This year, Arkansas Tech will have 13 faculty members retiring, and they will be recognized in a ceremony on May 10 at 1:30 p.m. in Doc Bryan Lecture Hall, with a reception to follow in Doc Bryan Room 242. According to the office of Academic Affairs, the following faculty members will be recognized for their retirement:
Dr. Michael Benefield, associate professor of finance – 21 years
Mr. Ty Brunson, associate professor of art – 18 years
Ms. Linda Buckholtz, assistant professor of nursing – 18 years
Dr. James Collins, professor of agriculture – 34 years
Dr. Diane Gleason, associate professor of history – 11 years
Dr. Theresa Herrick, professor of recreation and park administration – 32 years
Dr. Annette Holeyfield, professor of health and physical education – 32 years
Ms. Theresa Johnson, education coordinator, curator, and interim museum director – 26 years
Ms. Brenda Lauffart, visiting instructor of chemistry – 10 years
Mr. Gary Morris, visiting instructor of music and director of choirs -15 years
Dr. David Roach, professor of management – 33 years
Dr. Rebecca Shopfner, associate professor of teaching, learning and leadership – 17.5 years
Dr. David Underwood, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of education – 16 years.
Sara Bailey, administrative specialist in the Academic Affairs office, said, “The faculty recognition ceremony, which recognizes emeritus faculty, retirements, and years of service, will be on Wednesday, May 10 immediately following Dr. Robin Bowen’s, university president, and Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman’s, vice president for Academic Affairs, addresses to the faculty.” The addresses will begin at 1:30 p.m., and the ceremony will begin at approximately 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Annette Holeyfield, director of the College of Education Partnership Office and professor of health and physical education, will be retiring after 32 years at Arkansas Tech. Holeyfield joined the Arkansas Tech family in the fall of 1973 as a student.
“Arkansas Tech gave me the knowledge and skills to follow my passion for teaching—six years in Russellville Public Schools and thirty-two years at Arkansas Tech with seventeen of those years devoted to serving as the Department Head of the Health and Physical Education Department,” Holeyfield said.
“I will miss the daily contact with students the most. I will also miss the academic culture and environment,” Holeyfield said. As far as future plans, Holeyfield said she plans to spend more time with her family. She also said she isn’t done with education just yet. “I am a lifelong learner, so I plan to expand my knowledge/skillset in areas outside my current content area,” Holeyfield said. “I also plan to continue to support Arkansas Tech University as I believe that its best days are yet to come.”
Dr. Theresa Herrick, professor of recreation and park administration, will be retiring after 32 years at Arkansas Tech. “When I came to ATU in 1985 enrollment was a little more than 2,000 students and you can see how much it has grown in 32 years,” she said.
Herrick describes Arkansas as an “outdoor recreation paradise.” Herrick said she was recruited out of college to come work for Arkansas State Parks and stayed here to teach at Arkansas Tech. “A colleague once asked me why I stayed in Arkansas since I could live anywhere I wanted and I was not a native, and my response was ‘Obviously you never been there or you would not be asking that question,’” Herrick said.
“One of our COAPRT accreditation visitors said when he visited campus in 2001 that we had ‘jewel of a program here at ATU’ referring to the Recreation and Park Administration Program,” Herrick said. “I agree wholeheartedly with that statement and am proud to have been a part of it for 32 of its 50 years of existence.”