Meet the Alumni

Luke Osborn

Luke Osborn

B.S.M.E., summa cum laude, '12; Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, '19, Johns Hopkins University.

Biomedical Engineer

Sarah Mesko

Sarah Mesko

B.M., Flute & Vocal Performance, summa cum laude, '08; M.M., Vocal Performance, '10, Rice University.

Soloist, Metropolitan Opera

Amber Straughn

Amber Straughn

B.S., Physics, magna cum laude; Ph.D., Physics, Arizona State, '08

Deputy Project Scientist for Webb Science Communication & Associate Director, Astrophysics Science Division, NASA

Ayo Yusuf

Ayo Yusuf

B.Arch., cum laude, '06, M.U.D., '08, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Senior Associate, Urban Designer, Perkins Eastman

Ellen Brune

Ellen Brune

B.S.Ch.E., '09, Ph.D, Ch.E, '13

Director of Emerging Tech & Product, Walmart

Joe Weishaar

Joe Weishaar

B.Arch, magna cum laude, '13

Architect and Designer of National World War I Monument, Washington, D.C.

Mac Stephen

Mac Stephen

B.A., Biology, cum laude, '10; M.D., M.M.Sc., Harvard University.


Shannon Sanders

Shannon Sanders

B.A., Journalism, cum laude, '09; M.A., Multimedia Journalism, '12, University of Miami.

Senior Producer, ABC News

Mike Norton

Mike Norton

B.S., Agricultural Business & Poultry Science, summa cum laude, '13; Ph.D., Political Science, Oxford University.

Pursuing J.D., Stanford Law School.

Trish Lopez

Trish Lopez

B.S.E., Childhood Ed. and B.A., Spanish, summa cum laude, '10; M.A.T., '11.

Research Associate, University of Arkansas

Matt Seubert

Matt Seubert

B.S.B.A., Economics, summa cum laude, B.A., Political Science, '13; M.B.A., Rice University.

Marketer & Team Leader, Brand Management, Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown

B.S.N., summa cum laude, '11

Registered Nurse, Neuro ICU, Mayo Clinic

Update your Information

 Please keep us posted on your current location, latest job or grad school gig and other adventures! you can update us on your contact info and your news by filling out our Alumni Update form. 

Alumni Update Form

Alumni Updates

Chris Baribeau (B.Arch., '03)Jessica Gilmore (B.S., kinesiology, '20)Whitney Holden (B.S., chemistry, '09)Smit Patel (B.S.Bm.E., '21)Padma Manavazhahan (B.S., biochemistry, '15)Olivia Fredricks (B.F.A., '19)Kaitlyn Akel (B.A., history, '19)Bethany Manning (B.S.Bm.E., '16)Jackson Williams (B.A., art history, '19)

Chris Baribeau (B.Arch., '03)

Chris' firm, Modus Studio, received a 2021 AIA Housing Award for the U of A's Adohi Hall.

Jessica Gilmore (B.S., kinesiology, '20)

Jessica is attending St. George's University to obtain her M.D.

Whitney Holden (B.S., chemistry, '09)

Whitney works as a life science specialist at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts.

Smit Patel (B.S.Bm.E., '21)

Smit is pursuing a specialty in neurology at UAMS.

Padma Manavazhahan (B.S., biochemistry, '15)

Padma (at left) deepened her studies in Hinduism at the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, India.

Olivia Fredricks (B.F.A., '19)

Olivia is pursuing a graduate degree in printmaking from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University.

Kaitlyn Akel (B.A., history, '19)

Kaitlyn is a research specialist with the Center for Arab Narratives in Dearborn, Michigan.

Bethany Manning (B.S.Bm.E., '16)

Bethany is the primary COVID-19 provider at the Healthcare Associates of Texas.

Jackson Williams (B.A., art history, '19)

Jackson works at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City.


Caroline Campbell (B.S.C.E., summa cum laude, ’21) is employed as a process engineer at Baxter International. 

Alison Creasey (B.S., agricultural communications, magna cum laude, ’21) is employed with Schneider and works as an inside seller. She writes, “Without the support of the Honors College, I would not have been able to study in Mozambique to complete my research for my undergraduate honors thesis. I am so thankful for the endless opportunities the Honors College provides students!”

Caitlin Fitzpatrick (B.S.H.E.S., magna cum laude, ’21) will attend the University of Kansas Medical Center this fall to pursue a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy.

Grace Lehfeldt (B.S.B.A., finance, magna cum laude, ’21) works at 49 Financial as an associate financial advisor. Grace writes, “I am very grateful for the Honors College and the support they have shown me.” 

Smit Patel (B.S.Bm.E., summa cum laude, ’21) will attend UAMS and pursue a specialty in neurology. Smit plans to teach undergraduate or medical students in the future. 

Matt Young (B.S.B.A., finance and accounting, cum laude, ’21) will study data analytics at Georgetown University. 

Julia Bielanin (B.A., psychology and biology; B.S., chemistry, summa cum laude, ’20) is pursuing her M.D. at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. 

After graduating with his master’s degree in accountancy from the University of Arkansas in May of 2021, Matthew Crenshaw (B.S.B.A., accounting, summa cum laude, ’20) began work at EY in Rogers, Arkansas, in fall 2021.

Mitchell Dutton (B.S.B.A., business information systems, cum laude, ’20) works as a data analyst at Ozark Consulting and Marketing.

Jessica Gilmore (B.S., kinesiology, cum laude, ‘20) is attending St. George’s University to obtain her M.D.

Madison Martinez (B.S., biology, magna cum laude, ’20) is pursuing her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at UT Southwestern.

Kelsey Myers (B.A., history and classical studies, summa cum laude, ’20) is working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic ; she staffs the COVID-19 hotline at Washington Regional Medical Center.

Brooke Nunn (B.S., chemistry, summa cum laude, ’20) is attending the UAMS College of Medicine.

The pursuit of a career in the music industry led Brady Shipman (B.S.B.A., finance, cum laude, ’20) to Nashville where he is studying to obtain his M.B.A. from Belmont University. Brady completed an internship with the industry's largest country music seminar hosts –– Country Radio Broadcasters –– and currently serves as a graduate assistant in the Office of Admissions for Belmont. 

Noah West (B.S.B.A., marketing and supply chain management, cum laude, ’20) works at the Clorox Company as a category analyst. 

Kaitlyn Akel (B.A., history, cum laude, and B.S., biology, ’19) completed a master’s degree in epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she studied COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in six countries, with support from the Gelman Global Scholarship. She is now a research specialist with the Center for Arab Narratives, a new addition to the Arab American National Museum at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn, Michigan. She utilizes historical and cultural perspectives of the local Arab American experience, as they intersect with community health. 

Grant Damico (B.S., biology, summa cum laude, ’19) is pursuing his M.D. at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Emily Daniels (B.A., psychology, summa cum laude, ’19) is attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine to obtain her M.D. She plans to specialize in psychiatry. 

McKenzie Eccleston (B.A., economics and anthropology, cum laude, ’19) is pursuing a J.D. at Baylor University’s School of Law. 

Although COVID-19 derailed plans to study and research at Fudan University’s Shanghai Medical College on a Fulbright Scholarship, Chen-Bo Fang (B.S., biology, B.A., international studies, with second major in Asian studies, summa cum laude, 2019) has begun studies at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine.

This fall [2021], Erin Farmer (B.A., economics; B.S., physics and mathematics, magna cum laude, ’19) will attend Cornell University to pursue a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics. She is currently working as a lecturer at the University of Arkansas after obtaining a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Olivia Fredricks (B.F.A., summa cum laude, ’19) has completed a two-year position as studio tech and artist-in-residence at Maine College of Art. This fall [2021] she’s headed to Temple University to pursue a graduate degree in printmaking from Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Her studies there will be supported by a University Fellowship that includes tuition remission and generous stipends. 

“Going after a career in the arts is all about connections and opportunities,” writes Kate Friesen (B.A., English and journalism, summa cum laude, ’19), who is working at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, where she served as the personal assistant for the company manager of Blue Man Group while they teched their show in Fayetteville. She says, “For students looking forward to a career in any way related to the arts: jump into any and every opportunity you're given with courage and excitement. You never know which opportunity will land you in your dream role. … In just the few short months since I've graduated, I've found myself with opportunities and experiences I'd never even dreamed of.”

Nimit Gandhi (B.A., Spanish, and B.S., biochemistry, summa cum laude, ’19) is pursuing an M.D. at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Emily Gentles (B.S., mathematics, magna cum laude, ‘19) is pursuing a Ph.D. in statistics at Duke.

Morgan Hartsell (B.S.I.E., summa cum laude, ’19) works at Amazon as an operations manager. 

Peyton Jennings (B.A., psychology, magna cum laude, ’19) will enter SMU’s Dedman School of Law this fall. Since graduation she has been a research assistant at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, working on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States, which integrates structural and functional brain imaging with genetics, neuropsychological, behavioral, and other health assessments.

Madeline Johnson (B.S.B.E., summa cum laude, ’19) was accepted into the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering program at the University of Colorado Boulder. After graduation, she plans to work in the field of water resource engineering.

Rachel Lindsey (B.A., sociology, psychology and criminology, magna cum laude, ’19) works as an audience research and evaluation assistant at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She writes, “Looking back, participating in H2P was an integral part of my college experience. The interdisciplinary courses were challenging, compelling and rewarding.”

Nathalie Moriarty (B.A., psychology, magna cum laude, ’19) is a Ph.D. student in psychology at UC Davis, where she is working with Gail Goodman, an internationally known expert in children’s roles as victims and witnesses in the legal system and whose work has been cited in multiple Supreme Court cases.

Writing from Kansas City, Samantha Overstreet (B.S.B.A., accounting, summa cum laude, ’19; M.A.A.C., accounting, ’19) shared that she works at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an assurance associate. 

Hunter Phelps (B.A., history, magna cum laude, ’19) is a J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School. He writes, “Studying abroad is still one of my best memories from the University of Arkansas. I think it played a big role in my law school admissions and I was able to talk about how much it impacted me in several interviews. I’m so thankful for the grant I received that made it all possible.”

Madeline Rainwater (B.S.E., communication disorders, magna cum laude, ’19) graduated from the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in speech language pathology.

Michaela Ramsey (B.A., psychology, magna cum laude, ’19) is a teaching assistant at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in applied psychology and prevention science. After completing her doctorate, she intends to pursue a career in the academy, focusing her research on influencing public policy on child abuse.

Karsen Sims (B.A., prelaw and psychology, magna cum laude, ’19) is attending the University of Nebraska College of Law and plans to work in public service after graduation.

Danielle Smith (B.S., biology, cum laude, ’19) began studies in July at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth.

Garrett Tatum (B.S.C.E., cum laude, ’19) is pursuing a Ph.D. in civil engineering at The Ohio State University. He writes, “My experience in the Honors College provided me with the experience necessary to win a competitive fellowship for my first year of graduate school and prepared me to win the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in my first year of graduate school.”

Jackson Williams (B.A., art history, cum laude, ’19) works at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City as a gallery assistant. 

Building a sustainable watershed in the western U.S. is the primary focus for Zachary Wofford (B.S.B.E., magna cum laude, ’19) who works as a staff engineer at the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. Zachary writes, “Providing drinking water during a global pandemic, earthquakes and one of the worst droughts in decades has really added to the excitement (and job security)!” He goes on to explain the connection between his current work and his study abroad experience while enrolled in the Honors College, “I think it is cool that when in New Zealand with Dr. Jogan, I saw an endangered penguin face to face and swore to myself I would work to correct the destruction humans have caused. And now I am designing fish passages for threatened Bonneville cutthroats!”

Work on her honors thesis, “Talking with Dragons: How Dragons Reveal the Hero’s Heart,” prepared  Anne Crafton  (B.A., history,  summa cum laude, ’18) for her next chapter: She  has been accepted into a doctoral program at the Medieval Institute of Notre Dame. 

Lincoln  Gimnich  (B.A., international studies and psychology, magna cum laude,  ‘18)  is pursuing a Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies at the George Washington University and is Graduate Fellow for Development at the Institute for Global Engagement.

Alyssa Hicks (B.S., economics, cum laude, ’18) is a financial analyst in the supervision and regulation department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and is also pursuing an M.S. in data analytics at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. She writes, “I encourage all new graduates to ensure they never stop pursuing the job that will make them happy, even if it’s their first job! My current position is developing my skills in exactly the way I want, and I never would’ve gotten there if I didn’t initiate a conversation to transfer.”

Amy Lyon (B.A., international relations and Middle East studies, cum laude, ’18) is studying Arabic at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City and considering an interpreter certificate. She is a digital marketing specialist and guest experience lead at Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center.

Jace McPherson  (B.S. computer science,  summa cum laude, ‘18) My career was seriously bolstered by the Career Development Center by organizing mock interviews with a Google engineer. I didn't know that I'd walk away from a mock interview with a chance at a Google internship. This one event kickstarted my internship and later full-time job offer, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.”

Natalie O’Neal (B.S., kinesiology, summa cum laude,  ’18)  is working toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center in the Spring of 2022. Natalie writes,“ Funding I received through Honors College grants allowed me to conduct research, defend my honors thesis at a conference, and gain invaluable experience through study abroad in Sweden. All of these opportunities helped shape my undergraduate experience at the University of Arkansas and played a crucial role in acceptance to my dream graduate program. They simply would not have been possible without generous grants from the Honors College.”

Phillip  Oravec  (B.A., international studies, cum laude,’18) conducted research for his honors thesis in the Republic of Georgia through an international internship with the Georgian government. He subsequently published an article on this research, coauthored with  mentor  Ted Holland,  titled  “The Georgian Dream? Outcomes from the Summer of Protest, 2018,” in  Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, 27(2), 249-256.

Will Richardson (B.S.B.E., summa cum laude, ’18) recently completed a master’s program in water resources engineering at Oregon State University. His master’s thesis focused on quantifying hazelnut water use. Will connected existing methods of measuring crop water use with cutting-edge remote sensing techniques to observe plant activity, and developed low-cost, open-source sensors for measuring rates of sap flow in trees. Big picture, he’s working to help growers get an accurate picture of what their crops are doing, so that they can use resources efficiently without hurting yields. Will writes: “I've actually recently started working on a research project remotely with Ben Runkle in the biological engineering department at the U of A. We're applying a new technique for partitioning methane fluxes in order to get a better understanding of what drives large emission events in rice fields.”

Writing from Washington, D.C., Caroline Sage (B.S.B.A., economics and marketing, summa cum laude, ’18) shares that she is working as a business development associate with the International Fertilizer Development Center after obtaining a master’s degree in international development from the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, England. 

Quinn Simkins  (B.S.B.A, accounting and finance, summa cum laude, ’18), together with his brother  Austin (B.S., agricultural business ’14;  M.B.A., ’17), launched Simkins Brothers Sweets in 2017  with  their grandmother’s recipe for chocolate poppers. The Northwest-Arkansas-based chocolate company  won a $10,051 prize in  Idea Fame, an online pitch competition launched by the Startup Junkie team. They also brought home a $5,000 cash prize after winning second place in the Collegiate Venture Competition hosted by the University of Central Arkansas’s Conductor team. In 2019 the Simkins brothers shifted focus to launch their "Natural Way" line of nut butters, available in chain and independent grocery stores throughout the region, with accounts landed in California and the Pacific Northwest as well. 

Sarah Townley (B.S.A., agricultural education, communications and technology, cum laude, ’18) is pursuing an M.S. in agricultural leadership, communication and education at the University of Missouri and is employed by University of Missouri Extension.

Olivia Tzeng (B.A., biology and psychology, magna cum laude, ’18) is pursuing her M.D. at UAMS. She says, “I hope to pursue research specifically focused on women's health and provide evidence-based, compassionate care to patients of all backgrounds.”

Pearson Wade  B.S. Cmp.E., cum laude, ’18) is a computer engineer for the Department of Defense at Eglin Air Force Base. He writes, “The Air Force is fully funding my graduate studies to develop my career as a leader in the Air Force. I plan to earn my degree in three semesters, graduating in Dec 2020.”

Molly Evans (B.Arch., magna cum laude, '17) is working on competition submissions as an architectural intern at Olson Kundig in Seattle.

Weston Grant (B.A., biology and psychology, cum laude, ’17) completed an M.S. in biomedical sciences and will begin medical school at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall. He writes, “My time conducting and writing my research thesis during undergrad prepared me so well to thrive in graduate school and eventually medical school. I never thought that I would be interested in conducting my own research, but because of my honors thesis I have continued my research throughout graduate school and will have an opportunity to bring my ideas to clinical trials during medical school. Plus, every medical school interview that I had asked me about my research and provided me with a great point of conversation that the interviewers were very interested in. That led to my getting accepted at every medical school where I interviewed.”

Shannon Har (B.A., psychology, summa cum laude, ’17) is serving as national phone campaign manager in the U of A’s Office of Annual Giving, where she and her student fundraisers raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships, resources and building improvements every year. Shannon is currently applying to graduate schools.

Jake Kyte (B.A., journalism, cum laude, ’17) is now an account coordinator at The Monument Group in Austin, Texas. He is serving on teams executing strategic communications campaigns, crisis management and brand development for both local and national clients with Texas interests.  The Monument Group’s work covers a wide range of fields, including the technology, transportation and energy sectors.

Jonathan Mains (B.S.E.E., magna cum laude, ’17) is a software developer at RightNow Media.

Victoria Maloch (B.S., agricultural, food and life sciences, summa cum laude, ’17) used her Marshall Scholarship to complete an M.Phil. degree in public policy at the University of Cambridge and an M.Sc. degree in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford. She is a rural and agricultural policy specialist in Washington, D.C.

Justin McVeigh  (B.S.B.A., finance, summa cum laude, ’17) is a turnaround and restructuring analyst at Alvarez & Marsal in Dallas.

Elizabeth O'Daniel (B.S., chemistry, magna cum laude, ’17) will complete her M.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2022.

Jonny Schultz (B.S.B.A., economics and supply chain management, summa cum laude, ’17; M.B.A., ’18) has created his own business, Fish the Moment, which offers a variety of different services, from YouTube video breakdowns to personal fishing lessons. The idea for the company grew from instructional YouTube videos on bass fishing that Jonny developed as part of his M.B.A. program, and six months into his first corporate job, “the channel exploded … three months later, I created enough revenue streams to take the risk and go full-time as a YouTuber and bass fishing instructor. I’ll admit, it was scary to leave a well-paying manager position at a large corporation to start my own business, but I don’t regret it for a second. Fish the Moment is now a strong, growing business, and I’m actually making more now than I was in corporate.”

Jake Smith (B.S., kinesiology, magna cum laude, ’17) is pursuing dual degrees in medicine and public health at UAMS and is founder and executive director of 1and1 Ministries, a Christian organization dedicated to the personal and spiritual development of young student baseball players, both on and off the diamond. The organization has established locations in Jonesboro; Barranquilla, Colombia; and Condega, Nicaragua; and continues to grow. Jake is also working with orthopedic surgeons in one of the largest public hospitals in northern Nicaragua, providing surgical devices. Jake writes: “I hope to use my degrees globally, with my non-profit, as well as shape policy stateside.”

Nezly Silva (B.A., social work and Latin American and Latino Studies, magna cum laude, '17) has moved to Washington, D.C., where she is a research associate with, a bipartisan non-profit organization working to pass immigration reform.

Corbin Stinnett (B.A., history, magna cum laude, ’17) is currently a medical assistant at Sager Creek Pediatrics & Family Care in Siloam Springs. He is serving a one-year term as a student representative on the board of the Arkansas Society for the History of Medicine and Health Professions and continues to serve on the board of the Arkansas Country Doctor Museum in Lincoln. This fall, he will start an M.Phil. in history and the philosophy of science and medicine at Cambridge University’s Downing College. After finishing at Cambridge, he hopes to attend medical school and/or pursue further graduate training in the history of medicine.

Christine Tan (B.S.I.B., management, B.S.B.A., supply chain management, summa cum laude, ’17) is director of operations at SupplyPike, a supply-chain software company in Fayetteville.

Abby Terlouw (B.S., biomedical engineering, summa cum laude, '17) is currently pursuing her graduate studies at the Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.

Spencer Welch (B.A., economics and political science, magna cum laude, ’17) is attending Harvard Law School.

Weston Barger(B.A., computer science; B.S. mathematics, summa cum laude, ’16) earned an M.S. in applied mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the same field. He already has two publications and an internship at NASA under his belt and is about to begin an internship at Microsoft Research.

Caroline Beringer (B.A., German and history, cum laude, ’16, M.A., German, ’18) is an instructor at the U of A Student Success Center.

After completing her career as a student athlete at the U of A, Teni Butler (B.S.Ch.E., summa cum laude,’16) joined a soccer club in the Division I Södra Svealand league. Teni writes: “I was immediately able to step in and impact the back line for the team and help them finish third in the league for the season. I experienced total immersion into Swedish culture including a four-month homestay in Visby, Gotland Sweden.” Teni then returned to her home state of Tennessee to work for the Eastman Chemical Company, where she was recently promoted to anew position as a Cellulose Esters Coatings Tech Service Rep.She currently serves as chair for the East Tennessee Local Section of AIChE, and is an active member in the United Way ofGreater Kingsport campaign team.

Olivia Caillouet  (B.S., horticulture, cum laude, ’16) was among the first group of students chosen to participate in the Professional Awareness, Advancement and Development program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation to support graduate students in STEM fields. She will receive professional development opportunities, access to industry, government and nonprofit leaders, and a travel allowance. Caillouet was also awarded the 2018 Garden Club of America’s Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture. She will use the $5,000 award to implement educational signage at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, then research the impact of the signs on visitor learning. Olivia is honored by the opportunity, which meshes well with her graduate studies in agricultural education, communications and technology at Bumpers College. “I believe plants have an incredible ability to enhance our life, heal our planet, and strengthen community.”

Brendan Colligan (B.S.B.A., finance and accounting, magna cum laude, ’16) is a private equity associate at Hudson Americas LP.

Jillian Fry (B.S., biology, magna cum laude, ’16) completed her M.D. at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and is now a pediatric resident at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Ailon  Haileyesus (B.S., biomedical engineering, summa cum laude, ’16) is a development engineer in the Spine Division of Stryker Corporation. After several international service trips, she received her M.S.E ('18) from Johns Hopkins University in Bioengineering Innovation and Design - recently traveling to the Aravind Eye Care Center in Madurai, India to observe surgeries and visit manufacturing centers with local doctors and engineers to provide feedback and areas for improvement.  

Mark Haney (B.M., B.S.B.A., finance, magna cum laude, ’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.

Bethany Knight (B.S.Bm.E.,cum laude, ’16) is currently in the second year of physician assistant school at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicines in Tulsa. She expects to graduate in December 2019 and hopes to practice as a health care provider in endocrinology in Northwest Arkansas. Bethany writes, “The Honors College allowed me to study abroad in Sweden and to participate in Health Teams Abroad, which further confirmed my passion for health care. … It fueled deeper thinking about why I wanted to pursue health care in the first place. I cannot wait to work with children who have endocrine problems and help them realize they are so much more than their disease and that the disease is not what defines them.”

Russell  Locetta (B.S.M.E., magna cum laude, ’16) is employed with Shell as a mechanical engineer at the Deer Park Refinery and Chemical Plant in Houston.

With typical Honors College dexterity, Abigail MacDonald (B.S.W., cum laude, ’16) completed both an M.S.W. and an M.B.A. last spring from Washington University in St. Louis from the Brown School of Social Work and the Olin Business School respectively. Abigail is now a loan fund administrator and impact analyst at Mercy Investment Services in St. Louis.

Skylar Mann (B.A., criminal justice, summa cum laude, ’16) is currently employed as the HR & Finance Manager at Shine Solar, and is planning on pursuing a master’s degree in criminology at the University of Arkansas. “I was able to attend the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences' annual conference in Denver, CO during my senior year,” Skylar writes. “With help from the Honors College grant I received I had the amazing opportunity of presenting my thesis research. It was a great experience that prepped me for defending my thesis.”

After attending the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and obtaining her master’s degree in physician assistant studies, Bethany Manning (B.S.Bm.E., cum laude, ’16) works as a physician assistant at the Healthcare Associates of Texas.

Welcome home to Sammi Mason (B.A., English and news/editorial journalism, summa cum laude, ’16). Sammi received an M.A. in English focusing on literary and cultural studies from the University of Oklahoma in 2019 and is now back on the Hill as an administrative specialist in the Fulbright College Honors Program.

Sage McCoy (B.A., psychology, summa cum laude, ’16) earned an M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs from the U of A in 2019, where she serves as assistant director for community engagement. Her work during the pandemic with the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food pantry was  featured in the Fulbright Review.

Armin Mortazavi (B.S., biochemistry, summa cum laude, B.S., physics, ’16) studied brain tumors and epilepsy as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He is pursuing a medical degree at Georgetown University and plans to become a neurosurgeon. 

Danielle  Neighbour (B.S.C.E., summa cum laude, ’16) completed a master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beiijing as a Schwarzman Scholar, a program that “sparked a (somewhat unexpected) love for China, its language, and its culture.” Danielle is currently a Schwarzman Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where she is researching water recycling policy in China.

Riley Nelson (B.S.B.A., finance, summa cum laude, ’16) is a risk consulting associate at KPMG in Dallas.

Jessica Orton (B.S.Bm.E., magna cum laude, ’16) is pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Cornell University and plans to work in industry after graduation.

Andrew  Pisechko (B.S.B.A., accounting, summa cum laude; M.Acc., ’16) is employed with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation as a senior accountant and returned to Maputo, Mozambique as a full-time expat employee this July.

Zoë Rom (B.A., English, cum laude, ’16) earned a master’s degree from the School of Environmental Journalism in the College of Journalism, Communications and Media at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Following a stint as the assistant news director at Aspen Public Radio, she moved into print journalism as associate editor of Trail Runner Magazine. Her podcast, DNF (did not finish), has gained a significant following and sponsorship. Zoë is also a professional endurance, ultramarathon trail runner with a national reputation and following. Her work has also appeared in Outside, Rock & Ice, Backpacker Magazine, REI Co-op Journal, and Threshold.

“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, 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.

Jordana Thibado (B.S., chemistry, magna cum laude, ’16), completed a Ph.D. in biophysics in Cornell University in 2021; she delivered the commencement address. As a graduate student at Cornell she conducted research at the Weill Medical College campus in New York City, with support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She focused on metabotropic glutamate receptors, which are neurotransmitter-gated membrane proteins that modulate neuronal communication throughout the brain. Although these receptors are recognized as drug targets for neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and depression, no drugs targeting these receptors have ever progressed to market. Jordana is now employed as a scientific associate at Chameleon Communications International.

Seth Washispack (B.S.Bm.E., magna cum laude, ’16; M.B.A., ’17) earned an M.S. in supply chain management from Arizona State last year and is working as a supply chain analyst for HonorHealth, a Phoenix-area hospital system. He has also enjoyed hiking in the state.

“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.

C.W. Young (B.S.Cmp.E., with minor in mathematics, '16) has returned to his hometown, Magnolia, Ark., to work in process controls at the Albemarle Corporation. In his spare time, he's pitching in at the family farm and just bought his first set of four cows.

After a stint as the visiting ship advisor and assistant port chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers-Seattle, Hilary Zedlitz (B.A., Middle East studies and political science, summa cum laude, ’16) is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science, researching the intersection of religion and politics in the United States.

Johnathan Blanchard (B.S.C.E., magna cum laude, ’15; M.S.C.E., ’17) is a Ph.D. student in civil engineering at the U of A.

Sean Bryant (B.A., history, international relations and Middle Eastern studies, cum laude, ’15), earned a graduate certificate in international security from Harvard Extension School and is completing a graduate degree in transportation and logistics management at American Military University. He is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and writes: “I spent 2015-17 in Misawa, Japan, and have been at Osan, South Korea since then. Getting to see current events in Asia, from trade, negotiations with North Korea, and the first F-35s being delivered to Japan has been amazing. I have worked with the Australian Embassy in Seoul several times, and the information I learned as an undergrad was helpful in giving context for all of this.” He adds, “as a logistics officer, I rely heavily on the critical thinking, analysis, and writing skills that Fulbright and the Honors College especially emphasize.”

Jessica Luallen (B.A., European studies and international studies, 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’s involvement with the Chinmaya Mission, a Hindu religious and spiritual organization, dates back to her childhood, when she attended Sunday school to learn more about Hinduism. After earning her B.S. in biochemistry, summa cum laude, ’15, she worked and taught at the Dallas branch of the Chinmaya Mission while pursuing a master’s degree in the humanities from UT Dallas. In 2017 Padma headed to India to deepen her studies in Hinduism at an ashram in Mumbai. These two years were “the most immersive, amazing experience I’ve ever had,” Padma said on a recent Zoom call. She donned the yellow robes of a brahmacharin (monk in training) upon completion of the course and returned to the mission in Dallas, teaching up to 400 fourth graders online each day during a summer camp in 2020. Recently, to assist a family member experiencing health issues, Padma has stepped away from her training, which she describes as a “life of renunciation — you give up family attachments and your personal life so that you can focus on study, teaching and serving the larger community.” Currently she is working in Dallas with Amazech Solutions, a tech consulting firm that provides business, IT and staffing support.

As an honors undergraduate, Sarah Mayfield (B.S., food science, summa cum laude; B.S., biochemistry, ’15) researched chocolate that may help your heart and boost your metabolism. As a graduate student here at the U of A she continues to explore interesting topics; currently she is studying the physicochemical properties of wines produced from grapes grown in Arkansas. She recently received the American Society for Enology and Viticulture President’s Award for scholarship in enology, the American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship and the ASEV-Eastern Section scholarship.  She is the first U of A student to receive all three scholarships in the same year.

Maggie McConnell (B.S.B.A, marketing, cum laude, ’15) lives in Bentonville and is an account executive for IN Marketing’s Tyson team.

Lindsey Rasmussen(B.A., Spanish; B.S., chemistry; magna cum laude; ’15) is a pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla where she is also a senior lab technician at Brewer Science.

Whiskey smuggling, murder, scandal and a “hanging judge” – a digital exhibit curated by Forrest Walker Roth (B.A., cum laude, history, ’15) has all this and more. The Deputy Marshal Addison Beck and Judge Parker’s Court collection launched last year and is now available worldwide, free of charge at University Libraries. Forrest used Addison Beck’s diaries in his honors thesis and writes: “Having these documents online is a boon for anyone interested in the American frontier. Deputy Marshal Addison Beck was murdered a long time ago, but these journals he wrote ensure that his legacy patrols onward in the digital age.”

As we hear so often, study abroad is life changing. Nathan Scheperle (B.S., economics and mathematics, summa cum laude, ’15) writes that his study abroad grant “allowed me to spend my entire junior year at the London School of Economics, which was a really great experience both academically and personally. I highly doubt that I would've been able to take advantage of such a unique opportunity if not for the support of the Honors College.” Nathan received an M.S. in data science from Duke University in May and is a data science consultant with Duke Energy.

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.

Lindsey Swilley (B.S., public health, magna cum laude, ’15) completed an M.S. in occupational therapy and is an occcupational therapist at Lake Granbury Medical Center in Granbury, Texas.

Lauren Underwood (B.A., psychology, magna cum laude, ’15) is marketing coordinator and administrative assistant at Collier Drug Stores, Inc. and is completing an M.Ed. in Human Resource and Workforce Development at the U of A. She writes, “I had many opportunities through the Honors College such as being a research assistant and a teaching assistant but my favorite experience was traveling abroad to Tanzania. That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Matthew Watters (B.S.C.E., 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.

Rachel Wise (B.S.E., childhood education, summa cum laude, ’15; M.A.T., ’16) is a special education teacher in the Elkins School District.

Avery Zorn (B.A., journalism, cum laude, ’15) is assistant director of communication for enrollment services at the U of A.

Tera Bradham (B.A., broadcast journalism and Spanish, summa cum laude, ’14) is a Spanish teacher and head high school swimming coach at Meridian World School inRound Rock, Texas. She writes, “Because the Honors College Fellowship funded my undergrad education, I feel like I owe so much of who I am and where I've gone to the Honors College. I took a recruiting trip to Harvard before I signed with the University of Arkansas as an athlete, and I continue to tell people that I truly believe my education in the Honors College at the U of A was equivalent or better to any education I would have gotten across the country.” Tera has written a memoir, Swimming for Freedom about swimming, the Olympics, and a miraculous recovery from injury. It will be published in June 2020 to coincide with theTokyo Olympic Games.

Eric Carter (B.A., psychology, cum laude, ’14) is a manager at Eggshells Kitchen Company in Little Rock.

Wesley Clawson (B.S., physics, B.S.E.E., both cum laude, ’14, M.S.E.E., ’16) is pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Aix-Marseille University in France and planning post-doctoral study in the U.S.

Mary McDade Casteel (B.A., history and communications, cum laude, ’14) earned an M.F.A. in film production from the University of New Orleans in 2017 and is now a freelance filmmaker. While pursuing her M.F.A., she made two short films and has served as director of photography on five short films. Professionally, Mary works as a camera utility and digital loader and recently wrapped production on the Netflix biopic "The Dirt." She is currently working on "Happy Death Day 2" with Blumhouse Productions.

John Erwin (B.A., English, ’14) is pursuing a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking at the U of A. Mike the Birdman, a 30-minute film that he completed with Paige Murphy and Ninette Sosa, was selected for the 2017 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. He will soon release a feature-length documentary film on the life and work of poet Frank Stanford (watch a trailer for the film here). John writes that the film “will not only cover oft-disputed biographical information but will also examine his legacy and the merits of his work both in and outside of the academy (especially the epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You). The film’s visual style is heavily inspired by Irv Broughton and Frank Stanford's film It Wasn't a Dream: It Was a Flood(1974), a film the pair made together, which is itself an experimental documentary film on the poet's process.”

Gage Greening (B.S., biomedical engineering, summa cum laude, ’14; Ph.D., biomedical engineering, ’19) is employed as a biomedical research associate with the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium. He was recently honored with a 2021 Early Career Award from the College of Engineering.

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.

“I have been fortunate to apply the knowledge and skills I gained from the University of Arkansas Honors College in my career on a regular basis,” writes Michael Hensley (B.A., English, summa cum laude, ’14). He continues, “As a high school English teacher, I consistently relied on the learning that took place in my college journey, especially the honors colloquia that literally changed the way I viewed the world. Now, as an assistant principal at the Van Buren Freshman Academy, I am lucky enough to engage and empower some of the greatest students and faculty in the state using some of the things I learned from the University of Arkansas.” Michael earned an M.A.T. at the University of Arkansas-Monticello in 2014 and an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Arkansas Tech University in 2017, where he is currently working on a Specialist and Doctorate of Education in educational leadership, which he plans to complete in 2022.

Courtney Hill (B.S.C.E., summa cum laude, ’14) completed a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Virginia, where she is currently a third-year Ph.D. student in civil engineering. Her work in graduate school has been supported by National Science Foundation and Jefferson Fellowships. Courtney also works at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C., where her work has been supported by a Mirzayan Fellowship. She writes, “Because of the Honors College, I was able to study abroad in Belize and Denmark, which prepared me for a summer of research in South Africa, a project that got me involved in my current research at the University of Virginia. All of these experiences allowed me to obtain a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in South Korea. I truly could not be more thankful for the Honors College, as I walked away with no debt from school and experiences that opened the world up to me.”

Steven James (B.A., biology, magna cum laude, ’14) completed his M.D. at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in 2018. His is a family medicine resident at the Cox Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Missouri and plans to practice family medicine in Conway.

After graduation, Samuel McClelland (B.S., chemistry, magna cum laude, ’14) traveled the country for Hillary Clinton’s advance team and advised Secretary Clinton at campaign stops. Next up was law school at Emory University, followed by a clerkship for Chief Judge D. P. Marshall. Sam now works as an associate attorney at PPGMR Law.

Haley Prewett (B.S.B.A., accounting, magna cum laude, ’14) is the associate athletic director for business operations at Georgia Southern University. Prior to this role, she obtained master’s degrees in business administration and sports business management from the University of Central Florida. 

Tyler Priest (B.A., international relations/European studies and political science, cum laude, ’14) earned an M.A. in diplomacy and international commerce from the University of Kentucky in 2016. He continues to work at the university and lives in Lexington.

As a former Honors College Fellow and student leader, Autumn Lewis Spicher (B.A., economics and political science, summa cum laude, ’14) knows firsthand the power of the coursework, mentoring, funding and networking opportunities that the Honors College offers to students. Now, as the college's Director of Development, she is working to expand those opportunities for future generations of students. Autumn completed an M.P.A. at the U of A in 2021.

Will Strickland (B.S.B.A. accounting, 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 in San Francisco and Walmart Japan in Tokyo, Will has returned to Northwest Arkansas to work with Walmart’s External Financial Reporting team.

Elizabeth Tillotson (B.S.I.B., international business, cum laude, ’14) is simultaneously owner, Senior Associate, and enrolled agent at Reliance Tax Group. She attributes much of her success to Mr. Charles Leflar’s honors course, in which she was enrolled during her senior year.

Writing from Greensboro, North Carolina, Douglas Wolf (B.S.A., environmental soil and water science, summa cum laude, ’14) informs us that he received a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology from UC Riverside in 2019 and is employed with Syngenta Crop Protection LLC.

A stint in Ghana, West Africa, as a United States Peace Corps member working in health and sanitation led Megan Wood (B.S., chemistry, magna cum laude, ‘14) to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Megan is pursuing a Ph.D. in the molecular microbiology and immunology department and hopes to work for a pharmaceutical company as a postdoc or research fellow. She wrote, “I loved Arkansas and the Honors College and all the opportunities it has afforded me.”

Terrance Boyd (B.S.B.A., retail, cum laude, ’13; M.S., operations management, ’14) is pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational behavior at Louisiana State University. He has served as vice president of the Management Doctoral Student Association and on the executive board of LSU’s Black Graduate and Professional Student Association. Ultimately Terrance plans to pursue research that influences policies and practices that affect marginalized groups in the workplace. 

Sadie Smith Casillas (B.S.C.E., summa cum laude, ’13), is currently pursuing her doctorate at the U of A, where she is focusing on asphalt emulsions and pavement recycling techniques. Big picture, her work centers on technologies that have the potential to significantly improve aging transportation infrastructure across the U.S. She was one of 150 doctoral students in the U.S. and Canada to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic Educational Organization, a group dedicated to supporting high-achieving women pursuing doctorates.

Melanie Curry (B.S., biochemistry, B.A., biology, cum laude, ’13) is completing Masters in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health and plans on applying for jobs in public health emergency management. She spent summer 2018 working in the slums of Salvador, Brazil studying the ecological determinants of Leptospirosis infection.

Michael Hartman (B.A., art history, German, summa cum laude, ’13) is a Ph.D. student in art history at the University of Delaware. After completing his doctorate, he hopes to pursue a curatorial career. Last November, his first major exhibition opened at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Looking largely to artistic representations that incorporated scientific observation and study, Extreme Nature! explored how depictions of distant landscapes, tumultuous atmospheres, and natural disasters enabled nineteenth-century viewers to reimagine the boundaries of the world around them. The exhibition was included in the New York Times Fall 2018 "Not to Miss" list of art exhibitions and was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Michael later travelled to the Yale Center for British Art and presented on the panel ""Curating Natural Disaster"" at a symposium addressing how museums can more actively address climate change and heighten public awareness of pressing environmental issues.

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.”

Kristin Kovach (B.S., physics, summa cum laude, ’13) recently completed a Ph.D. in physics at UT Austin, where she studied biofilms that surround and protect invading bacteria from the body’s immune system and antibiotics. She used physics to try to break down the physical strength of the biofilm, which involved “growing huge amounts of bacteria and then trying to kill them. It’s a daily battle.” She is now a process engineer at the Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon.

Lucky McMahon (B.Arch., magna cum laude, ’13), is a project architect with Bradley Edwards Architect in Fayetteville. Recent projects have ranged from apartment buildings with a sleek European aesthetic to the Onyx Coffee Lab, a standout at the Momentary, Crystal Bridges’ new satellite contemporary art space in downtown Bentonville. She also serves on the board of the Fayetteville Housing Authority, which provides affordable housing for low to moderate income families. Lucky writes: “We’re hoping to build around 300 new units within the next couple of years.”

Writing from Richardson, Texas, Matthew McMahon (B.S., chemistry, summa cum laude, ’13) informs us that he is working as a hospitalist physician with Baylor Scott and White Medical Center – Plano.

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, 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.”

Upon graduation, Mike Norton (B.S., agricultural business & poultry science, summa cum laude, ’13) served as a rural policy intern with the White House Domestic Policy Council in Washington, D.C., where he also interned with Congressman David Valadao and with the Delta Regional Authority. Mike used his Marshall Scholarship to complete a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Oxford. He recently completed a J.D. at Stanford Law School, funded by his Truman Scholarship.

Matt Owens (B.A., history and Spanish, 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.”

Matt Seubert (B.S.B.A., economics, B.A., political science, summa cum laude, ’13) is now Director of Client Services with DataRank, a local startup with which he interned his senior year.

Calli Verkamp (B.S., architecture, departmental honors, ’13) is a project architect with Wheeler Kearns Architects in Chicago. She led design work on the Momentary, a 63,000-square-foot former Kraft Foods cheese plant that was transformed into a satellite event/exhibition space for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

Ray Walter (B.S., mathematics and physics, magna cum laude, with additional major in economics, ’13) completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Arkansas last spring, at age 24. His dissertation on “Large-Scale Atomistic Simulations of Complex and Functional Properties of Ferroic Materials” was supervised by Laurent Bellaiche. He also plans to defend a dissertation in mathematics that concerns “Wave Equation for the Kohn Laplacian on Quadric Manifolds,” supervised by Andrew Raich. He has contributed to eleven peer-reviewed articles and has another under review at Physical Review Letters on negative capacitance. Ray lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; to better accommodate his disease he is seeking remote collaboration opportunities that would allow him to remain based at the University of Arkansas.

Anna Ward Weaver (B.S., international business and information systems, summa cum laude, ’13) is business operations manager at Pariveda Solutions in Dallas.

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, magna cum laude, ’13) completed the M.Phil in human evolutionary studies at Cambridge University. She 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.

Elizabeth Caruth (B.A.; European studies, German and international relations; magna cum laude; ’12) completed an M.A. in international studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in 2014. She is now the senior program coordinator at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C.

Medicine, as most of you know, is one of the most popular career choices for Honors College graduates and, as you would expect, many of our M.D. alums are on the frontlines of the pandemic. This spring, Samuel Dunn (B.S., chemistry, magna cum laude, ’12) was working as the doctor on the COVID unit at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. He wrote that “It has been an interesting time figuring out who to screen and how to protect our patients and fellow co-workers. NWA has done an excellent job in coming together as a community during these troublesome times. We have been overrun with homemade masks and other PPE donations, which have been greatly appreciated. The social distancing has also been impressive as a community.” Samuel completed his M.D. at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2016 and an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington in 2019. He began a gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern last summer.

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.

Amee J. Salois Hennig (B.S., physics and English/creative writing, summa cum laude; ’12) is putting both of her degrees to good use as the media content manager at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.

Chelsea Hodge (B.M., music and German, summa cum laude, ’12) graduated with her Ph.D. in history from the University of Arkansas in 2020 and works as the director of grants and research innovation for the University of Arkansas Honors College. In this role, Chelsea provides support for current honors students as they navigate the thesis and study abroad process.  

Caitlin  Howle (B.A., English/creative writing , cum laude, ’12) expects to complete an M.A. in English this fall at Rhode Island College and is working at Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-award winning theater. She was recently accepted into the Rhode Island Foundation’s 2019 class of Emerging Leaders, a competitive program to train the state’s next leaders.

Drew Johnson (B.S.B.A., economics and finance, magna cum laude, ’12) is a member of the Harvard Business School class of 2019 and is the incoming special assistant to the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve. Drew writes, “I met my wife, Britt, in the Honors College! We wound up studying abroad in India together.”

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, 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, magna cum laude, ’12) is a consultant and business analyst at Cerner Corporation in Denver.

Julia Lyon (B.S. in biological sciences, 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., international business, cum laude, ’12; M.Ed., ’14) is student services program coordinator for the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina. He writes that his honors thesis project allowed him “to try my hand at cross campus collaboration while challenging me to be completely honest about my abilities and my limitations.”

Alice McMillan(B.S.B.A., marketing, cum laude, ’12) was selected as one of four “ATX Women to Watch” by Austin Woman Magazine. She serves as director of strategic initiatives at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where she leads advocacy, education, research and the award-winning Hispanic Austin Leadership program. This executive leadership program has generated a seven-figure economic impact in Austin and was recently named one of the top seven Hispanic Chamber leadership programs in the nation.

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.

Luke Osborn (B.S.M.E., summa cum laude, ’12) was selected for the 2019 Forbes “30 Under 30” in science for producing prosthetics with the ability to feel. He completed his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University and continues to develop systems to understand and link the brain to the nervous system as a senior research staff scientist at JHU's Applied Physics Laboratory..

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.

Quarantine has changed the way that many of us work, including Hannah Rabon (B.S., biology, summa cum laude, ’12), who works in an outpatient mental health clinic at the Kernersville Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in Kernersville, North Carolina. She writes that she is currently teleworking part-time from her home office to offer video and telephone appointments for veterans who can't leave their homes. Hannah completed her Pharm.D. at UAMS in 2017 and did two years of postgraduate residency training in clinical and psychiatric pharmacy, earning her board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2018. She participates in clinical research to improve the quality of the mental health care the Veterans Affairs Health Care Center delivers.

Samuel Reid (B.A., English, summa cum laude, ’12) completed an Ed.M. in education policy management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is now director of the Education Committee at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Randy Roeser (B.S., biochemistry, magna cum laude, ’12) received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and is an associate at the law firm of Haltom & Doan practicing patent and trademark litigation. Randy writes, “The undergraduate research I participated in with Dr. Sakon [professor of biochemistry] was very influential in my decision to attend law school and pursue a career in patent law.”

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.

Meredith Brown (B.S.N., summa cum laude, ’11) is a registered nurse with the Mayo Clinic in the Neuro ICU, where she served a 16-week externship between her junior and senior years at the U of A.

After completing her master’s degree in educational leadership studies from Oklahoma State University, Lacey Busick (B.A., history and anthropology, summa cum laude, ’11) is a career advisor at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri.

Ethan Carter (B.S.C.E., 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.

Akihiro  Nakashima (B.S., computer science, ’11, B.A., psychology, ’12, both summa cum laude) completed a doctoral degree in computational neuroscience at the University of Oxford (’17) and is now working in Tokyo as a program manager at the Bing Japan team for Microsoft Development

Elena Hampton-Stover (B.S., social work and African American studies, summa cum laude, ’11) works as the program services director at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic she has led an effort to implement a response system for people experiencing housing insecurity due to fleeing from intimate partner violence. Elena writes, “I grew tremendously from my experience as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship and appreciate the support that Dr. McCray showed me while preparing for the regional interviews. Her mentorship challenged me and helped me refine my future goals.”

David  Fryauf (B.S.E.E., magna cum laude, ’11) completed a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016 and continued postdoctoral work in the same lab for two more years, focusing on the design, fabrication and testing of optical coatings for protected silver mirrors. In July he began work as a TD Process Engineer at Intel Corporation in Rio Rancho, NM. David writes: “I’m developing thin film processes for Intel's new Optane 3D Xpoint memory devices, which may eventually combine the performance of RAM and solid-state flash into a universal memory technology." 

J.P. Gavin (B.S.B.A., accounting, minor in economics, cum laude, ’11, M.Acc., ’12) is with EY (formerly Ernst and Young) in Dallas.

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, 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.

Elena Hampton-Stover (B.S., social work and African American studies, summa cum laude, ’11) works as the program services director at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic she has led an effort to implement a response system for people experiencing housing insecurity due to fleeing from intimate partner violence. Elena writes, “I grew tremendously from my experience as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship and appreciate the support that Dr. McCray showed me while preparing for the regional interviews. Her mentorship challenged me and helped me refine my future goals.”

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, cum laude, ‘11) is pursuing his Ph.D. in social science curriculum and instruction at Florida State University with plans to pursue higher education administration and research. While attending graduate school he is working as the assistant director for academic affairs and student services in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State. 

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.

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.

Barry Motter (B.A., psychology, cum laude, ’11) is a licensed psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services of Seattle University.

As an emergency medicine physician in the Advent Health system in the Tampa, Florida area, Shaina Parks (B.A., anthropology, biology and Spanish, summa cum laude, ’11) has been working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic and combating disinformation on social media. 

Katherine Rutledge (B.S.B.E., 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, summa cum laude, '11) is a attending Vanderbilt Law School.

Amy Wallace (B.S., business economics, cum laude, ’11) spent 2012-2015 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar where she was a community economic development volunteer working with a women's silk-weaving cooperative. She completed a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and lives in Brooklyn while working at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Rani Achhireddy (B.A. anthropology and international relations, 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) completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Michigan and 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, cum laude, '10) recently completed a master’s degree in tourism administration in sports management from the George Washington University.

Justin Fengler (B.A., international relations; B.S. international business; summa cum laude; ’10), like many other honors grads, has made a career in an internet-based company. Justin is senior vice president for corporate strategy and 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.

Tatu Gatere (B.Arch., cum laude, ’10) is a 2020 honoree on OkayAfrica’s #okay100women list. OkayAfrica connects a global audience to the African continent by focusing on mainstream, emerging and progressive cultural creators and thought leaders. Tatu cofounded and leads the company Buildher, which equips disadvantaged young women from informal settlements in Kenya with accredited construction skills. Buildher also provides training on basic business and finance, gender-based violence awareness, sexual health, and leadership, boosting the livelihoods and confidence of the women in the program.

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) worked at two startup companies while pursuing his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School, 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.

David Haynie (B.A., journalism and political science, magna cum laude, ’10) lives in Dallas, where he received a J.D. from SMU’s Dedman School of Law and is a founding partner of Forster Haynie. David writes, “While I was attending the University of Arkansas, I was lucky enough to be included in the inaugural Tibetans in Exile Today (TEXT) program led by the great Sidney Burris and Geshe Dorjee. … While working to preserve the stories of Tibetans that had to flee Tibet, I was able to discover that I wanted to dedicate my life and career to something more. … After graduating in 2010, I decided to go to law school. While in law school, I knew that I wanted to be a plaintiff's attorney so I could help people harmed by the acts of others. I have now opened my own nationwide firm where we represent people that have been injured in an accident, wronged by their employer, or injured by a pharmaceutical drug or medical device.”

Emily Hollingsworth(B.S., biology, cum laude, ’10) earned a Doctor of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, Kansas, and now owns Hollingsworth Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Hot Springs.

Stephen Ironside (B.S., biology and anthropology, cum laude, '10) exhibited photographs taken around the world, paired by topics ranging from community to food to fun, in the Anne Kittrell Gallery at the Arkansas Union in Fall 2020. In his artist’s statement, Stephen writes: “In an era of rampant xenophobia, I wanted to look back at the images I’ve taken during my travels that feature people, and see where I could find commonalities among them. The Thailand tourist phrase 'Same Same But Different' came to mind, and it stuck. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to see some of yourself in these images, and realize that we’re all just trying to do the same difficult thing: to succeed at being human.” To see more of Stephen’s work, follow @ironsidephoto on social media.

Kevin Lammers (B.A., psychology and drama, cum laude, ’10) earned his law degree at the University of Illinois in 2014 and is Benton County deputy public defender.

Rachel Lee (B.S. degrees in physics and chemical engineering, 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.”

Trish Lopez (B.S.E., childhood ed., and B.A., Spanish, summa cum laude, ’10, M.A.T., ’11) is currently pursuing an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Arkansas Tech, while also holding a bilingual teaching position at Elmdale Elementary School.

Samantha Meadors (B.S., mathematics, magna cum laude, ’10) completed her M.Div. at Iliff School of Theology. She 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, 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, summa cum laude, ’10) earned an M.A. in arts and cultural management at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon graduating from the University of Arkansas, Katherine spent three years teaching in Japan through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. After earning her Master’s she interned with the Edinburgh International Festival, and has since returned to Japan, where she is a part-time Lecturer of English in the Kanazawa City area.

Gregory Smith (B.S.E., kinesiology, magna cum laude, ’10) earned an M.D at UAMS and is finishing his anesthesiology residency, after which he will become the first Interventional Pain Fellow at UAMS.

Lawson Smith (B.S.E., kinesiology, magna cum laude, ’10) completed his M.D. at UAMS in 2015 and was the first multidisciplinary pain fellow in the state of Arkansas. He is currently assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at UAMS.

Mac Stephen (B.A., biology, cum laude, ’10) earned his M.D., M.M.Sc. from Harvard University, taking time off between his third and fourth years to earn a master’s degree in global health care delivery. He has researched health care issues in Haiti as part of the non-governmental organization Partners in Health, and plans to practice as a primary care provider after completing his residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University.

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., 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.

Angela White (B.S.Ch.E., magna cum laude, ’10) is a process technology engineer at the Albemarle Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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.”

Ben Barr (B.S.B.A., finance and investment, cum laude, ’09) is the treasurer of Aethon Energy in Dallas.

A law degree from the University of Michigan put Matt Bender (B.S.B.A., economics, cum laude, ’09) on the path to becoming a professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law where he teaches the clinic, trial advocacy, and civil rights courses. Matt writes, “After several years away, it’s amazing to me that I returned to Northwest Arkansas for a federal clerkship, to work at the public defender’s office, and now teach students who are interested in civil rights and defense litigation.”

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) founded Boston Mountain Biotech LLC, a startup that offers a cheaper, more efficient way to manufacture protein-based pharmaceuticals. Since launching the company she has joined Walmart as a director, where she focuses on supply chain automation, robotics and innovation.

Matt Chesnut (B.S.B.A., finance, magna cum laude, ’09) completed an M.B.A. at Harvard Business School and works in corporate development for the Chickasaw Nation.

Stephen Coger (B.A., English, magna cum laude, '09) completed his J.D. at University of Washington School of Law and 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, magna cum laude, '09), is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas, funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Whitney Holden (B.S., chemistry, summa cum laude, ’09) earned a doctoral degree in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University and works as the life science specialist at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. In addition to her work in the classroom, Whitney is the host of the Biology Professor YouTube channel, which has 51,000 subscribers with 4.5 million views. 

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.

Shannon Sanders (B.A., journalism, cum laude, ’09) is a senior video producer of documentary content, series and special projects at ABC News. Previously she spent four years at National Geographic as a producer/editor creating short-form documentaries. Her work has been recognized by the National Magazine Awards, the White House News Photographers Association and the Society for News Design. 

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

Eric Specking (B.S.Cmp.E., cum laude, ’09; M.S., industrial engineering, ’13; Ph.D., engineering, ’20) is the assistant dean for enrollment management and retention for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas.

Blake Strode
(B.A. in Spanish and B.S.B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, ’09) completed his J.D. at Harvard and 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 [now Gearhart 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, summa cum laude, ’08) completed the D.P.T. at the University of Central Arkansas and 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, 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 served 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, ’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.

Lydia Lawless earned dual undergraduate degrees (bachelor's degree in agricultural, food and life sciences in food science and B.A. in Spanish, 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.

Sarah Mesko (B.M., flute and vocal performance, summa cum laude, ’08) completed the M.M. in vocal performance at Rice University. She has performed at the Glimmerglass Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Washington National Opera. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Magic Flute and continues to perform there.

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

Laura Pittman(B.S.H.E.S., apparel studies, summa cum laude, ’08) is a planner for fine jewelry at Walmart.

Gale Raymond (B.S., biology, magna cum laude, ’08) completed her D.V.M. at Louisiana State University and 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.C.E., 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) completed her M.A.T., at the University of Washington and 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., history and classical studies, summa cum laude, ’08), a history teacher at the Westminster School in Atlanta, received honorable mention for his lesson, “Gardening with the Dead: A Medieval Monastic Practicum,” in the 2019 Lone Medievalist Prize for Teaching competition. The lesson connected Walafrid Strabo’s ninth-century poem Liber de cultura hortorum (“Book on the cultivation of gardens”) and Westminster’s community garden, challenging students to read and apply medieval sources in crop cultivation.

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.

Thomas Vo (B.S.B.A., economics and finance, magna cum laude, ’08) completed his M.B.A. at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2017 and now lives in Boston, where he is a vice president at WestView Capital Partners.

Grant West (B.A., geography, 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 completing a B.S. in chemistry, magna cum laude, in '08, 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, cum laude, '07, 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.

Ashleigh Gibson Buckley (B.A., political science, magna cum laude, ’07; J.D., ’10) is a partner at the Buckley Firm in Fort Smith.

Shelly Buffington (B.S. in chemistry with a biophysical emphasis, 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.

Brent Harbaugh(B.A., classical studies, magna cum laude, ’07) earned a master’s degree in ancient history at Ohio State in 2012 and in May, completed a doctor of osteopathic medicine and a master of arts in bioethics at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He began an anatomic and clinical pathology residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center in July.

From Belgium, Katie Hoard (B.S., international business and finance, summa cum laude, ’07) writes to say that she is global director of Ag Innovation and Sustainability at Anheuser-Busch InBev. In 2008 she completed an M.Sc. in comparative politics at the London School of Economics and in 2015 received her M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Aimee Jones (B.S. in biology, 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.

Sydney Perkins Martinie (B.A., international relations, cum laude, ’07) danced professionally in France before completing her M.B.A. at Emlyon Business School in 2013. She currently owns and operates a successful yoga studio in Lyon, France. Sydney writes: “I began my journeys abroad with the Honors College and in many ways have the University of Arkansas to thank for my success abroad.”

Ryan Miller (B.S.B.A, management, cum laude, ’07; M.Ed., higher education, ’09; B.S.B.A., marketing, ’13) began a new job as donor relations manager with the Arkansas Foodbank. He also serves as the chair of the National Board of the Alumni Association for Beta Upsilon Chi, a Christian social fraternity. 

Tyler Nix (B.A., English Lit., 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, summa cum laude, ’07) completed an M.P.S. at the Clinton School of Public Service and 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., international relations, cum laude, ’07) completed a master’s degree in governance and public policy in 2014 at the University of Queensland in Australia. She is an external affairs specialist at Comcast Cable Communications in Nashville. Nashville Business Journalnamed Terry one of its 40 under 40 for 2018 and she recently completed the prestigious Leadership Middle Tennessee program. Outside of her professional life, Terry is the president of the Nashville Chapter of the Arkansas Alumni Association, where she works to reengage alumni with the U of A. She writes, “I am so thankful to the Honors College for not only encouraging me but also providing grants so my fellow peers and I could study abroad. In my career, I have worked on three continents and if it hadn't been for the support for the Honors College, I may have never studied abroad on the European Studies Tour the summer of my freshman year. Being able to explore 12 cities and expand my horizons allowed me to be fearless when my first job opportunity took me overseas to Japan. … Thank you so much for the opportunity that changed my life.”

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, 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.

Michael Brown (B.S.B.A., business economics, cum laude, ’06; M.S., economics, ’07) works as principal U.S. economist for Visa Inc.

Jennifer Cheatham (B.S., chemistry, summa cum laude, '06)is employed as a doctor at Washington Regional Medical Center. 

After graduating from the UA, Drew Cogbill (B.A. in music and chemistry, summa cum laude, ’06) earned an M.F.A. in design and technology from Parsons the New School for Design. Currently Drew is a technical product director at The New York Times, where he leads teams that shape users’ online experience of news, games and cooking..

Zach Cooley (B.Arch, summa cum laude, ’06) earned his M.Arch. at Princeton and is licensed in New York. He 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.

Tyler Davis (B.S.A., animal science, magna cum laude, ’06) graduated from the Paul W. Barrett, Jr. Graduate School of Banking at Christian Brothers University, Memphis in 2014 and is market president with Diamond Bank in Ashdown. In January, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Tyler to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.

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.

Andrea Lawson (B.S.B.A, marketing management, ’06) lives in Greenbrier and is a senior production tech at Southwestern Energy.

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.”

After obtaining her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Sarah Rowley (B.A., history, magna cum laude, ’06) is an assistant professor of history at DePauw University.

Elizabeth Smith (B.A., political science, summa cum laude, ’06) continued her graduate education at the U of A, receiving an M.Ed. in higher education leadership in 2008 and a Ph.D. in public policy focusing on education policy in 2016. She is now assistant professor and chair of the Department of Education at the University of Tulsa. She writes, “I will say that taking H2P is what really taught me to examine issues through a lens of interdisciplinarity. Learning in an interdisciplinary context as an undergrad influenced my decision to complete an interdisciplinary doctoral program and influences my research, teaching, and work as department chair even now.”

Kelly Sullivan (B.S.I.E., summa cum laude, ’06) completed a Ph.D., industrial and systems engineering at the University of Florida and is an associate professor of industrial engineering at the U of A. He was 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.

Ayo Yusuf (B.Arch., cum laude, ’06) earned his M.U.D. from Harvard University in 2008. He is currently a senior associate with Perkins Eastman, one of the largest urban design firms in New York City. Like so many of us, Ayo got plenty of help from feline companions while working from home this last year. He has written a book, Jumping on Shadows, that documents the shenanigans of his two cats, Lulu and Lucy. Illustrated with photos and cartoons penned by Ling Zhong, the book poses the question: “How can two almost identical cats be such diametrical opposites of each other yet peacefully coexist?” In pursuing this project in a time of turbulence and uncertainty, Ayo “began having fun again.” For more information visit

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.

Joseph Edelstein (B.S.B.A., finance, cum laude, ’05) earned an M.B.A. at Emory University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder and is employed as a research analyst with Johnson Asset Management in Cincinnati.

Honors College graduates are finding many ways to adapt their lives during the pandemic. Amy Passmore Eichler (B.A., art and computer science, cum laude, ’05) of Amy Eichler Fine Art in Fayetteville writes, “I'm now adjusting to coronavirus life offering online painting workshops through Zoom. In the past two weeks I had over 150 households registered for my classes from states all across the U.S., and even one student who's signed up for multiple workshops from England. It's been a great adjustment though it is not without its challenges.”

Laura (Jakosky) Engelland (B.S.B.A. marketing, magna cum laude, ’05) is working with teams throughout the Ford Motor company to develop services that connect your car to other parts of your life, making movement easier and more fun. 

Blanca Cecilia Gonzalez (bachelor's degree, 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, cum laude, ‘05, J.D. 2008) is corporate counsel for Stephens Production Company in Fort Smith.

Jeanine Sanderlin (B.S.H.E.S., apparel studies, cum laude, ’05) is employed with J.C. Penney as a window specialist and as an associate with She writes, “I have recently been making face masks for the Arkansas Arts and Fashion forum as well as for friends and family.”

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, 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.

The American Institute of Steel Construction recognized Emily Baker (B.Arch., summa cum laude, ’04) with an Early Career Faculty Award for her work in structural steel research and teaching. Currently an assistant professor of architecture at Fay Jones School of Art and Design, Baker is the first architect to receive this award. She was introduced to steel fabrication when she took a welding class at Batesville High School and honed those skills on design-build projects at the Fay Jones School. As a graduate student at Cranbrook Academy of Art, she developed Spin-Valence, a system that uses digital fabrication techniques to transform a sheet of steel into a kirigami (cut and fold) space frame. 

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

Honors alumnus Chris Baribeau (B.Arch., cum laude, ’03), together with Modus Studio partners Josh Siebert (B.Arch. ’02) and Jason Wright (B.Arch. ’04) received a 2021 AIA Housing Award for the U of A’s Adohi Hall. Drawing inspiration from the Cherokee word adohi, which means “woods,” this new residence hall is the first large-scale timber building in the nation. Adohi is located on the south end of campus, along Stadium Drive, and offers living learning communities focused on architecture and design, art, music, theater, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Katie Bridges(B.A., French and journalism, magna cum laude, ’03) earned an M.A. in French from the U of A and an M.P.S. with a concentration in journalism from Georgetown University. She is now the editor Arkansas Life magazine in Little Rock.

After completing her B.A. in anthropology, 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..."

Jeffrey  Sparks (B.S., physics, summa cum laude, ’03) completed his M.D. at U.A.M.S. and is an associate physician in the division of rheumatology, immunology and allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; he also teaches at Harvard Medical School.

Andrew Wehrman (B.A. history, 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.

Writing from Cornelius, N.C., Carlos Paz (B.S.B.A., business economics and management information science, cum laude, ’01) shares that he is the vice president of corporate development at Velocity MSC. 

After obtaining her master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Alabama, Amy Allen (B.A., English, cum laude, ’00) now works as a university archivist at the University of Arkansas.

Melinda Adams (B.A., English, cum laude, ’97) is employed at the University of Arkansas as an administrative specialist III in the department of history. 

Teaching is a passion for John Clifton Ruddick (B.S.E., magna cum laude, ’97; M.A.T., childhood education, ’98) who works as a visual arts specialist at Hunt Elementary School in the Springdale Public School District. He has earned National Board Certification.