College of Education and Health Professions Announces 2024 Alumni Award Winners

2024 Alumni Award winners are, top from left: Naccaman Williams and Curtis Ivery; and bottom: Judd Semingson, Jennifer Ash and Jordan Glenn.
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2024 Alumni Award winners are, top from left: Naccaman Williams and Curtis Ivery; and bottom: Judd Semingson, Jennifer Ash and Jordan Glenn.

The College of Education and Health Professions has named 2024 Alumni Award winners and will honor them at an evening celebration on March 8.

The awardees are Naccaman Williams, Curtis L. Ivery, Judd Semingson, Jennifer Ash and Jordan Glenn.

"These five alumni represent the best of the best in the fields of education and health, and we can't wait to shine the light on their distinguished careers," said Dean Kate Mamiseishvili. "Each is making a substantial difference through innovative thinking and creativity, leading by example and transforming people's lives with genuine care."

Distinguished Public Service Award

Naccaman Williams is the director of special projects at the Walton Family Foundation (WFF), overseeing large grants and other grant-making organizations and serving as a senior adviser to the office of the executive director. Williams currently serves on the boards of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Arkansas Food Systems, Camp War Eagle, the Arvest Foundation and the U of A Fayetteville Campus Foundation. He is also the sole member of the Spring Creek Food Hub and a staff member of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.

Williams has been with WFF since December 1996. He has served in several higher education roles, including director of the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida and assistant dean and director of minority education services in the College of Education at the U of A. He served seven years on the Arkansas State Board of Education, including two years as chairman. He also served a four-year term on the Southern Regional Education Board and a five-year term on the Arkansas Charter School Advisory Panel. Williams holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Ouachita Baptist University, as well as an educational specialist and doctorate in education administration from the U of A.

Williams has received numerous awards over the years, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Staff Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been inducted into the Arkansas Charter School Hall of Fame. Williams is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is married to Angela Seawood Williams, and they have two adult sons -- Naccaman Williams II and Nathan Williams -- and three grandsons.

Distinguished Career in Education Award

Curtis L. Ivery, chancellor of the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD), is a national thought leader, educator, columnist, author, scholar and equity advocate. Under his leadership, he has transformed WCCCD into the state's largest urban multi-campus community college district.  

Ivery has assembled leading academic, community, business and government leaders across a series of national roundtables and conferences to develop strategies to expand educational equity and economic mobility in the region and throughout the nation. He has been an invited signatory on numerous U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs focused on education and economic equity and led the creation of the college's "Urban Summit Series." Prior to becoming chancellor of WCCCD, Ivery served as vice president of instruction and acting president at Mountain View College of the Dallas County Community College District, serving over 85,000 students. He was also the commissioner/CEO of human services for the State of Arkansas, managing more than 3,000 employees and a budget of over $1 billion annually. He was the first African American and the youngest appointee to the cabinet of the governor of Arkansas.

Ivery has received numerous awards throughout his career, including being named the inaugural CEO of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges in 2022 and Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News in 2005. Ivery has authored nearly 20 books and contributed numerous articles for publication.

Distinguished Career in Health Award

Judd Semingson brings over 24 years of invaluable healthcare experience to his role as the chief executive officer at Community Clinic, a cornerstone of primary care and community connection in Northwest Arkansas. From his start as a registered nurse to a career evolution as an advanced practice nurse specializing in family practice, Semingson's leadership is deeply rooted in a rich clinical background that merges empathy with strategic vision.

An Arkansas native, Semingson holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the U of A and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. Complementing his clinical expertise, he earned a master's degree in business administration with a specialized focus on healthcare administration from Western Governor's University.

Before steering Community Clinic as CEO, Semingson led an orthopedic and sports medicine practice, emphasizing operational and strategic growth. His return to Community Clinic in 2018 marked the beginning of a transformative journey. Initially assuming the role of associate medical director in 2019, he took the pivotal position of CEO in January 2020.

Despite formidable environmental challenges, Semingson's leadership has driven Community Clinic toward operational growth and expanding service offerings.

Semingson oversees a dynamic leadership team committed to transforming Community Clinic into an organization offering exceptional, accessible and comprehensive care. At the heart of this mission lies a commitment to patient-focused service, embodying Semingson's vision for transformative and accessible healthcare.

Emerging Leader in Education Award

Jennifer Ash is the director of the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN) at the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) at Harvard University. As director of NCRERN, she ensures the center fulfills its mission of empowering rural school districts to use data and evidence to improve student outcomes.

Prior to joining CEPR, Ash served as an education researcher at Abt Associates, where she held leadership roles in studies of programs designed to promote college enrollment and success. Previously, she served as the managing director of the Office for Education Policy at the U of A, where she managed the production of research reports, policy briefs and blog posts about Arkansas education policy issues.

While at the U of A, she participated in several projects focused on rural education, including leading a study of a college scholarship program based in El Dorado, Arkansas, and serving on the Arkansas Teacher Corps selection committee. Ash is a former middle school language arts teacher, and she received her Ph.D. in education policy from the Department of Education Reform at the U of A.

Emerging Leader in Health Award

After completing his Ph.D. at the U of A, Jordan Glenn was an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech University. From there, he began his career in health tech, joining Omada Health, where he has used his expertise in exercise, nutrition and aging to focus on improving disease states such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

As Neurotrack's chief science officer, he currently focuses directly on Alzheimer's disease — working to improve how our healthcare system handles assessment and subsequent intervention for people at risk of developing the disease.

At Neurotrack, Glenn leads the scientific pipeline and informs the company's product, business development and partnership strategies. He has authored over 90 scientific publications and is the primary investigator on the DC-MARVEL project, the first study ever to investigate the effects of fully remote, digital health coaching on Alzheimer's disease risk.

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.

Contacts

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

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