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a collection of
first year experience & chancellor’s leadership corp

Table of Contents
A. Thea Zidonowitz Hoeft, Editor
Division Chief for Undergraduate Academic Advising Coordinator for Personal Awareness Courses p. 5, 6


Section 1Dobbins’ comments A. Instructor

Student Essays - Section 12 1. DeCarlos Buchanna 2. Krystal Goins 3. Brett Green 4. Jalan Green 5. Tori Johnson 6. Anthony Smith 7. Patrice Smith 8. Kim Sparks 9. Stephanie Stephens 10. Gerald Stewart 11. Brittany Turner 12. Krashonna Williams Student Essays - Section 14 1. Nyier Arnold 2. Alexandra Coulter 3. Victoria Dobbins 4. Hunter Douglass 5. Erica Fredriksson 6. Amanda Jackson 7. Kaylee Jackson 8. Kearies Moody 9. Shailisa Roberts 10. Jonathan Rodriquez 11. Jalisa Sloan 12. Minda Spaul 13. Cody Thomas 14. Kevin Watts 15. Tre’Von Wilkerson

p. 7 p. 8 p. 9 p. 10 p. 11 p. 12 p. 13 p. 14 p. 15 p. 16 p. 17 p. 17 p. 18 p. 19 p. 20 p. 21 p. 22 p. 23 p. 24 p. 25 p. 26 p. 27 p. 28 p. 29 p. 30 p. 31 p. 32 p. 33 p. 34 p. 35


Section 2
A. B. Instructor Frost’s comments Student Essays - Section 4 1. Yusra Baig 2. Isaac Branstetter 3. Amber Davis 4. Ja’Marvin Elliott 5. Shante’ Ford 6. Kimberly Foret 7. Robbin Gordon 8. Whittney Hall 9. Brandon Hardman 10. Jennifer Harrison 11. Kyleigh Highsmith 12. Ginna Peters 13. Parker Rosson 14. Jeremy Sasse 15. Ashley Smith 16. Uyanga Tsogtbaatar 17. Caitlyn Webb 18. Shelby Wyles Student Essays - Section 7 1. Ross Bradley 2. Joshua Clark 3. Nannette Daniels 4. Laura Frizzell 5. Bryson Gibbs 6. Tyler Gibbs 7. Nakeilya Goins 8. Yolanda Green 9. Jessica Hackler 10. Wesley Hillman 11. Rykia Lacey 12. Maggie Langrell 13. Thomas Norman 14. Briana Owens 15. Stephanie Parins 16. Jasmine Ramey 17. Clayton Wynn 18. Eric Yarberry
p. 36 p. 37 p. 38 p. 39 p. 40 p. 41 p. 42 p. 43 p. 44 p. 45 p. 46 p. 47 p. 48 p. 49 p. 50 p. 51 p. 52 p. 53 p. 54 p. 55 p. 56 p. 57 p. 58 p. 59 p. 60 p. 61 p. 62 p. 63 p. 64 p. 65 p. 66 p. 67 p. 68 p. 69 p. 70 p. 71 p. 72 p. 73 p. 74



Section 3
A. B. Co-Instructors Hampton’s and Steele’s comments Student Essays 1. Rachel Barfield 2. Melissa Billips 3. Matthew Blackburn 4. Autumn Brandenberger 5. Chenesi Brown 6. Michael Buccile 7. Ashley Calabotta 8. Erika Caldwell 9. Felicia Chudy 10. Rebecca Clements 11. Victoria Copeland 12. Michael Cotton 13. John Crow 14. Victoria Dawson 15. Magan Dempsey 16. Lafayette DeRamus 17. Christopher Dunbar 18. Geoffrey Ellis 19. Logan Ellis 20. Collin Ellison 21. Summer Flannery 22. Tanner Flory 23. Will Fortenberry 24. Holly Forthmon 25. Zachary Fry 26. Jonathan Gage 27. David Geisert 28. Taylor Helfrich 29. Rachel Herman 30. Zachary Hicks 31. Melissa Hollowell 32. Allison Jackson 33. Beth Kanopsic 34. Parminder Kaur 35. Jacob Keeney 36. Andrew Littleton 37. Shakendra Lucas 38. Alexis Martin 39. Alex McDonald 40. Victoria Medina
p. 75 p. 76 p. 77 p. 78 p. 78 p. 79 p. 79 p. 80 p. 80 p. 81 p. 81 p. 82 p. 82 p. 83 p. 83 p. 84 p. 84 p. 85 p. 85 p. 86 p. 87 p. 87 p. 88 p. 88 p. 89 p. 90 p. 91 p. 92 p. 92 p. 93 p. 93 p. 94 p. 95 p. 96 p. 96 p. 97 p. 97 p. 98 p. 99 p. 100 p. 101


41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75.

Sarah Melero Carolin Meza Jasmine Minor Apoorva Mittal Trent Montgomery Mieshia Moore Elyssa Mullenix Tamara O’Neal Katherine Palludan Dallas Parker Divya Patel Elvie Pearson Bianca Pollard Chris Quiamco Alys Ragsdale Kelsey Reed Dustin Rhodes Rachel Rowland Taylor Sills Jordyn Sinnett Aqa-Via Allen-Smith Callie Smith Justin Smith Troy Smith Logan Sturgill Allison Tank Macey Varnell Kerstein Ward Jennifer Waylan Donald Wilborne Jerral Williams Kelsay Williams Khari Williams Mary-Kate Williams Vernon Wilson

p. 101 p. 102 p. 103 p. 104 p. 105 p. 106 p. 107 p. 108 p. 109 p. 110 p. 111 p. 112 p. 113 p. 114 p. 114 p. 115 p. 116 p. 117 p. 117 p. 118 p. 119 p. 120 p. 121 p. 122 p. 122 p. 123 p. 123 p. 124 p. 125 p. 125 p. 126 p. 126 p. 127 p. 127 p. 128

Section 4
A. B. Instructor Howard’s comments Student Essays 1. Jalen Council 2. Reginal Glenn 3. Alex McDonald 4. Jermaine Marshall
p. 129 p. 130 p. 131 p. 132 p. 133

First-Year Student Writing,
service learning, & college success
Written and verbal competency is central to University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s core curriculum. For all students to be engaged in learning the power of the written word, the concept of “writing across the curriculum” has been supported with a variety of attempts to achieve the concept through curriculum integration. Geared toward the aims of supporting and nurturing writing in first-year students, these essays are of the student’s reflections on their service learning or learning about strategies that assist with the critical transition to college, through a personal awareness course. This project supports institutional purpose in meeting the written competency core curriculum requirement through an academic discipline. It further demonstrates to first-year students the notion that writing is important and that UALR teaches and expects students to write throughout their academic careers.

I n tr o d u cti o n

The ideation for this project began in the spring 2003 term when UALR eliminated the Written Proficiency of English Exam (WPE) graduation requirement, not to negate the importance of the core competency but to reassess writing within the disciplines. In the Personal Awareness courses, especially PEAW 1300 The First-Year Experience and PEAW 1124 Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, the opportunity exists to combine established elements of the curriculum in supporting the process of students learning to write. This would be enhanced and strengthened by producing a collection of the student’s written work. The collection would, from one perspective, demonstrate how much value is placed on a first-year student’s written work. The collection also has the potential to be used as an artifact in future student portfolios, demonstrating, individuals learning about the writing process.

To support the discovery of the writing process in freshmen students. To connect freshmen students’ writing assignments to a service learning experience. To connect freshmen students’ writing assignments in the fall 2010 to the establshed learning objectives in PEAW 300, the First-Year Experience course or PEAW 1124 the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps. To contribute to the assessment of the student’s service learning experience.



The five instructors involved, embraced this writing project with little hesitation and committed to providing numerous opportunities for their students to write in meaningful ways. This year we welcomed one new instructor to the project, Dr. Trakenya Dobbins. Dedicated instructors willing to take on this additional project are an asset to UALR’s First -Year initiatives reflecting best practices worldwide, in selecting the most qualified, committed individuals to teach these courses. Learning from our experiences in fall 2010, the instructors adjusted classroom writing assignments, deadlines and provided ample opportunity for students to practice submitting drafts for review using e-mail. Utilizing the technology of computers, instructors submitted their student’s final essays via e-mail to the UALR Office of Communications. This process was designed to assist in the graphic design and layout of the preliminary draft of the collection. It was not without its challenges due to the incompatibility of various software packages. Students with new laptops, already loaded with the latest software sent their essays to faculty and staff which had difficulty opening the documents. Time management skills are one of the learning objectives of all courses. These skills are frequently mentioned by students as either having been learned to some degree in high school or improved as a result of the PEAW 1124/1300 courses. It was not possible to include essays submitted by students after the established submission date or those that do not submit the required final draft to their instructor. It would appear that some students can continue to improve their organizational and time management skills in relation to meeting the necessary deadline and improve their essay. It is also evident that the student writing reflects upon their self expectations as they transition into the university culture from high school. Their comfort zone is the familiar in referencing of family, high school graduation and friends. The old versus the new is a frequently mentioned theme. Social connections and concerns about “fitting in,”“making new friends,” feeling comfortable” in class and at the university are common self-expressions in the essays. Their future aspirations, hopes and adjustments to college life are celebrated. It is interesting to note that the students mention the new friends and re-acquaintances that they made through the PEAW courses and service learning experiences. “Getting involved,” being engaged in coursework and the community seems to lessen the isolation of the unfamiliar as they more towards the second semester of college life. It has been a pleasure to collaborate and share the excitement of the instructors and students! I hope you will enjoy these student essays keeping in mind that the process of writing was at the heart of this project as first-year students participated in curriculum designed to support their transition to college. Thea Zidonowitz Hoeft, Ed.D. Division Chief for Undergraduate Academic Advising/ Coordinator of Personal Awareness Courses

Trakenya Dobbins
Instructor, PEAW 1300 First Year Experience
This semester, my students and I shared one common characteristic: we all wanted to have a successful first semester doing college! This was their first time taking college-level classes and this was my first time teaching the First Year Experience classes on a full-time basis. I am Trakenya Gordon Dobbins. I have always had a great desire to positively impact and assist students to succeed. This desire is personal because I am a first-generation college student. I am the first in my family to attend and graduate from college as well as the first to get a doctorate degree. It has been my passion since graduating college to assist other students like me. I therefore chose a career in higher education. After having worked on college campuses for approximately ten years in administrative capacities, I chose to make a career change and teach! Teaching the First Year Experience classes this semester has definitely been an eyeopening and personal awareness journey for both my students and me. While expecting to play the role of coach to my students along this journey, I have found my students coaching me. We have had a fantastic voyage of goal-setting, learning and studying, time management, and career exploration. Throughout this experience, we have discussed reasons for attending UALR. We have discussed the traits of a master student; a student possessing the skills necessary to succeed in college. We have also discussed the most important and impactful moments learned throughout the class. Each of these discussions were written as separate assignments, and later fused together, resulting in the following essays written by my students. These essays detail their journey throughout the First Year Experience class this semester.





DeCarlos Buchanna
My name is DeCarlos Buchanna and I’m from Dumas, Arkansas. My intended major is information science. I chose to attend UALR because I wanted to go to a school that wasn’t close to my home town but in contrast I didn’t want to be too far. Also, I came here because I have a few friends that came to this school last year and they said it was a good school. As a first-semester UALR freshmen student I would have to say that I am willing to change. I had to adjust to having so much time after classes and start to study more than I did in high school. I am responsible. If I miss class, I go to the instructor and ask if there’s anything I need to do. Also, if I miss a test I make sure I reschedule a time to make up the test. I’m relaxed about my grades. I think it’s important for me to make good grades but if I slack off a little bit and make a bad grade I don’t let it stress me. I am willing to laugh. Every now and then I take a break from doing homework or studying by doing something I like to do and have a laugh. Last I’m a positive student. I don’t think negative and I’m able to cope with daily problems. Since being in PEAW First Year Experience I’ve learned how to study for certain things, when and when not to take notes, and how to take test more efficiently. Recently, one thing I’ve learned that will impact my life is how to manage my credit and how I can keep my credit good. In all, PEAW has been a great class and it has taught me some skills that I will need in school and life.


Krystal Goins
My name is Krystal Goins. I am from the beautiful city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. My intended career is to be a Diagnostic Medical Examiner. I choose to attend University of Arkansas at Little Rock for several different reasons. One is because UALR is a very nice college for anyone to attend that is willing to experience a new life. As a first semester UALR freshmen student there are five Master Student characteristics that I would describe myself as. I am always willing to participate in class discussion and willing to make a commitment to participate in every class discussion that we have. I also am willing to laugh at any moment and I have a sense of humor to laugh at myself. Another master student characteristic that describes me is willing to work. I really don’t like to work but when it comes to my education I don’t waste time; I get started on whatever it might be right away. I am a caring student about knowledge and have a passion for ideas. I also care about people and appreciate learning from others. I am a courageous master student I admit my fears and will approach a tough exam or test as an opportunity to explore my feelings. The last characteristic that describes me as a master student is being responsible. I take responsibility for everything in my life even for events that most people would blame on others. Since I have been in the First Year Experience class I have learned a lot. I learned about civility which means good manners, respecting and treating others as i would like to get treated. I also learned about my learning styles. In conclusion, I have learned a lot and I highly recommend this class to every freshmen student next year.


Jalan Green
Jalan Green is my name I am from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Youngest of five with very many dreams and motivated by my hard working parents. My major is Criminal Justice at the moment, inspiring to go in a field that impacts the law. If I ever lose my desire for Criminal Justice, my second option would be sports, maybe a coach or a physical therapist for athletes. I chose University of Arkansas at Little Rock because it was the closest university to me. People define a Master Student in many ways. To me, a Master Student holds six main characteristics: a leader, able to focus attention, willing to change, determined, willing to work, and the main one to me is to be positive. Master Students lead never follow. They also are able to focus their attention on whatever is needed to be done. Third, they will change for their best interest. Determined is always their drive. Willing to work, fire up determination, and a positive attitude is always on their mind. All of these statements detail who I am as a Master Student, a leader, focused, willing to change, determined, willing to work, and positive. Since I have been a part of this class I have learned who I am as a student, how to organize myself, how to study, how to take test, and how to deal with credit. I approach everything on a serious note, because if it is meant to be taken a different way a sign will come about. As far as college is concerned, the thing that will impact my college experience is the friends I make. The thing that will impact of my life: my college experience. Never did I think I would be in a class in college that gets you prepared for college!


Brett Green
My name is Brett Green, I am eighteen years old, my hometown is Glenwood, AR. I choose to attend UALR because of its convenience to being close to my house and also I’ve thought about how I want to major in Biology, receive a doctorate degree, and start a career as a specialized surgeon. My intensions are to attend UALR from the beginning so that I know most instructors to hopefully increase my chances in getting into medical school at UAMS. As a first year freshman at UALR my master student characteristics consist of me being determined, responsible, well, willing to laugh, spontaneous, and positive. As I am getting older I realize I want a family later in life but to have a family you must be supportive so I am determined in getting my education so that I can raise a family later in life. Also I am a responsible person and I take full responsibility for my actions no matter what. I am a well person, I exercise quite a bit and take care of my body inside and out, and I am willing to laugh at myself and with others to just have a good time. I am also a positive student, I don’t think negative about any situation I’ve always had the positive thoughts on any situation I come to. Since I have been in the First Year Experience class I have learned many things including things that will better my college career like note taking, studying, and test taking skills that I didn’t have coming into college but now do. I consider these three things very important to me because these things will help me get through college. Getting through college is the most important thing to me, because making it through life successfully or the way I want to live life takes a great job, and getting a great job requires a degree, and a degree comes from college. This is how life has worked, and this is how life is always going to work in my opinion.


Tori Johnson
My name is Tori Octavia Johnson and I was born in Houston Texas. Few years after I was born I moved to Dermott Arkansas. I grew up and graduated from Dermott High with my mind set to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and major in Health Science with a minor in English. I chose to attend UALR because it was my dominant first choice. I knew I wanted to be at a university and it had all my requirements that I was looking for. I also chose to attend this college because it was a distance from home and when I wanted to go home I went for a good reason instead of just going home every day. I describe myself as a master student because I am able to organize and sort my schedule. I am determined, able to suspend judgment, self-aware, willing to participate, and responsible. I exhibited these traits when I took the leadership for the Race For the Cure walk. I was responsible for making this opportunity a universal and widespread event by gathering leaders like myself to manage classes and get classes involvement. Being organized and having a lot of participation led UALR students’ determination: We reached our 5,000 dollar goal and made a lot of women proud. Since I have been in my First Year Experience class I have learned how to manage my stress level, manage my time and schedule for school, and comprehend my work so that I understand it longer instead of just being able to pass a test. I take a little nap to keep up energy so I am able to wake up and get straight to work. I eat right every day and try to exercise so that my body is in shape. Being healthy helps my stress level stay down. I do a daily schedule for my whole day so that I know right off the top what I need to get done. I spend no more than two hours working on each subject; afterwards, I have a little time left over to go eat or hang out with friends. Overall, I will use strategies from this class to benefit me during my college years.


Anthony Smith
Hello my name is Anthony Smith II and I am an undergraduate student attending the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. I first heard about UALR at a college fair at my old High School in my home town, Cabot, Arkansas. I’ve been offered scholarships to join the UALR Wind Symphony and Athletics Band. I also heard that this school has a great Pre-Pharmacy and Chemistry Program: these are my intended majors and I hope to go to UAMS to pursue a degree in pharmacy to later become a Pharmacist. Now as a growing “Master Student” I find that there are some descriptive characteristics about me. I am inquisitive, intuitive, willing to work, willing to laugh, and able to organize and sort. Being inquisitive and intuitive, I have an unquenchable thirst for answers. When covering a topic I have to understand the deeper meaning to it; otherwise it makes no sense to me. Having the willingness to work and laugh and understand them has taught me: when doing anything there is a time to work and a time to play. Sometimes you can intertwine the two and sometimes you can’t, depending on the situation. I have learned over time that just because there is work to be done doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy yourself doing it. Lastly, being organized has kept me on track with school, music, and family matters. I have learned as a growing “Master Student” that these things are essential for just about any lifestyle I live. Now being in my First Year Experience (PEAW) class has taught me so much about how to manage my goals, my lifestyle, and college. It was truly a useful tool for my learning experience here at UALR. I will be able to apply things such as S.M.A.R.T Goals not only in college but in the workforce as well. For instance, things such as breathing techniques and test-taking, studying, and note-taking strategies will all better me as a student. Things such as civility I will be able to apply to everything in my life.


Patrice Smith
My name is Patrice Smith. I am from Lonoke Arkansas. My intended career is to be an X-Ray Technician. I chose to attend UALR because I knew it would be a University that would challenge me and push me to succeed in whatever field I wanted to go in. I also chose UALR because my brother also attends. I knew that if I was to need any help in anything he would be a person I could depend on. As a first semester UALR student I am determined, self-aware, responsible, caring, and hungry. By being these things it makes me push for more and strive to want to be the best. Not only will these things help me by striving to be the best, but it will also help me make long term friends in life. People who see other people working hard are most likely to want to be around them so that they can push each other more. Since I’ve been in First Year Experience it has taught me how to be more independent, how to work and study hard. I’ve realized that the only way that I will make it and be the best that I could be is by working and studying hard. I never knew how to study in high school because I never really had to, but college is a different game. If I want to be the best I have to study and work like I’m going to be the best. Also, I had to learn how to be independent. I don’t live at home anymore therefore I don’t have anyone waking me up if I sleep in late or don’t do my homework so I have to learn how to do it on my own. Over all taking the First Year Experience class was a wonderful experience.


Kim Sparks
My name is Kim Sparks and I am from Little Rock, Arkansas. I am attending UALR to attain a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with an emphasis in Zoology. One of my main reasons for choosing UALR would be that it is close to home. I can see my family and friends often. After debating between a few universities here in Arkansas, I decided on UALR because it is reasonably priced. I have also heard many people regard UALR highly. The faculty and students here at UALR are very friendly and are always helpful. When describing myself, I first think of the word “inquisitive”. I am curious about everything. Even the most mundane subjects can be interesting to me. I want to know everything about the world around me. From how the human mind functions to how to build a skyscraper, I want to know it all. “Creative” is another word I connect myself with. Ever since I was a young child I have loved drawing, painting, and building things. I am also a “joyful” person. No matter where I go or what mood I am in, I always have a smile on my face and a positive outlook on life. I am “determined.” I can’t put a book down or stop on a project that is only half way done. I like to accomplish tasks and perfect them as much as I can. Lastly, I am “able to suspend judgment.” I love a good debate, but I am not one to argue about who is right or wrong. I like hearing other peoples’ opinions, and I take them into consideration when making up my own mind. After this first semester at UALR, I have learned numerous ways to better myself as a student and I have learned a great deal about myself. I have decided on the career path I want to take and how I am going to reach that goal. I have also learned how I learn best and some studying and test taking strategies that will definitely come in handy. There are endless lessons and skills I have learned this semester that will further my advancement in school and my future career.


Stephanie Stephens
Hi, Stephanie Stephens here. I was originally born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. I plan on majoring in Broadcast Journalism under the Mass Communication department. I have high hopes for being an interviewer on the sidelines working for ESPN or NFL Network. I chose to attend UALR because it was close to home, I wouldn’t have to share a bathroom with eight other girls, and I’d get to intern at local businesses. As a first-semester UALR freshman student, I would say I qualify to be a Master Student because I possess characteristics such as - responsibility, energetic, determined, caring, positive, creative, etc. I’m also willing to laugh, I’m able to organize and sort too! I thoroughly enjoyed taking this course, especially during my first semester in college. It has helped me become aware of how important it is to balance your time and maintain a study/ work schedule. I have also learned how to take notes faster with as much information, study harder and more successfully, and I’ve also learned how to deal with stress and test anxiety. I will forever remember the things I’ve learned in this class

Gerald Stewart
My name is Gerald Stewart and I have been a student at UALR for almost a semester. I am a fun person but at school I am all business. I choose to attend UALR because I did not want to be far from my family. Also, I wanted to attend a college that felt like a university not a high school. In my first semester I have adapted to college life. I feel more determined. I may have times when it feels like my darkest hour but I get through it. I am also relaxed about grades if I fail I fail and I move on. A positive attitude is another characteristic I have learned. I try to have a positive attitude whenever I don’t feel so great. I am also willing to change. I try to adapt to any schedule or new topics. Responsibility is something I must have so I can do my homework instead of goofing off. I have learned many things in my First Year Experience class. I have learned the biggest mistakes students make like not coming to class and procrastinating. Also I have learned methods to improve my memory. Test taking skills is a great topic I learned; I can take tests faster and get better grades. Overall First Year Experience has been a great opportunity and I value all I have learned this semester.


Brittany Turner
My name is Brittany Turner. I was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I intend to major in Early Childhood Development with a Bachelors degree in Teaching. I chose to attend UALR, because it would be a good opportunity to broaden my vision about life/career decisions and cultural diversity. Also, when I attended the tour of UALR, the School of Education provided me with interesting information which persuaded me to attend UALR. As a first-semester UALR freshman student I can describe myself as being very determined to motivate myself to finish the semester. When my professors assign work I’m willing to work the extra mile to complete my assignments. Also, I’ve become more self-aware about my strengthens and weakness. As a student I’ve grown to be more courageous and positive about exams. Since I’ve been in my First Year Experience class I learned helpful methods of studying and learning that will be helpful towards my college education. Some methods include various learning styles, SQR3, P.O.W.E.R., and S.M.A.R.T goals that will help me plan short-term and long-term goals. Overall the class taught me useful information and I recommend freshmen next year to enroll in it.


Tre’Von Wilkerson
My name is Tre’Von Wilkerson. I was born and raised from Little Rock, Arkansas. I intend to major in psychology and receive a Bachelor’s Degree. For my career, I plan to become a Marriage Counselor or Physical Therapist. I elected this career because I feel like it fits my personality and my goals. This is a career I can definitely see myself majoring in the future. My problems and situations are being handled better than the usual. In high school, taking care of things wasn’t my specialty, but it has gotten a lot better thanks to my peers and taking First Year Experience. It has been really difficult for me as a freshman in college because you have many responsibilities to take on and have to handle them the correct way. This part in life is called growing up and being mature. What I have learned in this class is responsibility and how to value my time. Dr. Dobbins has taught us how to study the correct way and has given us many different options on how to create more space in your life. She has also taught us how to value our time on and off campus.





Nyier Arnold
My name is Nyier Arnold. I was born and raised in Little Rock. I have always been interested in the business aspect of everything and helping people. I was born into a family that was possessed by many shortcomings, so I have taken the task of breaking down those barriers that held on to my family for generations. Coming straight out of high school, I knew that I wanted to become Certified Public Accountant and develop a nonprofit organization for youth. I am dedicated to surrounding myself in business settings. I chose to attend UALR because of its cultural diversity. UALR gives me the opportunity to strengthen my values, my skills, and my overall outlook on life. By attending UALR, I am able to increase my chances of a higher earning potential. At UALR, I am able to gain a clear perception of my personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and emotions. As a first-semester UALR freshman student, I would describe myself as optimistic, inquisitive, determined, responsible, caring, willing to laugh, willing to work, energetic, self-aware, and able to focus attention. As a master student, I see setbacks as momentary and isolated. I am curious about everything. I consider myself well rounded. I am determined to master all skills and have the ability to apply whatever I learn to situations. I take responsibility for my actions and I never shift blame. I have a passion for ideas and knowledge. I care about people and I love to learn from them. Although school is a large venture, I am able to laugh and have a good time. I am a lot of things but I try to focus mainly on strengthening all areas which are not strong. I am and still becoming a MASTER student. Since I have been in PEAW, I have learned time management, goals setting, communication, and college study habits. I have learned that, in order to succeed I must stop procrastinating and reward myself for completing tasks. PEAW has helped me understand the way that I learn and study. PEAW gives me experience in setting reasonable goals for myself, communicating with others, note-taking and studying as it pertains to lecture classes and my learning style. Overall, I have learned to be confident in myself and avoid distractions.


Alexandra Coulter
My name is Alexandra Coulter and my hometown is Sherwood, Arkansas. My mother inspired me to continue past high school and further my education by stressing to me that my success in life all depends on my education and determination. This inspired me to explore the many career paths I had to choose from and make sure it is really what I want to do for the rest of my life. My intended major is Nursing. I will need to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in order to start my career off as a Registered Nurse (RN). I choose to attend UALR to learn personal awareness so I can evolve and grow through all life experiences. As a first-semester UALR freshmen student, I thought college was going to be very confusing and scattered, but I realized I had to be courageous and determined in order to see the positive benefits of college. I am self-directed and I don’t need others to reward or punish me for my actions; I motivate myself to do what needs to be done. I am willing to say yes to changes in my environment and within myself. I don’t stress myself out over tough assignments, because I put all my effort into it and I am willing to take risks. I am a responsible student because I email my professors ahead of time to tell them when and why I will be absent and find out what I will miss. Then I get any notes I may have missed from my classmates, and review them. Since I have been in this class, I have learned that knowing my learning style, visual, is a key part in my education because it determines the best way I learn new information, study, take notes, and take tests. It is important to integrate my learning style because my professor or my fellow classmates may have a different learning style than my own. Something I learned that will impact my college career and my life is civility. This will have an impact on my life because the way I treat other people, will determine how other people treat me.


Victoria Dobbins
My name is Victoria and I grew up in Bryant, Arkansas. I do not have a major picked out yet. I am just hoping that going to college will help guide me to my future job. I want to find what I will love to do even after I retire. Finding the best career is the challenge that I hope have resolved in four years. I am a master student. I am able to focus attention. I am willing to change. I’m determined, responsible, positive, optimistic, creative, willing to work, and willing to laugh. Overall I feel that I am a loving person and caring about my future. I have learned a lot about how to make it through college and do my best by knowing myself better. I really enjoyed having to do my service learning project. I had the chance to volunteer with the Hospice at Saline Memorial Hospital. It was very rewarding for me. I had a real good time while doing it too. I met very nice people that work there. This wonderful lady had an impact on my life which made her a very special person to me. She is a volunteer that has been there since her husband had passed away. This wonderful lady was just a delight which brought hope to the families. The nurses were very great to the families. It was a very homey atmosphere there. It was a good experience for me that will have an impact on me for the rest of my life. It really gave me an insight to what I might want to do with my career. I will do more volunteer service there when I am able to donate my time. It was really the biggest part of my learning experience during my First Year Experience class. My First Year Experience class has brought me closer to my community and has shown me what type of master student I am.


Hunter Douglass
My name is Hunter Douglass. I live in North Little Rock Arkansas. I’m a freshman at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I hope to gain a Master’s degree and a major in Art Education. When it comes down to why I chose UALR it’s fairly simple. I chose UALR because it is close to home, affordable, and has a fantastic art department. What more could I ask for. I always succeed when I try my hardest and don’t mind asking questions. I am very good at asking questions about things I’m not sure about. Something I like about myself, is I usually have a very positive outlook. If I had to use a few master student characteristics to describe myself they would have to be determined, a leader, hungry, willing to take risks, positive, and creative. I’m very outgoing when I apply myself and can impress anyone if I try hard. I have a deep want to gain useful knowledge and apply it when I see fit. I can be very creative in finding loop holes to a subject and using my skills to work this to my advantage. The main reason I ask questions is to be sure I don’t go through a loop hole too far and cheat, because if there is one thing I’m not it’s a cheater. I may come off as a negative but in truth I am very positive and recognize that for the most part everything will turn out alright. If I was to be honest this class didn’t teach me but a few things. However, these few things were more important than a million others. I’ve learned I need to apply myself and accept that I have to work hard. This will no doubt help me in the long run of my college career. As a teacher I hope to help my students to realize this work ethic too; this is a very important step that most everyone should have to take in their life. It’s at this point in our life that we realize what we do matters and that we should actually care about the effort we put forward.


Erika Fredriksson
My name is Erika Fredriksson. I am from Bryant, Arkansas and I am a freshman at the University of Arkansas. I chose to attend UALR because it is a University and not a two year technical college, and it is close to home. My intended major is Nursing. I want to get my RN license and then continue on to become a Licensed Practice Nurse and work in a children’s hospital in the Cardiology Unit because I have heart problems and I want to be able to help other people out with the same problem as me. I could use many characteristics to describe myself but the top ones would be determined, joyful, energetic, relaxed about grades, optimistic, willing to laugh, caring, and positive. I would say that I am determined because I have to be in order to graduate in the field that I want to be in. I am always joyful and definitely always energetic with everything I do. I am optimistic and always see the jar as half full. I think that everyone should have the characteristic of willing to laugh because if you don’t then your life will be ten times more stressful and if you are willing to laugh about stuff I think you will be a lot happier. I feel like I am a caring person, especially when it comes to animals. Finally, I try to stay positive about everything because nobody likes a “Debbie Downer.” I have learned many things from Dr. Dobbin’s Personal Awareness class. One of the main things I think that I have learned is better study habits. Before I took this class I had no idea how to study at all, and now I have a better understanding of what I need to do, even if I’m cramming for a test a couple of hours before. Another important skill that I have learned from this class is test taking skills and the things I need to do while taking a test so that I don’t stress myself out so much. Dr. Dobbin’s has taught me a lot about college, and many skills that I will need to accomplish my goals. I am very happy that I took this class, and I am even happier that I had Dr. Dobbin’s as my instructor.


Amanda Jackson
There are many ways to define a person, by their age, by who they are in relation to their family, by what they do in regards to their profession, by their personality, and even by their religious views. These are the things that define me. I am 20 years old, I am a wife, and I am a mother of two kids - a two year old little girl and a 10 month old little boy. I am a student studying to be an Interpreter for the Deaf. I am introverted, but I have my own opinions and I can express them strongly when I choose. I am a Christian. After graduating high school and having my daughter in 2009 I stayed home for two years before starting college. I chose to attend UALR because it was close to home and because it is the only school in the state that offers my degree. I chose to go to college because I want a better life for my family, and I know that a college education can help me achieve that goal. I am becoming a master student. The master student never stops learning, which is extremely true in my profession because American Sign Language changes and evolves constantly. I am a master student because I am determined, self-aware, responsible, courageous, and selfdirected. I am determined to finish school. I am determined to make a better life for my family. I am aware that I am not good at all subjects and I am aware that some things will take more time than others. I am aware that my study habits could improve. I have no choice but to be responsible. I am a mother. I am not only responsible for myself, but for my children and their well-being. I am courageous because no matter how scared I am that I will fail I still press on. I am self-directed because what others may say or offer is of no value. I must finish school for my betterment. I have learned so much about myself in this class, more than I thought possible. I have learned how to take notes and how to study effectively. Without these two things, I would not have survived the semester. I can now see the positive things about myself, like my master student characteristics. I have a real sense of purpose and a confidence that I can be successful in college because of this class.


Kaylee Jackson
I am Kaylee Michelle Jackson. I chose to attend UALR because it is close to my house, and also so that I could get started on getting my degree. I have lived in Little Rock, Arkansas my entire life. I was born and raised in the deaf culture. Everyone in my family is deaf except for me, pretty cool isn’t it? Ever since I was 13 years old I have dreamed of becoming a nurse. I am planning on being a Surgical Nurse and I would like to get my Bachelors Degree in Science and Nursing by the year of 2017. I remember the night before college I was a little nervous. I started having negative thoughts pop back into my head about how my first semester would go. I realized I was being ridiculous, I have to be positive about college! If I am willing to work and willing to change my procrastinating ways then I will do just fine in college, and I did! I have been very determined and optimistic about this semester, and it has definitely paid off. First Year Experience has taught me to be kind, a better note taker, and to be more willing to help others in need. This class has helped me tremendously! My note taking skills and studying has improved so much! Before I took this class I would always get frustrated since I would forget what I had studied the night before. Studying little by little everyday and looking over your notes during your free time helps out SO much more then you think, it’s incredible! I will be able to use those skills all throughout my college years and also for the rest of my life! When I first found out that we had to do 15 hours of service learning, I was a little bummed since I had a full, crazy schedule already. Now I realize how selfish I was being! Going to help others made me realize that not only does it make them feel good, but it makes you feel good about yourself too.


Kearles Moody
My name is Kearies Moody. I was born and raised in Helena-West Helena Arkansas. I never lived anywhere else. I graduated from Central High School and chose to attend UALR. I chose to attend UALR because it is a metropolitan school. It is also closer to my sick grandmother whom I help on a daily basis. It was also the first good school that I got accepted to and I always wanted to be a lady Trojan. Being a first-semester UALR freshmen student was a challenge for me. I didn’t know what to expect. I was willing to work. I was positive about all my classes. I was a responsible person when it came to making big time decisions. I was determined to pass all my classes with nothing lower than a B. The master student was indeed in me. Since I’ve been in class I learned to manage my time. I never had a time schedule until I took this class. I have more free time since I made that schedule. I also learned that I should take breaks in between my study time. I never take breaks. I use to study all my subjects at one time. I use to study my easy subjects first and my hard subjects last, but never took a break. I consider both of these things important because without a time schedule, I would never have time for things I do with a schedule, and when I take breaks in between studying I will remember more than I would if I didn’t take a break. The things I have learned this year as a freshman has led me to the best first year of college with no problems.


Shailisa Roberts
My name is Shailisa Roberts. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am attending UALR to get degrees in Sociology and Anthropology and minor in Spanish or International Relations. I chose to attend UALR because to was more affordable than UCA. I have saved money and I live close to UALR. UALR is a public campus and in my eyes, it is diverse. As a budding anthropologist and sociologist it is important to see a lot of diversity while getting my degrees. I like that I am able to see different cultures, ethnicities, and affinities. As a first-semester UALR freshman, I am willing to change in order to get the most out of my college experience. I am hungry to learn new things in and outside of UALR. I am determined to graduate in 2015 and leave UALR with a lot of knowledge, wisdom and experience under my belt. I am able to suspend judgment in order to be a true anthropologist and sociologist. I am a generalist. I tell myself to like everything so I could get experience and later learn about myself. I should be able to know what I like and what I dislike. I am willing to work: because in order to get anywhere in life, I must work in order to achieve my goals. Since I have been in First Year Experience (PEAW), I have learned that my best time of day is in the afternoon. I have learned to sit down and just do it, and that is the best way to get things done. I have learned what it means to be civil and that I should take care of myself first so that I will be able to help others. As a first-time freshman, it is important to know how to do things around campus and what a certain term means. Learning how to study: learning and knowing about another’s learning style will impact my college life because I will be able to learn and study with an auditory learner when I am a kinesthetic learner. Learning about personal finance, how to do a budget and what credit scores are all about…these will impact my life.


Jonathan Rodriguez
I am Jonathan Rodriguez from Puerto Rico I moved to the United States in 2007. I graduated from Osceola High School in Kissimmee, FL. I moved to Arkansas in 2010. I chose to attend UALR because it has a wide range of diversity. I have met people who graduated from UALR and they have inspired my decision to attend UALR. I have heard really great comments about UALR, and this was good for me because UALR was the first choice on my list, it has my major Graphic Design and my minor Photography. I consider myself to be a leader and a generalist. I am creative, positive, hungry, well, self aware, energetic, responsible, and caring. I am a student creative in every aspect of my life and care about people and appreciate learning from others. Health is important: I value my body, and treat it with respect, while tending to my emotional, spiritual, and physical health. I evaluate myself and my behaviors to be self-aware. A positive attitude is fundamental: I don’t give in to negative thoughts or feelings. I will able to cope and deal with the problems of daily life. Since I’ve been in First Year Experience class I have become more confident and responsible. I have increased my communications and can now recognize the type of teachers I have. The most important thing I learned is using my learning style profile to succeed. Having a learning style impacts my life and college career. I used to study in huge amounts of time and not retain much. Since I know my learning style, it has been easier to collect information, learning and studying at the same time, while reducing my amount of study time. This class has impacted my life as way to maturity.


Jalisa Sloan
My name is Jalisa Sloan and I am from Stuttgart, Arkansas, the duck and rice capital of the world. As a student here at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock I plan to study Nursing and graduate in the year 2015 with a degree in the nursing field. I chose to attend UALR because I wanted to further my education and expand my job opportunities. I am determined, willing to laugh, willing to change, self-aware, self-directed, optimistic, a leader, caring, willing to work, & responsible. All of these words would describe me as a student this semester. Over time this semester I have found that I am very determined to want success. By me taking the time out to focus on my goals, I realized I am self-aware and also self-directed. Also this semester there have been times when I had to decide whether or not I wanted to study or do homework. The fact that I chose to do homework confirms that I am responsible; caring about what comes first, a leader, and willing to change. Since I have been in Dr. Dobbins First Year Experience class I have learned many things like how to study, the importance of setting goals, and also stress management. My favorite thing was learning about myself. I learned what kind of learner I was, my best time and place to study, and what goals consist of. Overall I enjoyed the class and plan to use a lot of the information I learned in my upcoming years at UALR.


Jade Spaul
I, Minda Jade Spaul, excelled in my earlier years of school. I read at an outstanding level, was placed in gifted and talented programs, and held almost all A’s in advanced subjects. As I got older and entered high school, however, I started to slack and focus on the wrong things. I watched my grades plummet. It took a huge falling out with my mom, and moving in with my grandparents to realize that everyone around me, my teachers, friends, and even family, had grown to have very low expectations of me. That’s all it took to turn my last two years of high school around. I worked extra hard to maintain A’s all year, and practiced until I scored high on my ACT’s. By the end of my senior year I had earned tuition paid in full at two colleges; Pulaski Tech and UALR. My grandfather had gone to UALR, and when he took me to the Little Rock campus for a tour I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I instantly decided that I would choose UALR, and even decided that I would follow his career footsteps as a Journalist. I plan to major in Journalism, and one day write books as well. As a first-semester UALR freshman student, I am responsible. That doesn’t mean I always do the right thing, it means I always try to, and when I don’t, I can take full responsibility for the consequences instead of blaming someone else. I am a creative person, turning even dull situations into a new opportunity. I am willing to take risks and welcome a challenge. First Year Experience has impacted my life in several ways. First of all, I have always wanted to give back to my community and was unsure of how I could. With the required service learning hours I was opened up to a world of possibilities, and once I was involved with an organization I kept going back well after my hours were up. Another thing is my study habits. In high school I could ace a class by simply paying attention during class time, no studying required. College is completely opposite, and this class has helped me manage the new class load. This class helped me find things on campus I would have never known about otherwise, and even influenced me to attend a few on campus events. Over all First Year Experience taught me life skills that I will be able to use not only in college, but in work and in everyday life.


Cody Thomas
My name is Cody Thomas. I attended Shirley High school in Shirley Arkansas. My father is in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. I have attended schools in four different states. I am a Business major. I wanted to major in business, because it has been a dream of mine to own my own bar and grill one day. I choose to attend UALR because I live about thirty minutes from the campus I feel that, even though I am a freshman, I have the ability to organize data. I feel as though I have a lot of determination. I am a very joyful person. I am good at being energetic when the time calls for it. I have good health and take care of my mind and body. I am very responsible in my studies and don’t slack off. I can be a generalist. I have the courage to do things that others might not. I enjoy spontaneity in life. Creativity, I feel, is one of my stronger characteristics I have learned that time management is a very important aspect of college life. I used to do my homework whenever, but I now realize that it is better to have a schedule of some kind in place so that I do not get overloaded. It’s also a good idea to make a schedule so that I can see where my free time is, and re-evaluate what I’m doing at what time and see if it is important or not. All in all, I am an organized and more scheduled person after attending college.


Kevin Watts
My name is Kevin Watts. I am from Wynne, Arkansas. I work for the American Red Cross. I am majoring in Nursing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. My long term goal is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I chose to attend UALR because I got accepted and after my scholarships and financial aid it was paid for. Now that I am here I absolutely love it and couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be. It is a great place with amazing teachers and a beautiful campus. I don’t believe I have all the traits of a master student, but I do have a few. These are the ability to organize and sort, being determined, being responsible, willing to work, and being inquisitive. I have to keep everything in my binders organized in a certain way, because if I don’t I will not be able to keep things straight. I am very determined. I have goals set for myself and I will reach them no matter what it takes. I consider myself responsible because I take responsibility for my own actions and for the things I have to do in life. I am willing to work for everything I get out of this life. I am very inquisitive when it comes to things I am interested in. The First Year Experience class here at UALR has taught me several things I will use for the rest of my college career. It has taught me how to adapt to different learning styles. It has taught me that community service is not a waste of time and can actually be quite a fun and fulfilling event. I have learned through my time here things about myself and what kind of student I am. I have learned so much this first semester, I know all of it will help my college career.


Krashonna Williams
My name is Krashonna Williams. I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have in been in Little Rock all my life. I have two sisters and three brothers. I am the oldest of my sisters and brothers. The major that I am considering is Nursing. I have wanted to be a nurse every since I was a little girl, and it still hasn’t changed. I want to be a nurse because I love helping people, and I don’t like to see people in pain. I picked nursing because everyone needs nurses, it a guaranteed job, and hospitals will always need a nurse. I would describe myself as being willing to change, able to organize and sort, determined, responsible, joyful, caring, and positive. During my first-semester here at UALR I had to be willing to change even if I didn’t want to. It was a big change for me, coming from a little college to a much bigger one. One thing that I can say about myself is that I am very organized and determined with everything I do. If you’re not determined about something what are you aiming for? There are four things that people always notice about me. They notice that I am responsible, joyful, caring, and positive. I learned to be a responsible and caring young lady at a very young age. I was in charge of my own money at the age of ten. Most kids at that age don’t know how to hold on to the money, but I did. Since I have been in the First Year Experience Class, I have learned more things about myself. For one, I didn’t really understand the meaning of studying until I was put into this class. It helped me learn how much time I should study for each class, and how to spend my time wisely. Since I’ve been in this class it has made me a better person. It makes you really look at yourself. One thing that I will take from this class is helping others by volunteering my time. When I did the service learning project it really made me open my eyes. I saw sick kids that were going through things that I couldn’t even imagine going through and they were smiling, and for that I am very thankful. I would recommend for every college student to take this class.


Karen Frost
Instructor, PEAW 1300 First Year Experience
This is my sixth year to teach the First Year Experience course and to be involved in the Writing Across the Curriculum Project. This is the first semester that my classes haven’t been linked with either a Reading or a Composition Fundamentals class, which has some advantages and some disadvantages. It has been a very busy but a very fulfilling semester for me. All of the students wrote about the Service-Learning Project which is always a great chance for them to see how good helping others can feel, and this semester was no exception. One project, which was new this semester, was the opportunity to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation and participate in the Race for the Cure or as Ms. Tran was referring to it “Rock for the Cure.” Several of the students were involved with this endeavor and found it very fulfilling as you will see from their essays. Thanks to Ms. Kim Tran for spearheading and organizing this volunteer opportunity for the students. We have had a very busy and productive semester, and I hope to see these students for many more semesters here at UALR. I am a full-time instructor teaching the First Year Experience course.





Yusra Baig
My name is Yusra Baig, and I am from Pakistan. We moved here two years ago, and since then we have been moving a lot in the United States. I am a studio art student majoring in graphic designing and taking photography as my minor. My hobbies are reading, playing sports, photography and swimming. Living in the USA has introduced me to a lot of interesting people from different cultures and religions, which is quite interesting, because I am very social and enjoy meeting new people. The Service Learning that I chose was to volunteer at one of the Islamic schools here in Little Rock, Arkansas. The name of that Islamic School is The Huda Academy. There I helped them with the office work, organizing their events and substituting for the Pre-K and Montessori children. When I first started on my Service Learning, I was a bit tense and nervous because I’ve never had experience in any of the tasks they gave me. Dealing with the small children and organizing events was one of the things that I had never done before. I was willing to learn, but at the same time I wasn’t really sure whether I’d be able to handle the kids or come up to the expectations of the school board. I was sure that I would do well with the office tasks that I was given, but the other tasks were kind of a challenge for me. On my very first day of volunteering, I was assigned a classroom full of 12 kids, at first I was quite scared, but then by the end of the day the children and I were like best friends . While working at The Huda Academy, I discovered that if I don’t take challenges and prepare myself for difficult tasks I would fail to cope with the fast paced world outside. Therefore, I decided to give my best and be prepared for whatever comes my way. Since there are not many Islamic schools here in Little Rock, the school is always in need of volunteers. Being a Muslim it is my immense pleasure to be doing my part in the Islamic community. My best experience working at The Huda Academy was organizing their events. Organizing events for the children was so much fun; we had a budget in which we had to work and organize everything, and it had to cover all the requirements. At first it was quite exciting working on ideas and compiling small details, but as the event was finished we all were really drained and tired. However, overall we had a fun time working as a team and giving our best. This Service Learning experience has been quite helpful for me because it has taught me how to give my best, and after this experience, people are able to recognize me through my work and dedication I’ve shown throughout .


My name is Isaac Branstetter. I am from Ferndale, Arkansas. My major is Geology. I hope to get a career in the natural gas industry or the mining industry I volunteered at the West Pulaski Volunteer Fire Department. I chose to do my Service-Learning here because it is a major part of my community. Since I live in a rural area, there is no full time fire department; so the community relies solely upon those volunteers. During the fifteen hours of service learning I completed for PEAW I did a variety of jobs. The fire department was having their annual fish fry fundraiser. This is the main way WPFD raises money. It usually brings around 500 people to the event. I personally helped clean the floors, set up tables and even worked on the food line handing people food as they came down the line. That event consumed about nine hours of my Service-Learning. The rest of it was completed on Tuesday nights doing anything from sweeping out the bays to washing the trucks. I plan to keep volunteering at the fire department for as long as they can use me. It felt good to be helping out the community that I grew up in. I learned that you should always give back to the community you live in. This was a very good experience that made me realize that helping out the community is good even if you are just washing trucks or serving food to people. I would gladly volunteer my time again.

Isaac Branstetter


My name is Amber Davis, and I am currently a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. My hometown is Little Rock, Arkansas, which is where I have lived for the whole eighteen years of my life. My major for now is Criminal Justice, but it will be changed to Secondary English Education by next semester. My career goals are to be a High School English Teacher at either Hall High School or Parkview High School. After three or four years of teaching, I want to upgrade to a Principal, after about three or four years of being a Principal I want to become an administrator in the Administrative Building. This is a little about me; let me inform you on my service learning now! I volunteered at the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure, on October 22, 2011, in downtown Little Rock. For this organization I donated $180.00, invited other people to walk in the race, and I participated in the walk for the Race for the Cure. To get people to donate to this organization, I did research on Cancer Awareness to inform donors of the impact they would make by simply donating. While walking in the race, I didn’t feel tired, or ready to go home, I felt proud of those who fought and are fighting breast cancer. Although I don’t know anyone who has Cancer, when I was walking, I felt like I was supporting over a million women that I felt like I knew personally. I think that I really made a change by just taking out a few hours one Saturday morning, to support people who have to deal with Cancer twenty-four hours a day. I am glad that I participated in the Race for the Cure for the third year. I plan to participate every year from now on in the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure. I also plan to donate more and more money every year for this organization, and also to get others to donate as much as they can each year. I will also make sure each year to get at least ten people to participate in the race. From this experience I learned that at times I complain far too much for basically no reason at all, and I should be grateful for the life I have because there are some people who have passed away that didn’t have as much as I do when they were living. In this day and age, a lot of people complain about little things, which at times could be changed. For example, when my hair is nappy, I complain, but I have realized that there are women out here that are losing their hair to chemo therapy, and I should feel blessed. This experience has mostly matured me; it was great to see all of the smiles at the finish line and to see the number of people who participated while watching the news. My overall impression is that, I got to take part in a great experience, alongside thousands of strong women. I would absolutely, do this activity again, and I will, year after year!

Amber Davis


Ja’Marvin Elliott
My Name is Ja’Marvin Elliott; I put God first, and I’m from Camden, Arkansas. My career goals are to graduate from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock with honors, get accepted into Optometry School, and become a successful black Optometrist. I did my volunteer hours with the Race for the Cure. I chose this activity because I could relate to what the cause was for which was cancer. I could relate because a lot of my family members have been victims of cancer, and I wanted to honor and pay tribute to all of my loved ones that have gone on. The Race for the Cure is important because it’s a way for people that have survived cancer to celebrate by walking and a way to remember all of the people that have died due to cancer. The Race for the Cure is needed to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives and celebrate those who have overcome cancer. I contributed to the organization in a couple of ways. I went out and got four people to donate twenty-five dollars to the organization so I raised a total of one-hundred dollars. On the day of the event, Ms. Tran put my friend and I in charge of the parking for UALR people. Basically, we made sure a specific parking lot was reserved for UALR people only. During the race, my job was to cheer on everybody participating in the race, and I was very enthusiastic. I felt good about cheering people on because I gave them hope, and I always love making someone’s life easier. As of now, I plan on doing more community service hours at the Lions World Services for the Blind. I’m looking forward to that because I just love helping people. When my service learning is over, I will feel good on the inside and out because I will know I made a difference in someone’s life. I’m always willing to help someone anyway I can. From this experience, I learned there are a lot of people that have been affected by cancer, and we always should encourage one another instead of bringing someone down. Volunteering for the Race for the Cure was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I have a passion for helping people, and as long as I’m making someone smile or their life easier, I would do it again and again.


My name is Shante’ Ford. I was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Dermott, Arkansas. Currently, my major is Diagnostic Medical Sonography and when I graduate, I plan to become an Ultrasound Technician. For my service hours, I volunteered for UALR’s Rock for the Cure. I chose to do this because my roommate was one of the students who was over it, and she asked me to be a part of it. Race for the Cure is a part of Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer awareness foundation. Suzan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure is one of the largest fundraising events for breast cancer. This is a lifesaving impact for research, and it helps bring awareness also. I was chosen to be a team leader for my First-Year-Experience class. As a team leader, I had to attend meetings and report back to my class the next day. Just being involved with Race for the Cure made me feel special, because I was helping support breast cancer awareness. I plan to also volunteer at the Little Rock Animal Shelter. I love animals so it would feel amazing to help animals get adopted. I think there is so much to learn from volunteering. I learned that everything you do makes a difference, no matter how small or big. I also learned that I can make an impact on people’s lives by volunteering. The feeling I got from doing Race for the Cure is something I will never forget. This experience has changed my perspective on breast cancer. This is something I will definitely continue to do every year.

Shante’ Ford


Kimberly Foret
Hi, my name is Kimberly Foret. I am originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I have lived in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am currently majoring in Psychology and plan to one day be a counselor. For my Service-Learning I chose to volunteer at the Arkansas Foodbank. Arkansas is the 3rd highest state for food insecurity which means that a significant amount of people do not know if they will be able to feed themselves or their families. That fact is absolutely shocking to me. I remember when I first volunteered there this summer, and I met the volunteer coordinator. She said that the foodbank would be nothing without volunteers. I have never forgotten that and how much that statement impacted me. This is why it means so much to me to serve the hungry in our community. My particular job, along with anyone else volunteering, was to box potatoes. We took potatoes from a huge sack, inspected them, and sorted them into individual boxes. At first, I was thinking that I wanted to do something more, but after I thought about it, I remembered something. By doing this small task a few days over a few months, it turned into a big task to accomplish. I was helping more than it seemed. As volunteers, we saved the employees time on what could have been a very time consuming project. I am finished with my hours for this class, but that doesn’t mean I am finished with service. I love serving my community and always have. What I am working on now is where I want to volunteer next and how to fit it in to my busy schedule. I feel that no matter where you serve you are making an impact. If service is my way to make a difference in this world then I want to do it every chance I get. I love that this class gives the students an opportunity for ServiceLearning. I feel that it is so incredibly important to have service as a part of the curriculum. I am impressed with this class and the service requirements. Overall, I am so thankful for the chance to serve, and I would be more than willing to do it again.


15 Hours of Living, Laughing, and Learning

Robbin Gordon

My name is Robbin Gordon. I am a freshman this year at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I am from North Little Rock, but I live here on campus in East Hall. I am currently majoring in health sciences and minoring in musical performance. My career goal is to become a doctor of physical therapy but also use my musical education to increase my singing ability. When I registered for classes this semester, I was a little put off when my advisor told me that I would have to take a First Year Experience class. My first thought was, “What is the point of this class?” My next thought was, “This class will get in the way of classes that I really need.” I was even more put off when I found out that I was going to have to give 15 hours of my precious time to Service-Learning in order to pass this class. Little did I know, this class would be probably the best class I took my first semester of college. I decided to do my service learning for my church, Canvas Community, and an organization that my church works closely with, Rock of Hope. Every Wednesday night my church opens its doors to the homeless and offers dinner and a movie. I volunteered to help set up for Wednesday nights and help serve the food. Nine hours of my Service-Learning came from serving the homeless at my church for dinner and a movie on Wednesday nights. The other service learning activity I did came from working with Rock of Hope. I volunteered six hours on a Saturday to help paint and clean up a house that was donated to a group of homeless men to help turn their lives around and get them off the streets. At first I was not all grins and giggles about cleaning up a house on my Saturday afternoon, but once I started, I met the most wonderful people who live to help others and had a grand time laughing and cleaning. I walked away from that experience feeling fulfilled and feeling good, because I know I touched other people’s lives. After I experienced Service-Learning, I was so happy that I had to take the First Year Experience class. I learned that helping others is helping yourself. I would recommend this class to all upcoming freshmen at UALR.


Whittney Hall,
Whittney DeLayne Hall, that’s me. I am eighteen years old, and I live in Benton, Arkansas, with my mom and dad. I go to UALR, and this is my first year; I’m not really sure on what I want to do yet, but I know God has big plans for me. Well, I am from a very small town so volunteering is very common for me. I went back to my old high school, Benton High School, to volunteer. When I was there, I mostly worked with a school club called FCCLA or Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. I feel going back to my high school is super important because they gave so much to us. When I was working for FCCLA, I was helping the club get ready for the state meeting, that they would be hosting the next week. I was counting all the club members’ dues and putting together a notebook talking about how FCCLA has helped the school. I loved being back in my high school and meeting new kids and seeing old teachers. At the end of the week I was very happy about my volunteering. I think I helped take a lot of stress off of the teachers, because as we all know, they get very busy. During this week, I learned it does not hurt to take time out of your busy life to give back to people that have taken time to teach you. I hope after reading this you know a little about me and what I did for my Service-Learning. Overall, I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again. Get out there and help your old high school because they gave so much to you.


Brandon Hardman
Rice Depot
My name is Brandon Hardman, and I am a first-time freshman here at UALR. I graduated from Arkansas Baptist High School in May 2011 and am now attending UALR. I was born here in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June of 1993. My parents have always put me through private school. I grew up a Methodist, as my family is Methodist, but over the past few years I have become more Baptist. My major is criminal justice. I hope to pass all of my classes this semester and the next semester to come. Hopefully, I will only have to take four years of college to graduate. I am hoping to have a good college experience here at UALR. For my 15 hours of service for PEAW, I volunteered at the Arkansas Rice Depot. I have volunteered at the Rice Depot a number of times. I volunteered with my school in the spring for a week. In total I have volunteered around 60 hours at the Arkansas Rice Depot. I volunteered there because I knew what they were going to have me do and I enjoy the work. The Rice Depot was an excellent choice for me for my Service-Learning. The Rice Depot is important to our community because Arkansas is the 4th poorest state. There are 503,000 Arkansans who live below the poverty lines, 25% of those living in poverty are children. The Rice Depot distributes over 8 million pounds of food and supplies a year. They feed about 15% of the entire state. I started my volunteering this semester about 3 weeks after I knew I was going to need to do 15 hours. I was anxious to start back at the Rice Depot. The volunteer coordinator at the Rice Depot is Joe Rogers. He always makes the volunteer experience entertaining because he always tells corny jokes. The jokes are extremely corny, but you cannot help but to laugh at them. The Rice Depot is founded upon Christian Principles so the people that are working there are extremely nice and easy to work with. The first thing they had me do when I got there was sort peanut butter. The Salt Bowl (Benton vs. Bryant) had a huge can drive, and they brought in hundreds of peanut butter jars. I had to sort every single jar by size. After they were sorted I put the jars onto flat boxes and put the boxes onto pallets. Another thing they had me do there was clean the warehouse. Cleaning is important because they do not want rats in the warehouse, as they deal with a lot of food. I feel like I helped the effort a whole lot by doing 15 hours this semester. I plan to go back to the Rice Depot in the future as it is a very fun experience. I learned so much from the 15 hours I was there. I learned how much food they distribute and how many families are living hungry. The number is very astonishing. I would have never thought that so many Arkansans are hungry. And, unfortunately, children are a huge part of that number living in poverty. Some kids do not even know when they will have their next meal. I learned that volunteers are needed for the Rice Depot to keep functioning as they only have 20 full-time staff members. If anyone wants to have a fun volunteer experience I would highly recommend volunteering at the Arkansas Rice Depot. The experience that I had there cannot be matched by anything. It was truly an excellent experience. I would definitely go back and do another 15 hours of service. In this essay I have told you some background on the Rice Depot, what I did at the Rice Depot, and what I felt about my experience. So next time you want to volunteer, why don’t you go to the Arkansas Rice Depot? 46

Rock for the Cure 2011

Jennifer Harrison

My name is Jennifer Harrison. I live in Cabot, Arkansas, and am a non-traditional student. I am married and have four children. I plan to major in Nursing and once I receive my master’s degree in nursing, I plan to use my degree to gain a license as a Nurse Practitioner. During my first semester at UALR I have enjoyed the many opportunities offered to me with Service-Learning activities. One of the Service-Learning activities that I looked forward to most was UALR’s Rock for the Cure 2011. I have known about the Race for the Cure for years but was never able to attend. So, I was very excited to learn that I would finally be able to become a part of this wonderful cause. The Race for the Cure is an opportunity to raise awareness of breast cancer and to gain funds to assist in finding a cure for this widespread disease. I never could have imagined that I would gain so many friendships just by spreading the word about the event. Each person in my group were “first timers” so we weren’t exactly sure of what to expect when we arrived. There were over 44,000 people there to walk for this cause and even more uncounted people on the sidelines just to show support for those who were walking. There was such a sense of community, and you could feel that each one of those 44,000 people had a common goal. From the beginning of the walk my group of “first timers” and I were already planning what we were going to do for next year’s walk. I am so glad that I was given this opportunity and I have committed myself to attending this fundraiser every year from this point forward.


Kyleigh Highsmith
My hometown is Glen Rose. I have lived in the vicinity my whole life and really connect with the community. I am majoring in Nursing, and my future goals include a Master’s in Nursing, Doctorate in Nursing, and a CRNA certification. I volunteered at the Glen Rose Pre-K and Kindergarten. It was important to me because I went to Glen Rose my whole life, and I never really had the opportunity to give back to those teachers who really got me started. I was able to help them out and let them relax a little bit. Most of the teachers at the Kindergarten building are older and really need a break to help keep them going. I was almost like their much needed motivation. It is kind of nice to know that my being there is encouraging them so much. I have been doing lots of things for the school. I have taken on enough recess duties to last me a lifetime and then some. I have also run copies enough to annihilate an entire forest! I have served lunch to the ladies who pretty much lead the way to so many futures, and I’ve also cleaned up messes-including puke. Yuck! We, the little munchkins and I, have had movie afternoons so that the teachers could catch up on all the work that their jobs involve. Next time I visit, I will be bringing cake and ice cream for all of the kids and teachers. It will be a nice, sweet treat before their Christmas break! I am very proud to help them. It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything because I know that I will always have their support. I will continue helping the teachers. I want to start substituting, but I do not want to get paid for it. I still have a few hours to get, so I think I will make the teachers another lunch and have a day of nothing but relaxation for the teachers and kindergarten staff. I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to help out. I have always loved children, and this experience just made me realize it even more. The experience was amazing. I can truly not wait to do it again. I always seem to be on my toes when I help them. The fast-paced atmosphere and the continuous smiles are what keep me wanting to help these kind people more and more.


Ginna Peters
Hello, my name is Ginna Peters, and I was born and raised in Arkansas. I am 19 years of age and a freshman here at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This semester I’m taking a First Year Experience class which has taught me more about where to find things on campus, how to stay on course, and how to be more civil. In this class we were asked to volunteer to help out our community. I volunteered with two different organizations. The first one I volunteered for was Susan G. Komen’s Little Rock Race for the Cure. I chose to volunteer with the Race for the Cure because so many people are affected by cancer including myself. I have had many family members diagnosed and treated for cancer, and during my volunteer work with Susan G. Komen, my great aunt, Elizabeth Atwood, died from bone cancer. It was important to volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure because I feel it is important to support and spread the word about the fight against cancer. Since cancer is such a common disease and so life threatening, we need to show our support to those who have lost someone in their fight against cancer and those who are fighting against cancer. The second organization I volunteered for was Boo at the Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is a two-week event held at the Little Rock Zoo to raise money for the zoo’s funding. I feel it is important to contribute to the Little Rock Zoo, because unlike our neighboring zoos in Houston or Memphis, our zoo is so much smaller and so much more underfunded. I think the Little Rock Zoo needs more volunteers because that’s what the zoo relies on to help them care for the animals and help keep things running smooth. I feel the zoo also reflects our state, and if our zoo looks dumpy and uncared for, people might think we are a trashy state that doesn’t care enough about the world’s wildlife. So I think Boo at the Zoo is a wonderful idea around Halloween to draw people in and raise money for the zoo. For the Little Rock Race for the Cure, I volunteered at a booth to get more people involved in the Race for the Cure. I asked people to register for the race to run in the race, and I asked people if they would like to donate to the Race for the Cure to help in the battle against cancer. I had fun and enjoyed trying to get people to sign up and donate. I had three generous people donate a total of eighty-five dollars on my behalf to the race for the cure. I felt relieved that I got to raise up that much money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. For Boo at the Zoo, the first night I worked as a ticket taker for the haunted train. I just showed up at the zoo and told them I was there to work the haunted train, and they directed me in what my job was and what I was supposed to do. So then I went to the haunted train and set up the ticket booth. All night I greeted children and their parents as they boardedthe train. Then a week later, on Halloween I worked at the zoo again; this time I did one of the big blow up slides. I worked with a really nice man who owns the slides; he gave us candy because it was Halloween. I had more fun working the slide because all these kids would light up and be so excited to slide down this big slide. I would help all the little kids climb in and out of the slide. By the end of the night the owner of the slide came and told me I did an excellent job and that he wished more volunteers would be as helpful as me. I was pleased to get such praise, and I had fun working the big slide; I even got to slide down it a few times. So to summarize all of this in the simplest way: I volunteered with two great organizations that I feel deserve and need more volunteers. I also had fun in the process, and I feel I might just volunteer at the food bank just to help out because they need many volunteers throughout the year. I would most certainly volunteer again. I suggest others should too if they care about helping others less fortunate than themselves.


I am from Portland, Arkansas. My major is in Business Management. My career goal is to one day manage my own business. Recently I have volunteered my time at a very small but very important school, St. Mary’s. Unlike many schools, St. Mary’s is a non-government aided school for Pre-K through sixth grade. St. Mary’s teaching staff is made up of a small hand-full of teachers and volunteers who work hands on with students as they teach to help them gain a better understanding. While I volunteered at St. Mary’s, I helped in many different areas. First, I helped with kindergarten by helping them write their numbers on their own. Afterwards, I helped as they practiced tying shoes, buckling, and zipping zippers. I also helped the teacher as we took them to lunch and recess. During recesses, I participated in many of their games. After helping with kindergarten, I helped with Pre-K by watching them during their nap time and after their naps putting their blankets away. When school was out, I stayed and helped with after school. During after school, I helped the kids who needed help with homework. St. Mary’s is a very kind and loving school, and they were very appreciative for my help. I will continue volunteer there because they were so kind, and I could not thank them enough.

Parker Rosson


Jeremy Sasse
My name is Jeremy Sasse. I am from Bentonville, Arkansas. My intended major is nursing with a possible minor in biology. My career goals are to be a certified Registered Nurse with a specialization in neonatal care. I would also like to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist. The Boys and Girls Club of America was first started by three women in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1860 with the goal of providing a positive alternative environment for the youth of the city. Since then, The Boys and Girls Club has become a national program chartered by Congress that has helped develop the character of millions of American youth. I am one of those alumni. Throughout my primary and secondary education, hundreds of hours were spent at the local Boys and Girls Club after school, participating in the youth football and basketball programs they offered. Donating my time to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Little Rock was a way for me to give back to the organization that helped develop me into the person I am today. To the children who attend the Boys and Girls Club, it may seem like just another way to kill time and have fun after school until they can go home. However the Boys and Girls Club is so much more. The goal of the club is to develop all aspects of the youth: academics, work ethic, social skills, and healthy lifestyles. As a volunteer, I was given the task of helping to achieve this goal. My duties involved tutoring those children who needed help with schoolwork, supervising arts and crafts projects, and leading recreational sport activities. Being placed in charge of these duties was no small task. The children I worked with were at the age of rebellion, and my authority was often challenged. However, through quick reminders of my status and a show of my qualifications as their mentor, many of the challenging youth were quite willing to behave shortly thereafter. Although I originally planned to volunteer just once at the Boys and Girls Club, my experience at the Boys and Girls Club of Little Rock has convinced me to continue volunteering. I enjoyed my experience very much despite how challenging it was at times. My experience was a work in progress, as initially the challenging youth made my duties quite unenjoyable. As I learned to be patient and find each individuals key to cooperation and connection, seeing the progress and improvement over just a few hours provided me with a sense of pride and joy I have only felt on a handful of other occasions. My experience at the Boys and Girls Club of America was one I will cherish for the rest of my life. Through tutoring, supervising, and instructing, I was able to help guide the youth of the city of Little Rock. The goal of the club is to provide a positive environment that will help develop the youth of the nation. As a volunteer, I was literally able to see the progress that can be made in a few hours “shaping the youth of tomorrow.”


Ashley Smith
My name is Ashley Smith. I am from Helena, Arkansas, which is about two hours away. My major is Nursing. I would like someday to be advanced practiced in labor and delivery. During my Service-Learning, I volunteered at the Arkansas Foodbank. I chose the Foodbank because I have volunteered once before at a Foodbank. Helping out with this particular organization is important to me because it helps people in need. The food goes to those who aren’t able to buy it. Overall, the Arkansas Foodbank is a necessity because, believe it or not, there are people who can’t eat due to some type of financial problem they have. While participating at the Foodbank, I boxed potatoes. Every Saturday until I completed my volunteer hours, I would go and my supervisors would bring out large boxes or bags of potatoes. The volunteers including myself would put on gloves and start putting potatoes in boxes. Depending on how many people were present that day, would result in us finishing quickly. Boxing potatoes wasn’t fun for me at first, but when I thought about the people in need, I stopped thinking about how I felt because it was a good cause. In the end I felt proud of myself. Even though I did most of my hours at the Arkansas Foodbank, I also volunteered for a Halloween event at UALR. The East Hall Dorm had a fun night for children. I helped set up and run some of the activities, such as the face painting and the welcome area. It was a fun experience to be a part of. While participating in the Service-Learning project, I realized that I can actually make a difference. Helping others really made me feel good about myself.


Uyanga Tsogtbaatar
My name is Uyanga Tsogtbaatar, and I am eighteen-years old. I was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which is located in between Russia and China. I have been in America about one year and six months and studying as a freshman at UALR. I have not decided on my major yet. One of the requirements in our college is the First Year Experience class. When I took my FYE class, my instructor asked us to do volunteer work of fifteen hours at any place. It was hard to find a place that I could volunteer. But fortunately, one of my classmates told me about UALR Children’s International Center here on campus. I heard a lot about volunteering, but I have not tried it before. Then I applied at UALR Children’s International Center, and they accepted me. That’s how my fifteen hours started. The first time when I got there, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. The man who works at the International Children’s Center explained to me what I needed to do. My first hours were boring because I was making posters, which I didn’t enjoy doing by myself. Then I saw a few people who were boxing rain boots for kids, and I helped them. My thoughts were just blank thinking about completing my hours. Because to me the volunteer is a person who just offers to work without expecting money. But I had to be prepared mentally and physically, because I have to volunteer for my class requirement. The rest of my hours at the center started going by so fast because I started realizing that there are a lot people who need our help for so many things, and the Children’s International Center was giving back those happy moments that people need. We went out to people’s houses who needed our help and gave them the rain boots that we were boxing on my first day. There was one special girl who changed my point of view completely about volunteering. When I gave her the rain boots she was barefooted, and I helped her to put them on. And she said, “Thank you for lifting my feet off the ground,” those words were by far the nicest comment to me. Then I understood that volunteering is not work; volunteering is the warm heart and pure love and happiness that no one can put price tag on. While I was volunteering, I saw a lot of people who were smiling at me, and I felt really happy and grateful. It is also love that you can share with anybody, and they love you right back. So my First Year Experience class was a key that gave me a chance to know what is real caring for one another. I will never forget this experience and thank you FYE!


Caitlyn Webb
My name is Caitlyn Webb, and I am from the small southwest town of Horatio, Arkansas. My major will be social work, and my career goals are to have my Master’s in Social Work by age 25 and be employed soon after at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I recently participated in “Rock for the Cure” through UALR. The experience was one I will never forget. First of all, I helped with multiple tasks leading up to the race day. I sat in the DSC and volunteered with another girl, selling t-shirts, asking for donations, and helping people pick up ordered t-shirts. Through this activity, I was allowed to hear many stories of triumphs and losses of loved ones due to breast cancer. It moved me to see how dedicated these family members and friends were to their loved ones. After I had finished volunteering in the student center, I went on to make signs with more volunteers. We made many signs representing UALR’s team. The day of the race, I met up with some of the other girls I met during my service hours. We all drove downtown and received our race packets. After going around to some of the booths at the race site, we prepared to walk. As I began to walk, I took a look around me and was amazed at the vast quantity of people. It was like a sea of pink, migrating along downtown Little Rock. I was again just speechless at the support this event had gotten. When I am asked the question “Would you do this again?” I do not even have to think about it. The answer is a definite, “Yes!” I was so proud to be able to be a part of something for such a great cause. I was also touched by how many people want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. This event inspired me and convinced me that I must participate in Race/ Rock for the Cure again next year. This event also showed me that cancer is not prejudiced nor does it discriminate. It does not care how old you are or how many children you have; it will attack everyone and anyone, and we must be ready to fight at any time! I am grateful UALR gave me this amazing opportunity to learn outside the classroom.


Shelby Wyless
My name is Shelby, and I am a freshman at UALR and majoring in nursing. I graduated from a small high school in Sheridan, Arkansas. When I graduate from college, I hope to be a registered nurse in an ICU unit or in pediatrics . I love making myself available to others and helping in any way that I can. I chose to do my volunteer work at Sheridan High School in the special education classroom. I felt like this was a good place for me to volunteer hours at because special needs children require a lot of attention, and it takes a patient person to be able to work with them. There are not many people who can help with this type of child, so the people that can, are much needed. While completing my hours in the classroom, I would start out by asking the teacher or supervisor what I could do to help or what needed to be done. Most of the time I would start out by going around and asking the children what kind of work they were doing or what they planned on doing for the day. I would help them complete their classroom work, help try to explain the work to them or what they needed to do to complete it on time. I also tried to get them to work together in groups and socialize. I felt like I really helped a lot when I helped them with the class work or homework. Teaching a special education child is a lot different than teaching a normal child in a normal classroom setting. It takes a lot of time and dedication along with focus. I plan to continue going to the school and helping the children since I developed a bond with the class. I feel like I helped by spending time with them and treating them like they are just like everybody else. The experienced taught me what is it like to be around special needs people, and this can help me out a lot in the process of becoming a registered nurse and can get me familiarized with dealing with certain situations. To summarize my experience volunteering with special education students I would like to say that I will continue doing service because the time I spent there was informative and helpful as I grow in my education. I will continue to learn more and maybe try out more organizations similar to this one to help me continue to learn more.





Ross Bradley
My name is Ross Bradley, and I am from Little Rock, Arkansas. My major is Pre-medicine with an emphasis on Biology, and I plan to minor in the field of Math. I am planning on becoming a surgeon, and I am interested in Oncology. For my Service-Learning project in my First Year Experience class, I volunteered at Zion Lutheran Church, and I operated their sound system for their early church service every Sunday. One reason I chose to volunteer at this organization was because of its location. The church is only fifteen minutes from my parents’ house. Another reason I chose to volunteer there was because of time conflicts. I am working a part time job and going to school full time, so I do not have a lot of time on the weekdays to volunteer. Therefore, I had to find an organization that would allow me to only volunteer on the weekends, and this church only needed me on Sunday mornings. The last and most important reason I chose to volunteer there was because I am interested in music composition, and the sound system for this church used a sound board similar to those used in recording studios. This service is important because someone has to be able to turn on or off a microphone when someone is speaking or not and be able to adjust microphone volume. One of my several duties was checking the wireless microphones and making sure they were operational. This included changing batteries in the microphones, making sure they were set to the correct wireless channel, and adjusting volume. My main duty was running the sound board during the church service. This consisted of adjusting volume levels while someone was speaking or muting a microphone when it was not being used, and I also adjusted monitor volume levels for the choir and nursery. One of the feelings I experienced, especially when I first started, was a sense of being overwhelmed. Running a sound system involves doing several things at once, and one mistake can lead to something like feedback, which everyone notices. This creates a drive to be perfect, because no one likes their mistakes to be pointed out or noticed especially in front of a hundred people. I still continue to run the sound system for the church, and I plan on doing so into the near future. After every church service, I always feel relieved and like I have accomplished something whether I made mistakes or not. The main thing I learned while volunteering was how important the people behind the scenes are and how much they contribute. Overall, I would definitely volunteer at this organization again, and I feel that working with a sound system has given me valuable knowledge and experience.


Joshua Clark
I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. My major is Nursing. My career goal is to be a male nurse. The first place I volunteered at was the Pulaski County Humane Society, and the second one was at the Race for the Cure working at the New Balance stand. I also worked at the Bauxite Humane society. The PCHS and BHS help many pets to live or be found by their owner. They also help keep dogs and cats off the streets. The New Balance stand donated all their profits; the money that they make is donated to help find a cure. When I arrived at the PCHS, I figured I would have to shovel poop all day. Instead they were having their annual dog wash. That’s when they try to wash all of the dogs that day. I was a little excited, because I love dogs. All I had to do was wash and dry dogs that day. The dogs even had their own little bathtubs. When I did my service hours at New Balance, I figured it wasn’t going to be too hard selling shoelaces for a dollar. Well as time progressed, more and more people were hollering at me with even bigger amounts of shoelaces needed. I was busy the whole time trying to count the right amount of shoelaces and getting them the correct change. The last place I went to work at was the Bauxite Humane Society. It was the easiest one to do. There were a lot of people volunteering there, and all I had to do was unfold newspapers for the cats. I did that for about three hours, and the rest of my time I spent walking any dog I wanted to. I had fun walking the dogs, and it felt good knowing they were happy, because they were out of the cage. Volunteering is a very fun thing to do, because it can make you feel like you’re actually doing something good with your life besides sitting at the house every weekend. If everyone volunteered, it could keep him or her out of trouble and make him or her feel great when they get through. I volunteered at the PCHS, the New Balance stand and the BHS. I went from washing dogs to selling shoelaces, and then to not having to do really anything, but overall I had a great time doing it. I plan on volunteering at the race every year.


Hello my name is Nannette Daniels. I am from Fountain Hill, Arkansas. My major is PreDentistry. My career goals are to go to UAMS for the dentistry program and get a job in a good dentist office. The place I chose to do my Service-Learning hours was at Hamburg Junior High and Pine Street Park in Hamburg, Arkansas. I chose Hamburg Junior High School because I love to help kids get the education they need. Education is an important factor in the world today, and the kids needed someone to help mentor them with their school work. I chose the Pine Street Park because the park was abandoned, and basically thugs hung out there, but they’re fixing it up now so the kids in the community can have a place to go and have fun. There were many things that I helped out with. At the Pine Street Park, I worked in the concession stand, and after everyone had left, I helped pick up trash, and clean the building up. I worked at the park every Saturday for two weeks. It was a good feeling to know that there are still a lot of adults who care enough about this generation to take a stand and try to make things better. This man named Michael, who was over it, realized that I loved helping out, and he told me about helping the kids at the school that he works at. At the school I went into the A+lab and helped some of the students with anything that they didn’t understand. The students take tests on the computer, and before they’re able to take the test, they have to have a study session and then they’re able to take a practice test. I helped them on the things they didn’t understand so they wouldn’t fail the test. It was the greatest feeling knowing that I was helping kids in need. I’m a kind hearted person, and that just lifted my spirit. I still plan on going to the school every Friday and helping the students out. Those two experiences were wonderful. When I first heard we had to have fifteen hours, I was not happy at all about it, but now that I did it, I’m grateful for this experience to help others out. I learned that there are still people in the world that care and want young people to succeed in life. This was a great experience. I would do this all over again in a heartbeat.

Nannette Daniels


Laura Frizzell
My name is Laura Frizzell, and I am from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. My major is Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography. My career goal is to one day have my own photography business and be a professional photographer. For my Service-Learning hours, I chose to volunteer at the Pulaski County Humane Society. I chose this organization because I love animals, especially dogs, and I wanted a way to help out the organization more because they do not get money from the government, so I knew every bit of help counts. Volunteering at the humane society is important to me because they do not euthanize animals or turn any animals away. It is important to have a place such as this so that animals are off the streets, safe, and being fed, not in the care of pounds where they only have days to be adopted or put down. This organization is needed so that animals can be taken care of, and actually have time to be adopted out into homes. Some animals have been there up to eight years while some may be adopted within a day. For the Humane Society, I went through training on how to walk the dogs and how to approach them. These dogs have been penned up and have lots of energy, and are not like walking dogs that we are used to. Everyday that I went, I walked a few dogs, letting them stretch their legs and get exercise. I loved walking and playing with the dogs. If I was ever stressed, going there and seeing happy dogs that were glad I was there cheered me right up. I will continue to volunteer there after this class is over. Dogs are kind of like humans, and they get depressed if they are not taken out to run and be loved on. From this experience, I learned every job is important no matter what it is you do. Someone has to do it. The task may have been dirty sometimes, and I often went home smelling like a dog, but at the same time I knew it made them happy. Overall, I had a great experience volunteering there, and like I said, I plan on continuing to volunteer there. I enjoyed volunteering, and I see it is needed no matter what the job is.


Bryson Gibbs
My name is Bryson Gibbs, and I graduated from Benton High School. My major is Information Science. I’m not entirely sure what my career goals are, but I do want a career that has a great salary, and that I can live with for the rest of my life.


For my PEAW class I was required to do fifteen Service Learning hours; I chose to volunteer at Boo at the Zoo, because it was one of my favorite places as a child. By volunteering, I helped raise money for a wonderful foundation whose profits are decreasing. Also, it brought joy to hundreds maybe even thousands of children. I volunteered on three different days, and on each day I had a different duty. On the first day I helped the zoo, I gave out candy to all of the children. When the families first entered the zoo, they were given a sheet of yellow tickets (which varied by the number in their party). If the kids gave me a yellow ticket, I would give them four pieces of candy. Seeing the happiness in all of the children’s eyes made the freezing temperatures seem to disappear. On the second day I lent a hand, my task was to make S’mores. There were five or six people who helped make the S’mores, and one was even the dean of the UALR graduate school. I had lots of fun handing S’mores out to all ages, and the S’mores only cost two yellow tickets. Once again the look of excitement just made everything worthwhile. The third day, I was at the entrance of the zoo giving away yellow tickets. When I told the little ones what the tickets were for, the look on their faces made me believe that I can help make miracles happen, and that I just gave them these tickets, which give them candy, S’mores, and, most importantly, bliss. I plan on giving my time to the zoo in the future. Also, because of the fulfillment the experience gave me, I am looking for more places where I can bring joy to people’s lives. I might try volunteering at the Discovery Museum or Habitat for Humanity. Due to this experience, I have opened my mind to the infinite possibilities that I can do to help others be happy. By helping children, adults, teens, etc. be happy, I know that I’m a better person, and I’m happier because of it. In the future, I will definitely lend a helping hand whenever and wherever opportunity comes knocking.


Tyler Gibbs
My name is Tyler Gibbs, and I hail from the small town of Lonoke, Arkansas. I am a freshman, and currently have not decided on a major. My interests are watching sports, and of course coming to my favorite teacher’s (Mrs. Karen Frost’s) class every Tuesday and Thursday!

Community Service

I volunteered at the Haunted Hallway at East Residence Hall at the University of Little Rock. I felt this was important because it gives the surrounding neighborhood children a safe place to have Halloween fun. It also allows children whose parents cannot afford Halloween candies an opportunity to get candy and not feel left out. Each floor had different activities for kids, ranging from baking cupcakes and cookies, to face painting, to the actual Haunted Hallway itself. I was asked to volunteer on the floor involving the cupcake making. My duties were to guide the kids into the correct room, along with helping set up the tables and chairs. I also assisted in the cleanup process, moving the tables and chairs across campus, back to where they belonged. I also volunteered at Park Plaza Mall last Saturday. When students passed out coupons for the mall, the mall agreed to donate $1,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities. I felt proud after doing this, as I know the money is going towards a great cause. I felt proud, as if I had accomplished something meaningful. Overall, the volunteer experience has not been the worst thing in the world. The hardest part is actually finding opportunities to volunteer. You have to look hard and ask people. I would volunteer again, as it makes me feel good about myself.


Nakeilya Goins
My name is Nakeilya Goins. I am from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. My major is nursing. My career goals/ interests are to get my master’s degree in nursing and become a Nurse Practitioner. Being a freshman at UALR, I was required to enroll in a First-Year Experience course. In order to get credit for the course, I had to get a total of 15 Service-Learning hours. I chose to volunteer at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I chose to volunteer there hoping to get to interact with the children, unfortunately, I didn’t get to . While there, I kind of worked as an assistant for one of the physicians, Robbie Weaver. The first day I arrived, she asked me to file papers. She also had me to go through 300+ folders for newly hired physicians. I had to record the dates they started and ended medical school. I really didn’t like it. I don’t like sitting around by myself and not interacting with anyone. It puts me to sleep. I started and completed my Service-Learning within 5 days. I worked from 1:30-4:30 pm, 3 hours a day. Although the work I was assigned to bored me, I’m considering doing more volunteer hours there. Hopefully, I get assigned to do something involving the children. As you can see, this was how my Service-Learning project went. Although the work bored me, I managed to get it done. I would love to volunteer there again. Hopefully if and/or when I do, I get assigned to work with the children. Doing so would help me prepare for what’s to come in my future as an APN.


Yolanda Green
I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. My major is Psychology. My career goal is to one day become an attorney.

Go Steelers

Can you remember your first cheer or the first time ever tossing a ball? Well I can, and with that I remember being excited about what was yet to come. For my volunteer hours, I supervised at a little league football game. Years ago I was a cheerleader, and I can remember cheering my team on to victory. I will discuss information about this organization, my experience, and several ways that this organization gives back to the community. The Westside Steelers Little League Team is a part of a non-profit organization called the IYFL ( Independent Youth Football League). The IYFL is made up of volunteer coaches, parents, cheerleader sponsors, and businesses throughout Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Jacksonville. The main goal of this organization is to promote “good, strong, upstanding youth” (www.eteamz.com). During my time there, I had to watch after the cheerleaders. Working with younger ladies can be a dilemma, but it was worth it. It brought back memories that I will forever store. I made sure they were well nourished, doing the right cheers, and showing great sportsmanship. The only difficult time that I had was trying to get the girls to listen. It was sort of difficult for them to listen to a stranger, but after a few games they were used to me. The Steelers has given back to the community several ways. They have hosted several car washes and also helped to keep the community clean. The team keeps children busy with things to do outside of school; that way they will not fall into the pitfalls of life. This is a way for children to not become accustomed to bad environments, but to grow past them. The Steelers is a team that I would recommend to any child the ages of 6-12 to join. It is another place a child could call home.


Jessica Hackler
Let’s start off with a brief introduction about me. My name is Jessica Hackler; I am attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as a entering freshman. At first I wanted my major to be English with a minor in History, but after careful consideration I have decided to change my major to nursing. I grew up and currently live in Devalls Bluff. Devalls Bluff is about 50 miles east of Little Rock with a population of about 800 people. Growing up my family and I were not very wealthy, so around the holidays it was very hard for my grandparents to give me gifts for Christmas or even serve Christmas dinner, but they managed to pull it off. I think that my growing up like that had a lot of effect on what I chose to do for my ServiceLearning hours. For my Service-Learning hours I chose the St. Francis House. The St. Francis House is a non-profit organization that helps low income people with commodities and other things such as clothing, food, even medicine and gas vouchers. Another reason I chose this place is that it located very close to campus. I live about 50 miles east of Little Rock, so I wanted to find a location where I would not have to drive an extra 10 to 20 miles. By doing this volunteer work, I think that it has made me a better person by helping the less fortunate. It is so sad to see how many people are suffering and struggling in this world we live in these days.


Wesley Hillman
My name is Wesley Hillman, and I am from Jacksonville, Arkansas. My major is Criminal Justice, and my minor is in History. My career interests go along with my major and minor. I have not decided yet what I’m going to do after obtaining my degree. For my Service-Learning, I chose to volunteer at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. I chose to do my service learning there because I had volunteered there before. It really helped me to understand the importance of remembering what has happened in America’s past and where we are now as a nation. These sites are needed to educate the younger generation and to help them understand why we have the freedoms that we have and what sacrifices were made so we could have the freedoms we enjoy so much. While working at the historic site, I greeted guests when they came in. It was fun doing that because I got to meet people from all over the United States and every now and then someone would come in from a foreign country. I also helped out the park rangers when they would give tours of the site. In addition, I would answer questions that the tourists might have about what they saw on their tour. I was always happy to help out whenever I was needed. I have completed all of my Service-Learning hours. I have learned so much especially about the National Parks Service and the wide variety of jobs they offer. I also learned about different groups that have been discriminated against besides African Americans like the Native Americans when they were forced off of their land and had to move out west on the Trail of Tears. I’ve always felt good when volunteering for a place like that because I am helping to educate people about America’s past. I enjoyed volunteering at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site because I got to network with people and help educate others about America’s past. I would definitely volunteer at the site again.


Rykia Lacey
I am from West Helena, Arkansas. I am majoring in Chemistry. My career goals and interests are to be a Pharmacist. I volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club working with the Girl Scouts. I chose this organization because I wanted to work with kids, and it seemed like a good organization to work with. Girl Scouts is important because it teaches young girls leadership and communication skills. At Girl Scouts I did different activities with the girls. We went over the Girl Scout Law and the Girl Scout Promise. We did different worksheets teaching them to be courageous and about heroes. I also took them to the gym to do different dance exercises and played different games. I also plan to volunteer with my RA. She is putting on an event for the America Recycle Day. I will be working at the information desk getting people to sign the pledge cards. I felt good about working with the Girl Scouts, taking out time from my day to help out other people. It felt good to have the little girls to look up to me. The experience with the Girl Scouts was great. I’ve never worked with that many little girls before. I would even volunteer with the Girl Scouts again, in fact I am thinking about volunteering with them again after the Christmas break.


Maggie Langrell
My name is Maggie Langrell. I’m a biology major, and plan to become a Nurse Practioner through UAMS. I’m from White Hall, Arkansas. When I first heard about our Service-Learning project truthfully I thought, “Why on earth do we have to do this?” However, I’ve learned so much and realized even more. I’ve taken notes for a classmate, who is visually impaired, and did the Race for the Cure. Taking notes for my classmate has made me realize so much. I’m doing something for him that makes his school experience much closer to the average student. It also gives him the advantage we have over him. We get to hear and see what is being taught to us, but he only hears. I also did the Race for the Cure. It is personal for me because I lost my grandmother to breast cancer. I loved doing it and helping the Susan G. Komen foundation. This class has turned out for the best, and given me valuable lessons. It has made me appreciate what I have that others don’t.


Thomas Norman
My Experience
I am from Delaware, Alaska, California, and Arkansas. I have currently been living in Arkansas for five years. I want to major in Criminal Justice. I either want to become a police officer in Houston, Texas, or become a lawyer. My experience in helping out with the community took place on the Little Rock Air Base, located in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I spent fifteen hours working and helping out with the 53rd Airlift Squadron. I will explain what I did, how it affected me, and the effects of communication in our community. For the past weeks, I have helped the squadron set up the first annual Halloween Carnival. This task was not the easiest to do; it involved heavy lifting, hanging things, and different scare tactics. Everybody wanted this to be an excellent Halloween Carnival since it was the first. After setting up everything, we then got candy and treats for the kids to eat and snack on. I got to dress up and scare all the children who walked into my haunted room. I not only succeeded in scaring the children but also some of the parents. My last job was actually talking to the children at the after party; everybody was shocked to see who was behind that mask. What they found was me! All the adults started to laugh, and the children just ran up and gave me a hug or a high five. Hanging out with the children influences me to not only be a positive role model, but gives me the biggest smile when the kids want to see me instead of eating the candy. Children are my passion and seeing those children laugh, smile, and filled with joy is the greatest gift I can ask for. Nobody really understands how well I connect with the children, until they actually see it for themselves. The parents get to hang out and talk with one another, while I play with the children. I had so much fun helping out and would love to do it again soon. The interaction with the family and workers of the squadron brought them closer together in and outside of work. I am glad I got to give back to my community and would love to help out again. The parents, workers, and the children enjoyed my company, hard work, and motivation I brought when I helped out. I already miss seeing the kids’ faces when I scared them. The children had wonderful costumes and were very pleased with the haunted rooms. I encourage everybody to help out their community and see what a difference they can make.


I am from Monticello, Arkansas. I haven’t decided on my major yet, but I think I will go with Nursing. If I decide to do so, I plan to be a Registered Nurse. Where will do my Service-Learning hours? This was a big question at the beginning of this semester. Pulaski Heights Methodist Church was the answer to my prayers. The church has its own daycare center called Children’s Learning Center. I wanted to experience working with kids. I always wanted to know what the other end of the totem pole was like at a daycare or an afterschool program. My duties were to help students with their homework, communicate, and interact with them. I had two positions, which were as a floater and a teacher’s assistant. The purpose of a floater is to break the teachers for lunch. This allowed me to be with different age groups. My other position, teacher assistant, gave me authority over the second through fifth graders. I had many duties in this position. I would help the lead teacher set up for the activities of the day. Some days my job was to fix their snacks. My main job was to help with homework. Overall, I loved my positions. I enjoyed the whole experience. It’s not everyday that you get to leave a place with a smile. The kids taught me about patience. I learned a lot about myself, and I have become a sociable person. Overall, I couldn’t have picked a better place to do my Service-Learning hours. I learned about myself, and I now have a better understanding of children and how they think. I would most definitely do it again.

Briana Owens


Race for the Cure

Stephanie Parins

I am from Benton, Arkansas. I went to school at Harmony Grove in Haskell. My major is Biology, and my career interests are being a physician in the medical field. Helping people is in my nature. If I see someone who is hurt, sad, lost or anything out of the ordinary, I help them. Service-Learning is a great and moving way to help your friends, family or a complete stranger. I chose to do my Service-Learning with the Race for the Cure. It is a race that happens every year for people who have breast cancer. Everyone raises money and walks to help find a cure for breast cancer. I have never lost someone due to cancer, but I can only imagine how tough it really is. Our class for Section 07 needed a team leader for the whole class. The leader would find out important dates and find out when everything was due. Also the leaders helped with any questions his/her teammates had. Luckily for me, I was the team leader for our class. I say “luckily” because I know that I am responsible, and I will find out all the information and let the class know. One thing I did learn is that trying to get people to get up and get their hours was a little tough and annoying, but everything worked out in the end. The day of the walk can really change your outlook on breast cancer. When you think of cancer, you usually think of death. When I walked with all the survivors and fighters of breast cancer, it made me realize that this is something people can beat, and it happens every day! It makes you appreciate what you do have, and it’s always great to see the people who fought cancer and are still alive today. The Komen Foundation is a great foundation to do community hours for. I highly recommend doing this because it could help save a life, or change your outlook on life, and it’s a great experience in itself. I really enjoyed being part of the 2011 freshman FYE class.


Jasmine Ramey
Boo at the Zoo
My name is Jasmine Ramey, and I am from Smackover, Arkansas. My major is business or psychology. I haven’t really made a final decision yet. When I graduate and earn my degree, I want to go out in the world and find a good paying job that will support my family and me. I volunteered at the Little Rock Zoo. They had an event called, “Boo at the Zoo.” This was around Halloween. I chose this activity because it sounded fun and because I haven’t been to the zoo in a long time. I figured this might be interesting. Going to the zoo to volunteer is important because I needed the hours so I can pass my class. This is needed so that I can get all of my hours so I can move on. When I went to volunteer for this activity, I was told that we were working in the Haunted House located in the zoo. I was excited to do this because I would get to scare little kids and adults. They told us that we had to wear a mask or get our face painted. I did not want paint on my face, so I wore a mask. They toured us around the Haunted House and assigned us a position to work. I got to work with my friends who volunteered. I was happy about that because I wanted to be with people I knew. Doing this activity was so fun. It was a fun experience at the zoo. I have not gotten all 15 hours yet, but I plan on looking for more opportunities so that I can. I might volunteer to help kids this time instead of scaring them. I will feel satisfied after I get all 15 hours accomplished. Overall, I loved volunteering at the Boo at the Zoo. I would do it again next year if I get the chance to.


Clayton Wynn
My name is Clayton Wynn, and I am from Star City, Arkansas. I am a Political Science major here at UALR, and I hope to eventually go into politics at the national level after I graduate from law school in a few years and make a presidential bid in 2032. Although there were abundant opportunities to complete my Service Learning in Little Rock, I decided to go back to my hometown of Star City to help the Boy Scouts of America. I worked with Troop 930 at Cane Creek State Park for several weekends building various projects that they did not have the funds to pay contractors to build. These projects will help serve the public and make travel on the nature trails much easier for everyone who visits. For the majority of the time that I worked in Cane Creek State Park, I worked with my troop to build several construction projects on the fifteen mile trail that we have been working on since the ideas were first conceived several years ago. The weekends that I will be using for my Service-Learning; however, we worked on several specific spots on the trail constructing benches at several intervals with around a mile in between each one. We started by digging two eighteen inch holes in the ground with posthole diggers for the supports. We then inserted the posts into the holes we had excavated and poured concrete around them after making sure they were perfectly level so as we would not have to retrace our steps and pick up more wood. After this, we nailed the seat part onto the supports and moved onto the next spot. We spent eight hours doing this over and over one day, and then nine hours the next day to finally finish up. Now that I am finished with my Service-Learning, I feel accomplished and relieved that I know I have that out of the way. I am also proud to have made a difference in my community, even if it is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. I learned that benches are actually not as simple to create as I thought, and that they take a lot more time to finish than I had originally planned. Overall, the experience of serving at Cane Creek State Park with Troop 930 was a great experience that I would gladly do over again, if given the chance.


Eric Yarberry
My name is Eric Yarberry, and I am from Des Arc, Arkansas. I am going to major in criminal justice, and I will be a lawyer, someday. I volunteered at the Lions World Services For The Blind. I chose this organization because I am visually impaired, and I wanted to give back to a part of the community that is close to me, personally. I raked leaves and filed papers while I was there. Lions World helps adult blind and visually impaired people better their living skills and chances at a job. They have programs that clients attend and after passing, they have a guaranteed job pertaining to the program they recently graduated from. This is important to the clients because it is difficult to get a job in today’s economy. Blind or visually impaired people have a slimmer chance at receiving that job. While I was there, I raked the leaves and bagged them. I also filed and organized papers. These tasks helped out because there are few people that have the time to keep the grounds looking nice, and the majority of the staff are volunteers. Therefore, paper work may also never be handled for a while. Without these two things being handled, papers can get unorganized and built up. The leaves can begin to cover sidewalks and make it difficult for the clients to travel at a normal pace. I really felt like I was giving back to my community. It is not every day that I can be a large help in a community that I belong to in some way. I feel great about the time I put into this organization. I would be no less than grateful to help them another time. I learned that there are many tasks that an organization has to complete in order to keep moving ahead. I experienced teamwork while I was there, also. This organization must have people working together to meet a certain goal in order to even get through the day. This experience made me look around at the end of the day and realize that there are people who love to lend a hand. This organization is built on these kinds of people. Any non-profit organization can use anybody who wants to give back to their community. Volunteering is great for anyone. It really makes me grateful for those who love what they do for a living. This may not even be for pay. I truly feel like I made a difference while I was volunteering. I made people laugh, and I was glad to be there. I would definitely volunteer at the Lions World again.


Logan Hampton & Nick Steele
Co-instructors, PEAW 1124 First Year Experience
What a pleasure it has been to work with the fall 2011 Chancellor’s Leadership Corps (CLC)! This fall, we welcomed 174 new scholars to the CLC program. Fortunately, Nick Steele was hired full time to coordinate the program. He quickly put in place a new structure, which organized scholars into families of approximately 50 new scholars led by a junior mentor with sophomore ambassadors working with 8 – 10 new scholars. Reading the essays, you will learn more about CLC, in particular, and life and activities on campus, in general. The students wrote about their community service experiences, “move in” day, their classes, Greek like, and diversity. To all our CLC scholars, junior mentors, sophomore ambassadors and freshmen scholars, you have challenged and encouraged us to better serve and educate you. We thank you and count it a privilege to learn, lead, and serve with you.


Rachel Barfield
My name is Rachel and my goal at UALR is to receive my bachelor of science in nursing and to one day become the head nurse at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The birds were chirping, the sun was beaming through my window, and with my arms protruding through the covers as I stretched, today was the BIG day; the day that I had been waiting for all 18 years of my life. This was the moment in which all the Goodwill boxes and the graduation presents were going to pay off. Today I moved to my new home…the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Jumping up, I threw on a t-shirt, some faded shorts, and my new Pumas. I wrapped my hair up in a messy bun because the Arkansas weather for that day was going to be RIDICULOUS! I packed my car till it was bulging at the seams and drove to the metropolitan area known as Little Rock. Pulling up to West Hall, my heart was pounding like 1,000 snare drums. Walking into the Housing Commons area I registered for my small mailbox and picked up my gold key to the room where I’d be spending my future days. After several arm loads of boxes, backpacks, miscellaneous junk, and multiple greetings to complete strangers, I had successfully moved into my dorm. Sweaty hugs were exchanged between my parents, boyfriend, and me. I sat down and took in the reality that I was on my own. I leaned back into my navy, mushroom chair and took in a long sigh of enjoyment… and then it hit me…I forgot to bring my Ramen Noodles!


Melissa Billips
I am Melissa Billips, and I plan to be a dental hygienist. Part of the experience of college would definitely be having a roommate. These experiences can be positive or negative, and no matter which they are, you learn and grow from them. At the beginning of the year, I learned that my intended roommate dropped out, so I had a room all to myself. I spread my things out throughout the entire room and took over. I soon realized just how much space I had, and how few items I had to fill it. The room felt empty and lonely, and it was. My friend next door would have “sleep-overs” with me every once in a while, but for the most part I was alone. A lot of people would think that I had it made, but really I felt left out. I saw the cute notes everyone left their roommates and envied how interesting all the rooms looked with two different people living in them. Through a chain of events, I ended up being asked to have a roommate. Some people told me I was stupid for giving up my private room, but I jumped at the opportunity. And for this I am glad. She moved all of her things in and suddenly the room had personality. It isn’t cluttered or cramped, just cozy. Finally I felt like I was really in a college dorm. There are many experiences in life that we take for granted, but we really shouldn’t. Everything we go through shapes who we are, and college is a very influential life event. Without experiencing a roommate, college just wouldn’t be the same.


I want to reach and help hurting people with a message of love through music.

Matthew Blackburn

College has been a wonderful experience. My life has completely changed. No longer am I under the scrutiny of my parents and school administrators. I have freedom. I live for the most part on my own. I decide when to and whether or not to go to class even get out of bed. I realize with all this freedom comes much more responsibility. I have to choose to succeed and work towards it. No more hand holding. It’s all up to me. Not only have I gained more responsibility and an increased drive to succeed, I have made many new friends in my dorm, in class, and while completing service hours. Most of these experiences would have never been possible without the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps (CLC). The program and its instructors have given me so many opportunities to meet new people and challenge myself to be better. Taking part of CLC and living on campus are probably the most important decisions I have made in my college life. With new friends, I feel there’s nothing that can stop me.

Autumn Brandenberger
I went to Central High and I am known for my art and creativity. I was shocked when I came here. I felt that I would be out of place – nothing but crazy people everywhere. Well, I was right about the crazy people, but, so far, it has been nothing but passion for the things they want to do. I feel at home and in my own little town on campus. I found friends I want to keep for life and things I have true passion for. These next three years I want to find more things out about me and how I want to spend my life. I couldn’t have found a better place than UALR.


Chenesia Brown
I just want to be successful. COLLEGE FRESHMAN Class is in session Didn’t want a new lesson But here I am to learn it Senior year was hard Didn’t want a new start But then again I earned it I deserve it I started at the bottom Rose to the top Only to fall again Now class is in session Time to learn a new lesson Because I am a College Freshman

My name is Michael Buccille, and I’m from Cedarville, Arkansas. I am majoring in Information Science. This semester my CLC family and I volunteered at Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp. There were many jobs that needed to be done around the camp, so we split up and got to work. Some of us mowed, some tilled gardens, and some painted cabins. My group and I were assigned to pick up a tree that had fallen and cut into pieces. It was hard work, but when we picked up the last log it felt great. Next my team pruned trees back from the trails around the camp. We filled a truck bed at least four times with branches and trees. The last thing we did was pick up trash on the side of the road. My group alone filled two full sized trash bags full within only a mile. All of this was hard work, but in the end I felt really good to be able contribute to my community. If we had not gone and done these things, I could have taken them weeks to do what we did in hours.

Michael Buccile


Ashley Calabotta
My dream is to become an accomplished forensic and anatomical pathologist, and help to speak for the unfortunate deceased. I have grown as a person since I’ve become a student here at UALR, and I’m happy to be a part of this university. Within the past few weeks, I’ve met my best friends, made some unforgettable memories, and hopefully helped to change a few people’s lives for the better. I am actively participating in UALR’s LGBT Alliance, and I’m trying to advocate equality of all sorts on campus. I’ve recently found that I enjoy spreading the word about equality, and I love it. I love it here, and I’m having a wonderful time.

Erika Caldwell
I want to be a speech pathologist. College life at UALR has been wonderful. It feels great to be able to have classes at any time I want and to only have a few each day. I get up at 8 a.m. and just walk from the brand new dorm that I live in to my first class of the day. Also, napping has become an essential. It’s funny how I have never appreciated naps or sleep for that matter, whereas now I need it to function. I love being able to do what I want to do also. It’s really cool how when you’re given that freedom, you don’t abuse it but you like knowing it’s there. I love eating ramen in my dorm and going to the cafeteria for lunch. I also love walking everywhere. The UALR campus is beautiful and I enjoy being here. My college experience has been fantastic so far and I only hope to make it better in the years to come.


Felicia Chudy
My name is Felicia Chudy, and I want to teach little children in school and hopefully be a good role model to them. College College is tough College is amazing. College can be great. College can be rough. This is the best time of your life. Make it count. You find out who you are. You find out who your friends are. You learn many life lessons. Make every moment last cause they won’t come back.

I graduated from North Little Rock HS and one day I would like to become a nutritionist. I love my family and I enjoy playing soccer and playing the trombone. Being on the soccer team and trying to manage my grades and time wisely isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I started this semester with a good mindset, and I was prepared to take on whatever came my way in the classroom. This season, we were on the road quite a bit more than the team is most seasons. But it wasn’t so hard to get studying in because as a freshman, you are required to get eight hours of study hall in during the competitive season. In the spring season, I will have to get 10 hours. When were on the road, sometimes we could be gone up to four or five days. Our coach had designated times where everyone had study hall in our hotel rooms for a couple of hours. Sure study hall can seem strenuous and like it will never end, but it definitely pays off because I manage my grades a lot better when I go to study hall. Being tied down has its perks because in the long run I really want a degree from this college and hitting the books is what it will take to get there.

Rebecca Clements


Victoria Copeland
I graduated from Greene County Tech. I hope to obtain a degree in biology and become a physician’s assistant. Earlier this year in March, I signed a National Letter of Intent to run on the UALR Cross Country and Track Team. When I moved onto campus, I was excited to be here and couldn’t wait for the season to get started. My first college 5K was September 3, and I was so nervous. My coach said it was a good course for my first race. Then I ran my second race, it was only two miles. My training was paying off. I ran a personal record. Next, it was the home meet in Little Rock, another 5K, in which I ran faster achieving another personal record. Then three weeks later, we ran a 6K in Fayetteville. Since I had never run a race that distance, it was, of course, another personal record. Recently, I ran a 5K in the Sun Belt Conference Meet. I didn’t run my best time, but the course was slow so everybody’s times were slow. It was still a decent race even though our team finished fourth. Coming soon, I will run in the regional championships and it’s going to a 6K. Hopefully, I will do better and run another personal record. My college experience, so far, has been amazing and I hope it continues. I’ve enjoyed every moment of being a student.

I went to Harmony Grove High School. I want to get a degree in information science. My favorite things to do are hunting, fishing, playing sports, and spending time with my family. Did you ever have the “I do not care to do anything attitude?” I did when I heard we had to go walk with elementary children for community service hours. Turns out the Walk It Out program was the best thing that I got to do for those hours. Every Wednesday afternoon, I go to Western Hills Elementary School to walk with a group of children. The first time I went I was worried and didn’t really want to go. I thought it was just going to be some dumb thing and I had to put up with a bunch of kids for an hour. I showed up and signed in at the front desk, then I headed around to the gym were all the children were just running around being crazy. I got my clip board with ten children’s names on it. The coach called out my group, and it was my lucky day only two showed up. We started to walk and talk to each other. As the walk went on they started telling me about their day and how things were going. By the end of the day I was enjoying the time I had with them and it was not dumb at all. The Walk It Out program helped me to learn to give back. Now I look forward to going every week and seeing the children. Thanks to CLC I have learned not to judge something before you try it.

Michael Cotton

John Crow
My name is J.D. Crow, and I am from Bismarck Arkansas. I am intending on majoring in mass communications focusing on media production and design (Film). I intend to use this major to become a film-maker. My first service project with the CLC was Pfeifer Camp. When I woke up early that morning, I was not looking forward to spending my Saturday working. Once my roommate and I drug ourselves downstairs and to the bus, I began to dread being up so early. After sleeping the whole way there, I awoke to beautiful scenery at the Pfeifer Camp. We all piled out of the bus and met up with the director of the camp, he told us the projects and we all split up into our groups and went to our respective stations. I was on the garden crew. After we mowed the garden, I tilled it up with a massive tiller. Once I broke the bolt, we moved on to picking up branches, then to trash. All in all, I had a better day than I had thought I would have had on a service day, and I am happy that I was able to help.

My name is Victoria Dawson, I am majoring in chemistry and mathematics and plan to pursue a career as an OB/GYN. The day I decided to join an organization I looked at a list of organizations from a sheet that I was given on orientation day. There were so many to choose from, but I remembered UPC, the University Program Council, which Emily Cox advises. The goal of UPC is to provide fun and engaging activities for the student body. It sounded like the perfect organization for me. Since joining UPC, I go to the meetings every Friday at 3:00 p.m. in the DSC room 201A. During the meetings, I have had the privilege of suggesting and being a part of some of UALR’s biggest campus events. Many UPC events include welcome week, Hispanic Heritage Month events, Family Movie Night, Game Show Night, and the recent famous Norman Magic Experience. The best part about UPC is that during the meetings it is conversational so everyone’s idea is considered and incorporated in the events. I was also able to volunteer with other UPC members at the Norman Magic Experience show and found it to be a wonderful time. I encourage everyone to be a part of the University Program Council. It is a great organization that has provided many events and continues to make fun things happen on campus.

Victoria Dawson


Magan Dempsey
I grew up in Hampton, Arkansas. I plan to major in business. I am a small town girl from Hampton, Arkansas. I plan to major in business. I chose to come to UALR because of the scholarship opportunities, location, and positive attitudes of the administration and current students. From day one things have been wonderful. On move in day, Ambassador Blake Brents assisted me in moving all of my things into my dorm. Everyone was very welcoming, and I felt at home right away. Even when issues did arise, they were handled quickly and appropriately. Of course, moving to college is a tough transition for anyone. I, for one, struggled tremendously for a little while. My grades were slipping, I could not find a job, and I began to get irritated with school in general. What pulled me out of this, was Mr. Nick Steele and his positive words of encouragement. Students at UALR, especially the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, have an administration backing them. The administration, teachers, and even other students at UALR seem to be so willing to help with any problem that arises. They are there to tutor, talk, or even hang out. UALR finally feels like home to me. I am proud to call UALR my University.

Lafayette DeRamus
My name is Lafayette TaShon DeRamus, III, and I am going to impact the world through logic. Through the Chancellors Leadership Corps, I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the local food bank. A woman led us through the various rooms of the building, and she allowed us to feel the frosty temperatures of both the industrial refrigerator and freezer. After a brief description of what the food bank was involved in, the other volunteers and I were given our task. Our goal was to place several hundreds of pounds of sweet potatoes into smaller boxes for storage. I found the work to be rather enjoyable because I was surrounded by several friends and was allowed to destroy the large cardboard boxes holding the potatoes. After the sweet potatoes were packed up, I was given a sort of private tour of the facility and a lesson as to how the food bank obtains its products at minimal cost if any. In conclusion, the experience proved to be a lesson as to how charity operates. The volunteer services of people benefit the overall goal of corporations that wish to help others, but a reliance on big business remains present.


Christopher Dunbar
I attended Cabot High School in central Arkansas. With my degree I hope to eventually work for a conservation organization such as the E.P.A.. So far, my college experience at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been wonderful. I am on the track and cross country on the team here at UALR, and I believe that this has greatly enriched my college life thus far. I instantly had a large friend network when I joined the team. There was no time spent in loneliness or depression from lacking friends or people to spend time with. Some people may look at this fact and say that it is detrimental to the growing and learning experience associated with college, but I disagree. The cross country and track team here at UALR has a wide variety of people. I have had very limited exposure to people from other countries, and now I am spending my time with people from Kenya, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. This has given me that opportunity to grow and learn outside of my usual comfort zone. I believe that I will continue to enjoy my time here at UALR and reach my goals academically and on the track as well.

Geoffrey Ellis
My name is Geoffrey Ellis. I am from Little Rock, and I have not yet decided what I would like my major to be. In my senior year of high school, I had to think about the options of what college I would attend after I graduated. I eventually chose UALR because it was local. After I was offered scholarships, I found that I would have to live on campus, which was something that I initially did not want to do. However, I have become very happy with my decision to live on campus because it has opened me up to many opportunities and allowed me to meet many wonderful people who have made the start of my freshman year very enjoyable. Overall, I am happy with my decision to attend UALR.


Logan Ellis
I am from Hot Springs, Arkansas, where I attended Hot Springs High School. I plan to pursue my goal to become a novelist. At first, you think it will not be like high school. College is a place for mature, serious, and well-prepared young adults ready to produce a well paying career out of a passion they have established over years of hard work and dedication. Given my scholastic conservatism, a more stringent environment seemed perfect, especially with my risky major in English and Creative Writing. There are many cases in which the college expectations are proven true, but for the formerly oppressed teenagers who “didn’t get out much,” college gives them a reason to commit to a freedom rampage. Eventually it occurs to you that college is about self-control and realizing that you have to mature rather than immediately transforming into an adult with sudden responsibilities. College is a test of adaptability—from the first hour to the first day to the first week to the first month to the entire first semester, college tests your strength and your faith, and if you have neither (whether in yourself or in others) the experience is almost missed. Like training a faster reflex, eventually you become quicker to catch the teetering duties and obligations. After the adjustment—the adjustment from feeling alone in a crowd, the adjustment from missing assignments due to sheer neglect, the adjustment from roommate conflicts—the experience becomes cherished, and you begin to wonder why you let anything perturb you for so long. To put it bluntly, it is easier to go into college expecting a groundbreaking shift, whether you feel prepared or not, the adjustment becomes essential.”


Collin Ellison

I am from Little Rock, AR. I went to John L. McClellan High School and I plan on majoring in mathematics. I walked in the room scared, scared of what will be Standing alone amongst the crowd, just me and only me I searched for a familiar face, but alone I remained in this place My face I tried to hide, wishing and hoping no one could see my fear inside When at last it all began, but still I had not one friend The longer the games went on the more I wished for this day to end College was supposed to be all fun and games, a new start for all But all I saw was cliques of friends as I traveled alone to West Hall The tears fell for days as welcome week came to an end Still I walked alone without one single friend The last activity came as I continued to cling to my prayer So I walked in the room with my eyes faced straight as if no one was there When suddenly I heard my name called and my face lit up with cheer Even if the whole week was worthless, and all my attempts were a bust I finally found that one friend and that was enough!

Summer Flannery
I am from Gallup New Mexico, though I spent my last year of high school in Little Rocks’ Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School. I plan on majoring in dietetics and nutrition. What little I knew I was getting into when I decided to go to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I was guessing it would be much like living at home, since home is only a ten minute drive away. Yes, I go over to my parent’s house quite often, but due to the amazing roommate I was so fortunate to pick, I was able to make these grounds my home. She and I are always together and have become best of friends that are almost inseparable. Who knew I could find the place I wanted away from home while living this close?


Tanner Flory
I attended Dardanelle High School. I am majoring in music and I intend to either perform or teach. Haiku Compilation on Joining a Student Organization Joined Pokemon Club Best decision of my life Five dollars well spent Fellowship with friends Many laughs, a lot of fun New friends all the time Similar interests Found a group that suits me well All around good time

Will Fortenberry
I went to Benton High School. My major is systems engineering, and I currently don’t have any idea what I want to do with it. I wasn’t so sure that I made the right decision to come to UALR during the first few weeks of school. I was very disappointed with the campus life aspect of this school. I wasn’t meeting people that I connected with. I was meeting very few people that I could even stand to be around. But after a few weeks I ended up meeting some people at the Kappa Sigma house and I thought to myself these are good guys. They’re very welcoming people who give a very chill, relaxed vibe which I like and fit in with. I never thought that I would be interested in joining a fraternity but, I began to spend more time at the Kappa Sigma house and got to know all of the brothers. The people were not your stereotypical frat guys who are all big headed and arrogant. I am now in the pledge process of joining Kappa Sigma, and I am also the PCP (Pledge Class President). Deciding to join Kappa Sigma has made college a great experience; it is honestly one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I have opened the doors to a brotherhood that is larger than most people can even begin to imagine.


Holly Forthmon
My name is Holly Forthmon. I am from Bryant, AR. I am very interested in deaf culture and fully intend on completing my ASL interpretation major. I am enjoying my time here at UALR and intend on staying until my major is complete. I went to the same school all of my life. I spent my pre-kindergarden to senior year in a small, private school. I would compare my time there to living in a small town. Everyone knows your name, who you are, and really knows too much about you. My goal for college was to transition into a new environment with a new canvas. On move in day, I was so excited! I was going to finally get my chance to start over, and be who I really want to be. They say that college is the time you find out who you really are...THEY ARE RIGHT! My goal has been satisfied. I love living in the dorms and feel very blessed to take part in events and this environment. I’ve realized how spoiled I really am. I mean, what freshmen ever get the brand new dorms? Yes, there have been some scares on campus, but it has not taken my focus off of my goal. I will be the first of my family to graduate with a 4 year degree. I will make a change and a difference in the lives of many. I am fortunate to make it this far, and I will pursue my dream until it is reached.


Zachary Fry
My name is Zachary Fry, and I went to Redwater High School in Redwater, Texas. I plan on getting a degree in Information Science. College has always been something that I have looked forward to since I got into high school. I wanted to go somewhere far from home, but close enough to where I could still visit family. When I got the CLC scholarship from UALR, this allowed me to do that. I am from Texarkana, Texas, and never cared much for the people or the atmosphere around there, so coming here to Little Rock was a breath of fresh air. Like everyone else, move-in day was very nerve-racking for me. I didn’t know what to expect, but it went very smoothly and I got to make some friends right away. I didn’t know my roommate very well, but we actually ended up moving in around the same time, so I got to get to know him. I thought move-in day went very well, and was a good way to start off the semester. I am a pretty reserved person most of the time, so CLC was something I got into, but may not have been prepared for. The first few days after move-in consisted of many meetings and icebreakers for the freshman CLC students. Icebreakers are something I’ve never been to fond of, so I wasn’t really crazy about the whole thing. But after all of it, I did end up being friends with one or two people from the icebreakers. At the end of all of these meetings and icebreakers was the CLC Retreat. The retreat was a way to get to know some people you may not have met yet in CLC. I liked a few of the games we played with our group on the first day, and enjoyed the swimming afterwards. Rooming was kind of weird, because I had to sleep in a room of 3 or 4 people that I had never met. This was a slightly awkward experience. The second day of the retreat consisted of breakfast and more games and icebreakers. I didn’t care much for the icebreakers we did on the second day, but I got to know some of the people in my group better. I think the most beneficial thing that has happened to me since I have been in college was the rooming in West Hall. I have made most of my friends by meeting them on my floor in West Hall. We all lucked out and ended up getting many people with the same personalities and interests. From movie nights to helping each other out with homework, we are almost constantly hanging out. I really enjoy being able to visit friends anytime, since they are only a few doors away. So far, college has been a pretty good experience, and CLC has helped me meet many of the friends I have here.


Jonathan Gage
I went to school at Magnet Cove High in Malvern, AR. I have a very close family that are truly my best friends and love them entirely. As a freshman at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock I have had many new experiences. The most life changing experience that I have had so far is pledging Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Pi Kappa Alpha, or Pike, has completely changed my life and has helped me realize what the real world is all about. Scholars, leaders, athletes, and gentlemen; this is what a True Pike consists of. The fraternity has not only shown me what the real world is like it has showed how different people doing different jobs can accomplish a similar goal. The fraternity is a business. A business designed to help themselves and the community. I have learned, first-hand that Pike is trying to better the community by Adopt-A-Highway, Race for the Cure, and Silent Sunday. A “frat” is not about partying and getting wasted. It is about taking boys and turning them into men while helping the community in the process. Pledging this fraternity is a life changing decision and is something that will make me a better man.


David Geisert
I graduated from Lake Hamilton High school. I am not sure what I plan to do with my degree – something involving computers. Overall, college has been a different experience for me. Sure, I have been in classrooms before, but the atmosphere is a lot different in college than it was in high school. My first week in college I had a lot more freedom, yet I had to take on a lot more responsibilities that not only come from college, but also from adulthood. I am responsible for my own finances, my own living situation, and whether or not I should or want to attend class. Here, I learned quickly that attending class is the most important thing to do in order to succeed in college. I, also, had to develop my own study habits and figure out how to deal with unfortunate incidences such as a fried laptop and no computer for a week. It is also important to take time and have some fun in college. College life is not all about academics and studying. A student needs to have some fun in their life to relieve the stress that comes from class to prosper in college. In college, we have a vast amount of time on our hands, so there is no reason that a student can’t manage good grades and have fun at the same time.

Taylor Helfrich
I’m Taylor Helfrich, and I intend to become a physician’s assistant. “Candy is Good” I once volunteered at the zoo. Many others did, too. I ran the carousel; Everything went really well. The kids got candy, So they were fine and dandy. Though I never got the chance To dance the “Thriller” dance, Seeing the munchkin’s cute outfits Was worth not being able to sit.


I am from Bigelow, Arkansas and was home schooled in high school. I am now majoring in music. Life at a the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been a wonderful learning experience for me thus far. And as one would expect, I have stretched and grown an immense amount during the past couple of months. As a music major, music has been very high on my priority list! Thus, not surprisingly, participating in the UALR Student Recital was a very exciting and nerve-racking experience for me that has been one of the most valuable, collegiate experiences yet. Preparing and performing for a recital is exactly the same as taking a test. It requires immense effort. The instruction I received from my professor in preparation for performing has been indispensable, and the support of fellow colleagues has been more encouraging than one can imagine. As I walked off of the stage at the end of my performance, my thoughts were that this experience is what matters. I knew that I had been given the best instruction, worked as hard as I could, gave the best performance I could give, and it was a thrilling culmination.

Rachel Herman

Zachary Hicks
My name is Zachary Hicks, I went to Center Hill School near Searcy Arkansas, and I plan on becoming a medical doctor. Being part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, I have been privileged to be a part of many great activities and service projects. All of these experiences will certainly leave many fond memories for the rest of my life. One of the best memories I will have is the CLC retreat we took to the 4H Center. For me, this two day trip was one of the most enjoyable things that the whole CLC group has done together. We arrived there on a Friday afternoon, and pretty much went straight to work on getting to know each other. We did lots of “ice-breaker” activities to try to get to know who we will be hanging with for the rest of the year. After a little while, we all got together and were divided into our four “families.” Each family group picked out a name and created a crescent to represent the family. (Ours was the best.) The next morning we were up bright and early to eat breakfast and get to work with leadership exercises. We spent the whole morning doing all kinds of really fun activities that helped us learn about working together and being leaders. We learned how that we will get more done by working with the same mind. The whole trip was just a great experience and something that I will probably always remember.

I’m a business major.

Melissa Hollowell

Upon entering college, I did not expect to become very involved in anything on campus; I simply wanted to get my classes out of the way and graduate in three years. However, all of this changed when a friend suggested that I considered going Greek, which was something that had never even crossed my mind. After attending several sorority events, I decided to go through with formal recruitment. A week later, I received my bid to become a part of Kappa Delta Sorority. For the past month and a half, I have attended new member education classes, learning more about the history of Kappa Delta, and I have gotten to know many of the girls that are now my sisters. Kappa Delta has gotten me more involved in everything – from friendships, to maintaining grades, to serving my community, and to committing myself to being the best I can be. Because of Kappa Delta, I always strive for that which is honorable, beautiful, and the highest A’s a member of the Eta Sigma chapter of Kappa Delta. I now take more pride in being a student at UALR. I know that my experiences with Kappa Delta will extend beyond my college years here at UALR. Because of one week and one decision, I will now always be part of something that is bigger than I am, and I’ll always have sisters who will be true and loyal to me – now and for a lifetime.


Allison Jackson
My name is Allison Jackson and I went to White Hall High School. My major is biology with a minor in chemistry. My career goal is to become a dermatologist. Community service is something I believe to be an essential part of the college experience. You learn things that cannot be learned inside of a classroom. As a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, I have had the opportunity of being introduced to so many wonderful organizations. It is truly an honor to volunteer with such amazing, inspiring people. As leaders in our community, I believe it is our job to take care of it and make it a better place. Being a volunteer with various programs has taught me not only about other people and my community’s needs but also about myself. Volunteering has taught me that I want to spend my life doing good for others within my reach. I now appreciate more than ever what I have and what I have been given. At first I found it challenging to wake up early on a Saturday to go help a cause, but now I know it is extremely rewarding and I have gained the knowledge that I really can make change in my community. We are students of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and members of this community. We have a responsibility to give back to the home that has given us so much. Community service allows college students to really unite their neighborhood and make change while also having fun. Most importantly as college students, we need to recognize there are real problems in our community that need us as leaders to help.


Beth Kanopsic
My name is Beth Kanopsic; I was born and raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I am majoring in political science and international studies with a minor in legal studies. I hope to work with the U. S. State Department with the degree I attain at UALR. My mom is a first grade teacher, so I have been around the educational system my whole life. I have helped out with parties, tutoring and several other events. So when my CLC group began participating in the Walk it Out program at Western Hills Elementary, I was excited to interact with kids again. One day after walking with the kids my friend, Victoria, and I stayed after and talked with the school’s officials. We were interested in tutoring some of the children. The teachers were excited and somewhat relieved that they were getting a helping hand. I recently spent some time with five children at Western Hills. We sat down and started working on math problems to prepare them for their upcoming Benchmark exams. It took several attempts and great patience to help the children understand the problems. After math we worked on literacy. We had each child write a sentence on what they were going to be for Halloween. After that, we read a book and then discussed what it was about. I really enjoyed working with these children. Growing up I was always nervous about asking questions and looking stupid, so I hope that by working with these children they won’t feel that way.

My name is Parminder Kaur and I am a biology major. I graduated from Joe T. Robinson and hope to get into a medical school. College equals hard work, stress, big tests, new people, but another step toward my goal. These thoughts and many others were running through my brain the night before the first day of college. Throughout high school, I heard that college was really hard, no one really cares about you do, and you basically are on your own. But by the first week in college I realized none of that was true. There are people who care, who look after you, and who want to make the best of the college experience. I am very lucky to be part of CLC during my first year of college. I know college is going to be very tough, but after a few meetings and the first week in college, I knew there were people who would help me get through and give me the best advice they could.

Parminder Kaur


Jacob Keeney
I went to Malvern High School. My major is health science, so I can become a coach. One of the coolest experiences I have had on campus this year was going through bid day with the fraternities. Waiting in a room to see if I was going to receive a bid day card matching me to the fraternity I chose was frightening. I was so paranoid that day because I was not sure if I was actually going to get my bid. Everyone was messing with me about how it was a possibility not to receive a bid. Having other guys who had chosen Pi Kappa Alpha as their choice fraternity alongside me helped ease my fear. These guys had gradually become my friends, and I knew that we were in it together. So when the time came for them to announce who had received a bid I was not scared anymore. When I heard my named called, that was greatest feeling I could have imagined, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my chest and I had grin from ear to ear. By going through this process, I have made many new friends and met tons of new people. It is one experience I am greatly proud of.

I’m from Conway, Arkansas. It’s not what you’re owed, but what you’ve earned. Move in day is not what it is made out to be. Moms will cry and dads will hold back a tear. This is far from my experience. My parents were prepared to let me be on my own. Move in day went by very fast. We arrived around 9 a.m. and unloaded everything into my room by noon. I had a last meal with my parents, and then they told me goodbye. My mom was first to walk over and give me a big hug before leaving. Then, as my mom stood in the doorway, my dad walked over and gave me a rare father-son hug. Just like that I was on my own.

Andrew Littleton


Shakendra Lucas

My nickname is Ken, I went to Central High School in West Helena, and I plan to use my degree to get into medical school to study pediatrics. Being a pediatrician has been a dream of mine since before I could even spell the word. Children are very curious, and I find it interesting to listen to the stories they tell or even the words they choose to use in their sentences. Although children are very smart, fun, and energetic, they’re also challenging at times. I volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club and was assigned to watch and interact with the children in the game room. There would be boys arguing over who’s turn it was and girls arguing over who won or lost. The tiring part about it was that each time something went wrong they came to me, Ms. Kendra. I would try to resolve the problems the best way I could, which would be difficult since everyone didn’t tell the truth. Being at the Boys and Girls Club was great because I made new friends. Interacting with the children was exciting so I recently decided to help out with Girl Scouts at the same club on Thursdays. I know my friends were happy to see me when I walked in. I’m always greeted with, “Hey, Ms. Kendra!” I just glow at the fact that the children acknowledge me. I feel even more special when we do activities and the girls run to try to sit by me. It warms my heart to know that the children look up to me. I wouldn’t trade my experiences at the Boys and Girls Club with anything else in the world!


My name is Alexis Martin, I’m from Cabot, AR, and I am undecided on my major. My adventure at UALR has been exactly what I desired from a college experience. I looked for a college comprised of students that were serious about their education and had a definite purpose for being there. UALR is entirely this because most of their students are non-traditional. I like to consider myself a non-traditional student as well; I am eighteen years old, married, and living off campus in my personal home. An average day for me at UALR would include making my 35 minute commute, followed by anywhere from one to four classes and then possibly an hour or two in the library devoted to homework. Since I’ve been at UALR nothing substantial has occurred, there hasn’t been a certain event or happening that would be interesting enough to write about. I do not mind though, I like the serene atmosphere on campus. One of my favorite things about the university is the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps program, which has offered me an abundance of information about volunteer opportunities in the community. This program is an excellent way to get students actively involved in the Little Rock area as volunteers. Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time at UALR, and I look forward to graduating from the university in three and half years.

Alexis Martin


I’m Alex McDonald from Pine Bluff High School, and I am a current information science major at UALR. I am Alex McDonald, a current freshman at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I am from nearby Pine Bluff, Arkansas where I graduated from Pine Bluff High School. I am currently an Information Science major and a CLC Scholar. I believe my freshman experience at UALR maybe the best any freshman could have. The CLC scholarship program, along with the AAMI Brothers Keeper student organization, has been critical to my positive freshman experience. CLC offered me a chance to get acquainted with a lot of people because there are over 100 students in this scholars program and many staff and teachers associated with the program. It feels good to know over 100 people when you’re starting a brand new life in a new city. The AAMI student organization filled that social gap created by leaving a predominantly black high school and community, and coming into a different environment. The AAMI summer orientation program was a good experience. I got a chance to meet many cool guys that eventually became good friends. I was introduced to the campus in a different perspective that excited me about my freshman year in college. Since beginning college, this organization has been everything I knew it would be. I am honored to be a member. College has been a good experience so far. I am now a believer in that this will be the best time of my life. I am blessed to be in the position I am right now. I have to keep my momentum going, and stay strong during this final stretch of the semester. Failure is not an option.

Alex McDonald


Victoria Medina
Someday, I will be a United States’ Ambassador. Today was my first official day of tutoring students at Western Hills Elementary. I tutored with my best friend, Beth Kanopsic. It was everything I never expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, but I did not expect to love it like I found I did. My mom was a teacher. I always swore that wasn’t the path for me and I still believe that, but after today I can see why the job is an appealing one. We tutored five children that needed help in math and literacy. The range in abilities between these students was astounding. All were from the same second grade class, yet they varied immensely in strengths and weaknesses. One little girl had absolutely no concept of numbers. She couldn’t tell you how many fingers you were holding up. One little boy couldn’t read anything that was beyond a three letter word. Despite this, each of them had some strength in a different area. It occurred to me, that these children were absolutely capable of learning. They just needed someone to have a little faith and spend a little extra time with them. I plan to be that someone. I think I have exceeded my word limit so I will stop, but please wish me luck. I hope to prove to be a blessing in the lives of these children.

I’m from Sherwood, Arkansas. I’m a studio art major and I plan to become an art teacher. There’s something about falling down that is so surreal. Your body is braced for that moment of impact, your mind is somewhat freaking out, and then it happens. You slip and slid down a giant tarp covered in soap, water, and slime. That’s what starting college is about. Not the slime or soap, but that surreal nature of something about to happen but you’re not sure what and you’re not sure if you’re ready. But it happens. And you love it or at least I do.

Sarah Melero


Carolina Meza
I am a redheaded Mexican from Chihuahua. I moved here when I was 12 years old, and I graduated from Bryant High School. Out of all the memorable experiences I have had at the university, my favorite one is when CLC went to the retreat at the 4H center. While there, I met a lot of people and best of all made new friends. It was such a great experience doing all those activities and getting to know all those people. While doing some of the activities I had to leave my comfort zone to accomplish our tasks. I had to hug a girl I had never talked to before. I had to be extremely close to a bunch of people I didn’t know, and we were all sweaty since it was extremely hot outside and didn’t exactly smell like flowers. That was definitely my least favorite part of the trip. What I enjoyed best was making friends with the girls I had to room with that night. My friends, the friends of my roommates, and I got all together in a room and we got to know each other and share stories. At first, I was mad that they had picked the people we were rooming with, but at the end it turned out pretty good because I made new friends! CLC has given me the opportunity to learn how to be a leader, but best of all it has given me the opportunity to make friends that I’m sure will last for a lifetime.


Jasmine Minor
I have a great passion for children, and I hope to use that in my future career, neonatal nursing. An experience that I will never forget and I plan to enjoy for the years to come is The Race for the Cure. First of all, I’ve never been to The Race for the Cure. My sudden interest comes from my grandma, Genova Minor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few days after classes started. Before I found out about the diagnosis on August 26, I was only aware that she was admitted into the hospital because of a few minor complications with her breathing. My grandma was afraid to tell me the truth over the phone. She would always say the doctors were running test. My mom made a trip to Little Rock to tell me of what all was going on. When I finally heard the news, I was in total disbelief. My grandma not only had breast cancer, but it was also spreading into her lungs which made it hard for her to breath. During The Race for the Cure, I was overwhelmed with many emotions. I felt empathy. I could relate to the feelings of other participants at the Race for the Cure. I also put myself in the shoes of others who have lost loved ones which made me be thankful that I still have my grandma in my life. I felt joy from people whom I walked beside that were survivors of breast cancer. Seeing the survivors made me have hope. I have hope and faith in God that my grandma will overcome disease. I believe that there is a reason for everything that happens in life. Being in CLC has introduced me to many volunteer opportunities such as the Race for the Cure. Being at the race allowed me to see that there is something being done about breast cancer, and I felt good being a part of it. Seeing my grandmother sick also helped me confirm what I wanted to do in life and that is become a nurse.


Apoorva Mittal
I am from India and hope to become a CPA and MBA. I am currently studying for my degree in Accounting and Finance at UALR. Learn, Lead and Serve Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, where Leaders are born and discovered, Scholars learn and prosper, And caseworkers serve their community. Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, where Nick and Logan are the mentors of The Pride, Dope Goats, Caitlin’s Little Caesars and Da Fiji Nuggets; A close knit family that endures to serve the community. Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, where The fifty minute class, ambassadors and junior mentors Teach us how to change the world, and nurture us to be effective leaders serving our community. Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, where Walk-it-Out, Pfeifer Camp, Reach 12,000 and Boo at the Zoo, Teach lifelong lessons And encourage responsible citizens to serve the community. Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, where Friends are made for life, Memories are cherished forever, And we’re taught to Learn, Lead and Serve.


Trent Montgomery
I graduated from McGehee High School. I am majoring in illustration with a minor in dance. We pull up to the parking beside UALR West Hall. My heart is beating entirely too fast. The anticipation for this day is finally here. As I get out of the car, I see commotion As everyone makes their way into the building for the first time. I see other incoming freshmen, With the same look of wonder and awe. This is a new beginning for all of us. What will become of me? What does UALR hold for my future? These are the questions I ask myself. When I make my way into the building, My eagerness grows. I check in and receive my key. The realization that this is my new home finally hits me. I make my way up to my room. I put my key into the lock, Turning it slowly, Not knowing what to expect behind the door. I knew that this was the door to my future, And by entering the room, My life would be changed forever.


My name is Mieshia Moore and I am a Criminal Justice Major from Blytheville, Arkansas. I plan to pursue a career in corporate law. Hopefully, in January, my twin brother will join me at UALR! “             Away from home And on my own. Eighteen is a tender age, To start a new life, on a brand-new page. Major responsibilities and difficult tasks, Makes me think that sometimes I won’t last. First, sharing the womb Then, sharing a dorm room Would be quote different, I presume. College, for some, can be a hindrance But for me, it’s a life learning experience!”

Mieshia Moore


Elyssa Mullenix
I’m my own oxymoron: I’m a quiet socialite, ADD genius, horribly nice person, and the coolest nerd ever. My college experience, Where do I begin? Full of laughter and love and making new friends. These new friends, including this boy, Always seem to bring me much joy. The professors, gee, did I think to be different, Had I known they work you to be efficient? I must admit, my biology prof is the best, He’ll talk and teach and joke and jest. Yet my naïveté shows how much I knew, To see my reaction when crimes began to brew. From muggings to shootings to murder; the crimes, I strangely thought this place so sublime. We hear sirens every day and night, Lulling my head with curiosity and fright. But alas, he and my friends are all here, To ward away any unwanted fears. From move-in day to present, it has been quite the experience. From the things of least worry to those far more serious. My college experience, Here we are; To live our lives and go oh-so far. Now it’s my time to make my bet, To live MY life, hold no regrets.”


Tamara O’Neal

I graduated from North Pulaski High School. My dream is to help young children as much as I can. My experience here so far at the university has been great. One experience that I really enjoyed is joining a student organization. I joined Ladies Who Launch and I really like it. My mentor Jasmin Scott and the organization leader Amber Smith are really helpful and caring. They have helped me through classes. Amber loves getting us involved in events such as dance, choir, and spoken word. Other events I have experienced with this organization is going to hear Omarosa speak at Philander, hearing a speaker here on campus, luncheons, plays, and a tour of the Mosaic Templar with AAMI. What I enjoy the most about this organization is its goal to have us young women graduate in four years.


My name is Katherine Palludan. I went to Bryant High School, and my major is anthropology. He ran after her down the hallway when a bullet struck him in the back. He fell to the floor, dead. A moment later, however, he began to stand up, a strange gurgling noise coming from his throat. The disease had taken hold of his body. Mary-Kate screamed and ran down the hallway towards Dan and I. Robert was close behind her, running in the stiff, jerky way that only a German zombie can run. When Mary-Kate was behind us, Dan and I, both armed, began pumping bullets into Robert. Robert fell dramatically at our feet. “You hit me in the eye again,” Robert said. He picked up one of the Nerf darts littering the floor and stared at Dan accusingly. Dan shrugged and I doubled over, laughing. Mary-Kate looked around the corner at us, eying the Nerf guns nervously. This event took place in the corridors of the fourth floor in North Hall. Ever since coming to UALR, I have been able to break out of the shy shell that used to surround me. I have found my place amongst my Nerf gun wielding, zombie slaying friends. I have finally found the things that I want to do. I get to study the things that I love and I have the support of my CLC family. Being here, I have learned that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I am confident and my aim with a Nerf gun has gotten much better.

Katherine Palludan


I plan to get a secondary major in philosophy and religion. Someday, I hope to either teach history at a college around this area or become a historian back in my home town of Hot Springs, AR. So, you must be one of the new freshman? In that case, welcome to UALR! I’m here to help you move your stuff in and get prepared for your first week. Try not to stress too much. I promise that it’s not as bad as what you’re thinking. I would know, of course, I was in your position last year and trust me, everything will be fine. See, when I was here last year, I was so stressed that I could barely stand still. I just had to keep moving, which didn’t help with the hour wait to get the key to my room. It was funny because after I got the key, I had no clue where to go. I’m just glad there were people to help me to get everything settled in. Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot about your stuff. Here, let me carry that. Now, where was I... Oh, yeah, move in day. It seems like something stressful, but it really isn’t. Frankly, the hardest part of the day is putting stuff up and carrying things back and forth. The day is going to get better! If your move in day is anything like mine, you’re going to make new friends real soon. I did in no time. Anyway, I’ve talked enough about me. Let’s focus on getting your stuff unpacked, and then we can talk about all the other exciting things that will be happening this year for you.

Dallas Parker


Divya Patel
I am a graduate of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. I am originally from West Memphis, Arkansas. Along with being a CLC Scholar, I am also a Science Scholar majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. Every day at UALR, I learn something new about different people, the community, and the world. College life, so far, has been a completely new experience for me. In college, it is another world where each person on campus is there for only one purpose, education. One of the best things about college is that a student is given much freedom; however, in return a student must also have time management skills to achieve a goal. One of the main things I have learned while being at UALR is that a student must recognize one’s own study habits in order to be successful. Every day, I see intelligent students walk across campus lugging along a giant backpack filled with books. These students motivate and help me challenge myself to achieve my educational goals. I want to strive high and achieve the unachievable. At UALR, I have experienced many challenges which have helped me grow and learn more about myself than ever before. I really hope to make the best out of my future college years.


Elvie Pearson
I want to teach English as a second language. Until this year, I had never shared a room with anyone…ever. So when I found out that living on campus was a requirement, horrified, my first thought was that I didn’t know any of the girls starting UALR with me in the fall. Despite my apprehension, the day came for me to pick a roommate. I was sitting in a crowd of strangers in front of a half-finished residence hall, and while the others milled around I just sat in awkward desperation until one girl finally sat down beside me and started to talk to me. Over the course of fifteen minutes, we signed all of the housing forms, agreed our bedspreads should be purple, and parted ways. I didn’t see her again until move in day. Three months later, Summer has become one of the best things about my freshman year. She’s friendly, outgoing, and ridiculously good at math, which is a skill that I do not have. She forced me to talk people, dragged me to club meetings, and is the only reason I’ve managed to maintain an “A” in algebra. I am hugely thankful to Summer for our nights of Netflix, panicked pretest studying, and maniacal sleep-deprived laughter. Living on campus has been an invaluable experience. Had I not, I might not have made any close friends, and I don’t know how I would navigate the craziness of college life without a crazy roommate to help me.


Originally from California and Texas, I finished my high school career in Little Rock at Joe T. Robinson and am currently pursuing a career in editing. I was once promised, “college is the place to find yourself.” At first, I took that quote with only a grain of salt. I doubted that college could be the beacon of my life; it seemed more like a second high school, a prolonged road to adulthood. High school had been four of the most eyeopening years of my life, and I was skeptical about changing any more than I already had. Even so, I dared myself and joined a couple organizations, took up a few leadership roles, and even got a job. It came as a welcome surprise, though, when I joined the Alliance, it brought me out of my shell. “Coming out” seems to be a difficult experience for most people in the gay community. Fortunately, I’ve always felt accepted by my friends and most of my teachers...even if I didn’t know any other gay person. Though accepted, I still felt alone. Being in the Alliance and surrounded by not only a community that fully accepts me for who I am, but also individuals who share the same types of experiences as myself, I feel almost like a new person. I’ve found I’m a lot more involved in my community. It may seem like a stretch for now, but I really believe if it weren’t for the people I’ve met and the events I’ve gone to through in the Alliance, I wouldn’t be who I am now.”

Bianca Pollard


Chris Quiamco
My name is ...my name is...(what?) *scratches record player* *Chika-chika* My name is Chris Joy Quiamco! I graduated from Parkview Science/Art Magnet School and have come to UALR to study pre-med biology. All of my high school days have finally led me to this moment: The moment where naïve teens believe all of their problems will disappear and they would be able to have full power over their lives. But why would anybody want that? My mind was pulled in all different directions. I started to second guess my major, classes sped up, friends were distant, time management skills were needed to decide my dinner time, and the thought about choosing next semester classes in the middle of my first semester overwhelmed me. Why would someone be so eager to start this life? Well this is the journey I must take. My future self just laugh and says, “Just wait until you get a job!”

Alyss Ragsdale
I attended Wynne High School. I want to be a lawyer for human rights and maybe one day run for a political office. Just yesterday I remember waking up and getting ready for my first day of public school. My dad cried his eyes out. His baby girl was going to get herself an education. Just yesterday I remember waking up and getting ready for my first day of work. My dad cried his eyes out. His baby girl could now help out the family and be more independent on herself. Just yesterday I remember waking up and getting ready for my high school graduation. My dad cried his eyes out. His baby girl was going to walk across the stage and receive her high school diploma, just one more step into becoming completely independent. Just yesterday I remember waking up and getting ready to move away and go off to college. I cried my eyes. My dad just smiled down at me and kissed my forehead. His baby girl was going off to make her mark in the world.


Kelsey Reed
I’m a pre-med biology major. I graduated from Bryant High School, and I am currently a competitive cheer coach. My brown leather moccasins drug across the linoleum as excited chatter filled the unfamiliar student center. I was nervous. I was surrounded by strange faces that were looking at me. For the first time I was a freshman..a college freshman. It was approximately 9:05 a.m., and I was on my way to class with 20 minutes to spare. As I was about to walk out of the student center a great group of guys stopped me to tell me to have a great first day, little did I know they would all become a major part of my social life. The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity here at UALR welcomed several freshman, including myself, with open arms by walking with us to class, sitting with us at lunch, and just waving at us around campus. By hanging out with all the guys I made more friends than I can count! My social life wasn’t exactly thriving in high school, but here it’s so much different. I have made friends here, friends that actually want to hang out with me! For the first time I fit in being me. For the first time I didn’t have to compromise who I was to be part of the ‘in-crowd’. For the first time I have been able to surround myself with positive, encouraging, motivated students like myself. UALR made it possible for me to finally find my place and experience a real social life.


I am Dustin Rhodes, and I went to Lonoke High School. I want to get a degree in history/ secondary education and a masters degree, so I can become a high school teacher and counselor. From the day I popped out of my mother’s womb, they knew I was destined to be a student at UALR. They could see it all over my entire baby body. And what do you know; now I am here. I moved into this great place on August 12th 2011. It was such a great experience. All these great RA’s pretending they were so happy to see us and to carry our bags and whatnot was really touching. Not! But really, the move in day was a great time. My roommate, my best friend that I have known forever, and I started meeting all the weird floor mates we had. We both thought that it would be pretty crazy living around all these weird folks. What we didn’t know was that all of us were going to become extremely close and become like brothers. Then I met this big ole boy named Ashton and found out he was going to be the father of our floor. He was kind of strict and mean at first, but he eventually came around. He makes a great father to all of us brothers on our little second floor family.

Dustin Rhodes


Hi everyone I’m Rachel Rowland and I went to Fountain Lake High. I plan on majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. I want to become an optometrist and I love doing art of all kinds in my spare time. The Roller Coaster called “UALR” I check by my dorms My days at UALR The roommates are all missing Are busy as hell Except for Amanda Classes and lectures Who is sitting and working. Are the down side I found. The guys room is next My teachers are great The room of forever alone I like my Mrs. Douglas The room of three boys But dear Dr. Lanza Where they win and they “own”. Is scary and focused. They sit in their room Fear not though Playing video games For I do love the campus I sit in their room With all the walking Drawing some art things. They sure want to push us. Darkness falls They work us out But sleep doesn’t come God, are we broke We all stay awake From dorms to classes Till at least dawn. “Freshman 15” is a joke. Then my forever alone kid After a long day Cuddles up for the night Back to the dorms I start I sleep with a smile With chemistry on the brain And love in my heart. And Thomas on the heart.

Rachel Rowland

Taylor Sills
I’m from Jonesboro, Arkansas and I am a biology major. College life is better than I could have expected. I have been able to take my independence to a totally different level. I have made new friends, whom I know I will have for life (thanks to CLC). Also, I have had the opportunity to experience in a new way. I love how the campus really tries to get us involved and there is always something to do. I’ve never been much of a social or outgoing person, but by coming here I’m breaking out of my box and developing more than I ever thought possible.


Jordyn Sinnett
My name is Jordyn Sinnett and I graduated from Southwest Christian Academy. I plan to major in early childhood education to become a preschool teacher. Chancellor’s Leadership Corps (CLC) is the reason I chose to attend UALR, and the reason my freshmen year of college has been so enjoyable, fun, and life changing. I want everyone to know that CLC is much more than a scholarship, a not so flattering colored t-shirt, matching backpacks, and 15 hours of community service. CLC doesn’t just expect us to keep high grades, it helps us in every way possible to make sure that we can make that happen. With help from our ambassadors, study groups, and progress reports, CLC has made the transition from high school to college life so much easier and enjoyable. Thanks to CLC, on the first day of class, I already knew at least three people in each of my classes. CLC has also introduced me to some of the best friends I could’ve ever asked for. It’s turned us all into one big family. When it comes to my 15 service hours, CLC has introduced me to things I never would’ve thought I could’ve been a part of. The work I did and the people that I met at Pfeiffer Camp and Habitat for Humanity has changed my life forever. I thank God for bringing CLC into my life because I have no idea where I would be today without it.


Aqa-Via Allen-Smith
I attended Conway High School in Conway, Arkansas, I want to major in Pre-Med or Business, and I am very focused and will succeed. “It’s…community service not work It’s help. Helping your community, people around you People who need you People who are not in the same position as you Community service is not work. It’s sharing. Sharing your time Sharing your hands Sharing your heart Letting someone know that you care Really care Deep in your soul Community service is not work. It’s learning. Learning how to work with people How to not be selfish Learning how to lead and also How to follow To drive and to ride Community service is not work. It’s punishment? No no, it’s a reward. Not the “Oh, I’m glad it’s done” reward But the, “Oh, I’m glad it’s DONE,” reward So, what is it to you? Is it an ache in your side? Or pain like a toothache? Maybe a sore throat? Is it? Well, it should be. Ache in your side from laughing so much Pain like a toothache from smiling so much Sore throat from talking to your friends too much _BREAK_ Put some heart into it. Really think about what you are doing. You are doing community service. Serving your community Serving friendship Serving help Serving LOVE


Callie Smith

I want to teach, so that I can continue learning for a lifetime. When I received my first graded essay back, college became real. Up until then, it was all a blur. I was just trying to get to class like the other back-pack wearing students. Even though, I didn’t get the grade I wanted, I felt a sense of pride and progress in knowing that I had passed my first college paper. I want to be an English secondary education major. I’m in an upper level Approaches to Literature class because I started college with concurrent credit hours. Sitting in class with older students is intimidating but exciting. Because of that first essay, I met my really great friend, Jessica. She took an interest in helping me with my first paper. A lot of things about college haven’t been perfect, but all of it has helped me experience something important about myself and others. Even though I got a B- on my essay, I felt achievement in knowing that I was one step closer my career and had gained lifelong friend.


Justin Smith
My name is Justin Smith and I am from Lonoke, Arkansas. I am majoring in mathematics with the intent to attend and complete graduate school. My alarm goes off, first day of class Hope it’s not hard, hope I pass Grab my backpack and a breakfast bar Planned my classes so I don’t have to walk far A lot of things running through my mind Do I have my books, will I be on time? Nervous but excited believe it or not Almost to class, ready to be taught Step into the elevator Ask the man, I need a favor Can you press 6 for me please? Because the stairs are hard on my knees Just me and a stranger standing there This is really awkward, just don’t stare Finally, I reach my floor Get off quick and sprint for the door Check my phone, doing good on time Ready for class, ready to shine! Look through the window, take a peek Class is cancelled come back next week


Troy Smith
I am a busy body. I run track, paint, work, study, participate in clubs, and hang out with my friends. I intend to succeed in life, not yet sure which of the many paths i should take, yet I have confidence that I will succeed. While high school was stressful, I expected college to be way worse. I was scared, nervous, anxious and ready to prove to myself that I could do it. Being as doubtful as I can be at times, I was worried I wouldn’t have what it takes to succeed. Thus far, I have reminded myself that I’m the independent person whom I was raised to be. I pay my way, I get my work done, and I am good at handling stressful situations. I do work well with others, and that’s partially the reason I’m here now. If not for my fellow scholars, I might not have had the resources I’ve needed to get my work done on time. I am truly grateful to have such close friends on campus to help me with transitioning to college life.

Logan Sturgill
I plan on becoming an artist after college. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has much to offer in terms of Campus Life. Campus life is a great way to make friends in the unfamiliar environment of college. It also allows you to participate in activities that interest you. Campus life allowed me to meet many of my friends. I’ve participated in several events that were hosted by Campus Life. I have made at least one new friend at every event I’ve attended. These events have also been a good way to spend time when I got restless in my dorm. Campus Life also sponsors many clubs. There is a club for almost anything that you could be interested in. If you want to create a club that you would be interested in, that is always a possibility as well. I, for example founded the UALR Pokémon Club. “


I attended Bryant High School. I love my big family. I’m an extrovert. Thrown into new surroundings taking over my emotions and overwhelming me with shock. Girls holding hands with other girls. Guys holding hands with other guys. Kissing isn’t a secret. PDA doesn’t exist. Something that doesn’t have to be hidden anymore. Everyone can be open. College is a beautiful thing for diversity. Diversity is a beautiful thing for college. College is where you find out who you are and what you want to be. Let the process begin.

Allison Tank

Macey Varnell
I want to use my degree to get into medical school in order to become a medical examiner for the state of Texas. What Leadership Means to Me Leadership is a term that’s often thrown around, but people don’t really consider what the true definition is. When I applied to UALR, I knew I would have to rely on scholarships to get me through. The Chancellor’s Leadership Corps (CLC) scholarship has been, by far, the best thing in my college experience. Because of it, I now know hundreds of other students. I can walk across campus and see ten to twenty CLC students that I can say hello to. I have made numerous friends and built many strong relationships. Those are all social benefits of CLC, but that’s not the most important thing about CLC. “Learn, Lead, and Serve” is our motto and it rings true. I have personally learned how to be a better leader, and I have learned why serving is so important. Whether it’s in my school, my community, or my world, I can make a difference. Some students see community service as a hassle or a waste of time, but because of CLC, I have learned that it is a fantastic experience that can teach you a lot about yourself and others. It personally helped me learn to appreciate what I have. CLC is a wonderful program, and I am so glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of it.

Kerstein Ward
“My Doubts All I can say Doesn’t matter anyway. I feel myself sway All while I decay. I sit here waiting, Constantly debating, Possibly even hating, This thin ice I’m skating. Is it really worth it? Why can’t I just quit? To you I will commit. Accomplishment, you must admit. You may see a smile, But my mind could be on trial Being subtly hostile All the while. I thought you knew me, But with this I will disagree Because I cannot guarantee To the slightest degree.

I am Kerstein Ward. I am a geology major. I want to obtain a doctoral degree in geology and study the evolution of the planet and its environment.

Where you really there? There in my prayer? Saving me from the nightmare. My painful nightmare, beware. Can I let you in? Where will it all begin? My heart is just too thin To open up again. I’m hating the way I feel. I just need to heal. Relax and my heart will conceal, Hopefully not reveal. All of this I do not comprehend. All of this I did not intend. My heart you could bend, But I hope there will be no end.”


Jennifer Waylan
I went to North Pulaski High school and I intend to become a hish school chemistry teacher. At the beginning of the semester I was uncertain of what organization I would join. I never really found one that called to me, but Mandi talked me into going with her organization one night. Now I am proud to say I have had the wonderful opportunity to join a great organization here on campus; the MBSF. The MBSF campus ministry has allowed me to meet new and exciting people, have fun experiences, and become closer to God. I must admit I was a tad bit skeptical when Mandi first invited me to MBSF. Once I was finally able to attend, however, I loved it. It was just a big group of friends that came together to worship our savior, and that is exactly what I need this year. It has always taken me longer to make friends and going to this bible study twice a week has truly helped me. I plan on going to MBSF as long as it is around, and I hope that the friends that I make here will be with me for a very long time.

Donald Wilborne

I went to Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock and I hope to use my major to get into a management position and make a good living. Joining and getting involved with Greek life at UALR is probably one of the best things I could have done to enhance my college experience. Going Greek has introduced me to so many people that I now hang out with. I also have brothers who hold me accountable to do schoolwork which motivates me to do my best. I also feel it has helped me take a step out of my comfort zone. By having great friends, I now do things that I normally wouldn’t do by myself. I would encourage everyone to go Greek. I have experienced firsthand how it can change your college experience.


Jerral Williams
I will create a better world for everyone by lending my skills wherever needed. The first week of classes at UALR was incredible! Actually, it was not even a whole week, only two days. Everyone on campus was so welcoming, and I could tell that everyone was excited to begin a new year. Whether I met freshmen or upperclassmen, I received a positive reception and felt that no one was shunning me. It was kind of funny how people would join forces to search for classes building new friendships in the process. The experience never became overwhelming even with so many new faces because I understood that an interesting chapter was about to unfold in my life.

Kelsay Williams
My name is Kelsay Williams and I am from North Little Rock Arkansas. I want to major in applied design. Since coming to UALR I have had the opportunity to meet so many new people. The campus is full of diverse people with several different interests and ways of thinking, which amazes me. Those that I have met have no care for what color your skin is, what your religious or political views are, and they don’t care what your sexual orientation is. All they care about is that you are human and you are accepting of others. Being able to meet these people, people like me, makes me a lot more comfortable with attending this university. I was afraid that everyone would be very judgmental and reclusive. However, I was wrong. Having everyone I know here is like attending a party every day of the week. Even people I have made acquaintances with are amazing. From seeing them in the elevator or light conversations in the Diamond Café, everyone here has a unique quality. Diversity is what makes this university. There are thousands of thousands of people who go to school here and everyone is as different as the next. Coming to UALR makes me grateful to have been able to meet all of these new people. Some are from the state, others outside the state, and even those from outside the country. Everyone has their own style. Everyone will leave behind something wonderful while here at UALR, and I hope that I will do the same.

I am from Magnolia, Arkansas.

Khari Williams

My Daily Prayer Dear Lord, help me to pass this test I’ve studied hard and done my best Help me to be wise in my decisions and allow people see my good intentions My mother told me to make her proud and that’s what I am going to do I know I can’t do this without you I know you have a plan for me that is greater than my own I’m ready to show the world how much I’ve grown Goodbye fear of failure Because with God I can only succeed I know it won’t be easy but I’m willing to work hard to achieve Amen

Mary-Kate Williams
My name is Mary-Kate Williams and I’m from North Little Rock, Arkansas. I am majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. I don’t know what to do with a biology degree yet, but I love research and insects. Beginning school I didn’t think I’d be doing half the things I’m currently involved in. Entomology is the study of insects, and I absolutely love observing and learning about them. Currently I am not doing much in the lab but I am aiding several graduate students with their research. Recently I sorted insects from Panama that were collected from a dry brush. Most of the insects were ants, mites or ticks, but such insects like pseudo-scorpions and small millipedes caught my eye. When I looked through the microscope lens, I saw a world that is invisible to the human eye. Several different families of insects were in the collection of dry brush, it was amazing to think there are so many organisms living in a condensed area. What’s interesting is that I found several dozen ants that had pincers for mouths, an adaptation for ants living in Panama that can only be explained by the Darwinian theory of natural selection. People usually do not think about the wonderland of insects, but for me it’s something I think about quite often. They live at the mercy of our gigantic feet, but manage to survive in extreme habitats. I’m extremely happy that I am meeting with several entomology students and I don’t think college would be the same without them. I feel like they’re my insect loving family.

Vernon Wilson

I am from Osceola, Arkansas. I am majoring in Biology. My career goal is to become an anesthesiologist. Joining the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) has to be one of the best decisions I have made on campus. AAMI is a true brother hood that encourages its members to stay motivated and keep their eyes on the prize. AAMI has also provided me with mentors that act as guides on campus. The mentors have helped make the transition to college smooth and relaxed for me. One of our mottos is “failure is not an option”. The program has really taught me to dig deep inside myself and become something bigger than I could ever before imagine. The main goal is to increase the retention and graduation rates of African Americans at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A brother does not let his brother fail or give up. It’s good that I have had someone calling me and sending me emails making sure I’m going to class and achieving success.


Harvell Howard & Darrel McGee
Co-instructors, PEAW 1300 First Year Experience
This is the second year that the African American Male Initiative program has had a designated section for the First Year Experience course. However, it was the first year for two AAMI administrators to teach the class. We found this to be very impactful as the students experienced, on some days, a father figure and on others, a big brother. Overall, we both had one goal in mind which was to help this group of young men to make a seamless transition from high school to college, gaining the skills that are necessary to successfully stay in school and ultimately, to graduate. Moreover, this was our first year to be involved in the Writing Across the Curriculum Project. Throughout the year our students wrote about many aspects of life, most notably was their Transition to College, the topic of civility, their responses to the out of class readings from the book, “Letters to a Young Brother” by Hill Harper, and last, their Service-Learning Project. We really enjoyed working with this group of young men as well as working together. Furthermore, we hope to see each of them every semester until their graduation day at UALR. We are a part of the Educational, Student Services, and Student Life Division here at UALR.


Jalen Council
My name is Jalen Council. I am from Marianna, Arkansas. I attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. At this time, I am undecided in my major. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically... Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. The responsibility that I hold in college is greater than it was in high school. In college, no one tells you that you have work due. Professors in college state everything that will be due during the year in the syllabus; and you are expected to turn it in on time with no exceptions. In high school, your teacher reminds you every day and even allows you to turn it in late. In college, everything is on you. You make your own choices. In high school you depend on your parents to tell you what is right and what is wrong. Now, you have to tell yourself. The hardest part about transitioning from high school to college is staying focused. Now that I am in college it is hard to stay focused because there are so many things trying to catch my attention. You have so much freedom that you just don’t know what to do with yourself. You have things like girls, campus life events, sports and friends, grabbing at your attention. It is ok to do and have these things but as long as you give your books and school work the most attention you’ll be okay. For me, responsibility, time management, and focus are the biggest part of transitioning from high school to college. One thing that I am grateful for is AAMI (African American Male Initiative). This program is helping me out a lot. The mentors are here to help me, offering advice and much needed support. I have learned when you surround yourself with likeminded people with similar goals you are more likely to succeed.


Reginal Glenn
My name is Reginal Glenn, a freshman attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. I graduated from J.A. Fair System Magnet High School and was student body president. I am majoring in Electronics and Computer Engineering. GROWING TO COLLEGE In high school I couldn’t cared less To now making it better than them But in college I have to pay more They’re just a little seed In high school the knowledge would come and go But I’m growing with my roots and my stem But in college that knowledge I have to store From the nervous kid on the first week of High school I use to procrastinate college But now I try to do everything early Thinking if I should be here or not Seeing my future that’s ahead of me To knowing where I belong and where I’m But knowing sometimes it will get blurry going And promising myself to never stop Went from being the class clown To trying to be the head of the class Capable of doing A+ work Went from the person with no future But used to do enough just to pass To learning from my past But now the motto I follow is If u are not first than you’re last From the kid no one took serious To the young man they ask for help Used to act without a thought in my mind Used to have my pants sagging But now I think before I act But now they are being held up by a belt Don’t want college to be a waste of time No one step forward and two steps back From the little kid in the darkness Into a bright young man From the kid that would talk slang to That young man was lost in the world everyone But now that young man has a plan To now communicating like he graduated Came to college to party, have fun, hang From the under estimated kid they said with the boys and meet girls wouldn’t make it But now understand it’s about being educated


Jermaine Marshall
I am Alex McDonald, a current freshman at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I am from nearby Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I am currently an Information Science major and a Chancellor Leadership Corps Scholar. MY TRANSITION When looking for a collegiate home, financial aid was a big factor in my decision. During my college search, UALR was one of my last college choices. I guess I saved the best for last. I was awarded a Chancellor’s Leadership Corps scholarship, which offered me the most financial aid from any college I applied for. I can truly say that I believe that this was one of the best decisions of my life. The CLC scholars program has been key to my transition to college. CLC offers me a chance to get acquainted with a lot of people because there are over 100 students in this scholars program and many staff and teachers are associated with the program. It feels good to know over 100 people when you are starting a brand new life in a new city. The AAMI’s Brother’s Keeper student organization is equally important to my freshman experience. For me, coming from a predominantly black high school and community, this organization helps fill that social gap created by coming into a totally different society. Being close to home also has its benefits. My home is about an hour away, so I really can go home whenever I want. I have a big family, and it is always a pleasure whenever I can go home and see everyone. However, my home is far enough to give me the feeling of independence. This provides the perfect balance between my home and school lives. I would not change this for anything. College has been a good experience so far. I am now a believer that this will be the best time of my life. I am blessed to be in this position. Now, I must keep my momentum going and stay strong during this final stretch of the semester. Failure is not an option.


Alex McDonald
My name is Jermaine Marshall, and I am a University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) student majoring in computer science. I grew up in a small town known as West Helena, Arkansas where I attended Central High School. While attending the school, I had an interest in mathematics and computer LASTING MEMORIES Before coming to UALR, I thought that I would miss home and the people who I was leaving behind. However, when I got to the school and saw all it had to offer, I knew that I would not miss home. After settling in, I met so many new people and there was so much to do that I rarely thought about home. Choosing UALR was by far one of the best decisions I felt I have ever made. My experiences here make me feel so relaxed. Not only do I enjoy my classes, but I also receive help in some of my harder subjects such as programming. Furthermore, my first job at the school is in the Office of the Provost, where I scan documents and print them off. Getting a job back at home was very difficult because the town is so small and competition is high. Clearly, my transition to UALR is a memory that I will hold on to for life. My first few days here were so amazing that I wished I could do them over again. Volunteering at the number one hospital in Arkansas taught me a lot about other people such as how they talk, what their cultures are like, and how they view the world. So far, at the university, I have all pros and no cons simply because I am honestly having the time of my life.


This project was funded by Mrs. Joni Lee, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This support is critical to the sustainment of this project. Ms. Besty Hart, M.S.W. from the Office of Community Engagement coordinates with the instructors, the service learning component of the courses and the UALR Service Learning Fair. Her interface with the community agencies that provide the service opportunities for students is invaluable. Ms. Kim Tran, Assistant Director, undergraduate academic advising for her leadership in organizing the Rock for the Cure service-learning opportunity across all the PEAW course sections. Support staff within the office of Undergraduate Academic Advising were on board with adjusting to all of the unexpected issues associated with this project. Mrs. Janie Bryant for her accounting and tracking of the financial aspects, patience with students, participants and share insights as the new initiative evolved. Mrs. Stephanie Drombetta for her supporting the students, distrubtion and donations of related materials, t-shirts and student “traffic”. We wish to thank Stephanie Stephens of Printing Services for her guidance on the new layout, design and other technical challenges. Miss Stephens is attending UALR pursuing a certificate in Media Production. In formulating this writing across the curriculum project, consultation was held with Dr. Huey D. Crisp, the former UALR Coordinator of Freshman Composition. He assisted in defining guidelines that support the “Writing Across the Curriculum” initiative and the quality of written assignments from instructors. Thanks also to the Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Dr. Daryl Rice, for his leadership and support in all of the initiatives within the office. And to the instructors and the students who often learn together new and creative ways of integrating writing and the use of technology across the various academic disciplines. In accordance with Disabilities Act regulations, this publication will be made available in alternative formats on request. For assistance please contact Thea Zidonowitz Hoeft at 501-569-3386.


Fall 2011
volume eight




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