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University of Arkansas at Little Rock


Middleweight Champ Helps UALR Clinic ‘Knock Out’ Stuttering

Undisputed middleweight boxer Jermain Taylor will visit children being treated at the Arkansas Stuttering Center in the UALR Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, to talk with the kids about his own fight to knock out stuttering.

Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized with frequent disruptions in the forward flow of speech affecting 5 percent of preschool children. The Arkansas Stuttering Center offers services to evaluate children exhibiting the condition and treatment. The center also provides basic and advanced training for practitioners who work with people who stutter and their families.

UALR Professor Brent A. Gregg, director of the Arkansas Stuttering Center, invited Taylor to tour audiology and speech pathology facilities, including the clinic UALR operates with UAMS to treat a myriad of communications disorders. Gregg and Taylor first met while both worked on the wait staff at a local dinner playhouse while Taylor trained for the Olympics and the professor earned his master’s degree.

The two were reacquainted last summer when Taylor participated in an event raising scholarship money for UALR mass communication students.

The visit is part of Taylor’s fight week activities that will culminate in a bout between Arkansas boxer and Kassim Ouma for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world. HBO will present the fight live at 9 p.m. CST at Alltel Arena.

Engineering Firm Donates Time, Talent to UALR’s Coleman Creek Project

Officials of FTN Associates, a water resources environmental consultant firm, are donating $135,000 to UALR in the form of 1,500 hours of voluntary service to help jump start the University’s project to beautify Coleman Creek.

The gift is worth $135,000, a value calculated on a median individual billing rate of $90 an hour. It will give UALR a major boost towards its goal of converting Coleman Creek into a 47-acre greenway incorporating bicycle and walking trails, benches, and bridges.

“We are excited about contributing to this project because it gives us an opportunity to contribute to UALR, but also to the surrounding community,” said Dennis Ford, a principal in the firm.

FTN Associates is celebrating its 25 year anniversary this year by asking all principals and co-workers to give 25 hours of service to the community, “in appreciation of the blessings we have experienced over the past 25 years.”

Chancellor Joel E. Anderson and Physical Plant Director Dave Millay, chair of the University’s Coleman Creek Greenway Committee, accepted a check representing the contribution during a ceremony in the chancellor’s office on Nov. 8.

“FTN’s commitment to UALR and to this project in particular is so gratifying,” Anderson said. “The company sees how Coleman Creek, that currently splits the campus, can unify existing green spaces and provide a park-like environment not only for UALR, but for the entire community.”

UALR Dean Presents Keynote at MIT’s Information Quality Conference

Dr. Mary Good, founding dean of UALR’s Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering, delivered the keynote address at the 11th Annual International Conference on Information Quality last week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

In her speech, A Vision for Information Quality Education and Research at UALR, Good delivered a progress report on the master of science degree in information quality at UALR, a program developed in collaboration with MIT’s information quality program and with sponsorship from Acxiom Corp. of Arkansas.

UALR began last year offering the world’s first master’s degree in information quality – something industry advisory groups have been requesting. The program was developed jointly by personnel from UALR and MIT, but is offered entirely through the CyberCollege.

The program trains information scientists to improve the accuracy of computer-driven information that permeates all aspects of business.

“Poor quality information causes consumers to lose $1 billion to $2.5 billion a year because of scanner pricing errors,” Good said. “Poor quality information can also be deadly.”

More accurate and up-to-date information about the elevation of levees in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina could have made the doomed city better able to protect itself.

UALR’s Fringe Festival Premiers Student-written, Adapted Theatre Nov. 16-19

UALR Theatre and Dance student playwright Ganelle Paxton weaves an intricate plot involving the 100-year anniversary of a Baptist church in Trinity, Ark., with the suicide of a young female parishioner occurring on the very day of the celebration in Numb.

The original play by graduating senior Paxton is teamed with a student abridgement of Godspell, an adaption by graduating UALR theatre major Alexis Qualls, to highlight UALR’s Fringe Festival 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 16 to 18 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Center for Performing Arts’ Haislip Arena.

“A stellar cast of UALR students enacts Christ’s campaign for salvation in this version of the famed musical,” said Jay Raphael, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. “Pop melodies and Broadway jazz dance weave together in this smash entertainment. Who knew Heaven and Hell could be so much fun!”

Tickets are $7 general admission and $5 students and seniors. For more information, call (501) 569-3456.

UALR Supporters Praise Voter Support for College Bond Initiative

UALR administrators, faculty, and students thanked Arkansas voters last week for the resounding approval for the ballot initiative for the Higher Education Bond Issue that was passed overwhelmingly on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Dr. Mary Good, dean of the Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering, was particularly grateful for the support the CyberCollege’s Advisory Council gave to the bond issue that will authorize up to $250 million in bonds so that Arkansas public universities and two-year colleges will be able to finance facility and technology improvements.

“This is a major economic development victory for our state,” Good said in a message to council members. “It is also a victory for the UALR Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering. We now can move forward on our critically-needed new classroom and research building project. With the $6 million from the bonds, additional private donations and potential funding from the state legislature, we are well on our way to making the new building a reality.”

The bond issue will allocate just under $10 million to UALR.

Wife Honors Husband with Gift Endowing UALR Demp Dempsey Studio

dempsey2-thumb.jpgLITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 10, 2006) – Paula Dempsey honored her filmmaker husband and business partner at a surprise luncheon at UALR Friday where many of central Arkansas’ media and business elite gathered to christen the School of Mass Communication’s media production facility “The Demp Dempsey Television Studio.”

“Paula has established a new endowment, the proceeds from which will be used to permanently maintain and upgrade broadcast equipment at UALR’s digital television studio,” said Bob Denman, UALR’s executive director of development and himself a former central Arkansas broadcast executive. “Demp is a true veteran of his craft with 30 years directing experience and a Cleo nomination to his credit. Putting his name on the door of a studio that will educate future directors for Arkansas film and broadcast operations is a fitting tribute.”

Dempsey Film GroupThe Dempseys own and operate Dempsey Film Group, the Mid-South’s largest, most awarded full-service production house for film and video.

Established with an initial gift, the endowment will produce an ongoing source of revenue that will be used to purchase and upgrade equipment to keep the studio state of the art.

“Our students learn in a real-world environment where new technology often outpaces our resources,” said Professor Jamie M. Byrne, director of the UALR School of Mass Communication. “We are so grateful to the Dempseys for providing our students the chance to learn with the technology their future profession demands.”

Paula Dempsey was able to lure her husband to the surprise luncheon on the top floor of UALR’s Stabler Building by telling him it was a meeting of the advisory board for the school. Dempsey is a member of that board. Instead, he found broadcasters and production professionals, UALR officials, faculty, and students ready to applaud him and tour the newly named studio.

Voters Overwhelmingly Approve College Bond Issue; UALR To Gain $9.8 million, CyberBuilding

Arkansas voters gave higher education a resounding vote of confidence in Tuesday’s election, approving the proposed state sale of $250 million in bonds for higher education facilities and technical needs by 69 percent of the vote.

The states 32 public colleges and universities will receive $150 million for capital improvements, including money help build UALR’s next big project – a home for the Donaghey CyberCollege. The remaining $100 million would refinance existing bonds.

In total, UALR would receive $9.8 million:

  • $804,698 to provide the infrastructure necessary for UALR to connect to the National Lambda Rail (NLR), a unique national network infrastructure for the U.S. research community.
  • $2 million for technology infrastructure improvements on campus to allow UALR researchers to fully utilize the NLR.
  • $1 million for general infrastructure improvements and critical maintenance
  • $6 million for a CyberCollege building

New Book Tells Tale of UALR’s NCAA Upset in ‘86

A new book by UALR graduate Jeffrey Slatton tells the dramatic tale of UALR’s upset of Notre Dame in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas’ NCAA Team, the first book by Slatton, a Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports writer, tells the previously untold story of the 1985-1986 UALR Trojans and their 90-83 upset powerhouse Notre Dame in the first round of the newly expanded NCAA.
“This was the second year the tournament had been expanded to 64 teams and the upsets that seem to happen so frequently today just didn’t back then,” Slatton said. “Notre Dame was a heavy favorite and very few people outside the state of Arkansas would have given UALR a chance,” he says.
“Arkansas State and Arkansas didn’t make the NCAA Tournament that year and UALR was carrying the weight of the entire state that night. And they pulled it off. The more I researched the story, the more excited I got about the possibility of putting this into book form.”
Arkansas’ NCAA Team will be available at UALR home games at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. It can also be ordered though the Maddie’s Daddy Productions Web site at:

Reparations for Slave Descendants Discussed Nov. 14 at Dickinson Hall

Adjoa Aiyetoro, J.D., assistant professor of law at the William H. Bowen School of Law, will present a lecture, “The Whys and Wherefores of Reparations for African Descendants” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Dickinson Hall Auditorium.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Liberal Studies and its student organization, the Socratic Society. Admission is free.
Aiyetoro, who joined the UALR Law School in 2004, has worked as a human rights attorney and as a staff attorney in the special litigation section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division where she developed an expertise in prisoner rights. She has also worked at ACLU National Prison Project and held executive positions with the National Conference of Black Lawyers and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. She has also served as a consultant for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), represented the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom at the World Conference Against Racism, coordinated the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s delegation to the United Nations’ Conference on Women in Beijing, and represented the organization at the 2000 Beijing Plus 5.
Professor Aiyetoro’s publications include The Unkept Promise of the 13th Amendment: A Call for Reparations, Women and The U.S. Constitution: History, Interpretation and Practice.

Artspree Presents Soprano Monica Yunus Nov. 16

Artspree, UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences performing arts series, presents one of America’s most promising young sopranos, Monica Yunus, in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in UALR’s Fine Arts Building.
The concert is presented in partnership with the Marilyn Horne Foundation. In addition to the concert, Yunus will be an artist-in-residence at UALR during the week of Nov. 13 to 16, presenting educational programs for choral students at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School on Monday, Nov. 13, and at UALR at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall for UALR students and the general public.
Tickets are $20 on the main floor and $17 in the balcony. UALR students are admitted free with a valid UALR ID. All other students are admitted for $10.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (501) 529-3288 or visit
Yunus is the daughter of microfinancier Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Prize for economics this year for his work in improve the lives of millions of rural poor people in Bangladesh and throughout the world. His daughter is scheduled to sing at the upcoming Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo, Sweden,
“Because of Monica’s connection with the business world through the work of her father, the UALR Business Forum, along with Colianni Pianos, will sponsor a recital at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the atrium of the Donald W. Reynolds Business Center,” said Pamela Pike, professor of music and director of Artspree.
UALR pianist Kristina Marinova-Pavlov will accompany Yunus at all her Little Rock appearances.