This site now serves as Henderson State University’s news archives. View current university news at hsu.edu. Use search feature on this page to locate items posted before April 2019.
Film director Susan Youssef will return to Henderson State University April 17 to present the Arkansas premier of her latest film, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf.
Youssef first visited the campus in 2012 and premiered her film Habibi. She has since been recognized globally as one of 25 Women Directors and is a directing fellow in Fox Studios’ Global Directors Initiative.
The film will begin at 7 p.m. in the Garrison Center Lecture Hall, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. There is no reserved seating, but attendees must obtain a ticket at bit.ly/2WMGgSt . The public is invited.
Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is set in 2006 in the aftermath of 9/11, the Second Intifada, and Iraq War. It captures the shifts in Arab and Muslim lives through three women in Marjoun’s household at a time when young Muslim women are choosing the hijab independently of their familial traditions to find meaning and strength in the own choices.
For more information about the event, contact Dr. Malcolm Rigsby at email@example.com or 870-230-5143.
Learn more about Marjoun and Youssef at facebook.com/marjounandtheflyingheadscarf.
1. When did you attend Henderson and in what activities did you participate?
I attended HSU in 1990 and graduated in 1994, in 1999-2001, and again in 2006-2008 for the Educational Leadership Program. I was involved in CBS, SGA, RHA, the Angelic Voices for Christ, and I joined Arkansas Education Association.
2. What was your major? What prompted you to pursue your particular degree?
In 1990, I entered the Educational Preparation Program which was formally known as the Teacher’s College and received a BA in Elementary Education and a Minor in Social Studies. I received my Educational Leadership/Administrative Degree followed by obtaining a degree as an Educational Specialist. I have a long legacy of educators who influenced me to become an educator. My Aunt Kaye Person is a retired K-12 Music teacher with 40 years of experience. My Aunt Thelma Nancy Runion is a special education teacher at Newport High School, and this is her 46th year in the profession. She is still teaching! My dad retired after 38 years in the education profession. My mother completed 40 years as an elementary and middle school teacher. My younger sister, Lea Metcalf McDonald, is completing her 20th year and is the Federal Programs Director in Texarkana, Arkansas. My younger sister, Skye Metcalf Do, is completing her 10th year as a kindergarten teacher. My husband, Tracy Forte’, is completing his 29th year as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Everyone in my family was or is a teacher in the public school system. It is a part or our legacy. I watched my parents and my family shape the future one child at a time, and I decided I wanted to become an educator to give something back to my community.[Read more…] about Alumni Profile: Thelma Forte’
A senior art exhibition by Henderson State University senior Haley Johnson of Bauxite will be on display April 1-13 on the second floor of Huie Library. A closing reception is planned April 10 from 1-2:30 p.m.
Johnson said the art show, entitled Heavier and featuring her digital artwork, “promises to be intriguing, thought-provoking, and emotional. The pieces on display will create a cohesive body of work that stimulates thought within the viewer.”
The show is open to the public during library hours.
All senior-level art majors pursuing a bachelor’s degree are required to assemble a fully-professional gallery exhibition. The students spend months conceptualizing, producing art, and finalizing the preparations for their exhibition.
Henderson State University students are enjoying a well-deserved break from their studies as the university observes spring break.
University offices are open through March 21, but will be closed March 22.
Students will return and offices will reopen on March 25.
Legendary trumpeter Doc Severinsen will perform at Henderson State University at 7:30 p.m. April 6.
Severinsen was bandleader for The Tonight Show joining Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon on late-night television for 30 years.
“Doc Severinsen has been thrilling audiences around the world for decades, and now he’s coming to Henderson,” said Dr. Jim Buckner, professor of trumpet at Henderson. “Without a doubt, Doc is the most famous trumpet player alive today, and quite possibly of all time. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him perform live.”
A Grammy award winner, Severinsen has made more than 30 albums – from big band to jazz-fusion to classical. Two critically acclaimed Telarc CDs with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra showcase his multifaceted talents from Bach to ballads.
The Very Best of Doc Severinsen reprises 15 of Doc’s signature pieces. His other recordings include Unforgettably Doc with the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, and the Grammy nominated Once More With Feeling on Amherst.
He received a Grammy Award for “Best Jazz instrumental Performance – Big Band” for his recording of Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band-Volume I.
Today, Severinsen has not lost his flair for the outrageous fashion statement or his trademark wit. But his gregarious nature has never interfered with the fact that he has been one of the greatest trumpeters and musicians of the last 70 years, respected in the worlds of classical music, jazz, big band, and now even world music.
Severinsen can still blow hard with his horn, and hit the high notes, a result of his continued commitment to the practice studio and the refinement of his craft.
Severinsen’s performance at Henderson will be backed up by the 17-piece Arkansas All-Star Big Band, which includes many of the finest jazz musicians in the state.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://doc-at-hsu.eventbrite.com. “Early Bird” tickets purchased before March 26 are $25. After that date, tickets purchased online are $35, and $40 at the door. The purchase receipt is required for admission.
Doors to Arkansas Hall will open at 6:30 p.m. and there is no reserved seating. Arkansas Hall is located at 1118 Henderson Street in Arkadelphia.
Severinsen will have CDs available for purchase at the concert for $20 (cash only).
The concert is sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild, The Band House, Little Rock Piano, Henderson State student organizations, the Henderson State Student Government Association, and the Henderson State Reddie Trumpet Guild.
For more information, contact Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-230-5410.
To learn more about Severinsen, go to docseverinsen.com.
A book about the history of women in Texas by Dr. Angela Boswell, dean of the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences at Henderson State University, was named the co-winner of the Liz Carpenter Award at a recent meeting of the Texas State Historical Association meeting.
The Carpenter award is given in recognition of the best book in Texas women’s history published the preceding year.
The book, Women in Texas History, had also received the Robert A. Calvert Prize, an award created to honor the author of one of the most authoritative textbooks in Texas history.
Women in Texas History is the first book to narrate the entire span of Texas women’s history and marks a major achievement in telling the full story of the Lone Star State. Historians and general readers alike will find this book an informative and enjoyable read for anyone interested in the history of Texas or the history of women, according to Texas A&M Press.Boswell is also the author of Her Act and Deed: Women’s Public Lives in a Rural Southern County, 1837–1873, winner of the Liz Carpenter Award for Best Book on the History of Women.
Henderson State University’s International Student Association (HISA) and International Programs recently hosted the 22nd Annual International Food Bazaar in the Garrison Center Grand Ballroom. Some international students prepared and served dishes from their home countries and presented cultural performances.
A portion of the proceeds went to Heifer International.
Henderson State University has received nearly $190,000 from an estate gift to establish a scholarship endowment for students pursuing a master’s degree in the counselor education program.
The Luther and Hazel Brown Memorial Scholarship Endowment was established from a bequest left by Dr. Linda English who earned her bachelor’s degree from Henderson in 1976 and then completed her master’s in counselor education in 1987. English, who passed away in June of 2016, worked in Teacher’s College, Henderson and had achieved the rank of professor of counselor education in 2012.
English established the scholarship to honor the memory of her parents, Luther and Hazel Brown. The couple owned and operated Brown’s Grocery and Gas Station in Prescott while raising their daughter.
“I watched my mother practice the art of counseling under the guise of store keeper and clerk; daddy was the storyteller and entertainer,” English wrote in a tribute when she first sought to establish the scholarship. “I tell my students today, I do my mother’s work in my daddy’s way … I have searched for many years for a way to honor them now and in the future; I trust this memorial scholarship will do just that.”
“We are eternally grateful to Dr. English for recognizing the power of a higher education and for remembering her parents through this legacy gift,” said Jennifer Boyett, vice president for university advancement. “Dr. English loved teaching and was beloved by her students. Her investment in the program where she first learned and later taught counselor education will provide critical support to generations of Reddies who seek to follow in her footsteps.”
The Luther and Hazel Brown Memorial Scholarship will provide $8,000 per year in scholarship support to an Arkansas native with a 3.0 GPA and financial need while pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education. The first scholarship will be awarded this fall. The deadline to apply is March 15.
“If you ever met Dr. English, you never forgot her,” said Dr. Celya Taylor, dean of Teachers College. “She was truly passionate about Henderson, her students, her writing, and the counseling profession; she showed it every day. With this tribute to her parents, she continued their legacy and created a ‘living fountain’ that reflects her own legacy of love and liveliness she exhibited for her alma mater, Henderson.”
Chris and Debra Wewers are Reddies who remain very active alumni. The couple met during freshman orientation when they were placed in the Red and Gray Line group together.
The Wewers are members of the Reddie Club who love attending football games. The Wewers support students’ academic success each year with the Christopher M. Wewers Business Scholarship for a School of Business student and a student from the Teachers College with the Debra Nutt Wewers Education Scholarship.
Chris is also Chairman on the HSU Foundation Board and the School of Business Advisory Board.
We wanted to take a moment to learn more about the couple and their experiences at Henderson that shaped their lives and how they continue to stay connected to their alma mater.
1. When did you attend Henderson and in what activities did you participate?
I attended HSU from August ‘89 through December ‘92. I played on the HSU golf team for two years (‘89 – ‘90 and ‘90 – ‘91). I lived in Newberry (for three long years) and I was an RA for two years (‘90 – ‘91 and ‘91 – ‘92). I was a member of Alpha Chi. I spent a lot of time studying in Mooney and in the library (as evidenced by finishing my undergraduate degree in 3.5 years, graduating Summa Cum Laude).
I attended HSU from Aug. ‘89 through May ‘95. I received by Bachelors of Science in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood in May ‘93 and my Masters of Science in Education in May ‘95.
2. What was your major? What prompted you to pursue your particular degree?
I received my Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) with a major in Accounting. I’ve always loved numbers; the math clicks in my brain and optically I can see how all of the pieces play and fit together.
My initial major was Accounting. Before I ever took an accounting class, I switched to Fashion Merchandising, took some classes and then quickly switched to Education.
3. Why did you choose Henderson?
Chris and Debra
We chose Henderson because the school has a great reputation, it was close to home, and it was a good value.
4. What is your hometown? From what high school did you graduate and in what year?
I graduated from Hope High School in May 1989.
I graduated from Sparkman High School in May 1989.
5. What is your current occupation and your primary focus? Briefly describe what you do.
I have the privilege of serving as the Chief Financial Officer for Southern Bancorp Inc. and Southern Bancorp Bank. My primary areas of focus are Accounting, Finance & Operations. Given that every quarter I sign our financial statements under penalty of perjury (literally, it’s on the forms we submit to the government each quarter), my job is to make sure every dollar is accounted for, every dollar is in the right place, the trains run on the right tracks at the right times and that we’re managing the company within the risk parameters as outlined by our respective Boards of Directors.
Currently I’m a fitness instructor with LA Fitness (Zumba certified, cycling and kickboxing). As we raised our two children (Ashley – 24 and Stephen – 21), my most rewarding job has been being a homemaker. I also was the office manager for an optometrist, an office manager for a dentist, and a financial aid officer at a university.
6. Please “chart” your education and career progression since you graduated Henderson. And what are your future plans?
Dec 92 – May 95, Management Trainee at Merchants & Planters Bank, Arkadelphia, AR
May 95 – Aug 98, Assistant to the President, Horizon Bank, Arkadelphia, AR
Aug 98 – Nov 98, President & Chief Operating Officer, Merchants & Planters Bank, Sparkman, AR
Dec 98 – Aug 99, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Community Bank FSB
Sep 99 – Jun 01, President & Chief Operating Officer, Community Bank of North Arkansas
Jul 01 – Mar 11, Chief Financial Officer, Summit Bank
Apr 11 – Jun 13, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, First Federal Bank
Jul 13 – Mar 15, President & Chief Executive Officer, First Federal Bank
Mar 15 – Present, Chief Financial Officer, Southern Bancorp Bank
My future plans are to someday ‘retire’ to the classroom. I want to teach business law, accounting and finance at the collegiate level.
I didn’t go into teaching. I have one of the most important jobs in the world (raising our 2 kids).
7. How has your degree benefited you in your career progression?
What I learned and what I was taught in the HSU School of Business by Dr. Louis Dawkins, Don Dodson, and Dr. Margaret Hoskins is the rock solid foundation of my entire career. The more effort I put forth, the more effort they poured into me, challenged me, shaped me, molded me. Critical thinking, to always challenge the status quo, pay ferocious attention to the details, dress and carry yourself appropriately, be able to clearly and succinctly convey your thoughts and don’t be on time – be early.
I’m proud that I got my BSE and my MSE; however, life and family took me in a different direction, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.
8. What aspect of your degree/career most interests you and what do you enjoy most about your profession?
What I love about banking is it’s universal. Everyone needs it, and everyone can participate in it. I don’t know of another business where with the stroke of a pen, you can change someone’s life forever (or for multiple generations). Helping people conduct their financial business, reach their financial goals and be good stewards of their resources is very rewarding. Banks who operate as though we’re a commodity business will be just that, a commodity that can go away overnight. Banking is about relationships, and relationships matter, relationships with your co-workers, your customers and your communities. Lose that connection, and you’re on a downhill slide. A wise old sage told me years ago that “Accounting is Science, Finance is Art, master the Science and then you can go paint a Picasso!”. Banking allows me the opportunity to do that.
I actually taught at the Child Service Center as a Graduate Assistant position during my Masters program. Upon graduating, I accepted a position as a Kindergarten teacher at the Christian School located in Cornerstone Baptist Church. Complications during my second pregnancy prevented me from returning the second half of the school year.The love of staying home and nurturing my children overcame the desire to go back into the school system. The Early Childhood Education degree helped me in so many ways with raising my children. They are both so different, and having the background in education helped both to blossom in the areas they loved as well as prepare them to tackle areas they were not so fond of. It makes me so proud to see the young adults they have become.
I think the most rewarding thing in my classes is to see how hard people push themselves. I’ve had a student tell me that the conditioning and endurance in the cycling class helped him complete a marathon.
I think the main thing I stress is to have fun! If you’re not having fun then chances are you won’t stick to your workout regimen.
9. Would you recommend your degree track at Henderson, and why? Any advice for current students?
Unequivocally. To build anything that will last, it all starts with a great foundation. If you will put forth the effort, that’s exactly what the HSU School of Business will give you, a great foundation from which to springboard into your career. It is a competition (your competitors are all of those other students sitting around you in class). If you give average efforts, you’ll get average results. If you give great efforts, you’ll get great results.
I would wholeheartedly recommend my degree track at HSU to current and future students. A solid foundation is important to having a successful career, and I received that from HSU. My advice for current students is to pour your heart and soul into it. it is rewarding and fulfilling.
10. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since you graduated from Henderson?
My degree and the other things I learned at HSU are an extensive part of the reason I’ve been blessed to have a successful career in banking. What I can also tell you is that when I went to the University of Arkansas from May 94 to May 95 to get my MBA, I was better prepared than all of the other graduate students (which I believe is why I was able to complete the program with a 4.0 GPA and receive the “Outstanding Graduate Student” Award from the Walton School of Business).
As we raised our two children, my most rewarding job has been being a homemaker.
11. If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? Could you share something that most people don’t know about you?
Detailed, results oriented, matter-of-fact, committed. If I can’t give 100% to something, I won’t do it. I’m also a rabid NASCAR fan (who doesn’t like the idea of a driving a 650 hp machine at 200 mph!). Also, when I was in high school, I could play any musical instrument you found in the band except for the piccolo.
Compassionate, kind-hearted, driven, a rule follower. For her fitness classes that she teaches, Debra pours hours a day searching for the one right choreography for a song for her next class.
12. What other degree did you consider pursuing?
Electrical or mechanical engineering.
13. Please list any awards or honors.
2006 – Arkansas Business, 40 Under 40
2010 – Arkansas Business, CFO of the Year
2014 – Henderson State University, Business Hall of Fame
2018 – Arkansas Business, CFO of the Year Finalist
I didn’t receive a plaque or a certificate for it, but being a great mother and a great wife is very satisfying.
14. Interesting Facts and Additional Comments:
Other factors also helped shape me, and I did all of these while getting my degree at HSU. If you’ve ever worked as an RA (two years), if you’ve ever worked at McDonald’s (one semester) or if you’ve ever worked as a diesel mechanic (eight months and all while getting my degree at HSU), you have all the motivation you need to finish your degree.
Also, Debra has been my rock that has been by my side for twenty-seven years, supporting me, encouraging me, challenging me and holding me accountable throughout my career. She even stuck around after her father called me a ‘block head’ (actually what he said was “that boy’s got a good square head on his shoulders”, but it’s not nearly as funny to say it that way).