Distinguished Alumni honored

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From left: Charles Gibbs, Bridgette Shannon, Emma Watts, Lonnie Watts Jr., and Henderson President Glen Jones. VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM BANQUET

Henderson State University honored four new Distinguished Alumni at a banquet Oct. 24 in the Garrison Center Grand Ballroom. The event was part of homecoming week at Henderson.

This year’s honorees are: Emma Williams Watts, who recently retired as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; Lonnie Watts Jr., a retired professor of sociology at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; Charles Gibbs, president of CRG Investment Corp.; and Bridgette Blackman Shannon, an accomplished chemist.

First awarded in 1972 to honor outstanding graduates, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor Henderson bestows on it graduates. Honorees have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their career, community, education, politics, social service, and humanities. Each year, the Henderson Alumni Association Board of Directors selects these distinguished alumni to represent the university.

Emma Watts
Emma Watts received her degree in business administration from Henderson in 1975, followed by her master’s degree in education in 1978 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1991, both from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. She also received certification in secondary and adult education in 1978.

Watts taught in the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith’s Department of Business for 21 years, and in the College of Applied Science and Technology for 10 years. She received the Whirlpool Master Teachers Award in 1998 and was advisor of the Black Student Association.

She has participated in many community organizations and projects, and received several honors and awards.

Watts is married to Lonnie Lee Watts, and they have five children and eight grandchildren.

Lonnie Watts Jr.
Lonnie Watts earned his degree in sociology from Henderson State in 1975, and received his master’s degree in sociology in 1978 and master’s in business administration in 1992, both from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Watts taught at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith for 25 years, serving in several positions before retiring in 2013. He was chair of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology from 2002-2006.

Watts has served on a variety of boards and committees and has been active in several civic and professional organizations.

He is married to Emma Watts. They have five children and eight grandchildren.

Charles Gibbs
Charles Gibbs is a 1960 graduate of Henderson State with a degree in psychology and participated in the ROTC program.

After working for the American Red Cross until 1964, Gibbs joined Southwestern Bell Telephone. In 1979, he went to work for A.G. Edwards & Sons and began a career in the securities industry. He later worked for Paine Webber, Investment Management & Research, Spelman & Co., and Expert Witness (Securities) Various Law Firms. In 1980, he became president of CRG Investment Group, a position he still holds.

Gibbs has received numerous sales awards, and has been involved with several community service and civic organizations.

Bridgette Shannon
Shannon earned her degree in chemistry from Henderson State in 2002, and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. She was the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry at UA.

Shannon has worked at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS), University of Arkansas-Fayetteville Department of Chemistry, L’Oreal USA Manufacturing, and Corning Inc.

She was featured in Fast Company and Essence magazines and received the Little Rock Mayor and Board of Director’s Award, both in 2011. Shannon was a World Technology Awards Corporate Finalist in 2012.

Shannon is married to Dr. Simon Shannon and they have two children.


Henderson Halloween Oct. 31

© Henderson State UniversityIt’s almost time for Henderson State’s annual Halloween event as the university prepares to host hundreds of trick-or-treaters Oct. 31. Henderson Halloween will be held outdoors on the South Lawn in front of Arkansas Hall from 5:30-7 p.m. Numerous campus groups and organizations will be set up throughout the area handing out a variety of tasty treats.

The community is invited to attend. Sponsored by Henderson student activities and organizations, Henderson Halloween provides a safe atmosphere for trick-or-treating.

HSU Family Day Nov. 1

Henderson State University will host Family Day Saturday, Nov. 1, offering a variety of fun activities leading up to the Reddies football game at 3 p.m.

Festivities will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration for the Rib Cook-off at Wells Gym. The first HSU Vietnam Memorial Scholarship will be awarded at 10 a.m. on the Quad as part of Military Appreciation Day. A reception will follow at 10:45. Family Trivia will be held at 11 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

Registration for the Salsa Cook-off is at 11 a.m. at Wells Gym. At 11:30 a.m., an assortment of attractions will open at Wells Gym including: inflatables, face tattoos, rock wall, snow cones, cotton candy, and tacos. Lunch will be available from noon-2 p.m.

The Greek Stroll/Step starts at 1 p.m., followed by the Reddie Walk at 1:30 p.m. Rib/salsa winners will be announced at 2 p.m. And kick-off for the Henderson-UAM football game is at 3 p.m.

The community is invited.

Jenkins crowned homecoming queen

© Henderson State UniversityJessica Jenkins, a senior business management major from Little Rock, was crowned Henderson State University 2014 Homecoming Queen during a pre-game ceremony Oct. 25. Sarah Williams, a senior from Conroe, Texas, was named first runner-up, and Kaitlin Stubbs, a senior from Sheridan, was second runner-up.

The student body selected Jenkins from among 33 candidates. She was crowned by Henderson President Glen Jones and 2013 Queen Claire Howard.

Reddie for Henderson Day Nov. 6

Centurium AcademicHundreds of high school students will get a taste of college life when they visit the Henderson State University campus Nov. 6.

“Reddie for Henderson Day” gives seniors an opportunity to meet current students, tour the campus, visit with academic departments and receive information on admissions, financial aid, housing opportunities and non-academic organizations.

All high school seniors are invited to participate in this special campus preview day. Registration and check-in will be from 9-9:45 a.m. in front of Arkansas Hall. Parking is available at Wells Athletic Center. Shuttles will take students and their guests to the main campus. Various academic and social sessions will help both parents and students learn more about Henderson.

To register, go to www.hsu.edu and click on the “Reddie for Henderson Day” button, or visit getreddie.hsu.edu. Send email to tours@hsu.edu or call 870-230-5028 or 1-800-228-7333 for more information. Students can register through Oct. 31.

Homecoming court candidates announced

2014 homecoming courtHomecoming activities at Henderson State University begin Oct. 22 when the student body begins voting for the 2014 homecoming queen. Thirty-three students are nominated for the homecoming court.

The 10 finalists will be announced Oct. 23 during the annual homecoming bonfire. The court will be introduced and the queen crowned during football pre-game festivities on Oct. 25 when the Reddies host the Harding Bison.

The 2014 homecoming court candidates are:

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Henderson set to celebrate homecoming

DSC_5509Henderson State University wants its alumni to “Come on Home” for an exciting week of homecoming activities beginning Oct. 22 when voting starts for the Top 10 Homecoming Queen candidates.

“This promises to be an exciting homecoming that I hope everyone can attend,” said Paul Hankins, interim alumni coordinator. “Our Reddie football team is undefeated and will face a highly ranked Harding team in a Great American Conference showdown.”

From reunions, banquets and a theater production, to sporting events, tailgating and the Greek step show, Homecoming 2014 will offer something for everyone. “Our theme, ‘Come on Home,’ is so appropriate for the events,” Hankins said.

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HSU Theatre to present ‘Clybourne Park’ starting Oct. 9

HSU TheatreHenderson State University Theatre will present seven performances of Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris on Oct. 9, 10, 11, 13, 23, 24 and 25. All performances start at 7:30 p.m.  Talkback sessions with various members of the theatre company will follow the performances on Oct. 9,13, and 23.

Jokes fly and hidden agendas unfold as two vastly different generations of characters tip-toe the delicate dance of social politics, pitting race against real estate in the same North Chicago house. That house in Clybourne Park is the very one that the Younger family was set to move into at the end of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s celebrated drama from 1959.

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Open house at Garrison Center

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Henderson State marked the official completion of the Garrison Center renovation project Oct. 2 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. Visitors were treated to a variety of food and snacks in the new Grand Ballroom (formerly the Day Gym). The improvements brought Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks to the campus, along with a fresh new look for the Reddie Bookstore. The hallways on both levels of the two-story facility were modernized with new flooring and paint, and the Day Gym was transformed into a modern conference center. Significant improvements were also made to the Lecture Hall. State senators Bruce Maloch and Larry Teague were instrumental in helping Henderson secure $1.7 million in General Improvement funds from the State of Arkansas for the project.


HSU celebrates Founder’s Day

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Joining the Henderson State Academy of Scholars are, from left: Lori Stewart, Chris Horton, and Dr. Johnnie Roebuck.

Henderson State University celebrated Founder’s Day with an academic convocation on Oct. 2. Three alumni were inducted into the Henderson Academy of Scholars, which is comprised of Henderson graduates who have gained distinction in their professional fields. Joining the academy this year are: Chris Horton, Dr. Johnnie Roebuck, and Lori Stewart.

Faculty excellence awards were presented to: Dr. Bernie Hellums (Teachers College), Michael Taylor (fine arts), Dr. Steven Todd (liberal arts), Janice O’Donnell (science and mathematics), Dr. Ajay Aggarwal (School of Business), and Dr. David Bateman (Outstanding New Faculty Member).

© Henderson State University

Faculty Excellence Awards were presented to Dr. Ajay Aggarwal, from left, Dr. David Bateman, Dr. Bernie Hellums, Janice O’Donnell, Michael Taylor, and Dr. Steven Todd.

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HSU to expand college prep academy with $771,000 from AT&T

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AT&T Arkansas President Ed Drilling, from left, Gov. Mike Beebe, Charles Holland, and Henderson State President Glen Jones.     VIEW MORE PHOTOS

AT&T announced today that its Aspire program has awarded $771,000 to Henderson State University to expand the Southwest Arkansas College Preparatory Academy. The organization received the funds at an event today attended by Governor Mike Beebe.

The Southwest Arkansas College Preparatory Academy (SWACPA) is a university-public school collaboration program developed to reduce remediation rates and increase college attendance and graduation rates. SWACPA will use AT&T Aspire funding to expand the program to more students and hire additional educators to maintain small class sizes that permit individualized instruction.

As a student at Arkadelphia High School in 2009, Charles Holland had high hopes for his future but wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to get there. Then came the opportunity to participate in the Southwest Arkansas College Preparatory Academy.

“When I received a letter signed by the presidents of Henderson and Ouachita inviting me to participate in the College Prep Academy, I felt honored. To have an opportunity to actually take classes on a university campus was exciting,” said Holland.

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Music Faculty Showcase Oct.2

music_clip_art_jpeg3Henderson State University’s Department of Music will present its annual Faculty Showcase Recital Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Russell Fine Arts Center Harwood Recital Hall.

From voice and piano, to wind ensembles and marimba, the program will feature a diverse selection of music performed by Henderson music faculty. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program includes:

  • Frost Fire, III. Tense and Dramatic, the Faculty Brass Quintet: Richard Bailey, trumpet; Jim Buckner, trumpet; Amy Laursen, horn; Jamie Lipton, euphonium; and Todd Cranson, tuba
  • “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca, Laura Storm, soprano, and Hee-Kyung Juhn, piano
  • A Walk in the Woods, Jamie Lipton, euphonium, and May Tsao-Lim, piano
  • Irish Spirit, I. Ballad and II. Celebration and Dance, David H. Evans, clarinet, and Rick Dimond, marimba
  • Sonata for Flute Solo, III. Introspective and IV. Rakish, Jennifer Amox, flute
  • Alborada del Gracioso” from Miroirs, Hee-Kyung Juhn, piano
  • Adagio from the Limpid Stream, Todd Cranson, tuba, and May Tsao-Lim, piano
  • Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music, Sarah Stankiewicz, soprano, and Hee-Kyung Juhn, piano
  • Fantasy for Horn, op. 88, Amy Laursen, horn
  • Smile” from Modern Times, William L. Higgins, baritone, and Rick Dimond, piano

     * Viktor’s Tale, Steve Becraft, clarinet, and Kyounghwa Molinari, piano

Henderson president selected to NCAA Presidents Council

© Henderson State UniversityHenderson State University President Glen Jones has been selected to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Presidents Council. 

The Presidents Council is the highest-ranking governing body in NCAA Division II shaping policy and the future direction of NCAA Division II.

“I am completely humbled by my selection to the NCAA Division II Presidents Council and am looking forward to serving our over 300 member institutions in this capacity,” said Jones.  
The NCAA Division II President’s Council is comprised of 16 presidents or chancellors from active Division II members from around the association. Jones’s appointment runs until January 2019.

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HSU sees 10 percent increase in size of freshman class

Henderson State University recorded a 10 percent increase in the size of its freshman class for the Fall 2014 semester.

According to 11th day class totals, Henderson welcomed a total of 3,634 students. The number of first-time freshman students was 775, up from last year’s total of 705.

The university also experienced an increase in its number of transfer students, from 297 in 2013 to 326 in 2014. The total number of transfer students was up 10 percent, with transfers from two-year colleges in the state of Arkansas up 26 percent.

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HSU alum expands business with help from ASBTDC

Rafael Alvarez always knew he wanted to start his own business, but he didn’t know that one day it would be a successful restaurant.

“I had lots of ideas of what I could start up, but nothing ever made it past the concept stage,” he said. “It wasn’t until my uncle visited from Mexico that he planted the seed in my head. He has successful homemade Mexican ice cream shops all over Mexico. He suggested we do something similar in Hot Springs.”

Alvarez was a junior at Henderson State University in 2010 when he opened Nom Noms, a “Mexican ice cream shop,” in Hot Springs.

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