience different cultures and perspectives because I believe that is the only way that I can be the best me possible.” University of the Ozarks presented its top division and university academic awards on May 8 during the 62nd annual Honors Day ceremony, held in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Emilie “Weave” Williams, a senior religion and philosophy major from Keller, Texas, was presented the Hurie Award as the outstanding member of the Class of 2019 by University President Richard Dunsworth. Named for former Ozarks President Wiley Lin Hurie, the award is selected by the faculty and given to the outstanding member of the senior class. Emilie and President DunsworthWilliams has been named to the Dean’s or President’s List in each of her eight semesters and will graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors on May 18. She was a two-time selection as the outstanding student in philosophy and was a finalist in the Project Poet competition for two years. She served a semester abroad studying philosophy and Greek language at The American College of Greece and was an intern/student coach for Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago in 2018. Williams will enroll in Harvard Divinity School in the fall and pursue a master of theological studies degree. and she has one brother, Nicholas. Other Honors Day recipients for 2019 included, Mary Hoiland (Outstanding Student in Accounting), Falon Hanson (Outstanding Student in Business Administration), Roland Rodrigo (Outstanding Student in Economics), Brenda Sandoval (Outstanding Student in Management), Maria Corea (Outstanding Student in Marketing), Kaitlyn Ventress (Outstanding Service Award in Business), Brooklyn Keeling (Outstanding Student in Secondary Education), Carlton Shelby (Outstanding Student in Elementary Education), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art Education), Makara Frazier (Outstanding Student in Physical Education), Stephanie Payton (Outstanding Student in Art), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art), Angie Castro (Outstanding Student in Communication Studies) and Jacob Holland (Robert Berry Fulton Award in Communication). Also receiving awards were, Jake Sawyer (Outstanding Student in English), Haley Hanks (Outstanding Student in History), Cheyanna Miller (Outstanding Student in Music), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Philosophy), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Religion), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Spanish), Tiffany Quinton (Outstanding Student in Theatre), Julio Molina-Pineda (Outstanding Senior in Chemistry), Cristin Connor (Outstanding Student in Biology), Lamara Bazashvili (Outstanding Student in Health Science), Alec Mertin (Outstanding Student in Mathematics), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Political Science), Corey Wilhelm (Outstanding Student in Physics), Shanice Guzman (C. Wright Mills Award in Sociology), Bahar Yapal (Outstanding Student in Psychology) and Emily Dice (Outstanding Environmental Student Award). In addition, awards were presented from the recent A.R.C.H. Symposium. First place in oral presentation went to Alma Arredondo, Regan Puryear and Cristin Connor.  First place in poster presentation went to Gracie Miller and first place in visual arts went to Aubree Sisson. Also at the ceremony, Maria Corea was announced as the winner of the annual Earth Day Essay Contest.