Henderson State University News Circa 2014


The was the Blog website for Henderson State University News.
Content is from the site's 2014 archived pages providing a glimpse of what this site offered its readership.

For the most up to date campus, student, faculty & staff , as well as alumni news about Henderson State University go to their current website at: http://hsu.today/

Welcome to Henderson

‘The School with a Heart’

Henderson State University in Arkadelphia is Arkansas’s public liberal arts university. True to the century-long tradition that has distinguished Henderson since its founding, the university remains dedicated to providing excellent undergraduate curricula and graduate programs.


About Henderson State


When you look back at the history of Henderson State one thing will become very clear, very quickly—we’ve always played by our own set of rules.

Founded in 1890 as Arkadelphia Methodist College, we are the only one of Arkansas’s nine public universities that is now named for an inpidual—Charles Christopher Henderson, a Trustee and prominent Arkadelphia businessman. We are one of only two originally established as a four-year, degree-conferring institution; and we’re the second oldest state university in Arkansas.

Henderson’s first class included 110 students, who were taught by 10 faculty members. From 1929 to 1967 the university was known as Henderson State Teachers College, which is one reason our education programs are among the most respected in the region to this day.

Throughout our history, throughout the six different names under which we have operated, and throughout the tenures of the 15 presidents who have guided Henderson, our mission and goal has remained steadfast… to provide the best possible university education throughout Arkansas and beyond. To learn more about our history, visit the University Archives.

Our Mission

Henderson State University is Arkansas’s public liberal arts university. True to the century-long tradition that has distinguished Henderson since its founding, the university remains dedicated to providing excellent undergraduate curricula and graduate programs. Henderson, a Southern regional institution with a perse student body, advocates a program based on the liberal arts, regardless of specific educational interests. Through a common core of courses in arts and sciences, as well as through the more specialized curricula, the university fosters the maximum growth and development of each student.



Henderson student places third at national media competition

Posted on December 11, 2014

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

Posted on December 5, 2014 / 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.”

Through laboratory and field evaluations, this research project will provide AHTD with information on the physical and chemical properties of PPA modified asphalt, Hardee said. In addition, the work will involve aging studies along with studies of the possible interaction of PPA with additives that are often used by suppliers to improve the quality of asphalt.

“Dr. Hardee’s work on this AHTD research project underscores both the high quality work our faculty engages through their ongoing research and scholarship, as well as the unique learning opportunities they offer our students here at Henderson,” said Dr. Steve Adkison, Henderson’s provost and vice president of academic affairs.



Faculty ensembles to perform Dec. 11

December 4, 2014

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.


In my life: The music department faculty put on these performances every year. When I was at Henderson for a degree in Music Performance BA, I always enjoyed these particular concerts where Henderson State University’s music faculty would put their talents on display. It was intriguing to see one's professors performing. Instrumentalists and vocalists would perform both solo and chamber works by a variety of well-known composers. I was reminded of a recent faculty concert I attended in the fall of 2017 while on my spring break this year. I had a great long chat with one of my classmates who interned under search guru Bob Sakayama at TNG/Earthling - one of the foremost seo firms in NYC. They get websites ranking in high in Google and are responsible for much of the traffic to this website. A group of us graduation seniors from the music department decided to celebrate our upcoming graduation by getting a three bedroom Kaanapali Royal rental on Maui. It was my first time to this amazing tropical island. Kaanapali is incredible with its fantastic beach. We spent a lot of time out there sunbathing and snorkeling. I even tried scuba for the first time out on the reefs near Black Rock. In the evenings we would sip beer and wine on our lnai and watch the sun set. It's a thing on Maui and the sunsets are truly magnificent. One evening we had the condo's stereo system playing and we couldn't believe it but we heard three pieces that the faculty had performed in the fall concert the previous year: “Epouse quelque brave fille” from Manon by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Sebes” from Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano by Bela Bartok, and “Grosses Finale” from Kinderzirkus, Op. 17b by Jan Koetsier . Now what are the odds of that occurring? It freaked me out, but in a good way. We all gave a toast to our Henderson State University professors and a toast to our graduating selves. Hoorah- Henderson State University!!


STEM Center receives $6,200 grant

Posted on December 4, 2014

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

Posted onDecember 1, 2014

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 band@hsu.edu.


Choreography Showcase Dec. 4

Posted on December 1, 2014

Henderson State University’s choreography class and the HSU Dance Company will present the annual Fall Choreography Showcase on Dec. 4. Dance students will present original works in progress, showcasing contemporary styles.

Many of the pieces will be selected by a panel for inclusion in the Dance Company’s spring concert. The audience is invited to offer feedback and ask questions.

The showcase will include the presentation of With a Little Help, a new piece set by guest choreographer Mayte Natalio. A new work in progress by Jennifer Maddox, artist in residence at Henderson, will also be presented. In Root Comforts, “the audience can witness through the Dance Company’s improvisational movement invention how dance artists can work together in the moment,” Maddox said.

The event, which will be held in the Arkansas Hall Dance Studio at 4:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jennifer Maddox at maddoxj@hsu.edu or call (870) 230-5168.

Henderson ranks second in affordable online master’s programs

Posted on November 28, 2014

Affordable Colleges Online (AC Online) has named Henderson State University as one of the nation’s top universities to offer online master’s programs

. decorative image

Henderson scored second, behind Western New Mexico State University, in the annual ranking, which focuses on affordability and student success upon graduation among public colleges and universities offering online graduate programs. The ranking requires that public universities offer at least five online graduate programs and scores schools based on the following metrics:


  • Count of online master’s degrees available
  • Graduate tuition and fees
  • Academic and career counseling services
  • Job placement for graduates
  • AC Online Peer-Based Value – defined by AC Online as the metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or a similar cost).

Henderson offers online graduate programs in Technology Leadership

 and Educational Leadership for the District Level Leader. Five other Educational Leadership graduate programs are offered:

  • Curriculum Specialist/Program Administration Program of Study
  • Special Ed Curriculum/Program Administration Program of Study
  • District Level Administration Program of Study
  • Building Level Leader
  • Instructional Facilitator Program of Study


Business professors publish in new academic journal

Posted on November 25, 2014

Henderson School of Business professors Victor Claar and Lonnie Jackson recently published, “Are Servant Editors Born or Made?” in the first edition of the new academic journal, Servant Leadership: Theory and Practice (SLTP).

“Our faculty teach our students to be ethical future business leaders who are also caring servants,” said School of Business Dean Brenda Ponsford. “The work of Dr. Claar, Mr. Jackson and others shows that our professors not only teach but make valuable contributions to the academic literature in our area.”

The journal’smission is to advance servant leadership, both as a field of academic study and as a management practice, by publishing quality empirical and theoretical work in the field as well as practitioner-centered work concerning the practical application of servant leadership principles.


Teachers College grad named Arkansas Teacher of the Year

Posted onNovember 25, 2014

Henderson grad Ouida Newton, who serves as a math teacher at Poyen High School, is the 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, the state Department of Education announced Friday.

“Newton has a strong teaching history and outstanding accomplishments, making her a deserving teacher for this recognition,” state Education Commissioner Tony Wood said.

Newton has a bachelor’s degree in education from Henderson State University at Arkadelphia and a master’s degree in library and informational science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. During her 34-year career, she has taught Algebra I and II, sixth-grade science, pre-algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry, transition-to-college math, physics, and Algebra A and B.

Newton also has served as a library media specialist, math coach, curriculum supervisor, class sponsor, senior Beta Club sponsor and Teachers of Tomorrow supervisor. She previously taught in the Searcy School District and the Pulaski County Special School District.

In addition to teaching math to grades seven through 12 at Poyen High School, Newton teaches algebra, trigonometry and introduction to computers at the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.

Last year, Newton was named the Arkansas Rural Education Teacher of the Year and Arkansas Middle Level Math Teacher of the Year.

She received a $1,000 award from the Walton Family Foundation when she was named one of 15 regional finalists for Teacher of the Year. The foundation presented her with an additional $14,000 award in a ceremony Friday.

Also, SMART Technologies of Canada gave Newton the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award, which comes with technology products for the classroom and training.

State law allows the Arkansas Teacher of the Year to take a year of paid administrative leave for professional development and to serve as a non-voting member of the state Board of Education.


Carol of Lights Dec. 1

Posted on November 20, 2014

Henderson State University will present the annual Carol of Lights program on Monday, Dec. 1. The sidewalks of the south lawn will be lined with hundreds of luminaries, creating a beautiful seasonal scene.

The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. on the south lawn in front of Arkansas Hall and will feature music by the children from Davis-Baker Preschool, the Angelic Voices of Christ, Henderson Chamber Chorale, and other groups. Dr. David Thomson will recite The Night Before Christmas, and an appearance by Santa Claus is anticipated. A reception will follow the program.

The event is free and open to the public.


Choir, opera to perform holiday concerts Dec. 4-6

Posted on November 20, 2014

Henderson State University’s Concert Choir and Opera Workshop will present a holiday concert on three consecutive nights in December.

The Concert Choir will perform works by J.S. Bach, Maurice Durufle, William Byrd and John Rutter. The evening will end with a performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors, a one-act opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti in which a poor, young disabled child and his mother are visited by the Magi Kings on their way to see the Christ child.

The performances on Dec. 4, 5, and 6 all begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Arkansas Hall Studio Theatre. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for students with photo ID. For more information, contact higginb@hsu.edu.


Voice students place first

Posted on November 20, 2014

Two music students from Henderson State University earned first place honors at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Auditions held earlier this month at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Matthew Walker of Hot Springs won first place in the Senior Men’s category and Aaron Gilmer of Marion placed first in Lower Division Musical Theater. Gilmer also earned fifth place in the Sophomore Men’s category. Kendall Gibson of Cabot, Tanner Oglesby of Benton, and Casey Williams of Malvern all advanced to the semifinal round in their categories.

“This was Henderson’s best showing at the regional NATS competition in many years,” said Dr. Laura Storm, professor of music at HSU. “They did an excellent job competing against students from universities in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.”

The National Association of Teachers of Singing is a professional organization that promotes and supports the education of singers. Students participate in a preliminary round and receive written feedback from the judges. Those who advance to the semifinal round can compete and advance to the final round.

The top three winners in each category are eligible to enter the NATS National Student Auditions next July. In addition to participating in the auditions, the students attended a variety of workshops and master classes designed to help them master the art of singing.

Walker, Gilmer, Gibson, Oglesby, and Williams all study voice with Storm.


Theatre presents ‘Impossible Marriage’

Posted on November 13, 2014

Henderson State University Theatre will present seven performances of Impossible Marriage by Beth Henley on Nov. 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, and 22. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. A reception will follow the opening night presentation.

For more information or reservations, call 230-5291 or e-mail theatre@hsu.edu.

“True to her intellectually quirky style, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart) has created a work that’s as poetic and whimsical as it is dramatic and concrete . . . an intoxicating play that sends up love and marriage, ” said Time Out N.Y.

The ensemble cast includes Justin Cox of the greater Memphis area, Claire Hill of Arkadelphia, Anthony McBride of Benton, Andrea McDaniel of Arkadelphia, Ben Perry of North Little Rock, Shaina Tippitt of East End, and Chance Tritch of Paragould.

The play is under the direction of William Henshaw with scenic design by Doug Gilpin, both professors of theatre at Henderson. Student designers include Damien Freeman of Sherwood (lighting) and Madison Gallagher of Bentonville (costumes, makeup, and hair). The stage manager is Parker Milam of Fort Smith.


Exhibit features circus items

Posted on November 13, 2014

An exhibit featuring a mix of circus history, art, design and craft is on display at Henderson State University’s Russell Fine Arts Gallery through Jan. 7. Step Right Up! Behind the Scenes of the Circus Big Top, 1890-1965 explores a history fraught with intrigue and majesty.

About 60 pieces of circus history are featured in the exhibition, including full-color posters, costume regalia, historic photographs, billboards, oversized graphics, and histories from past performers.

The gallery is open free to the public from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


HSU receives ‘Military Friendly’ designation

Posted on October 31, 2014

Henderson State University has been designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media Inc., a veteran-owned business founded in 2001. Less than 100 colleges and universities received the prestigious designation.

These schools have demonstrated a commitment to supporting student veterans on campus and in their careers. They will be featured in this year’s December issue of GI Jobs.

The 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a free, data-driven survey of more than 10,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.


Distinguished Alumni honored

Posted on October 28, 2014

© Henderson State University

From left: Charles Gibbs, Bridgette Shannon, Emma Watts, Lonnie Watts Jr., and Henderson President Glen Jones.


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.