“Heart of a Lion” Series – Article 1

The Changing Face of Leadership

First article in the “Heart of a Lion” series by Tisha Arnold

A cadre of young professionals has been recruited that are highly prepared to help move the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to the next level. They bring their energetic minds and creative ideas to impact the course of the “Flagship of the Delta”. Meet the crew members:

Carla Meadows-Martin, Esquire; Dean: School of Business and Management

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, 2001), Juris Doctorate (University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law, 2004)

Dr. Charles R. Colen, Jr., Chair: Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Physics, 1988), Masters (University of Arkansas-Fayettville, Electronics and Instrumentation, 1991), Doctorate (Iowa State University, Industrial Technology, 1998)

Dr. Renaldo Hemphill, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Mathematics, 1999), Masters (University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Microelectronics/Microphotonics with a concentration in Computational Metaphysics, 2001), Doctorate (University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Microelectronics/Microphotonics with a concentration in Materials and Materials Processing, 2007)

Dr. Tracy Dunbar, Interim Chair: Department of Agriculture

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Agricultural Economics, 1988), Masters (Penn State University, Agricultural Economics, 1991), Doctorate (Michigan State University, Resource Development, 1997)

Dr. Antonie Rice, Chair: Department of Chemistry and Physics

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Chemistry, 1996), Masters/Doctorate (University of Kansas, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 1999/2002 respectively)

Dr. Anissa Buckner, Chair: Department of Biology; Project Director, Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP)

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Biology, 1992), Doctorate (Purdue University, Biological Science with an emphasis in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2000)

Dr. Yolanda Page, Chair: Department of English, Theatre and Mass Communication

Bachelor (Dillard University, English Literature, 1991), Masters/Doctorate (Louisiana State University, English Literature, 1993, 2001 respectively)

Dr. William Torrence, Chair: Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Bachelor(University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Regulatory Science, 2000), Masters (University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Health Science with an emphasis in Health Promotion, 2003), Doctorate (Texas A&M University, Health Education with a focus on Health and Physical Activity, 2005)

Dr. Jessie Walker, Coordinator: Computer Science

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Computer Science & minor Electronic Technology, 2001), Doctorate (University of Iowa, Computer and Information Science, 2006)

Dr. Edmund R. Buckner, Associate Professor-Department of Agriculture; Associate Center Director – Regulatory Science (USDA Center of Excellence); Interim Associate Research Director-School of Agriculture; Coordinator- Regulatory Science Program; Director-Agriculture Regulations (Graduate level program)

Bachelor (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Agriculture with an emphasis in Fisheries, 1992), Masters (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Natural Resource Management, 1995), Doctorate (Purdue University, Natural Resource Policy and Environmental Law, 2001)

Louis B. “Skip” Perkins, Athletics Director

Bachelor (North Carolina Central University, Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration, 1994), Masters (North Carolina Central University, M.A. Degree, Instructional Media, May 1998; MPA Degree-Public Administration, December 2000)

Charting the Course to Success


They all agreed that having a good foundation in your field of study and confidence in your abilities is a major asset. Specialization and cross-disciplinary collaboration is also important. “Everything is much more collaborative,” says Dr. Rice. He illustrated that partnership by discussing the integration of two disciplines in machine assisted surgery that involves the use of Physics (fiber optics) and Chemistry (anesthesia). Dean Martin emphasized the importance of ‘knowing your ropes.’ “People think that if you’re in business, you make money. That’s not true,” she says, “if you don’t know how to run it. A college degree in business prepares you for the understanding of what business is, how it operates and its core concepts and laws.” Philanthropy is a focus for Dr. Colen, “I want [our students] to reach back and help someone else get to where they are.” Dr. Anissa Buckner emphasized the importance of graduate school. “Students often only think of Medical School, Pharmacy School or Dentistry. Graduate school affords you the opportunity to figure out what it is you want to do along with the ability to specialize in a particular area.” Dr. Walker encourages his students to become critical readers, thinkers, and writers. “My goal is not only to promote their intellectual engagement with materials of all kinds but also to help them become more discerning readers of and forceful writers about the world of technology around them.” Dr. Hemphill placed importance on how you use the knowledge you gain. Dr. Edmund Buckner’s thoughts also gave a global perspective, “It doesn’t matter how smart you are. You still need to put in the time to study.”

Hoist the Mainsail


These individuals are determined to model dedication and concern for the entrance, development and outcome that each student experiences.  This type of leadership is personified in the contextually silent and outspoken confidence they exhibit on a daily basis to bring positive influence and direction into the lives of UAPB students. It is their desire for students to do well that will prove their determination to continue a legacy of educational excellence at UAPB with ferocity and determination…with the heart of a lion.

About the Series

Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff initiated the theme, ” Accentuate the Positive.” A monthly feature will be posted accentuating something positive about UAPB.  Stories are currently being developed, however,  ideas/concepts are always welcome.  Email your idea here.