College of Education and Health Professions Honors Three as Outstanding Alumni

From left, alumni Erica Boughfman, Jim Rollins and Andrew Young.
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From left, alumni Erica Boughfman, Jim Rollins and Andrew Young.

The College of Education and Health Professions recently named three University of Arkansas alumni — Erica Boughfman, Jim Rollins and Andrew Young — 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award winners.

“We are grateful to these awardees for all their contributions to our College and the University as a whole,” said Dean Brian Primack. “They are making a difference in the community, and they embody our College of Education and Health Professions values.”

OUTSTANDING ALUMNI IN HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AWARD

Erica Boughfman, vice president of clinical services at Ozark Guidance in Northwest Arkansas, has made a significant impact in the mental health field.

Boughfman earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education from the U of A, then went on to earn her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling in 2003 and a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision in 2010.

After completing her doctoral degree, Boughfman quickly advanced at Ozark Guidance. She was promoted to clinical facilitator, then clinical manager, eventually becoming program coordinator of the school-based counseling program for Washington County. Boughfman was named vice president of all children's services at Ozark Guidance in 2017 and this year was promoted to vice president of clinical services.

She was also instrumental in helping Ozark Guidance transition to Arisa Health. Ozark Guidance, along with three other behavioral health care providers in Arkansas, joined together to form Arisa Health in March. Arisa provides services to 41 counties in Arkansas and Boughfman oversees the clinical services in the Northwest region.

Among her achievements over the last decade, Boughfman developed expanded opportunities for master- and bachelor-level internships at Ozark Guidance, as well as improving the quality of those experiences.

She has also grown Ozark Guidance’s programs to ensure that each school in Northwest Arkansas has access to a mental health provider. Currently, the organization has over 100 licensed counselors and social workers in over 150 schools across NWA. These programs serve over 5,000 students annually through direct care services in addition to the numerous other students impacted by outreach services.

Boughfman also helped implement the Ozark Guidance peer leadership program, Kids Helping Kids. This is an elementary and middle school peer leadership program created with the help of local students to decrease bullying and advocate for peer-to-peer respect, cooperation, and conflict resolution.

In 2016, Boughfman developed a school outreach team that focuses on providing training for teachers and other school personnel, students and parents. The team includes Latinx and Marshallese outreach positions.

In addition to her service to the mental health field, Boughfman was an adjunct faculty member in the U of A counseling program until recently. She also collaborated with faculty to conduct research on best practices for working with troubled youth and increasing social emotional learning.

Boughfman is a regular presenter at the national, state, and local levels.

OUTSTANDING ALUMNI IN EDUCATION AWARD

Jim Rollins served as the Springdale School District's superintendent for 38 years before resigning from the post over the summer to become president of Northwest Technical Institute.

During his tenure as superintendent, Rollins worked closely with legislators, state and local officials, and community members to create initiatives and programs ensuring every child in the district received equal access to education.

Rollins earned a master of education degree, a specialist degree in secondary administration and a doctorate in educational administration, all from the U of A College of Education and Health Professions.

When Rollins began with Springdale School District in 1980, the student population was approximately 5,000 students. It has grown to approximately 23,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, educating thousands of students who are recent arrivals to the United States.

Rollins celebrated the growth of new customs and traditions that transformed the landscape of Springdale schools. He created teaching academies to grow educators who could reflect the diversity of the community. The district works with several local colleges offering concurrent credits so students can leave high school with college credit. Rollins helped pave the way for 21 career and technical pathways for students to receive courses, certifications, and licensures in specific career fields.

Equity and access for women is also a priority for Rollins. While superintendent, he initiated the Hispanic Women's Organization program, which involves students and teachers as session leaders, speakers and facilitators. 

The Springdale Family Literacy Program began with Rollins’ vision and has expanded to 19 programs throughout the district.

In 2014, the Don Tyson School of Innovation (DTSOI) opened with its first class of eighth-graders in the back of a community center. It’s now a public school available to sixth through 12th-grade students in Arkansas. Rollins also established many of the first pre-kindergarten programs in Arkansas.

The College of Education and Health Professions has partnered with Rollins and the Springdale School District since the Master of Arts in Teaching degree was developed 20 years ago. Interns in the program continue to be placed in Springdale schools today where they learn Rollins’ motto: “Teach Them All.” The college’s Educational Leadership program also partners with the district for internship opportunities.

The Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program at the U of A has partnered with the district since 2007 to provide coursework funded by the U. S. Department of Education to in-service teachers in Springdale who work with English learners. This coursework, along with passing scores on a state-required TESOL proficiency test, has allowed them to earn their English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement on their teaching license. 

OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD

Andrew Young is a national leader in scholastic journalism and a multifaceted education professional with a unique combination of leadership, teaching, technology, curriculum development and innovation experience.

Young earned a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from the U of A in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2013. He teaches eighth-grade English Language Arts and Pre-AP at Woodland Junior High School. He’s also the school’s celebrated yearbook adviser. Young teaches digital photography for Fayetteville Virtual Academy. Young promotes a college-bound atmosphere throughout the school and is working to help the junior high become a national Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Demonstration School. He has taught AVID skills to fellow teachers and helped identify students for the program.

Young has received national, state and local recognition for his excellence as an educator, especially for his journalism teaching. In 2018, Young was named Teacher of the Year for Fayetteville Public Schools as well as Woodland Junior High. He was also the 2018 Arkansas Adviser of the Year and 2017 Rising Star, an award given by the Journalism Education Association. Young has also been a University of Arkansas Men’s Basketball Game Hometown Hero.

Young, a National Board Certified Teacher and a Certified Journalism Educator, is a member of multiple professional organizations. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) which has the goal of promoting scholastic journalism in our state. Last year he worked with Rep. Julie Mayberry and other members of the ASPA Board to pass amendments to the Arkansas Student Publications Act. The bill linked student journalists' freedom of expression to the First Amendment, which increased protections.

Young spends many hours outside the school day at Woodland games, concerts, and other events with his student staff in an effort to publish the school’s award-winning yearbook, The Round-Up.

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions offers advanced academic degrees as well as professional development opportunities and learning communities in service to the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond. The college provides the education and experiences for a range of professional roles, ranging from community mental health counselors to school teachers and leaders. Programs in adult and higher education, along with educational technology and sport management, offer a broad range of options. In addition to education-related opportunities, the college prepares nurses, speech-language pathologists, health educators and administrators, recreation professionals, rehabilitation counselors and human performance researchers.

Contacts

Shannon Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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