College of Education and Health Professions Celebrates Its Service to Arkansas

Members of the College of Education and Health Professions' Office of Research and Grant Administration pose for a fun photo at the Service to Arkansas Celebration on Dec. 11.
Beth Hall

Members of the College of Education and Health Professions' Office of Research and Grant Administration pose for a fun photo at the Service to Arkansas Celebration on Dec. 11.

The College of Education and Health Professions hosted a Service to Arkansas Celebration this week, highlighting the many ways faculty, staff, and outreach units have made a sustained and meaningful impact throughout the state.

Service to Arkansas is a key priority of the college's WE CARE strategic plan.

Dean Kate Mamiseishvili gave brief remarks to the approximately 150 guests, which included faculty, staff, emeriti, Dean's Executive Advisory Board members, U of A Chancellor Charles Robinson and Provost Terry Martin. Mamiseishvili noted that she and the chancellor share a passion for the university's land-grant mission and commitment to Arkansas.

"Commitment to Arkansas Excellence is a centerpiece of our strategic plan and at the core of everything we do. It's in the DNA of our college, because there is no better way to improve the lives of every Arkansan than to improve their access to quality education and healthcare," she said.

The dean pointed out various people in the room who make life better for Arkansans through their service and advocacy, meaningful projects and the college's 17 outreach units. Among them is the college's Early Care and Education Projects (ECEP), a program that enhances the quality of care for young children in the state. This year, ECEP received an additional $6 million from the Arkansas Department of Education to use over the next three years to enhance its support to early childhood professionals.

Another program is Partners for Inclusive Communities, which improves the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life. One of partners' current projects focuses on dispelling the stigma around fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and increasing resources and training for caregivers.

Mamiseisvhili also lauded the college's Office of Innovation for Education (OIE), which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Over the past decade, the staff has grown to 15 members. The office provides technical assistance, research and analytical support to the Arkansas Department of Education. OIE also supports innovation across schools in Arkansas. The dean earned a big laugh from the crowd when she noted that OIE's assistant director for innovation, Crystal Beshears Duncan, could not attend the Service to Arkansas event because she was away this week serving Arkansas. Duncan was providing training in Plumerville to literacy coaches from schools across the state.

Mamiseishvili also shared that communication sciences and disorders faculty and students in the college's Speech and Hearing Clinic have been busy this fall performing 1,600 free hearing evaluations in public and private schools in Northwest Arkansas.

The dean mentioned the college's teacher education students as well. This academic year, 256 student teachers are interning in 47 schools in Arkansas. These future teachers will dedicate more than 120,320 service hours to schools in Arkansas.

A looping video at the Dec. 11 event featured multiple photos illustrating the college's past year in service to Arkansas, which included the inaugural WE CARE-A-VAN tour across the state, a wellness initiative for teachers in high-needs schools, summer camps for kids, Dean's Seminars, programs boosting health and education among students and more.

At the end of the evening, guests received commemorative tea towels with the WE CARE illustration, a nod to the evening's theme.

The college's Service to Arkansas priority pledges to expand service to Arkansas through transformative educational experiences and meaningful partnerships. It involves three main goals:

  • Strengthen reciprocal partnerships with education and healthcare organizations in Arkansas.
  • Develop and enhance meaningful and transformative educational experiences for students.
  • Foster innovation and entrepreneurship to respond to education and health challenges in Arkansas.

The dean's last word to the group centered around the Maya Angelou quote, "I work very hard, and I play very hard. I'm grateful for life. And I live it. I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it." Mamiseishvili added, "I want you to play hard, work hard, embrace the challenges and the successes that 2024 will bring. Love life and live it. Happy holidays. I hope you have a wonderful 2024."

About the College of Education and Health Professions: The College of Education and Health Professions' six departments prepare students for a range of careers in education and health. In addition to its longstanding role of preparing educators and educational leaders, the college trains nurses, speech-language pathologists, public health specialists, recreation and sports professionals, counselors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and exercise scientists.


Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions


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