Class Notes Fall 2019

Please take a moment to tell your former classmates and us what’s been going on since you left UAFS, Westark, or Fort Smith Junior College. Tell us about your job, your family, your hobbies, your adventures, your plans – whatever you want to share with other alumni.

Feel free to include a photo (high-res, please). Then make sure we have your full name now, the name you used when you were here if it’s different, and the year you graduated or attended classes. Email your class note to or mail it to Alumni Affairs, UAFS, P.O. Box 3649, Fort Smith, AR 72913. Or stop in to see us in the office at Grand Avenue and Waldron Road.


Dr. Charles (Chuck) Preston, ’72, formerly a tenured professor of biology at UALR (1982-1989), and chairman of Zoology at the Denver Museum of Natural History (1990-1998), was honored by colleagues and former students from around the world in person and via video when he retired as Willis McDonald IV senior and founding curator of the Draper Natural History Museum, in Cody, Wyo., on Dec. ’14, 2018.  In retirement he will hold the titles of senior scientist and curator emeritus at the Draper and will continue to conduct ecological research in Greater Yellowstone during summers. He and his wife, Penny, will spend winters in their home near Lake Fort Smith.  


Shawna Burgess, ’98, has joined Arvest Bank as a business development officer in the Business Resource Center in the Arvest Tower.


Rham Nick Cunningham, ’01, married Lindsay Wright on Aug.15, 2019.

Jacob Atchley, ‘09, is a senior IT developer at Firebend.

Bridget (Bowen) Thompson, ’03, with her husband, Brian Thompson owns Beach Bum Tan and CryoSpa Fort Smith. She also owns BPW Payroll Service in Van Buren.

Tara Muck, ’03, was included on the Talk Business and Politics Forty under 40 list.

DJ Hurlocker, ’08, was named creative director for The Richland Group, a digital marketing and design company in Fayetteville.


Brandon and Jessica Parker, both ’09, plan to open a second location of their business Carrot Dirt Organics at Heritage Village on the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education campus at Chaffee Crossing.


Lauren Brown, ’18, and Brad Andrews, ’14, announced their engagement and plans to be married on April 5, 2019.

Nycole Oliver, ‘10, was selected as one of the Arkansas Center for Nursing’s 40 Nurse Leaders under 40 for 2019. The recognition identifies, celebrates and encourages exemplary dedication and leadership in the nursing profession.

Daniel Fudge, ’12, finished his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Mississippi at Oxford where he works as an instructional assistant professor.

Kaci Singer, ’12, and Jake Collins exchanged wedding vows in Fort Smith on July 13, 2019.

Serena Her, ’17, graduated with a master’s degree in human resources workforce development from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in May.

Hannah Meadows, ’17, has joined OK Foods as a corporate marketing strategist.

Chukwukere Ekeh, ’15, has written and published a digital children’s book, “Dreams Bigger than a Bathroom Window.” It can be downloaded at

Nina Vu Matlock, ’17, and her husband, Matthew, welcomed their first daughter, Magnolia Vu Matlock on May 2, 2019.

Sierra Bryant, ’12, and her husband, Brent, welcomed twins, Lavyn Emerson Buckler and Jace Buckler on May 4, 2019.

Albert Spanel, ’18, married Courtney Vines on May 4, 2019.

Lindsey Dillard, ’18, graduated with a master’s in accounting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in May and moved to New York City to work for Ernst & Young.  She married Chase Kamden Boyd, ’17, on June 29, 2019. Chase Boyd is a programmer analyst at Pace Industries.

Valentina Caver, ’10, completed a bachelor’s degree in graphic design at New Mexico State University in Las Cruses in 2012. She is pursuing a master’s degree at Georgia State University in Atlanta where she teaches the graphic design survey course.

Chance Locklear, ’14, completed his final exam and is now working as a CPA at Lawrence, Schluterman, & and Schwartz.

Carlos Ceron, ’15, was named the UAFS School of Education Outstanding Alumnus at the pinning ceremony in May. In fall 2019, he will be an assistant principal at Butterfield Trail Middle School in Van Buren. He taught math at the Northridge Middle School, also in Van Buren.  

Spencer Hart, ’15, received his MBA from Harding University in May.

Ashley Hill, ’10, graduated with a master’s degree in reading from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.

Allie Wilson, ’16, started in a new position as Ambulatory Sales Representative at MedLine Industries.

Steven Stone, ’19, started in a new position as a graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Logan Emery, ’17, is a new Farmers Insurance business owner.

Kimberly Sayavongsa, ’12, was promoted to machine learning engineer at Nielsen.

Timothy Walthall, ’17, is now office manager at AeroCare Holdings, Inc. He also is pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.

Kenny Whitehead, ’16, was included in NWA Business Journal’s Fast 15 for 2019.

Kayla Kamp, ’14, accepted a position as a planning analyst at ArcBest.

Sarah Balow, ’18, has joined the staff of the Future School of Fort Smith as an adjunct professor of personal finance for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Annsley Garner, ‘15, graduated as Dr. Garner from the UAMS School of Medicine in May 2019. She will do her residency in anesthesia at UAMS in Little Rock.

Nawar Hudefi, ’15, graduated as Dr. Hudefi from UAMS School of Medicine in May 2019. She will do her residence in vascular surgery at Baylor Medical Center.

Suzi Emery McClain, ’10, of Jenny Lind was a state finalist for the 2019 Kathy Cox Elementary Educator Merit Award from the Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation. She is a pre-K teacher at Keota Elementary School in Oklahoma. She received her award at the Excellence in Education Awards Banquet at The Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

Irvin Martinez, ’15, is a benefits administrator at Tyson Foods.

Brian Williams, ’05, and wife Chelsie Williams welcomed Cora Michelle Williams on May 28, 2019. She was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches.

Ashley Reed, ’11, has been promoted to vice president of Citizens Bank & Trust in Van Buren, and she is the commercial loan officer at the Alma branch. She has attended the Arkansas Bankers Association and the Consumer Lending School. She serves on the Abilities Unlimited board.

LaTonya Loredo, ’15, is a customer service supervisor at Spartan Logistics.

Bre Grady, ’18, is a traveling surgical technologist at Fusion Medical Staffing.

MacKenzie Mullikin, ’18, is an account manager at Weldon, Williams and Lick.

Lisa Roam, ’13, is a law clerk at Arkansas Legal Services.

Kaitlin Holland, ’19, is a graphic designer at The Richland Group.

Kayley Corley, ’17, is a legislative correspondent for Rep. Bruce Westerman, Fourth District of Arkansas, in Washington, D.C. She earned a masters of public service and administration degree from Texas A&M University in May. While at UAFS, Kayley served as a John Paul Hammerschmidt Fellow in the office of Third District Rep. Steve Womack.

Katie Kidwell, ’12, is a clinical specialist with Medtronic in Fayetteville. She is engaged to marry Jordan Donmoyer.

Kenny Whitehead, ’16, joined Hubbs, Belcher, and Company in Van Buren as a partner on July 1, 2019.

Katie Burgess, ’17, was recognized as one of the top 20 Novice Teachers in Oklahoma. She teaches 10th grade English and coaches varsity and junior high cheer at McAlester Public Schools.

Hayden Payne, ’14, is a recruitment staffing coordinator at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in April.

Blake Hansen, ’14, was promoted to chassis manager II at J.B. Hunt.

Tilisa Anderson, ‘16, has accepted a new position as virtual librarian with Ashford University, a totally online university based in San Diego starting in July 2019.

Markie Dean Garner, ’19, is teaching English at Siloam Springs High School for the upcoming academic year.

Katherine Kallman, ’18, will teach sixth and seventh grade math at Jacksonville, Ark.

Austin Fleer, ’19, is a commercial accounts manager with Cross Pointe Insurance in Fort Smith.

Shanice McFerran, ’16, has accepted a position at Waldron Public Schools as a middle school band and general music teacher. She will assist with the Waldron High School Band.

Christopher Howard, ’15, is associate general counsel with Zoe’s Kitchens in Plano, Texas .

Daysi Rosales, ‘17, is marketing campaign and CX project lead at ArcBest.

Jade Vinson, ’13, is an advance practice nurse at Camp Interventional Pain and Associates.

Irvin Martinez, ’15, is a benefit administrator at Tyson Foods.

Ben Smith, ’14, is in business development at CaseStack.

Raven Crowden, ’13, is a human resources generalist at the Area Agency on Aging.

Naomi Showl, ’12, is a project management engineer at ArcBest Technologies.

Jake Waddle, ’10, is a data scientist at Firebend.

Justin Cowgur, ’10, is a senior replenishment manager at Walmart.

Grant Gash, ’16, is teaching seventh grade math at Will Rogers Junior High School.

Katherine Kallman, ’18, is teaching sixth and seventh grade math at Jacksonville Middle School in central Arkansas.

Dejah Stephens, ’10, was named a regional finalist for Arkansas Teacher of the Year. She teaches fifth and sixth grade language arts and social studies at Orr Elementary in Fort Smith.

Morgan Kratts, ’17, a UAFS admissions officer earned a master’s degree in higher education – adult learning from Southern Arkansas University.

Taylor Grizzle Smith, ’13, is teaching seventh and eighth grade math for Alma School District.

Austin Smithers, ’18, is teaching history at Mena High School.

Brayden McKeown, ’19, is a special education teacher at Belle Point Center in Fort Smith.

Victoria and Dustin Emerson, both ’16, welcomed their daughter Amelia Ann Emerson on Aug. 16, 2019, at 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

Constance and Kent Elmore, both ’14, announced the arrival of their first child, daughter FInnlee, on Aug. 8, 2019, at 7 pounds, 15 ounces, 19.5 inches.

Lachelle Rolandelli, ’16, became engaged to Kaleb Warden on Aug. 19 at Roxborough State Park, outside Littleton, Colo.

Stephanie Longley Waack ’12, was recently promoted to assistant LPG controller – NEMA US at ABB.

Djorde Stojanovic, ’19, is a staff accountant at ArcBest.

Connor Johnson, ’18, is an insurance agent for AFLAC.

Brittany Potts, ’15, was promoted to branch manager at J.B. Hunt.

Christopher Wemmerus, ’17, has accepted a position as a reconciliation accountant 1 at Arvest Bank in Lowell.

Daniel Scamardo, ’19, is a bank operations specialist, working through each department of the company over a two-year period for Celerit Technologies in Little Rock.

Kallie Tanner, ’14, completed her master of public administration degree at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in August 2018. She relocated to Dallas in 2019 and works as a project manager for the city of Garland, Texas.