The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host its Annual Celebration of Retirees Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 6:30 p. m. in the L. A. Davis, Sr. Student Union Lounge. Two UAPB employees will be honored that have served the institution for a combined total of 34 years within the Division of Academic Affairs. The 2015 honorees are Dr. James O. Garner, Jr., dean/director of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences; and University-wide assessment coordinator Dr. Linda W. Joshua who also serves as professor and coordinator of graduate programs in the School of Education.
Before coming to UAPB, Dr. Garner was professor of horticulture at Mississippi State University. He also served as a horticulture specialist at North Carolina A&T University and was an assistant county agent with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service. Dr. Garner’s degrees include a doctorate in vegetable crops from Cornell University, a master’s in horticulture from Mississippi State and a bachelor’s in science education from Delta State University.
On the international level, he has served as a volunteer with the Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Guyana, South America. He was the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported project in collaboration with Partners of the Americas, also in Guyana. He has served as a farm advisor in Liberia and has collaborated with researchers in Thailand and Columbia, South America. Dr. Garner is a member of several professional societies and his honors include the L.M. Ware Distinguished Teacher Award given by the Southern Region ASHS and the Alpha Zeta Teacher Award from the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at Mississippi State University.
A Little Rock, Arkansas, native, Dr. Linda W. Joshua is a family woman with Pine Bluff roots through her late grandfather, Wesley Harris, Sr.; grandmother, Luella Harris Butler and
mother, Curbie Harris Walls. After graduating from Little Rock Central High School (1968), she received a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies/English education (1972) and a master’s degree in Technical and Expository Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR-1990). Additional graduate studies were done in African-American Studies at Atlanta University (AU—1972-1973) and Expository Writing at the University of California at Irvine (1986). Dr. Joshua earned a Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Instruction with emphases in statistics and secondary education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1995). Dr. Joshua’s tenure at UAPB began in 1995 as an assistant professor in the School of Education. Prior to that, she taught at Henderson University in Arkadelphia (1994-1995) and conducted a three-month research and development internship at Southwest Educational Development Lab (SEDL) in Austin, TX (1994). She also taught English at Little Rock Central High School (1974-1991), the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (1990-1991), and co-directed the Little Rock Writing Project there (1986-1991).
As a member of the School of Education, Dr. Joshua has played prominent roles in the preparation of the School of Education’s NCATE (now CAEP) accreditation reports since she arrived on campus. She has also played an important role in the University’s efforts for accreditation in many other departments including recently the School of Business and Management and the University’s efforts for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
In addition to the many accreditation reports she has prepared, Dr. Joshua has written several grants, prepared several new graduate degree programs, presented many scholarly papers at professional meetings, published in scholarly journals, and co-authored one book (2003), Educating the Masses: The Unfolding History of Black School Administrators:1900-2000.