Alumni Updates

Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A. '13, M.S. '14) Sarah Mesko (B.M. '08)Corey Coston (B.S.B.A. '06)Armin Mortazavi (B.S. '16)Will Strickland (B.S.B.A '14)Antoinette Grajeda (B.A. '08, M.A. '16)Abby Terlouw (B.S. '17)Joe Weishaar (B.Arch. '13)

Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A. '13, M.S. '14)

Terrance is Director of Recruitment and the Path Program in the Honors College.

Sarah Mesko (B.M. '08)

The Metropolitan Opera singer conducts a Master Class for U of A vocal students.

Corey Coston (B.S.B.A. '06)

Corey and his Walton College team win big for their biotech startup VivImmune!

Armin Mortazavi (B.S. '16)

Armin is sporting lab coat chic at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Will Strickland (B.S.B.A '14)

Will's accounting and finance studies have taken him all over the world!

Antoinette Grajeda (B.A. '08, M.A. '16)

Antoinette is a producer and reporter for the KUAF news program "Ozarks at Large."

Abby Terlouw (B.S. '17)

Abby was recently admitted into Tufts University School of Medicine. Congratulations!

Joe Weishaar (B.Arch. '13)

Joe poses with sketches for his WWI memorial in Washington, D.C.

 

 Antoinette Grajeda (B.A., journalism and Spanish, magna cum laude, ’08; M.A., journalism, ’16) is a producer and reporter for “Ozarks at Large,” the daily news program for KUAF 91.3 FM, the NPR affiliate serving Western Arkansas. She participates in the NWA Gridiron Show, which raises money for scholarships, and has volunteered with the Lemke Journalism Project since 2008. This six-week program teaches high school students about journalism and encourages them to pursue higher education. 

Mark Haney (B.M., B.S.B.A., finance, ’14; M.M., choral conducting, '16) is working in Latin American business development for Kognity, a Stockholm-based publisher of electronic textbooks for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

After also working at Cerner Corporation, Bethany Knight (B.S.B.M.E., ‘16) is now enrolled in the physician assistant program at the School of Community Medicine at the University of Oklahoma -Tulsa.

Russell Locetta (B.S.M.E., magna cum laude,’16) is an engineer with Shell Oil in Houston.

Abagail Macdonald (B.S., social work, minor in business, cum laude, ’16) is in graduate school at Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis.

Armin Mortazavi (B.S., biochemistry, summa cum laude, B.S. physics, ’16) is attending medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine. His studies are supported by a Sturgis Scholarship.

“As I come to the end of my first year in graduate school, I have only grown in my thankfulness for the Honors College,” writes Claire Strutzenburg (B.S.H.E.S., human development and farm studies, minor in communications, summa cum laude, ’16). “I was far more prepared than I realized to begin the rigorous work and research,” she adds, commenting on her first year in the U of A’s M.A. in communications program.

“I am just sending you a quick note to let you know that I will be pursuing a masters at the University of Cambridge in international relations and politics,” writes Ian Wicks (B.A., international relations, psychology, and Spanish, summa cum laude, ’16). Ian spent the 2016-2017 academic year in Madrid, honing his fluency in Spanish by teaching English with the support of a Fulbright Fellowship. He was one of three U of A students and alums to receive the award in 2016.

Jessica Luallen (B.A., European studies and international studies, minors in history and political science, cum laude, ’15) studied abroad at the University of Cambridge during her time at the U of A. This fall, she will begin an M.A. in intelligence and international security at King’s College, London. 

Padma Manavazhahan (B.S., biochemistry, summa cum laude, with minors in classical studies, gender studies, medieval and Renaissance studies, ’15) completed a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas and has taken a job as regional associate director for the West Coast for the Hindu American Foundation. Padma writes: “I am involved in a few different things here in the area: working on textbook reform, engaging community members in interfaith work and other strategic programs, and helping with HAF projects that are going on around the country.”

Sarah Mayfield (B.S. degrees in food science and biochemistry, summa cum laude, ’15), now a doctoral student under University Professor of Food Science Andy Proctor, is continuing her research on chocolate products that may help your heart and boost your metabolism. She presented a talk on her honors research in Ghent University’s Cacaolab at the 2016 American Oil Chemists’ Society Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah and has been invited to publish an article on her experience. 

After completing her B.A. degree in economics, cum laude, in 2015, Cicely Shannon spent the summer interning in Michelle Obama’s office, where she helped the first lady respond to more than 2,000 letters each month. As a participant in the Truman Scholarship Summer Institute, she also attended special sessions and lectures with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama. She began a new job as an assistant bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis last fall.

Matthew Watters (B.S.C.E., minor in geology, summa cum laude, ’15) received his masters in civil engineering at the U of A this spring, where he has been working at the College of Engineering.

Kelly Williams (B.S.N., summa cum laude, '15) is a cardiac staff nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A. in retail, cum laude, with minor in Spanish with business application, ’13; M.S. in operations management, ’14) is the director of recruitment and the Path Program at the Honors College. Terrance helped to develop the Path Program, which recruits and supports exceptional students from underrepresented populations.

Mark Haney (B.M., B.S.B.A., finance, ’14; M.M., choral conducting, '16) is working in Latin American business development for Kognity, a Stockholm-based publisher of electronic textbooks for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

After two years in Washington, D.C. as manager for strategic state initiatives at the National Council on Teacher Quality, Autumn Lewis (B.A. economics and political science, summa cum laude, ’14) has returned to the U of A as assistant director of development in the College of Engineering.

Will Strickland (B.S.B.A. accounting, minor in finance, magna cum laude, ’14) writes to say, “During my junior year, I had the honor to receive the Libby Finch Award to study at the London School of Economics. …This has been extremely important as my job has taken me from Northwest Arkansas to San Francisco to Tokyo. Without the generosity of the Libby Finch Award, I would not have the same professional opportunities as I do today.” After stints with Walmart.com in San Francisco and Walmart Japan in Tokyo, Will has returned to Northwest Arkansas to work with Walmart’s External Financial Reporting team. 

Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A. in retail, cum laude, with minor in Spanish with business application, ’13; M.S. in operations management, ’14) is the director of recruitment and the Path Program at the Honors College. Terrance helped to develop the Path Program, which recruits and supports exceptional students from underrepresented populations.

Ellen Brune (B.S. Ch.E., ’09, Ph.D., Ch.E, ’13) is the owner and chief scientific officer for Boston Mountain Biotech LLC, a Fayetteville-based startup firm that offers a cheaper, faster way to manufacture protein-based pharmaceuticals. Ellen began working as an undergraduate with engineering professor Bob Beitle on the research that led to the new technology. 

Tai Huynh (B.S.Ch.E., summa cum laude, ’13) works for Riceland Food Corp.  Tai writes: “My Honors College research experience opened up many doors. As a matter of fact, at a conference where I presented part of my research, I was offered my current job.”

Rohit Mittal (B.S.B.A., finance with minors in accounting and Spanish, magna cum laude, ’13), is Equity Capital Markets Senior Analyst at Stephens, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga.

Christopher Moutos (B.S., biology and biochemistry, summa cum laude, ’13) will take a break from medical studies at U.A.M.S. this year to work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. His research is funded by a fellowship through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and will focus on recombinant fibroblast growth factors, a protein with potential to more safely regulate metabolic control and diabetes. 

Last fall Laura Neumann (B.A., cultural anthropology and international relations, minor in gender studies, summa cum laude, ’13, began a two-year master’s program in cultural studies at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey. Laura writes: “I was awarded a full scholarship for the duration of the program. For my thesis, I will research the preparation efforts for a large earthquake that is predicted to hit Istanbul at some point in the coming decades.”  

Matt Owens (B.A., history and Spanish, minor in medieval and Renaissance studies, summa cum laude,’13) is pursuing a master’s degree in international education policy at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Matt writes: “I am particularly interested in peace education and the role the humanities and social sciences can play in teaching critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, and global citizenship. After graduation, I intend to work developing curricula and cross-cultural programs that attempt to accomplish the above goals.”

Calli Verkamp (B.S. in architecture, departmental honors, ’13) is a project architect with Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago. She is currently working on a new facility for the Chicago Children’s Theatre and a new high school in southwest Chicago, as well as single-family residences. She writes: “Chicago is a great place to be an architect and this firm is one of the best!”

Some U of A graduates reshape our nation’s capital figuratively, but Joe Weishaar (B.Arch., magna cum laude, ’13) has won the opportunity to do so literally. In 2016 Joe won an international competition to design a $30-plus-million World War I memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue. Working with New York sculptor Sabin Howard and UA landscape architecture professor Phoebe Lickwar, Joe conceived “The Weight of Sacrifice,” which was chosen over 350 other submissions. Officials hope that the memorial can be completed by 2019 and inaugurated during the centennial commemorations of the war.

Mariel Young (B.A., anthropology and Spanish, with a minor in psychology, magna cum laude, ’13; M.Phil in human evolutionary studies, Cambridge University, ’14) was coauthor of an article published in the American Journal of Primatology. The article, which grew from her undergraduate research with Peter Ungar, analyzed the effects of habitat variation on capuchin and howler monkeys. Young is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in human evolutionary biology at Harvard, where she studies the evolutionary and developmental genetics of pelvis formation. 

Akihiro Eguchi (B.S. in computer science, '11, and B.A. in psychology, '12, both summa cum laude), will continue to explore his interest in programming artificial intelligence this fall, when he will begin doctoral studies in the field of computational neuroscience at Oxford University.

Nathanael Franks (B.S., physics, magna cum laude, ’12; M.B.A., Walton College, ’14) is pursuing a second master’s degree from Walton College, in accounting. He was named the 2014-15 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in recognition of his standout efforts in the classroom. Franks is Arkansas’ first male winner of the prestigious award, and will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. He was also a 2014-15 finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.  

J.P. Gavin (B.S.B.A., accounting, with minor in economics, cum laude; M.Acc., ’12) is now a CPA, working in assurance services with Ernst & Young. 

A. J. (Salois) Hennig (B.S. in physics and English, summa cum laude, '12) continues her work to preserve our connection with the night sky as a program manager with the International Dark-Sky Association in Tucson, Ariz.

Sarah Kaminski (B.S., kinesiology, cum laude, ’12) says that the honors experience helped prepare her for her role as the coordinator of U of A Cares, where she sees that students in distress are connected with the proper resources. After graduating, she earned a master’s in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma at Norman and a graduate certificate in women's studies and gender studies from Loyola University in Chicago. Sarah writes: “The added academic challenge of the Honors College experience enriched my undergraduate experience at the U of A. The opportunity to spend several years on a research team in the Sports Biomechanics Research Group taught me how to work with others and create a strong relationship with my advisor.”

Honors relationships do not end at graduation or with distance writes Mary Alice (Patton) Keller (B.S.E., communications disorders, minor in psychology, magna cum laude, ’12). She says: “I continue to cherish the friendships that I made while enrolled in the Honors College. … Eleven of us continue to get together once or twice a year for a ‘reunion’ despite living all over the U.S., and at times, on different continents.” Mary Alice completed an M.A. in speech pathology at the University of Memphis and is now a speech-language pathologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where she lives with her husband Brian Keller (B.A., American studies, ’12).

Erika Kirsch (B.S.B.A., management, minor in economics, magna cum laude, ’12) is a consultant and business analyst at Cerner Corporation in Denver.

Julia Lyon (B.S. in biological sciences, with minors in math and Spanish, summa cum laude, ’12) is pursuing a medical degree at University of Arkansas Medical School, and plans to specialize in pediatrics. 

Brian McCaster (B.S.I.B., minor in Spanish, cum laude, ‘12) completed an M.Ed. in higher education at the U of A in 2014 and is currently a first-year advisor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Alice McMillan (B.S.B.A. cum laude, ’12) was selected to be the first director of strategic initiatives at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which was named U.S. Hispanic Chamber of the Year in September 2015. She leads research, fundraising, public policy and international relations efforts, and the Austin Hispanic Leadership Program and alumni program. Alice also serves on the board of the Walton College of Business and is pursuing an online master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she is a UNC Fellow. 

After completing dual degrees in biology and Spanish, summa cum laude, in 2012, Marie Morris is pursuing a medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine. 

Blake Puryear (B.S., computer science, cum laude, ’12) is cofounder of Phactual LLC, an online content publishing company, and is the technology and project management lead for Hayseed Ventures, a venture capital production studio. In addition to monetary investment, Hayseed Ventures works directly with companies to improve operations.

Spencer Shinabery (B.S. in chemistry, summa cum laude, ’12) is pursuing a Ph.D in synthetic organic chemistry at MIT. He writes: “I’m a member of the MIT-Novartis Center for Continuous Manufacturing. Our goal is to develop technologies to allow the continuous manufacture of pharmaceuticals under a single roof. Most drugs made using batch chemistry have to be shipped from site to site with each site specializing in a single reaction. Ideally, continuous flow allows raw chemicals to go in one end, and ready-for-consumption pills come out the other.” Spencer’s work on this project helped him win a National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship from the Department of Defense.

Jesse Sutmiller (B.A., mathematics, magna cum laude, ’12) is a mathematics instructor at Lavaca High School in Lavaca, Ark.

Gracen Armendariz earned a B.S. in education, magna cum laude, in 2010 and completed her M.A in teaching in 2011. She is now working as a pre-kindergarten teacher for Fayetteville Public Schools.

Ethan Carter (B.S. chemical engineering with minor in environmental, soil, and water science, cum laude, '11) is working on a sustainable business MBA online through Marylhurst University and working as a health, safety and environmental coordinator for Southwestern Energy in Conway, Ark.

After earning her B.S. in business administration, cum laude, 2010 and a master’s degree in accounting, 2011, from the University of Arkansas, Cassaundra Drake is working as an audit associate for Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Dallas, Texas.

After earning a bachelor of social work degree with a combined major in African and African-American Studies and a minor in Spanish, summa cum laude, 2011, Elena (Hampton-Stover) Froelich completed a masters degree in social work at the University of Kansas. She is now a therapeutic case manager with KVC, a contract foster care provider in Kansas City, Kansas.

David Fryauf (B.S.E.E., magna cum laude, ’11) is pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes: “My research is in thin films and nano materials for a variety of applications, such as the development of more robust corrosion barriers for earth-based astronomical telescopes and flexible thin film thermoelectric devices for waste heat recovery.”

Never doubt that teachers make a difference, especially when it comes to forming future teachers. Noel Gieringer (B.A., anthropology and English, summa cum laude, ’10, M.A.T., secondary education, ‘11) says, “I remember Dr. Coon challenging my thinking in History of Christian Monasticism. I watched Dr. Candido perform as he taught Shakespeare. … Dr. Erikson helped me write a thesis I am still proud of. … These moments stand out to me now as I try to teach my own students with both care and rigor.” Noel is now an English teacher and student council advisor at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock.

Sarah Griffis (B.A. in classical studies and English literature with a minor in religious studies, summa cum laude, '11) is completing a Master of Theological Studies in New Testament and Early Christianity at Harvard University. She plans to obtain a Ph.D. in religion and teach at a research university.

Jennifer Herrera (B.S.Ch.E., cum laude, ’11) has worked her way up from a 2010 internship with global pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. to her new role as a sourcing specialist, where she is responsible for managing the Clinical Outcome Assessment Licensing & Translation and Specialty Labs categories that support global clinical studies. 

William Hogan (B.A., political science and European studies, with minors in Spanish and Latin American studies, cum laude, ’11; M.A., geography, University of South Carolina, ’13) is pursuing an M.A.T. in secondary education and teaching at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, while teaching and chairing the social studies department at Simsboro High School in Simsboro, La. 

Robert Ivers (B.S.B.A, finance, cum laude, ’11) is a customer category manager at Newell Brands.

Jesse Lassiter (B.S. degrees in business administration and mathematics, magna cum laude, '11) completed a master's degree in economics at the University of Notre Dame. Lydia Lawless earned dual undergraduate degrees (bachelor's degree in agricultural, food and life sciences in food science and B.A. in Spanish, with a minor in global studies in agricultural, food, and life sciences, summa cum laude, 2008) and recently completed a Ph.D. in food science from the University of Arkansas. She is currently seeking a job as a sensory science consultant.

Clint Linder (B.S. business administration in economics, B.A. in marketing, cum laude, '11), is a STO Rotational Trainee with Shell Oil in Houston, Texas.

Camila Maldonado (B.S. chemical engineering, magna cum laude, '11) is an intern at the Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) in San Diego, Calif. This fall she will begin work on a master’s degree in engineering and project management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Tyler McBride (B.A. in English and journalism, magna cum laude, '11) completed a master's degree in teaching at the University of Arkansas and is now employed by the Greenland School District, Greenland, AR, as an 8th grade English teacher. He will present his research findings at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Las Vegas, Nevada, this November.

Katherine Rutledge (B.S.B.E. with minor in German, cum laude, ’11) is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of South Carolina. 

Stuart Shirrell (B.S. in mathematics, cum laude, ’11) is tackling some of the developing world’s toughest problems as manager for IDinsight, a non-profit firm that evaluates social programs. He has helped to evaluate a rural sanitation program in Cambodia, a preschool nutrition program in India, and a malaria program in Uganda, among others.

Haley Stephens (B.A. political science and economics, minor in African American Studies, summa cum laude, '11) is a attending Vanderbilt Law School. 

Rani Achhireddy (B.A. anthropology and international relations, with minors in Asian studies and political science, magna cum laude, '10) recently completed her M.Ed. in higher education at the University of Arkansas. She has been a valued member of the Honors College recruiting team and is now an admissions counselor for the U of A.

Adam Barito (B.S.M.E, B.S. physics, summa cum laude, ’10; Ph.D., physics, University of Michigan, ’15) has a postdoctoral research assistantship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Adam writes: “I’ll be doing research in the Physical Measurements Laboratory at NIST on flexible electronics (mostly focusing on flexible solar cells).” 

Seth Barlow (B.A. international relations and Russian, with minors in political science and business management, cum laude, '10) recently completed a master’s degree in tourism administration in sports management from the George Washington University.

Justin Fengler (B.S.I.B., B.A., international studies, summa cum laude, ’10), like many other honors grads, has made a career in an internet-based company. Justin is vice president for business development at GoodRx, a company founded by Yahoo and Facebook alums that allows consumers to shop local pharmacies for the lowest price on prescription drugs.

Jonathan Franklin (B.S.B.A., marketing, cum laude, ’10) completed his D.D.S at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2012 and is currently an associate dentist at Smile Center Dental in Austin, Texas.

Never doubt that teachers make a difference, especially when it comes to forming future teachers. Noel Gieringer (B.A., anthropology and English, summa cum laude, ’10, M.A.T., secondary education, ‘11) says, “I remember Dr. Coon challenging my thinking in History of Christian Monasticism. I watched Dr. Candido perform as he taught Shakespeare. … Dr. Erikson helped me write a thesis I am still proud of. … These moments stand out to me now as I try to teach my own students with both care and rigor.” Noel is now an English teacher and student council advisor at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock.

Adam Glasier (B.A., political science, economics and Spanish, summa cum laude, ’10; M.B.A., Harvard Business School, ’14) worked at two startup companies while pursuing his M.B.A., then worked at Walmart in the finance and strategy group of the U.S. business division. Currently he is director of finance at NOWDiagnostics Inc., a Springdale, Ark.-based company that specializes in innovative diagnostic testing. 

As an undergraduate, David Matthew Haynie (B.A., journalism and political science, minor in religious studies, magna cum laude, ’10) interned in the Australian parliament and received the University’s Senior Citation. Since graduating, he has completed his J.D. at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and is an attorney at Baron & Budd in Dallas.

Emily Hollingsworth (B.S., biological sciences, cum laude, ’10) completed a doctor of chiropractic at Cleveland Chiropractic College in ’14 and is now launching her own chiropractic and acupuncture practice in Hot Springs, AR. 

Kevin Lammers (B.A. in psychology and drama, cum laude, '10) is pursuing a J.D. degree at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Rachel Lee (B.S. degrees in physics and chemical engineering with a minor in mathematics, summa cum laude, '10) is now a doctoral student in the physics program at the University of Maryland-College Park. She writes: “I have started working with Dr. Wolfgang Losert at the University of Maryland in collaboration with Dr. Carole Parent at the National Institutes of Health on a project to determine the forces that are responsible for the motion of cells. It is a very interesting project and has applications in fields such as wound healing and cancer treatment.”

Samantha Meadors (B.S., mathematics, magna cum laude, ’10; M.Div., Iliff School of Theology, ’13) is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist church and serves as director at the Wesley Foundation at Arkansas State University. 

Noel Runyan (B.A. in history and classical studies, with minor in medieval and renaissance studies, magna cum laude, '10) is currently attending the U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, South Carolina, where he is studying to become a nuclear propulsion electronics technician. Upon completion of his curriculum and receiving orders to the fleet, Runyan will be responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of a nuclear reactor aboard a Virginia-class fast-attack submarine.

Katherine Shreves (B.A., international relations, French and European Studies, with minor in economics, summa cum laude, ’10) is pursuing a master’s degree in arts and cultural management at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. As part of her studies, Katherine is working as the sponsorship and development intern at the Edinburgh International Festival, and writes: “I hope to remain abroad in pursuit of a career in fundraising/development for a similar organization.”

Daniel Weatherall (B. S. in biology, summa cum laude, '10) will begin his third year at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School this fall. He’s considering practice in the fields of emergency medicine, internal medicine or general surgery. 

“I have been on assignment in the north of Chile for the last two years,” writes Angela White (B.S.Ch.E., minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, ’10), who is employed as an engineer for Albemarle Corporation.  In Chile, she has been working on Albemarle’s expansion of its battery-grade lithium plant.

Casey Worrell (B.A. architecture, cum laude, '10) is an architectural designer in the Los Angeles office of Gensler, a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm. He writes: “I am in the mixed use/entertainment studio, and have worked mostly on large-scale shopping centers. Right now, a lot of our work is in Asia.” 

Bethany Larson Bloch (B.A., history, cum laude, ’09) earned an M.A. in journalism at Syracuse University in 2010 and is currently managing editor at Gatehouse Publishing.

Ellen Brune (B.S. Ch.E., ’09, Ph.D., Ch.E, ’13) is the owner and chief scientific officer for Boston Mountain Biotech LLC, a Fayetteville-based startup firm that offers a cheaper, faster way to manufacture protein-based pharmaceuticals. Ellen began working as an undergraduate with engineering professor Bob Beitle on the research that led to the new technology. 

Matt Chesnut (B.S.B.A., finance, with minors in accounting and political science, magna cum laude, ’09; M.B.A., Harvard Business School, ’14) works in corporate development for the Chickasaw Nation. 

Stephen Coger (B.A., English with minors in Spanish and Latin American studies, magna cum laude, '09; J.D., University of Washington School of Law, '14) was an advocate for human rights in Tamil Nadu, India, as an American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellow. Currently he is an attorney at Catholic Charities Immigration Services in Springdale, Ark., where he works to maintain or restore family unity for low-income immigrants from around the world, and particularly from Mexico and Central America.  

Drew Fleming (B.S. mechanical engineering with minors in mathematics and physics, magna cum laude, '09), is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas, funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Jonathan Langley (B.A., English and French, cum laude, ’09) earned an M.A. in French in 2011 at the U of A, where he currently serves as assistant director in the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.

Bethany Larson (B.A. in history, cum laude, '09) completed a master’s degree in journalism at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and is now assistant editor for Newmarket Press & It Books, part of HarperCollins Publishers.

Cheryl Silveri (B.S., biology with a minor in general business, cum laude, ’09) is pursuing an M.B.A. degree at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, with plans to “continue growing my startups.”

Blake Strode (B.A. in Spanish and B.S.B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, ’09, J.D. Harvard, ’15) is working for Arch City Defenders, a nonprofit that strives to prevent and end homelessness among the indigent and working poor in St. Louis, his hometown. 

Daniel Allen completed B.S. (cum laude, '08) and M.S. ('10) degrees in geology at the U of A, and is now a senior geologist with Core Laboratories in Houston. He’s excited about the Honors College’s new home: “As a geology major and then a graduate student in geology, I spent A LOT of time in historic Ozark Hall. It was like a second home to me in grad school! I'm sure it will be a pleasure for the geosciences department to soon share the building with the Honors College when the extensive renovation and expansion are complete.”

Erica Parkhill Cason (B.S.E., kinesiology with minor in Spanish, summa cum laude, ’08; D.P.T., magna cum laude, University of Central Arkansas, ’11) is working as an outpatient physical therapist for Conway Regional, specializing in manual spine rehabilitation. She and her husband Andy have also launched a business called The Go Store that is stocked with supplies to support a project called Operation Christmas Child. This program sends out gifts in shoe boxes to children in war-torn and poverty-stricken countries around the world.

After completing a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art (ceramics) with a second major in German, cum laude, in 2008, Mary Elkins earned a master of fine arts degree in craft/material studies - ceramics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. She is now teaching ceramics at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

Trenton Ellis (B.S. chemical engineering with minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, '08) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He focuses on geotechnical engineering with emphases on reliability-based design, risk analysis and earthquake engineering. He hopes to return to Arkansas after completing his degree: “The New Madrid Seismic Zone contains uncertainties on so many levels … it makes the design of infrastructure very difficult in northeast Arkansas. I would enjoy spending my career helping with that.”

Rachel Fiori (B.A. in classical studies, magna cum laude, ’04, M.D., U.A.M.S., ’08) is practicing psychiatry in Fort Smith and serves on the Honors College Capital Campaign Committee. 

Megan Garner (B.A. in graphic design, magna cum laude, '08) earned a master’s degree in multimedia journalism from the University of Miami and is now an online news producer with Education Week. Past projects have sent her to Kenya, Greece and Ecuador.

Donna Graham (B.S., human environmental sciences, with minor in marketing, ’08; M.S., human environmental sciences,’11) is director of employer relations for the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Antoinette Grajeda (B.A., journalism and Spanish, magna cum laude, ’08; M.A., journalism, ’16) is a producer and reporter for “Ozarks at Large,” the daily news program for KUAF 91.3 FM, the NPR affiliate serving Western Arkansas. She participates in the NWA Gridiron Show, which raises money for scholarships, and has volunteered with the Lemke Journalism Project since 2008. This six-week program teaches high school students about journalism and encourages them to pursue higher education. 

Sarah Mesko (B.M., flute and vocal performance, summa cum laude, ’08; M.M., vocal performance, Rice University, ’10) returned to campus last fall to present an Honors College House Concert in Gearhart Hall – it was a rare treat to hear a rising opera star in such an intimate setting! While on campus, Sarah made time to present a master class to current vocal students.  She made her Metropolitan Opera debut last December in The Magic Flute

Russell Moore (B. S. in finance-financial management/investments, with a minor in economics, magna cum laude, '08) is a national bank examiner in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Gale Raymond (B.S., biology, magna cum laude, ’08; D.V.M., Louisiana State University, ’12) is a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in Aurora, Calif. Gale writes: “One of the most rewarding parts of being a veterinarian is when I am able to save a pet’s life. Many diseases have a grave prognosis if not treated but when they are diagnosed and treated the prognosis for survival is good. With preventive care, such as regular blood work, I am able to make a diagnosis and start treatment early in a pet with a chronic disease so that the pet has a better quality of life and a longer life. I also love cases that are challenging to diagnose and cases that allow me to learn something new.” 

Summer Scott (B.S. chemical engineering, cum laude, '08) heads a Freeport, Texas plant for Dow Chemical that is the world’s largest producer of epichlorohydrin, a key ingredient in epoxy resins that are used in adhesives, paints and other materials. 

Sarah Tarvin (B.A., German and European studies; M.A., German, ’08; M.A.T., University of Washington, ’12) teaches and coordinates a team of English teachers at the Sur College of Applied Sciences in the Sultanate of Oman. Sarah writes: “I take every possible opportunity to travel and, in addition to thoroughly exploring Oman, I have spent time this year in the UAE, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Canada and the Cayman Islands. I also still work as a freelance travel writer and photographer, as well as a travel advisor, something which I hope someday gets the bulk of my attention.”

John Terry (B.A., classical studies and history, summa cum laude, ’08) completed his Ph.D. in medieval history at the University of Virginia in 2015, but is not content to leave his period of study in the past. For Slate, he has penned “Why Isn’t ISIS Medieval” and “An Election for the Dark Ages” as well as “Shushaku Endo’s Swamp” for First Things.

Kelly Toner, who graduated in 2008 with a B. S. in nursing, summa cum laude, will participate in college ministry mission work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for one to two years. Following her internship, she plans to work as a nurse and possibly earn a master’s degree in public health, then work overseas. “I would love to be a refugee camp nurse someday,” she writes.

Grant West (B.A., geography, with minor in history, cum laude, ’08; M.A., geography, University of Arkansas, ’11) taught human and physical geography at NorthWest Arkansas Community College and Missouri Southern State University before returning to the U of A as a program associate in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.

After earning a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in mathematics, magna cum laude, in 2008, Blake Williams earned a medical degree at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is now a resident physician in dermatology at U.A.M.S. 

After earning B.A. degrees in political science and communication and minors in Spanish, gender studies and legal studies, cum laude, 2007, Dwayne Bensing spent two years teaching science and social studies to middle school students in Philadelphia as a Teach for America corps member. He recently completed his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is studying for the bar exam. He will begin work as an associate with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, Jacobsen, LLP, in Washington, D.C. this fall.

Shelly Buffington (B.S. in chemistry with a biophysical emphasis and a with minor in biology, summa cum laude, '07) is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and a NIH predoctoral fellow. Her thesis focuses on the structural plasticity and molecular diversity of the axon initial segment, a part of the neuron that plays a central role in cell-to-cell communication. Following her defense in early September, she will begin postdoctoral work at BCM, studying molecular mechanisms of learning and memory.

Clark Donat (B.A. in history, magna cum laude, '07) earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law and is now an attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Dallas, Texas.

Aimee Jones (B.S. in biology with minor in music, magna cum laude, '07) plans to complete a master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the U of A next May, followed by a nine-month clinical fellowship. She hopes to promote literacy by working in public schools.

Tyler Nix (B.A., English Lit., with minor in psychology, cum laude, ’07) is pursuing a master of science in library science at the University of Kentucky. He plans to work in medical and/or digital information services. 

Hunter Riley (B.A. in economics and B.A. in international relations and political science, with minor in Spanish, summa cum laude, ’07; M.P.S., Clinton School of Public Service) is a field director for Peacework. He plans international development projects in coordination with in-country community allies and U.S.-based institutions. He is also cofounder of Schlep, a moving company.

Terry Vo (B.A. in international relations with minors in Asian studies and Japanese, cum laude, '07) was selected for Nashville's Top 30 Under 30 in 2011 and was chosen as Taiwan's First American Youth Trekker Ambassador in 2012. She also has been named the 2012-2013 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She writes: "The Honors College was a fantastic experience! Of the 50%+ of Honor College students that have studied abroad, I was among the 1/3 that studied abroad more than once. I actually studied abroad three times in Europe and Asia. These were the best experiences of my undergraduate career. People I met while abroad are now lifelong friends. After graduation, I went on to work in Japan for two years and then moved to Nashville, Tenn. to work for the Consulate-General of Japan. I will now head back overseas to Australia to pursue my master's degree in governance and public policy."

Zachary Wagner (B.A., history, summa cum laude, ’07) earned his J.D. at the University of Colorado and is now employed with the O’Connell Law Firm, P.C. in Denver, Colo.

Greg Ziser (B.A. in political science with minors in legal studies and Spanish, summa cum laude, '07) recently completed his J.D. at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash. He began work as an assistant attorney general for the Washington State Attorney General’s office in August.

After graduating from the UA, Drew Cogbill (B.A. in music and chemistry, summa cum laude, ’06, M.F.A. in design and technology from Parsons the New School for Design, ’09) spent a year coordinating volunteer opportunities for UA students and professors with Peacework in Belize. He worked on a tourism website for the town he lived in and that led him to apply to Parsons and eventually, to his current gig as an executive producer at Small Planet Digital, a New York City agency that specializes in mobile app design and development.

Zach Cooley (B.Arch, summa cum laude, ’06; M.Arch, Princeton, ’09)is licensed in New York and has left Diller Scofidio to work for Brandon Haw Architecture, started by a former partner with London architect Norman Foster. The firm focuses primarily on high-end residential projects, commercial and institutional work with projects under construction in Miami and in Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia. 

Corey Coston (B.S.B.A., accounting, summa cum laude, ’06) is part of a team of Walton College graduate students who have won more than $80,000 in a series of state and national business plan competitions for their biotech startup, VivImmune. The company focuses on developing cancer therapies that teach immune cells to recognize, destroy and remember tumor cells. Corey is also assistant dean of finance for the Honors College and teaches accounting in Walton College. 

Dawn Koltes (B.S., animal science, cum laude, ’06) completed a master’s degree in animal breeding and genetics and a doctoral degree in genetics, both at Iowa State University. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Iowa State. 

After serving two years in Cameroon with the Peace Corps, Jessica Rogers (B.A. in history and French, magna cum laude, '06) has worked in administration and finance at the Peace Corps’ headquarters in Washington, DC. Currently a budget analyst in the Office of the CFO, she writes: “I support Peace Corps Response (a short-term, high-impact program for returned Peace Corps Volunteers and qualified professionals) and the programming & training office.” 

Kelly Sullivan (B.S.I.E., with minor in mathematics, summa cum laude, ’06; Ph.D., industrial and systems engineering, University of Florida, ’12), an assistant professor of industrial engineering at the U of A, has been selected for the Glover-Klingman Prize for his paper “Exact algorithms for solving a Euclidean maximum flow network interdiction problem,” published in the journal Networks. Kelly’s research centers on the design of critical systems whose disruption poses a threat to homeland security. He teaches courses in network optimization, operations research, and probability and statistics. 

Emily Baker (B.A. architecture, summa cum laude, '05; M.Arch., Cranbrook Academy of Art, ’12) has returned stateside to teach architecture at Tulane University after three years of teaching at the American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. 

Penney Berryman (B.A. sociology, summa cum laude) is a senior analyst at the National Business Group on Health in Arlington, Va.. Berryman has written articles, which have appeared in the Huffington Post. She completed a master's degree in public health in 2005.

Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez (bachelor's degree in agricultural, food and life sciences, in food science, cum laude, '05) and her husband Nate Tarter recently returned from a year in Haiti, where they worked with World Relief Haiti and partner churches to serve the most vulnerable. As a project manager in the agriculture livelihoods program, she helped to establish a demonstration farm, produce grafted fruit trees and distribute goats, all “with the purpose of helping rural communities and farmer groups increase their production and income.” Gonzalez continues to support socio-economic development programs in Haiti as a liaison between the field office and World Relief’s headquarters in Baltimore, Md.

Don Nix (B.A., anthropology and sociology, summa cum laude, ’05) earned an M.S.W. at the University of Missouri, Columbia and now serves as the ASAP Bridge Program coordinator at the U of A and is a lead instructor in the Center for Learning and Student Success.

James Roller (B.S., physics, minors in mathematics and pre-law, cum laude, ‘05, J.D. 2008) is corporate counsel for Stephens Production Company in Fort Smith.

Elizabeth Smith (B.A. political science, summa cum laude, '05) completed a master's degree in higher education at the U of A and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in public policy. She is currently serving as the university's Director of Education Renewal Zone.

Ellen Turpen Wehrman (B.S. public administration with a minor in French, cum laude, '05) is the associate dean of students at Marietta College. She writes "I oversee Campus Involvement at Marietta College, which is a fitting position given the many hours I spent organizing campus organizations and student events in between writing political science papers." Wehrman obtained a master's in higher education administration and policy from Loyola University Chicago in 2007.

 

Rachel Fiori (B.A. in classical studies, magna cum laude, ’04, M.D., U.A.M.S., ’08) is practicing psychiatry in Fort Smith and serves on the Honors College Capital Campaign Committee. 

After completing her B.A. in anthropology, minor in history, magna cum laude, ’03, Emily Feuerherm lived and studied in Switzerland and attended the Handels und Dolmetscherschule for two years, learning German. She completed her Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of California Davis in 2013 and is now an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan, Flint. Emily writes: “I still remember so many of my H2P classes: the professors were amazing, my cohort was supportive and interesting, and the field trip to Memphis was unforgettable!”

David Norris (B.S. in physics, summa cum laude, '03) recently completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Maryland and is now a National Research Council postdoctoral research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. He writes: “I work in the research group of Nobel Prize winner Bill Phillips on experiments involving ultra-cold atomic gases and quantum computing. Prior to this, I spent a brief stint in the corporate world at a Facebook partner company, applying math skills to social media data mining problems; but soon realized that my heart was really still in the lab. Turns out that once you do science for long enough, you will never want to do anything else..."

Andrew Wehrman (B.A. history with minor in education, magna cum laude, '03) earned a masters of arts degree in teaching at the U of A, then master’s and doctoral degrees in history at Northwestern University. He is now an assistant professor of early American history at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio.

Tara Reid (B.S.B.A., marketing, cum laude, ’02) is data and insights director for oOh! Media in Sydney, Australia.