New Hot Springs campus opens

Henderson State University welcomed students to its new Hot Springs facilities Tuesday. Henderson leased the Landmark Building at 201 Market St. in 2014 to provide space for classrooms, seminar rooms, computer lab, and office space.

After several months of renovations, the facility opened its doors for the 2015 spring semester. Henderson had previously used classrooms at National Park Community College in conjunction with an established Henderson, NPCC partnership.

The new year starts with 145 students enrolled in 24 classes. “That’s 765 credit hours – 465 credit hours ahead of projection,” said Christi Batts, director of Henderson’s Hot Springs Academic Initiatives.

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Students study in Chile

The opportunity to learn a foreign language in a country where that language is predominant has been a reality for several Henderson State University students.

Katie Smith, a Spanish/communications major from Bee Branch, and Bruce Fuller, a Spanish major from Bismarck, are back at Henderson after spending a semester at Universidad del Pacifico in Santiago, Chile. They participated in Henderson’s Study Abroad program.

Smith was recently featured in a story published on the website Marketplace Advance (

Henderson has an agreement with Universidad del Pacifico that allows students to attend the South American university while earning credits for their degree. The program has been in place for about five years, according to Dr. Maryjane Dunn, assistant professor of Spanish at HSU.

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Community classes start Feb. 5

From climate change and solar power, to Caddo Indians and baseball history, community classes scheduled this spring at Henderson State University will offer a wide variety of topics.

The classes, which are free and open to the public, will be held in Reynolds Hall, Room 127 at 6 p.m.

The schedule includes:

• Feb. 5 – Non-Native and Invasive Plants in Arkansas: The State of the State, by Dr. Brett Serviss, professor of biology

• Feb. 12 – A Case Study of Religious Converts in Prison, Islam compared with Christianity, by Dr. Malcolm Rigsby, assistant professor of sociology

• Feb. 19 – The Who, What, and Why of Stress, by Dr. Emilie Beltzer, assistant professor of psychology

• Feb. 26 – Going Where the Bodies Are: A Necrological Tour of Baseball History, by Dr. Fred Worth, professor of mathematics

• March 5 – Caddo Indians: Past and Present, by Dr. Mary Beth Trubitt, station archeologist, Arkansas Archeological Survey

• March 12 – DIY Solar Power, by Dr. Ingo Schranz, associate professor of chemistry

• March 19 – The Filter of Fiction: Batman, Buffy, and Breaking Bad at the Blackboard, by Dr. Travis Langley, professor of psychology

• April 2 – Climate Change: Separating Truth from Fiction, by Dr. Bradley Rowland, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. David Bateman, associate professor of chemistry.

Henderson announces dean’s list, honor roll for fall semester

Henderson State University announces the students listed on the dean’s list and honor roll for the fall 2014 semester.

To be named to the dean’s list, a student must have achieved a 4.0 grade point average for the entire semester.  To make the honor roll, a student must have received at least a 3.5 grade point average for the semester.

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Student to visit school in Haiti named for uncle

John Branchizio

John Branchizio

Jenna Branchizio, a Henderson State University sophomore from San Antonio, plans to visit a special school in Haiti this summer that educates more than 600 vulnerable students in grades 1-8. The school is named for her uncle, John Branchizio, a Navy Seal who attended Henderson in the mid-1980s.

John Branchizio had served as a board member for Mercy & Sharing, a U.S. based non-profit organization providing care and education to abandoned, orphaned and disabled children in Haiti. He was very active with the organization.

In 2003, John Branchizio was killed when a bomb exploded beneath his vehicle while escorting U.S. Embassy officials in the Gaza Strip. Mercy & Sharing wanted to honor his life, service to his country and to the children of Haiti. So they named a school after Branchizio.

Twelve years later, Jenna Branchizio will see firsthand what her uncle had so wholeheartedly supported in the small Caribbean country just south of Cuba. In fact, she already plans to one day become the school’s administrator.

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Batman documentary includes segment filmed at HSU

LegendsoftheKnightA documentary film now available on Netflix includes a segment featuring Henderson State University professors and students. Legends of the Knight tells the true stories of individuals who were inspired to become real-life heroes because of their childhood love of the comic book character Batman.

Dr. Travis Langley, professor of psychology at Henderson and author of the critically acclaimed Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, teaches a popular class about Batman. Recognized as an authority on the “Caped Crusader,” Langley is often in demand as a speaker. He is also a regular participant on Comic-Con International panels and other activities.

Filmmaker Brett Culp traveled to Arkadelphia in 2011 to interview Langley and several of his students.

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HSU winter graduates listed

Winter commencement ceremonies were held at Henderson State University Friday, Dec. 19, with more than 220 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees.

The ceremony for School of Business and Teachers College, Henderson, began at 3 p.m. in the Wells Center gymnasium, followed at 6 p.m. by the ceremony for the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty charges were presented by: Dr. TaLisha Givan, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and director of Teacher Education Admission/CE; and Dr. Shaun Popp, assistant director of bands and assistant professor of music. Student responses were given by Tyler Shaw and Eric Gomance.

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Student helps out at Heifer Ranch

Summer break provides a myriad of opportunities for college students. Some continue to attend classes, while others return home to work or simply relax.

But Joshua McIntyre of Cabot, a senior dietetics major at Henderson State University, spent the past summer helping educate people about hunger, poverty, and the environment.

He volunteered at the Heifer International Ranch, leading visitors through a variety of educational activities. “I volunteered because it was an opportunity to do work that is meaningful that would also give me valuable new experiences and perspectives,” McIntyre said. “Heifer was an organization that I was familiar with and had a great deal of respect for.”

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Winter commencement Dec. 19

graduation_cap_and_diplomaWinter commencement exercises will be held at Henderson State University Friday, Dec. 19, with more than 220 undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees.

The ceremony for School of Business and Teachers College, Henderson, will begin at 3 p.m. in the Wells Center gymnasium, followed at 6 p.m. by the ceremony for the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty charges will be presented by: Dr. TaLisha Givan, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and director of Teacher Education Admission/CE; and Dr. Shaun Popp, assistant director of bands and assistant professor of music. Student responses will be given by Tyler Shaw and Eric Gomance.

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Henderson student places third at national media competition

Chris Ingram, a senior mass media communication major from Little Rock, placed third recently in a national competition for college media students. Ingram received the award in the category of Best Radio Promo/PSA.

The category is judged based on the best audio production for radio station promotional pieces. Ingram serves as station manager for Henderson State University’s radio station, KSWH 102.5 FM.

The award was presented at the College Media Association Conference in Philadelphia, a national competition among Division I and II universities and community colleges.

KSWH and HTV (Henderson Television) compete in categories such as Best Entertainment, Newscasts, Sports Programming, Promo and Web Video, according to Paul Glover, associate professor of communication/theatre arts and radio/TV advisor. “The students get to see what other schools are doing and we continue to innovate and create each semester,” Glover said.

Henderson mass media students have access to many of the same broadcast facilities as larger schools. “When our students win awards, it shows that they are competing at a high academic, technical and creative level,” Glover said. “I’m always proud of the work they do and I know they will get hired based on their demo reels, which often contain some of this award-winning work.”

Research grant: Hardee to help lead asphalt study

Dr. John Hardee

Dr. John Hardee

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has awarded $213,208 for a two-year collaborative project to research the performance of asphalts modified with polyphosphoric acid. Dr. John Hardee, professor of chemistry and dean of the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences at Henderson State University, is one of three researchers leading the study.

Hardee will be working with Dr. Ashraf Elsayed, associate professor of civil engineering at Arkansas State University, and Dr. Andrew Braham, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

“State highway and transportation departments have realized for years that it is very good business to use modified asphalt in new road projects,” Hardee said. “It simply saves a lot of money on the medium and long term because the roads are less likely to experience rutting and cracking. By far, the most common way of modifying bitumen in modern road construction is to add a polymer such as styrene-butadiene-styrene to asphalt.”

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Faculty ensembles to perform Dec. 11

music_notesHenderson State University’s Faculty Woodwind Quartet and Brass Quintet will perform at the Honeycomb Restaurant in Arkadelphia Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

The Woodwind Quartet consists of Jennifer Amox, flute; Shannon Clardy, oboe; Steve Becraft, clarinet; and Maralyn Sommer, bassoon. They will perform music by Eugene Bozza and Jean Francaix, two prolific French composers who had an affinity for wind compositions.

The Brass Quintet includes: Jim Buckner and Richard Bailey, trumpet; Amy Laursen, French horn; Jamie Lipton, euphonium; and Todd Cranson, tuba. They will play music by Eric Ewazen, a popular composer in the world of brass music, and an arrangement of one of the most famous and recognizable tangos of all time by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez. The performance will close with music of the holidays.

STEM Center receives $6,200 grant

The Arkansas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Coalition Board has awarded Henderson State University’s STEM Center a $6,200 equipment grant. The funds will be used to provide Chromebook laptop computers and other technologies to Blevins Elementary School and Centerpoint Intermediate School.

The grant is part of the “Connecting Science with Technology” project, said Betty Ramsey, director of the HSU STEM Center. Ramsey and STEM science specialist Greg Wertenberger will train teachers at the schools how to use the technologies in their science classes.

Henderson’s STEM Center promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to P-16 teachers by providing research and standards-based professional development, curriculum alignment assistance, and assessment support for mathematics and science teachers.

Band concert at HSU Dec. 7

Henderson State University’s Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble will present a concert Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. in the Arkansas Hall Auditorium. The program will include music by a variety of composers, including Gillingham, Goldman, Grainger, and Schuman.

The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Carrie Pawelski, is comprised of the university’s finest wind and percussion musicians, and performs traditional and contemporary wind repertoire of the highest quality in a smaller ensemble setting.

The Symphony Band, directed by Dr. Shaun Popp, includes student musicians from across campus who have demonstrated an outstanding level of musicianship and commitment to musical excellence. The Symphony Band features works for larger wind band.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Pawelski at