Shackelford is state library association president

South Arkansas Community College Library director Philip Shackelford has assumed the presidency of the Arkansas Library Association.
The president serves as the chief executive officer of the association; presides over the executive board meetings; and supervises, directs and manages association business and officers.
Presidential service is spread across three one-year terms: a term as president-elect, a term as president and a term as past president.
ArLA’s stated mission is to further the professional development of all library staff, foster communication and cooperation among librarians and stakeholders, increase the visibility of libraries among the general public and funding agencies, and serve as an advocate for Arkansas libraries and library staff.
“Professional service is something I have valued ever since joining the Arkansas library community—advocating for and supporting the work of each library worker in Arkansas, whether public, academic, school, or special library,” Shackelford said. “It provides opportunity for learning and sharing, but importantly, service. Working with colleagues around the state allows for a valuable exchange of information, ideas, strategies that we can then bring back to enhance activities within our own institutions.”
In addition to Shackelford’s position at the college and his new responsibilities as ArLA president, he also holds voluntary posts as secretary of ARKLink (a statewide consortium of academic libraries), associate editor of the Arkansas Libraries journal and member of the Association of College and Research Libraries Value of Academic Libraries Committee.
He is a graduate of Kent State University with master’s degrees in history and library and information Science. His academic research focuses on the Cold War history of the U.S. Air Force and on the Air Force Security Service, a Cold War-era communications intelligence agency designed to provide the Air Force with reliable intelligence information to support its missions and decisions.
Shackelford participated in the American Library Association Class of 2019 Emerging Leaders, and completed the Arkansas State Library ALL-In Leadership Institute. He recently completed a certificate in open educational resources librarianship through the Open Education Network at the University of Minnesota, and is a pre-publication book reviewer for Library Journal.
“Despite the difficult challenges related to COVID-19, I believe that the future of the Arkansas Library Association is a bright one,” he said. “Over the past couple of years we have charted new waters with unprecedented challenges but also worked hard to lay a solid foundation for future success. Presidential initiatives for this year are focused on fostering reinvigorated membership; maintaining organizational health; and cultivating positive visibility, responsible innovation and a strategic future.”

southark shackelford

Trotter donates vehicle

Representatives of the automotive service program at South Arkansas Community College accept a vehicle from representatives of Trotter Nissan Dodge Jeep Chrysler Ram on Thursday. It will be utilized as an instructional tool, and is seven years newer than any other vehicle currently being used in the program. From left are Nissan senior fixed operations manager Chelsea Stevens, Trotter service manager Jeremy Newsome, Trotter general manager Kirk Crisalli, SouthArk instructor Karsten Tidwell and SouthArk instructor Frank Echavarria.

southark trotter

Fall 2020 Dean's List

South Arkansas Community College has released its Dean’s List for the fall 2020 semester. To be eligible, a student must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average for the semester, and be classified as full-time. The students are:
From Banks, Cassidy Hollingsworth, Heather Michelle Hoskins.
From Bearden, Latreese Wright.
From Camden, Kyle Travis Bradley, Lakin Brianne Haynes, Kitzie Adria Jackson, Skyler Lee Kinley, Lacie Ann Landon, Austin Jace Nixon, Breana Machael Poindexter, Macy Catherine Turner.
From Crossett, Jaylon Darnell Brown, Caitlan Suzanne Cotton, Blake Austin Finney, Rebekah Ann Frisby, Sunni Elizabeth Lee, Alaina Kate Rice, Valerie Smith, Cassidy Madison Tyler, Kacy Lynn Wells.
From Dermott, Kurt Alan Tate.
From Dumas, Cierra Nichole Lenderman.
From El Dorado, Kennia Aguirre, James Franklin Andrews, Alexya Nicole Bailey, Tiyonna Raechelle Baker, Adnan Bharwani, Asia Armani Brown, Belaion Deloi Crew, La Trontika Davis, Brooklynn Michelle Dees, Kayla Dumas, Richard Dunlap, Raven Dane Dunn, Jayden Elaine Erickson, Priscila Abigail Espinosa, Patricia Renee Evans, Tyler Jerence Everette, Devyn Faithe Francy, Catherine Gallipeaux, Felix Garcia, Lakyra Gaskin, Imperial Ka'naya Gill, Allison Paige Goodwin, Regina Hartley, Kameel Hempstead, Sierra Grace Hill, Shania Hoof, James Christopher Howe, Austin Tyler Hutchins, Jalil Lathan Iverson, Ethan Michael Jackson, Vida Lisa Jackson, Kearra Charlacia James, Steven Bryce Jerry, Daniel Gene Johnston, Jacqueline Lee, James David Lee, Jennifer LaDawn Love, David Russell Martin, Kieonna Kierria McClain, Miranda Michelle Mitchell, Tanisha Nicole Morris, Elise Moses, Gemma Guadalupe Navarro, Cesilia Ortiz, Radiance Kionna Peterson, Jacob Todd Phillips, Scott August Pieroni, Madeline Mae Pope, Gracie Lynn Ragan, Wendy Raley, BriAnne Jennine Ruiz, Natalie Nabih Salameh, Michael Schlipp, Juana Melody Sierra, James Dawson Sinclair, Savannah Corrinne Slaughter, Allison Layne Snider, Tamara La Faye Stevens, Amber Michelle Sweeney, Casey Marie Thurlkill, Precious Dasheona Tykiea Tubbs, Kennedy Webb, Roger Edward Whitcher, Alivia Bain Zartuche.
From Emerson, Donnie Ray Hanson, Taylor Alexis Young.
From Fordyce Chad Edward Adams, Marigrace Sisson.
From Glenwood, Ryan Tyler Franks.
From Gurdon, Michaelynn Denise Rogers.
From Hamburg, Blair Lisabeth Gulledge, Shelby Ann Moffatt, Jada McKenzie Wilkins.
From Hampton, Shelby Susie Belin, Carmen Paige Bryant, Taylor Breanne Clemons, Kayla Lauren Faulkner, Mackenzie Grace Ivy, Latoya Sharp, Tanner James Virden, Anna Wilson.
From Hermitage, Morgan Leigh Burson, Joseph Gavin Myers.
From Huttig, Ariel Loyd.
From Jersey, Erin Lindsey Watkins.
From Junction City, Tiara Monae Hill, Dalton Ryan Smith, Pamela Renee Willis.
From Lawson, Miesha Reed, Jordan Faith Vonneumann.
From Louann, Carrie Elizabeth Beevers, Kennedy Blair Briggs, Abigail Elizabeth Crawford, Tristian Nycole Eiland.
From Magnolia, Charlotte Armstrong, Ashley Sharlene Braswell, Tanya Marie Dean, Madison Hope Hall, Haley Renee Miller, Brent Alan Mixon, Erin Grace Owens, Mary Virginia Russell, Brandi LeeAnn Samples, Mar’Keveon Javarious Strickland, Parker Ellen Tinnell.
From McGehee, Priscilla LouAnn Cessor, Samantha Marie Gannaway.
From Monticello, Jennifer Santos Andrade, Karley Madison Berryman, LaJada Clary, Brandy Nicole Ferrell, D'Arbonee Jhauntiq Forte, Laura Leigh Handly, Lynda Allison Hawkins, Anna Hortensia Miller, Jessica Marie Russell.
From Norphlet, Destiny Renee Bearden, Brandon Alan Young.
From Rison, Wendy Faye DeLaCruz.
From Smackover, Tishona Campbell, Hannah Renea Davis, Brittney Holland Ferguson, Megan Hedges, Kenlee Faith Hill, Madison Renee Taunton.
From Stamps, Lindsey Leigh Downs.
From Stephens, Austin Eugene Jones.
From Strong, Petrinia Syrell Bankston, Kristerica Janesha Scott.
From Taylor, Preslie Jo Morgan.
From Vilonia, Dylan Ware.
From Waldo, Victoria Shea Bright, Latesha Monique Lambert.
From Warren, Rosie Alonzo, Lakin Michelle Barber, Julia Anna Blankinship, Charlotte Louise Fuel, Airiece Shabrice Leaverson, Christian Nykole Marshall, Deszarai Mitchell, Mathew Keenan Nelson, Tarra Paige Peek, Diego Roman, Catera Nakole Thomas, Nicole Pauline Tinoco, Jose Luis Torres, Victor Manuel Xharicata Roque.
From Wilmar, Megan Nichole Davis, Monica Shuntia Lyles.
From Athens, Louisiana, Tania Guadalupe De Leon Rodriguez.
From Bastrop, Louisiana, Brittney Simone Archie, Jacquelyn Lashae Beeman, Keyontrelle Chimere Davis, Krystal Logan Jackson.
From Bernice, Louisiana, Jennifer Kay Jeselink, Courtney Killgore.
From Choudrant, Louisiana, Yheley Yhanet Borjas, Colton Perritt, Jenna Marie Perritt.
From Downsville, Louisiana, Heather Nicole Hancock, Sonya Lynn Hancock, Brandi Nicole LaCroix.
From Farmerville, Louisiana, Amber Francis, Melanie Renee Manning, Benjamin Nolan Monk.
From Haynesville, Louisiana, Whitney Beunka Henderson.
From Homer, Louisiana, Saradean Lucy Harris, Tameshia Renee Williams.
From Junction City, Louisiana, Rickey Glynn Maxwell.
From Minden, Louisiana, LaShavion Bonner.
From Monroe, Louisiana, Chasity Jenkins, Amanda Stewart, Kimbrely Arniese Young.
From Rayville, Louisiana, Karla Brianne Green.
From Ruston, Louisiana, Jasmine Burks, Andrea Dionne Martin, Taylor Marie Zachry.
From Sarepta, Louisiana, Mindy Baker.
From Shreveport, Louisiana, James Duke Ducas.
From Sicily Island, Louisiana, Jennifer Daniels.
From Spearsville, Louisiana, Bhrett Winston Farrar, Karren Lakole Williams.
From West Monroe, Louisiana, Elizabeth Gayle Givens.


Alumni use expertise to fight pandemic on front lines

Alumni use expertise to fight pandemic on front lines

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the globe—from far-flung regions to right here at home. When and where the illness has hit, many alumni of South Arkansas Community College have been among the front-line health-care professionals who have provided aid and comfort to those who need it.
They have seen both tragedy and triumph in this pandemic, and worked past the point of exhaustion: putting in untold hours, standing on their feet until every muscle ached, squinting at charts until their eyes crossed. It hasn’t been easy for these SouthArk graduates, they said, but it has been rewarding—and necessary. These kinds of moments are, in fact, the reason why they wanted to pursue education in health sciences.
“You know, you hear about the nurses who made it through ebola, and the polio pandemic, and you think, man, they were tough and driven,” practical nurse Candace Alderson, a 2014 graduate of SouthArk, said. “Never did I think I would have to dig as deep as them to do what I love to do.”
Alderson supervises the COVID clinic of a John Peter Hospital community health center in Fort Worth, Texas, which began administering the COVID vaccine right around Christmas. She personally administered vaccines to more than 700 people in the first two weeks that the clinic was open, she said.
She found out early on just how serious that the illness can be, she said.
“We had heard of COVID, but no restrictions had been placed yet. No mask, no shield,” Alderson said. “We had an elderly couple come in for their normal three-month checkup. I remember talking with the couple a few minutes after their visit, walking them out and thinking to myself ‘They are still driving, and caring for grandchildren. Wow, they are doing good.’ Six days later they were both in hospital clinging on to dear life, and due to our being exposed within the last seven days, we had to be tested and quarantined until results where back. Though it was three hours, it felt like a lifetime.
“That night I got to go home to my family with a clean bill of health, but that couple didn’t. The wife passed away, and the husband lost his best friend.”
Beatriz Rowell, who graduated from SouthArk in 2017, is a respiratory therapist who works for a company that places medical professionals around the country wherever they are needed. A few weeks after the pandemic started, she left her hospital job in Arkansas to work for clinics outside the state, spending the next six months in New Jersey—one of the hardest-hit areas of the nation.
At that point she already had contracted, and recovered from, the virus herself.
“I remember realizing how contagious this virus was,” Rowell said. “I used proper personal protective equipment and washed my hands constantly, and I still contracted it. Thankfully, I had a very mild case and recovered with no difficulties.
“When I first heard about the virus, I never imagined it would turn into a pandemic. I feel like it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to fully process exactly what it meant. Not until hospitals began to use morgue trucks to preserve deceased patients’ bodies as the morgue space reached maximum capacity. I realized how much trouble we were in when health-care workers began to ration and reuse PPE, and facilities started to run out of ventilators.”
She said that she doesn’t think that anyone was “mentally prepared” to face what has happened over the last year.
“Last year I saw more than I ever wanted to see,” she said. “This virus is the ugliest thing I’ve ever had to deal with as a health-care worker. I have to keep reminding myself that we are doing everything we can for these patients, and accept that this virus is like no other.”
Still, Rowell keeps plugging away. She has moved on to CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas, to continue working with COVID patients and others who need respiratory care.
“As long as I am able, I will do everything that I can to help during this pandemic,” she said. “I am motivated to travel and work anywhere I might be needed.”
Jessica Dawson, a 2015 SouthArk graduate, is a radiologic technologist at Bradley County Medical Center in Warren.
“During the pandemic, radiology has been a key factor because it is our department that shows how COVID affects the lungs,” Dawson said. “In some instances, we’re doing daily chest X-rays to see the development or decrease of COVID. I love what I do, and I am so thankful that I get to wake up each morning and go to work to do my part.”
But Dawson never thought that she’d see anything like COVID-19, she said, and, especially in the beginning, that was frightening.
“I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say I was scared—scared of the unknown,” she said. “I was scared for my health and the health of my family. To a certain degree, I am still scared, but I have been blessed to stay healthy and have not shown any signs of COVID-19.”
Dawson faces potential exposure regularly—but most COVID patients who she sees end up recovering, due in part to her work.
“Unfortunately with the rise in COVID cases in Arkansas, we are seeing more and more patients come through the hospital. The majority of patients are showing mild to moderate symptoms and recover over time; however, I have seen people come through the ER and never leave the hospital,” she said. “Some of the most memorable cases are those where the patient comes into the hospital very sick, but is able to beat the virus and go home to his or her family.”
Dawson, Alderson and Rowell each stated that getting out of the pandemic will take everyone doing their part to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and strongly endorsed the correct wearing of masks, quarantining upon exposure, social distancing, frequent hand washing and the sanitizing of surfaces.
“If not for yourself, do it for your elderly grandma, or my mother who had cancer and has a compromised immune system, or your neighbor with COPD,” Dawson said.
The three alumni also spoke highly of what their educations from SouthArk have done for them personally and professionally in their navigation of the pandemic.
“I had great instructors at SouthArk, who were nurses who worked through a lot of hard times in their nursing careers. They told us about hard times like these that will come, but that we needed to push through,” Alderson said. “They prepared us by letting us know we would need patience and compassion. This career can be hard, but we are serving a purpose.”


Front-line health-care workers fighting COVID-19 spend long hours on their feet, wearing personal protective equipment. SouthArk alumna Beatriz Rowell, a respiratory therapist, shows irritation on the bridge of her nose from hours of wearing a face mask. Masks, face shields, goggles, gloves and other protective equipment are not especially comfortable, Rowell said, but are an absolute necessity to help prevent the spread of the virus.


Beatriz Rowell spends much of her off time in natural settings—here, she is hiking in Virginia last summer while on assignment in New Jersey. After experiencing the suffering and death that often comes along with the pandemic, Rowell said that escapades in the outdoors help restore her soul.


Candace Alderson, a practical nurse and SouthArk alumna who supervises a COVID vaccination clinic in Fort Worth, Texas.


Candace Alderson on the job.


Jessica Dawson on the job at Bradley County Medical Center’s radiology department.


Just-graduated Jessica Dawson in 2015, after finishing with an associate’s degree in radiologic technology at SouthArk.


Stars will not admit fans to games this season

Stars will not admit fans to games this season

In an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19, officials at South Arkansas Community College have elected to hold this season’s men’s and women’s home basketball games without fans in attendance. Instead, the college will stream these games live, for free, via the college’s YouTube Channel at

It is the program’s second year, and its first played on campus in the college’s recently-renovated gymnasium. But the potential for risk to the public, as well as the logistical challenges faced by hosting large-scale events while minding social distancing guidelines, have made this decision logical, officials said.

“It is an exciting time for the SouthArk Stars basketball teams—2021 will be our inaugural season in the beautiful, fully-renovated 1940 gymnasium,” president Dr. Bentley Wallace said. “Even though we won’t have fans in the stands, we know our student athletes will be ready to compete at a very high level.”

SouthArk’s home attendance ranked in the top 10 of all National Junior College Athletic Association Division II teams in its first season. Being able to view the games from the comfort of home—or anywhere in the world with an Internet connection—has the potential to expand the fan base, athletic director Dr. Derek Moore said.

“Although fans will not be in attendance during home games this season, we are excited about the opportunity to broaden the visibility of SouthArk Stars basketball,” he said.

The Stars men’s season begins at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 in a matchup at home against Crowley’s Ridge College’s junior varsity squad. The women start their season with three straight road games before coming home at noon on Feb. 20 to play Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. Men’s and women’s coach Nate Davis said that the programs have taken strides forward despite the unorthodox off-season.

“Our student-athletes have put in a lot of work over the last several months, and they’re finally close to seeing the results of that on the court,” Davis said. “We appreciate the support of our fans, and are looking forward to the first tip off.”