Ellis College highlights spring activities and achievements


Danika Daum, biology, was named a Student Leader of the Month for February. According to Torri Ellison, Communication Center Director, “Danika has shown outstanding leadership skills through her work in the Communication Center. The Center assistant is responsible for coaching students in public speaking.

Bryan Neal, Nolan Hickson, and Ryen Gillespie, Math-Statistics, and Ryan Quiring, Computer Science, represented Henderson as a team in the 16th annual Arkansas Undergraduate Mathematics Competition held February 23 at University of the Ozarks. They competed against nine other teams for three hours, working to solve challenging mathematics problems from a wide range of topics. The top four teams were University of the Ozarks, Hendrix, John Brown University, and Henderson State University.

Paris Dugan, Digital Art, presented his senior art exhibition, entitled, “This is America.”

Kasey Smith, Taylor "Dani" Sullivan, and Noah Franke, English, presented their scholarly and creative works at the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society Convention in St. Louis.

Haley Johnson, Digital Art, presented her senior Art exhibition, entitled “Heavier.”

Julie Myers, Art Education, presented her senior Art exhibition, entitled, “Connecting with Nature.”

Colton Langford (History), Rachael Lewis (Sociology), and Anna Vasquez (Public Administration) were inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society.

Brier Anna Mae Clark (Elementary Education) and Miranda Diaz (History), were inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honor Society.

Senior Jake Wyatt, Music, presented his capstone project, a short concert of his arrangements of commercial music. Wyatt has been the single, most-prolific arranger for NuFusion. His own arrangements comprise all of the music performed at the capstone presentation.

Jackie Mosely, Susana Loarca, Chelsea Stephens, Ray Weldon (all Chemistry), and Rachel King, Emily Williford, Nathan Steadman, Dan Gibson, David Thompson, Jeff Davis (all Biochemistry) attended the 2019 spring National meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, Florida. They attended talks by internationally recognized scientists, presented their research results, and attended graduate school fairs.

Erica Haley Hamilton, Art Education, presented her senior art exhibition, a photography exhibit entitled “Simplexity.”

Jay Heffington, Political Science, Todd Montgomery, Social Science Education, Jacquez Neilson, Social Science Education, Ben Parnell, History, Shane Raper, Social Science Education, Nathan Rutz, Aviation, and Bryson Whittie, History, spent their spring break at Radnor Lake State Natural Area near Nashville, Tennessee, where they conducted field research under the direction of Doug Heffington, Geography.

Sociology and Criminal Justice majors Alex Anthony, Daniel Colasanto, Keisha Collins, Ben Dewoody, Eric Flowers, Eric Gaither, Jonha Grant, Kati Hall, Jessica Horn, Denisse Jaramillo, Samantha Loy, Shelbi McCarty, Allison Morgan, Stephen Parrott, Preshous Pierce, Brittany Rowley, Torrie Thompson, and Lucas Wheatcroft, presented their senior theses in mid-April.

Advanced Studio Photography students who recently studied abroad in France presented an art exhibit, “A Propos de France,” at the Arkadelphia Arts Center. Madison Burrow, Studio Art, Amanda Cordell, Digital Art, Paris Dugan, Digital Art, Brenda Hardee, post-Graduate, Ashley Hennessee, Integrated Studies, Hannah Lewis, Management, Savanah Nickerson, Studio Art, and Regina Walker, Art Education, exhibited their photo series.

Joseph Myers, Criminal Justice, has been admitted to the Summer Internship with the Graduate Department of the University of Arkansas Little Rock. This program admits only four students nationwide each year.

Engineering students Jeremy Brents, Chase Brooks, Joseph Dees, Andrew Diehl, Austen Greco, Thomas Hodges, Michael Patton, and Rebecca Voss, as well as Jarvis Warren, Physics, presented their research at the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium meeting at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean mountain.

A'drion Vean, music, presented his capstone project in the Russell Fine Arts Recital Hall. He spoke about jazz, jazz trumpeters, improvisation, and his personal influences. He was also joined by other music students in playing a few jazz tunes.

Ali Meeks, Health Science, received a Rotary scholarship from the Rotary Club of Hot Springs Village. The Rotary scholarship program is supported by the club's fundraising activities and is aimed at providing financial assistance to area students seeking to continue their education after high school.

The senior engineering design class created an autonomous ground vehicle - Reddie Rover - as their course project. They competed in the National Robotics Challenge, Autonomous Vehicle Challenge event in Marion, Ohio. The team placed 2nd in the college division and was nominated for a Honda Innovation Award. The team consisted of Engineering students Joseph Dees, Chase Brooks, and Michael Patton, with Shannon Clardy, Physics, as advisor.

Jay Heffington (Political Science), Kaitlyn Davis (History), Shanika Smith (MLA) and Jarod Evans (Aviation), took a field trip to the WWII Japanese American Museum and the Rohwer internment camp in and around the southeast Arkansas town of McGehee. The students examined first-hand the tragic events that led up to and the results of forced removal of thousands of Japanese Americans to camps throughout the western U.S. during WWII. Professors Thom Copeland, History, and Doug Heffington, Geography, accompanied the students, and Ms. Susan Gallion, Curator at the WWII Japanese American Museum in McGehee, provided assistance in making this Department of Social Sciences field trip possible.


Jana Jones, Communication and Theatre Arts, wrote the script for the musical titled, Ugs: The Musical. Ugs is an adaptation of the Ugly Duckling. Ugs was presented March 5 at the Christian University Theatre Festival on Howard Paine University’s campus in Brownwood, Texas. The Musical was also produced on Central Baptist College’s campus.

Randy Duncan, Comic Studies and Communication, gave a presentation on "Jewish Culture in Comics and Graphic Novels" to The Jewish Federation of Arkansas at their weekly coffee and conversation meeting at Temple B`nai Israel in Little Rock.

Margarita Peraza-Rugeley, Spanish, has co-edited a collection, Decifrando Latinoamérica: género, violencia y memoria [Deciphering Latin America: Gender, Violence and Memory] (author and editor with Susana Perea-Fox), Cuernavaca: Universidad Autónoma de Morelos Press, México, 2018. She authored one of the essays, “Deseo, realidad y memoria en la Autobiografía del campesino Rubentino Ávila Chi” and designed and drew the book cover, “Estudio: mujer con espacios” ("Studio: Woman with Spaces") February, 2018.

Randy Duncan, Comic Studies and Communication, attended the VIP Opening of the Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Duncan began work on this exhibition over four years ago as a consultant to SC Exhibitions, but by the time it premiered at the Museum of Popular Culture in Seattle last year he was credited as a co-curator. Duncan also wrote an essay for the exhibition catalog.

Margarita Peraza-Rugeley, Spanigh, will do a book presentation during the Latin American Studies Association in Boston this month, and will present a paper, "Nosotros los clones: comedias posmodernas de mirreyes."

Maryjane Dunn, Spanish, gave a plenary presentation on "La Via Sanabres: A Step Back in Time" to the 22nd annual National Gathering of American Pilgrims on the Camino in Asheville, North Carolina. Her presentation highlighted the history of the Spanish pilgrimage route on which she has led Henderson students in 2016 and 2018.

Jennifer Amox, Music, was featured in an interview, "Reaching for the Stars A Conversation with Jennifer Amox," in April's edition of Flute Talk!

Fred Worth, Mathematics, presented two papers, “Some of the worst hitters in baseball history - part 2,” and “Newspapers and Quantitative Literacy: A Natural Pairing,” at the Oklahoma/Arkansas section of the Mathematical Association of America in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Marck Beggs, English, attended the Associate Writing Programs annual conference in Portland, Oregon. While at the conference, he presented poetry at an event hosted by the Tupelo press and played songs at the Writers Who Play event.

Cheryl Bates, Music, presented a paper, "Musical Motivation Through the Spur of Political Discord" and chaired the session, “The Power of Music II” at the Popular Culture Association International Conference in Washington, DC. This conference promotes discussion of the importance of popular culture in music, art, literature, history, (and many more academic areas) and focuses on its artistic features, and its deeper social relevance to society. She gave a preview of the paper in Reynolds Fine Arts Building before attending the conference. [April 17-20]

Doug Gilpin, Theatre, attended a professional theatrical design conference, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology 2019 Conference, in Louisville, Kentucky. He entered a scenic design model and materials in a juried invitational design exhibition, and he participated in a variety of sessions on current design styles, portfolio review standards, health & safety standards, design teaching, and technical production issues. He also mentored several students who attended the conference.

Cheryl Bates, Music, presented "Exploring Mis-en-Scene and Character Development Through the Use of Music in Wes Anderson's film 'Moonrise Kingdom,'" at the College Music Society South Central Conference at the University of Texas at Tyler in March. The presentation examined Anderson’s use of diegetic music and how it becomes an integral part of the mise-en-scéne. Additionally, select segments of the film score were investigated to uncover their compositional techniques and interactions with character, plot, and film editing.

Paul Williamson and Aneeq Ahmad, Psychology, published an invited research article, “The Bidirectional Spirituality Scale: Construction and Initial Evidence for Validity” in Spiritual Psychology and Counseling.

Barbara Hansen, Sociology, presented a paper on health stigma at the Southern Sociological Society Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. She also served as the expert discussant on a panel on medical sociology.

Tori Ellison, Communication, attended the National Association of Communication Centers’ Excellence at the Center Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. This conference for faculty and students who work in some capacity for communication centers on college campuses included sessions discussing starting, training, marketing, improving, taking the center to the classroom, and collaboration across disciplines. The conference connected her with valuable resources across the country to help improve our communication center at Henderson.

Samantha Edwards, adjunct English instructor, recently published a book, Boxful of Nightmares: Terry Hobbs' personal memoirs on the West Memphis Three murders. She will also be hosting a writing workshop for Arts in the Park in Hot Springs.

The Dance Company performed at Dance Impact at the Argenta Community Theater. They presented two programs. “You Had Better Make Some Noise” was choreographed by Jennifer Maddox, Dance, and the dancers, Naya Burns, Biology, Josie Collins, Brandon Curtis, Kat Hughley, Teddi-Anne Hulke, Parker Madlock, Madi Moore, Kevin Parrot, Philip Robinson, Felicia Valdez. “28” was choreographed by Brandon Curtis and performed by dancers, Collins, Hulke, Madlock, and Moore.

Tammie Townsend and Judy Carlyle, Nursing, had their poster presentation accepted for the Nurse Tim: 2019 Nuts and Bolts Conference.

Kelsey Malone, Art, is the recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. The fellowship will allow her to conduct archival research at the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania History Society for four weeks beginning on May 6. She will be working with archives related to The Plastic Club, a professional artists' organization established for and by women in 1897 - the first of its kind in Philadelphia. She will also be expanding research on artists featured in the first chapter of her dissertation, including Alice Barber Stephens, Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green, all of whom were illustrators based in Philadelphia at the turn of the twentieth century. She will be hosting a colloquium on her findings while in Philadelphia and hopes to eventually use this research towards completion of a book.

Shari Valentine, Sociology, successfully defended her dissertation, “We are Still Here: An Indigenous Perspective of Resistance.”

Margarita Peraza-Rugeley’s students in the "ARTiculate It in Spanish" class created an exhibit, “Exceptional Women around the Globe,” with summary biographies in both English and Spanish of visionary women from the around the world, along with artistic renderings of those women.

During spring break, Doug Heffington, Geography, and Henderson State University geography students participated in a geography field course at Radnor Lake State Natural Area. The field course was done in conjunction with park ranger staff, Tennessee State Parks and funded by Friends of Radnor Lake. https://radnorlake.org/henderson-state-university-and-radn…/

Henderson Reddie Trumpet Guild and the Music Department brought Doc Severinsen to campus on April 6 to play with the Arkansas All-Star Big Band. The concert was a huge success with attendees from all over the nation.

The Russell Fine Arts Gallery hosted the exhibit “Heavy Metal: 2019 Arkansas Women to Watch.” The state tour of this exhibit was organized by the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (ACNMWA), an affiliate of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The Women to Watch exhibit series follows the international biennial competitive of the same name initiated in 2008 by the national museum to increase the visibility of and critical response to promising women artists. The 2018 national exhibit focused on the use of metal as an artistic medium. Long considered to be the work of men, metalsmithing was historically seen by many to be too physically grueling for women. But in modern and contemporary eras women artists have used metal to create a broad range of objects ranging from functional furniture to minimalist jewelry to purely aesthetic abstractions and large sculptural works.

The Henderson State University "Masterworks Concert" took place in Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs. The Henderson State University Concert Choir and University Chorale were joined by players from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for performances of two 20th century masterworks. The first, Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Five Mystical Songs," featured baritone William Higgins, Music. The second was the southern premiere of Michael John Trotta's "For A Breath of Ecstasy."

Campus radio station KSWH won third place for Best Podcast at the College Media Association-Apple Awards on March 9 in New York. KSWH also won first place for Radio PSA, “Don’t Drink and Drive,” while HTV won first place for Television Political Coverage at the Arkansas College Media Association conference on April 5 in Russellville.

Henderson Theatre presented William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” A highly complex and complicated performance, it involved 26 actors, including some Henderson faculty.