Meet Your Alumni Board Members

November 30, 2021
By Larry Isch
Posted in About
Meet Your Alumni Board

Meet Your Alumni Board members is an ongoing series where we highlight members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. This month we are featuring board members Jessalyn Halsted ‘08, an optometrist in Rogers, Ark.; and Fernando Galindo ‘96, an independent corporate communications consultant in Guatemala.

Jessalyn Halsted ‘08

Tell us about your time at Ozarks. What did it mean to you? How did that time change or impact your future?

Ozarks shaped my life in many ways! I made lifelong friends and met my husband there. I received an exceptional, well-rounded education that allowed for continued degrees after Ozarks. I also saw many examples of kindness, service and generosity from the faculty and staff.  

Why is being involved with Ozarks after you graduated important to you? Why have you chosen to give back to the University, both financially and time?

My education at Ozarks was completely paid for by scholarships. I know that many of those scholarships were funded by the generosity of others. It is important for me to pass along that same generosity to others.  

What is your favorite Ozarks memory?

My favorite memory at Ozarks is playing for the women’s soccer team. I loved every moment of practice and games with my friends!  

Who was your favorite/most impactful Professor at Ozarks and why?

Dr. Douglas Jeffries expanded my view of the world. He had a unique background of religion and science. He used that background to help me think through big life questions. He also was a remarkable representative of a life of service.  

Why have you chosen to continue to serve Ozarks by serving on the Alumni Board?

University of the Ozarks provided so much for me, and I can’t think of a better way to say thank you! I love being involved in the future of this great institution! 

 What is your favorite Clarksville or Johnson County activity?

My favorite Johnson County activity is doing anything outdoors. I love hiking to waterfalls, visiting Strawberry Bluff, or going to Lake Ludwig.  

 Anything else you would like to add about Ozarks?

There are so many exciting changes and innovations coming to the campus at Ozarks. I love the nostalgia that I feel when I visit, but I also love seeing the incredible changes and advancements!

 Where do you work and what is your title?

I work at Jeffries Eye Associates in Rogers, AR as an optometrist.  

Fernando Galindo ‘96

Tell us about your time at Ozarks. What did it mean to you? How did that time change or impact your future?

As a Walton Scholar, how I ended up at Ozarks is a miracle in itself, but I can honestly say that being part of U of O changed my life. Many things were new –the trip from Guatemala to start school back in 1992 was the first time I was ever on a plane. The people, the food, the language, the culture, the education system, they were all new to me. Later on, when I graduated and entered the workforce and was able to travel and interact with people from other places and backgrounds, I realized I had indeed received a world-class education.

Why is being involved with Ozarks after you graduated important to you? Why have you chosen to give back to the University?

Through Ozarks, I was given much. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute in small ways so that others know about this little gem hidden in the beautiful natural scenery of Arkansas.

What is your favorite Ozarks memory?

It is the small things… late editing nights, walking a couple of miles in the cold to get something to eat in the middle of the night, playing volleyball for endless hours at the sandpit, Sunday soccer games, a couple of rafting trips. I met truly wonderful people during my time at Ozarks, and having shared those small moments with them is what makes them memorable.

Who was your favorite/most impactful Professor at Ozarks and why?

As most people who have been at U of O, I was blessed by many professors. Dr. Cater was a mentor and a cornerstone in my education. I am indebted to her. Mr. Caton was a great listener and encourager. Dr. Farmer’s teachings and insights were invaluable. Dr. Casey was our father away from home, always looking after us. Dr. Heil was a caring teacher and a godsend to all of us who struggled with English. Dr. Dipple was inspirational and fun, both in class and in the racquetball court -he didn’t like losing, though!

Why have you chosen to continue to serve Ozarks by serving on the Alumni board?

It is a small way to give back, and it is a great way to remain connected.

What is your favorite Clarksville or Johnson County activity?

The county fair was always fun. And many would not believe this, but going to the movies in a crowded van on Monday nights to Russellville (back when Clarksville did not have a movie theatre) was an experience in itself.

Anything else you would like to add about Ozarks?

Ozarks was an awesome experience, made great by a bunch of people (faculty, staff, students) who valued service to others. It is great to see that such spirit continues in time, and I am grateful and proud to carry a little bit of the Ozarks’ ethos with me wherever I go.

Where do you work and what is your title?

I work as an independent corporate communications consultant.

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