College of Education Newsletter

June 2022

Message from the Dean:

I love summer! Even when Arkansas' heat and humidity is outrageous, I still love the summer. I love the long days, the warm sunshine, the smell of honeysuckle, and the cool breeze on a summer night. I love that time seems to slow down a bit and people often take vacations to destinations that they've dreamed of for over a year. I love walking across campus to see the different blooming flowers and enjoy the shade of our big trees. Summer makes me think of my parents, although they've been gone for a while. I think about night fishing, blackberry cobbler, warm tomatoes out of the garden, canning vegetables, making jelly, and time spent on the lakes and rivers of Arkansas.

I hope you all get to take some time to enjoy the summer. Maybe even listen to some good summer music. Here's a little something from Seals and Crofts:

Summer Breeze
Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
And I come home from a hard day's work
And you're waiting there
Not a care in the world

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind

Peace, love, and summer. Vicki Groves-Scott

Arkansas Public School Resource Center:

The Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) will be joining the UCA's College of Education in the Fall of 2022. APSRC is a service-oriented, non-profit membership organization that provides technical support, resources and training to public schools (traditional school districts, district-conversion charter schools and open-enrollment charter schools) throughout Arkansas. Our full-time and highly trained staff provide assistance in five main areas:

  • Legal services
  • Financial analysis and management
  • Teaching and learning
  • Technology
  • Communications

Information about APSRC and the services we provide can be found on our website at We can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at @APSRC.

2022 COE Summer Professional Development Series:

This summer, the College of Education is proud to present virtual professional development (PD) sessions to Arkansas teachers via Zoom. TWO HOURS of Arkansas PD credit approved by DESE/ADE will be offered for each session. Please visit for session and presenter information.

These sessions are NO COST! Space is limited, but session recordings will be available at a later date.

Arkansas PD credit will not be awarded for those who cannot attend in person via ZOOM. Recordings of the sessions might be available but viewing will not result in PD credit. Modifications will be made for persons with disabilities. Please contact Ashley Cooksey at prior to the workshop for accommodations.

If you have any questions, please contact us at For technical issues, please contact the TLC at tlc@uca.eduor the Zoom Help Center.

COE Administrative Assistant Appreciation:

I would like to personally thank the College of Education administrative assistants for their continued support of our students, faculty, and staff. Their exceptional work and dedication to the College of Education is evident in everything they do. Their willingness to help with anything, their smiling faces, and their can-do attitudes are something that we've all come to depend upon. They are often the reason that we can have nice things. They make our college better!

Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott

Meet Our Administrative Assistants:

Barbara Robinson (Dean's Office):

November 8, 2022, will be my 23rd year at UCA. I have worked in the same office for the entire time. I have worked with 8 different Deans and 8 different Admins. The job titles have changed over the years but as of now, we are Administrative Specialists. I enjoy my job and the people that I work with and have no plans of retiring any time soon.

Maree Herring (Dean's Office):

I came to work at UCA in August 2007 starting out as the Admin in the T&L Department under Dr. Cheryl Wiedmaier. In 2011, I moved into the Dean's office under Dean Diana Pounder. Before UCA, I worked for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services as a Rehabilitation Assistant for 16 1/2 years. Coming from "regular" state government to higher education was fantastic! I feel fortunate that I was hired here at UCA, especially in the College of Education. This has been/is a great college to work for. I have been married for 35 years. I have three grown children and 8 grandchildren ranging in age from 11 months (twins!) to 10 years, and one good ole, faithful dog, Dutchess.

Susan Suits (Teaching & Learning):

I have been working as an Administrative Specialist in the COE for 14 years, ten years in ELSE and 4 years in T&L.

Heather Harmon (Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education):

I am a proud momma to the sweetest little boy (Olli) ever. I love watching Olli play baseball and taking him hiking & fishing or to the park. I have a Bachelor's Degree in General Management with an emphasis in Health Education from Arkansas Tech University. I have been at UCA & COE (ELSE) for three and a half years. I am a photographer and youth softball umpire when I am not working at UCA.

Darla Escamilla (Leadership Studies):

I moved from northern California to Greenbrier 18 months ago to be closer to family. My son works in CAHSS and encouraged me to apply for a job at UCA, and I've been with Leadership Studies since January 2022. I'm a mother of four, and I enjoy kayaking; biking and playing pickleball.

Kelsey Peterson (Candidate Services):

Although I've only been working at UCA in the COE for a little over a year, UCA has been part of my life for a while! While having a family member work here for 15+ years, as well as earning my MA at UCA, I'm proud to be a Bear! When I'm not at work, I'm usually doing something active with my Golden Retriever, Cheddar. We love anything outdoors— hiking, camping, kayaking— you name it!

*See photo below: Back row (left to right) - Heather Harmon, Kelsey Peterson, and Darla Escamilla. Front row (left to right) - Susan Suits, Maree Herring, and Barbara Robinson.

Big picture

In the Classroom:

Dr. Jessica Herring-Watson (Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning) visited Old High Middle School in Bentonville to co-teach with Ms. Faith Forrest. They used Ozobots to practice computational thinking and to work with one-step equations in Ms. Forrest's 6th-grade math classroom.

Faith graduated from the Middle-Level program in 2021 and is currently a graduate student in the Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership (ASTL) program at UCA.

*See photos below

Student/Alumni News:

Mrs. Hailey Carr:

Hailey Carr fell in love with the city of Conway, Arkansas, while attending the University of Central Arkansas. Getting a job at a preschool her sophomore year helped her find her passion and talent for teaching children. She changed her major to Elementary Education, and never looked back. After graduating Summa Cum Laude in May of 2017 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Carr landed her dream job of teaching 6th grade in Conway at Simon Middle School. Carr taught two years of 6th grade math and just finished her third year of teaching 6th grade social studies at Simon. She is also the assistant coach for 7th grade girls volleyball, basketball, and track. Hailey Carr was just honored as the 2022-2023 Conway Public School’s District Teacher of the Year.

When asked about her time at the University of Central Arkansas, here is what she had to say: “The education program at UCA does a fantastic job in equipping future teachers. Although the program is challenging and rigorous, every project and assignment served a purpose in preparing me for becoming a classroom teacher. While you can never fully be prepared for all that being a teacher entails, I feel that UCA did the best possible job, and I am so thankful and proud to have received my degree from there. Learning and implementing the science of reading as an intern helped prepare me to better understand and implement the statewide Reading Initiative for Student Excellence. The courses I took helped equip me to navigate and implement different resources and technologies in my classroom and to lead other teachers in this area as well. My professors and supervisors encouraged me to use my creativity when creating lessons as an intern. I created a few different educational songs for my classes as an intern, and went on to create educational songs that go along with the social studies curriculum I teach now. I have written songs for the Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China units for my social studies class. I carry all that I learned through UCA’s education program with me as a teacher, and I credit my well-rounded education at UCA for helping me to achieve success I never imagined possible as a 5th year teacher.”

Mrs. Sara Jones:

Mrs. Sara Jones, current principal at Mt. Saint Mary Academy in Little Rock, was recently named the academy's first Head of School. Mrs. Jones is a 2013 UCA MAT graduate and 2015 Leadership Studies graduate (Education Specialist).

As Head of School, Mrs. Jones will work with three boards of directors connected to the school. She will also be responsible for the effective day-to-day management of the school, for ensuring the provision of academic leadership and strategic vision, for maintaining a financially sustainable organization, and for upholding the quality of the overall student experience (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette).

Faculty/Staff News:

Dr. Vincent Price:

Dr. Vincent Price (Department of Teaching and Learning) was recently hired as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Vincent Price hails from Vicksburg, MS, and brings with him a truck-load of energy, innovation, and reflection. With his English Education background, he has spent years teaching on the high school level and training on the college level. Vincent earned his doctorate in Teacher Education from the University of Tennessee, during which time he began his academic editing business and took up tap dancing. Through his YouTube channel, Dr. Price Teaches, he combines his love of classroom teaching with tap, and creating insightful yet entertaining videos. Vincent's research focuses on the teaching of African-American literature in English classrooms. He looks forward to furthering that research at UCA.

Mrs. Sunny Styles-Foster

Mrs. Sunny Styles-Foster (MAT Program Coordinator) has been accepted as a participant in the inaugural Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Inquiry Initiative. The Inquiry Initiative is a first-of-its-kind three-year collaborative inquiry for professional educators (scholars and practitioners), from multiple settings, with varying inquiry and pedagogical expertise, and a wide range of demographic profiles. Participants will be intentionally grouped across institutions, roles, and inquiry/practice traditions to collectively examine a common focus:

As a participant in the ATE Inquiry Initiative, Mrs. Styles-Foster will help lead the investigation into this critical question and drive greater impact in our profession through publication opportunities, media outlets, research briefs, conference presentations, and more.

Dr. Nathan White:

Dr. Nathan White was recently hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies. Nathan holds a BA in History from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, an MAT from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, an Ed.S from Arkansas State University, and an Ed.D from Arkansas Tech University. He has served in many capacities in public K-12 schools including classroom teacher, Principal K-12, Principal 7-12, Director of Student Services, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent. Dr. White’s interests include K-12 and Higher-Ed Leadership, Instructional Technology, Virtual Learning, Professional Development, and Innovation in Education. He has also served as a full-time firefighter in Arkansas for 10 years, leaving the full-time fire service as a lieutenant. Dr. White uses his varied leadership experiences to inform and frame his research interests.

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