Campus News

AT&T awards $771,000 to expand College Prep Academy

Henderson State University recently received $771,000 from AT&T’s Aspire program to expand the Southwest Arkansas College Preparatory Academy. SWACPA will use AT&T Aspire funding to expand the program to more students and hire additional educators to maintain small class sizes that permit individualized instruction. The academy is a university-public school collaboration program developed to reduce remediation rates and increase college attendance and graduation rates.

Because of its demonstrated success supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for their next step in life, Henderson State University has been named as one of 30 recipients nationwide that will share in nearly $12.5 million from AT&T. These contributions are a part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness.  With an unwavering commitment to data-driven education outcomes, AT&T Aspire has impacted more than one million students since its launch in 2008.

University ranks nationally in teacher preparation

The National Council on Teacher Quality ranked Henderson State University’s Teachers College as fifth best in the nation for preparing secondary-school teachers to enter the classroom.

Henderson’s program in secondary-level education was ranked third best in the southern region among all education programs – both elementary and secondary – and elementary-education programs were ranked 40th in the country.

This is the first year that Henderson has been ranked by the NCTQ. From 1929 to 1967, Henderson was known as Henderson State Teachers College, one reason the university’s education programs are among the most respected in the region.

To reach its rankings, NCTQ examined admissions standards, course requirements, course syllabi, textbooks, capstone projects, student teaching manuals and graduate surveys and other sources as blueprints for training teachers.

Henderson designated military friendly school

Henderson State University was designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media Inc.

Less than 100 colleges and universities received this prestigious designation. These schools have demonstrated a commitment to supporting student veterans on campus and in their careers and will be featured in this year’s December issue of GI Jobs.

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

New programs at Henderson

Henderson State University offers new programs in degree tracks, including a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelors of Physics in Engineering Physics and an online Master of Science in Education Technology Leadership. These programs launched in the fall semester of 2013.

In the Fall of 2014, Henderson State also brought on degree tracks in statistics and biochemistry, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Innovative Media Arts, Master of Science in Education in School Counseling, Master of Science in Education in Special Education, and Master of Liberal Arts in English, specifically for teaching English in the Two-Year College.

Also in Fall 2014, Henderson State launched a new website to appeal primarily to prospective students, but it also contains a section to meet the specific needs of the college’s alumni. The new website is responsive, which makes it easily accessible on any computer, smartphone or tablet, and further enhancements will be completed over the next few months.

Adkison named new provost

Henderson State University named Dr. Stephen R. Adkison as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Adkison joined Henderson State on July 1, 2014.

The provost is the second-highest ranking officer at Henderson and is the chief academic officer.  The provost is responsible for the overall supervision of all academic programs, academic promotion and tenure decisions, academic strategic planning and development of university policies and strategic goals.

Adkison earned his Doctor of English/Rhetoric and Composition in 2000, and his Master of English/Writing in 1997, both from the University of Nevada-Reno. He received his bachelor’s degree in English/Teaching in 1986 from Montana State University. Before he became provost at Eastern Oregon, Adkison served in several positions at Idaho State University, including associate provost/associate vice president for academic programming and review, interim director for the Center for Teaching and Learning, and faculty coordinator for assessment and program review for academic affairs/office of institutional research.

Boyett leads Advancement at Henderson

Jennifer Boyett recently joined Henderson State University as the new Vice President of University Advancement. Boyett led the University of Central Arkansas development office as executive director of development before joining Henderson State.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UCA in 2001 and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2005. She began working at UCA in the communications department in 2001, and as a result of her outstanding job performance, she transitioned into a development role to build the university’s first corporate and foundation relations program in 2011. She also served several semesters as an adjunct instructor of journalism.

In addition to serving as vice president of university advancement, the Henderson State University Foundation voted to appoint Boyett as executive director of the foundation.

Hardee appointed Ellis College dean

Dr. John Hardee was appointed dean of the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences at Henderson State University. Dr. Hardee is a 28-year veteran professor at Henderson State and has served as associate dean since 2005, most recently as interim dean.

Hardee began his teaching career in 1968 as a Czech language specialist with the United States Air Force. He worked as a research chemist for Exxon from 1979-80 before returning to the classroom as an assistant professor  at Louisiana State University – Eunice where he also served as registrar and director of admissions for two years.

Hardee joined Henderson in 1986 as an assistant professor of chemistry. After serving as director of undergraduate research, he became chair of the Department of Chemistry in 2000. In 2005, he was appointed associate dean of Ellis College. Hardee received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1975, and his M.A. in physical chemistry in 1978 from Rice University in Houston, Texas. In 1979, Hardee received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Rice University.

Elgas named head men's basketball coach

Henderson State University Director of Athletics Shawn Jones has announced the hiring of Jimmy Elgas as the Reddies' men's head basketball coach. Elgas became the 28th head coach of the Henderson State Reddie men's basketball program in its 105-year history. Elgas has an impressive resume which includes stops at numerous successful NCAA Division I programs.Since 2007, Elgas has served as the top assistant coach at the University of Evansville under Head Coach Marty Simmons.

"When talking to numerous people about Coach Elgas, they all commented on his incredible integrity and character, his tireless work ethic, his knowledge of the game, his tremendous loyalty and how he brings the same positive energy and enthusiasm to work every day. That's exactly the kind of person I want as a mentor for our student-athletes here at Henderson State. Once we spent time with him and learned of his burning desire to be at Henderson State leading our basketball program into the future, it was clear that Jimmy Elgas was the coach we were looking for," Shawn Jones, Director of Athletics, said.

Porter named head volleyball coach

Kristee Porter recently joined Henderson State as Reddies head volleyball coach. Prior to joining Henderson State, she spent the last year at Factory Athletics/Under Armour as director of volleyball operations where she led the division's day-to-day operations. She also traveled to many of Volleyball Factory's national tryout and player development events across the country where she evaluated talent and recruited players to attend Under Armour National Programs.

Porter began her coaching career serving as head coach at Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas, from 2009 to 2012. Porter guided Navarro to three straight winning seasons while appearing in the NJCAA post-season tournament each year. She also coached the Texas Image Volleyball Club's 15's Mizuno Elite team in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, Porter became an assistant coach at the University of Colorado where she was responsible for assisting in the daily operations of the CU volleyball program. As a player, Porter was a four-time All-American at the University of California at Los Angeles and was named the Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year in 2000.

Shawn Jones named Director of Athletics

In January 2014, Shawn Jones became the director of athletics at Henderson State University. Jones has worked extensively to provide Henderson State’s student athletes all the tools needed to become champions on and off the various fields of play.

Jones came to Henderson State from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. Most recently, he served as the senior associate athletic director for external operations.

Jones earned a bachelor's degree in organizational communication from the University of Central Missouri in 1997 and a master's degree in physical education/exercise and sport science with a specialization in athletic and sports business administration in 2011.