Connections: spring 2021


Glen Goree writes nonfiction books based on his experiences as a missionary in Rhodesia and his counseling experiences in Texas. In 2019, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and his latest book, So You Have Cancer. Now What?, deals with his struggle with this disease. His wife, Valerie Massey (’72), has written six romantic suspense novels for the Christian market since retiring from teaching. Her latest release, Forever Under Blue Skies, is set in Australia. The couple lives in Port Ludlow, Washington.


Sammie Berry has served at Dallas West Church of Christ for 41 years — his first 21 years as minister of personal evangelism, and since then as both an elder and pulpit minister. He also is a licensed CPA. His mission is to help others, especially with spiritual matters, and he has taken on several roles in the community including chairman of Dallas Area Preachers and Church Leaders, Harding President’s Council member, member of the Lifeline Chaplaincy Development Board, president of the United Christian Basketball League, and treasurer of the Southwestern Christian College Beautification Program. He and his wife, Renee Ruffin, have two daughters, Jessica (’07) and Jennifer (’07).


Karen Wallis Curtner is the new superintendent of Nettleton Public Schools. She has worked in public education for 37 years and has served as Nettleton’s assistant superintendent for the last 12 years. During her career, she taught family and consumer science at Brookland High School and Douglas MacArthur Junior High School, served as the director of Success Achievement Academy, and principal of Westside High School. She was the principal of Westside Elementary School on March 24, 1998, when two students opened fire, killing four classmates and a teacher. As a result of that experience, she has traveled around the world addressing school violence at national and international conferences. She holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership and an M.S. in educational administration from Arkansas State University. She also has received the Educational Leadership Outstanding Alumnus Award from Arkansas State University, the Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals Distinguished Award, and was elected as one of Northeast Arkansas’ Most Fascinating Educators. 

Ben Waites joined Regional Health Properties Inc. as its chief financial officer. He spent 10 years as vice president of finance and assistant treasurer for Cajun Operating Company Inc., the franchisor and operator of more than 1,600 restaurant locations. He previously spent two years as chief accounting officer at Lavie Healthcare and 11 years at RARE Hospitality. 


Roselyn May Miller earned an M.S. in secondary education and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Mississippi State University. Before joining the Center for Distributed Learning at University of Central Florida in 2018, she worked as a senior research associate at Mississippi State University. Her research interests include effective instruction, learner motivation and STEM education. She and her husband, Andy (’85), live in Orlando, Florida. 


Kerrie Horn Rhodes retired in January 2020 after 21 years at Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. She worked as a systems engineer on the F-22 and C-130 programs. Her husband, Mark, also retired from Lockheed Martin as a senior design engineer. The couple lives in Cumming, Georgia. 


Daniel Bristo was named head football coach for Riverview High School in Searcy after serving as an assistant for a year. He was an assistant football coach at Ouachita Christian School in Monroe, Louisiana, for 25 years, serving as defensive coordinator. He and his wife, Angie Smith, have two children, Braden and Anna Caroline (’20).


Scott White, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Southern Arkansas University STEM Center for K-12 education, was named the 2020 Honor Professor Sept. 10, 2020, the highest accolade bestowed upon faculty at SAU. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He has taught physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and freshman-level chemistry courses and labs. He is a past recipient of the Calvin Wetzig Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and a Spirit of SAU Award. He previously served as chair for the department of chemistry and physics and facilitated the growth of the separate departments of biochemistry and chemistry and engineering and physics. He has served two terms each as secretary, vice president and president of the SAU Faculty Senate. He is a board member of the Mulerider Club and enjoys helping serve as a scoreboard operator and announcer for Mulerider athletics and Magnolia Panther athletics. He also has directed the annual Southwest Regional Science Fair at SAU and is an elder at Jackson Street Church of Christ in Magnolia. He and his wife, Jennifer Brandon, have a daughter, Alyson, a student at Harding. 


Rick Fought has been promoted to assistant vice chancellor of the Health Sciences Library at University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He previously served as professor and director. He is a fellow of the National Library of Medicine/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Leadership Fellows Program and is chair-elect of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries. 


Renay Davis McCarley received the Faculty Life Beautiful Award Dec. 1, 2020, at Southwest Baptist University, the highest honor SBU bestows. She has been a member of the SBU faculty since 2017 and is the division head of Associate Level Nursing and Health Sciences and assistant professor of nursing. She completed a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Central Missouri in 2011 and her DNP from Case Western Reserve University in 2017. She attends Northside Christian Church in Springfield. She and her husband, Brian, have two daughters, Bethany and Hannah, and a son, Conner. 


Russ Phillips married Laine McKenzie Oct. 25, 2020. Russ is an informatics associate at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Angela Smith Proctor graduated with her Ph.D. in educational psychology in December 2020 from Texas A&M University in Commerce. She has served as an academic advisor and adjunct instructor at TAMUC for more than 10 years. Her research includes investigating the impact of developmental trauma on children, parents and professionals who served traumatized children. She has dedicated her career to serving at-risk children and their families. 


Chad McNatt is the new superintendent for Seattle Christian School. He holds a master’s in educational leadership from Western Washington University, a master’s in ministry from Pepperdine University, and is pursuing his Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Concordia University. His administrative experience includes serving as secondary principal in Kigali, Rwanda, at the Kigali International Community School, as well as dean of students at Cedar Heights Junior High School in Port Orchard, Washington. He joined the Seattle Christian staff in the fall of 2018, serving as elementary principal. He is married to Melia Byrd


Mitch and Elizabeth Dismang (’06) Breitweiser launched Allegiance Arts in May 2020, the country’s youngest independent comic publisher. The couple lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

David James Haustein became associate dean of the Springfield Clinic Campus at the University of Missouri School of Medicine Sept. 1, 2020. In addition to serving as associate dean and as an associate professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation, he also began clinical work at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with additional subspecialty certification in neuromuscular medicine. He earned his medical degree and completed a PM&R residency at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He also earned a Master of Business Administration at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Sandi Wright (’99), have four children.


Jesse Jordan is a program specialist for the state of Texas. He became a soccer scout at Sports Recruiting USA, the world’s leading U.S. College Soccer recruiting agency in 2019. He also has been a private soccer coach at Coach Up since 2001 and is ranked No. 1 soccer coach in Austin, Texas; No. 5 in Texas; and No. 33 nationally. He and his wife, Rosa, live in Leander, Texas. 

Robert G. O’Lynn II was promoted to associate professor of preaching and ministry in June 2020 and appointed dean of the School of Distance and General Education in October 2020 at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson. 


Justin Brewer launched Mississippi’s only maternal fetal medicine program outside of Jackson at North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital in Tupelo in 2013. He is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist who completed a three-year fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson after earning his medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He is married to Brooke White


Daniel McGraw graduated from Naval Chaplaincy School and Center in April 2020. He serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy Reserves and as an associate minister at Bentonville Church of Christ. 


Neil Rampy, senior medical officer and psychological health officer for Navy Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific-Commander, Task Force 75, was awarded Navy Medicine’s Clinical Social Work Officer of the Year for 2020. A lieutenant, he completed nearly 300 one-on-one behavioral health encounters with service members throughout 2020. His close attention to sailors’ behavioral health exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and restriction of movement quarantine orders resulted in a 99% fit for duty and worldwide deployable rate among 1,200 deployed and forward-deployed naval forces. He and his wife, Angie Mowrer, and their two sons, live in Guam. 


Holly Threm Goslin was awarded the annual Outstanding Faculty Award at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. She earned her master’s from the University of Central Arkansas and was an adjunct professor at Harding for five years before going to teach at UACCB in fall 2015. She also is a published writer. 


Jessica Strack (P.A.) is a physician assistant with the Conway Regional Health System. She has worked as a health care provider in Central Arkansas for the past 11 years. She resides in Conway with her husband, Jonathon, and four sons. 


Brock (’09) and Julya Bentley Gandy announce the birth of a daughter, Lincoln Elizabeth, June 17, 2020. Brock is corporate controller at Revolution Plastics, and Julya teaches fourth grade in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Collin (’10) and Carlyann Miller Swafford announce the birth of a son, Reid Voss, Nov. 3, 2020. Collin is a pediatric neurohospitalist and associate fellowship director at Dell Children’s Medical Center. The couple also has a son, Dean, and reside in Austin, Texas. 


Charles Bradley was named assistant baseball coach at Murray State University in December 2020, where he also handles baseball recruiting. He previously was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Queens University of Charlotte. He spent one year as an assistant coach at Ouachita Baptist University and also was an assistant baseball coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University from 2012-15. He also has served as the head coach of the Gastonia Grizzlies, a summer league team that competes in the Coastal Plains League, where he led the team to a CPL Championship in 2017 and a First Half Western Division Championship in 2019.


Logan Callier is a dentist for emergency dental solutions at Emergency Dental Service in Garland, Texas. He earned his doctorate of dental surgery from Texas A&M University College of Dentistry. He has clinical awards in fixed prosthodontics, endodontics and periodontics. He and his wife, Jenna, have two children. 

Cory Spruiell is the executive director for Grand Prairie Court Appointed Special Advocates in Lonoke County, Arkansas. He earned a master’s degree in theology from Harding in May 2020. He is married to Ashley Bratcher


Brady (’15) and Erin Gurchiek Clark announce the birth of a son, Samuel James, Aug. 2, 2020. Brady is a clinical pharmacist at Unity Health in Searcy, and Erin is a pediatric speech-language pathologist at UAMS Kids First.

Ashley Harris Dargai received her Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School. She serves as the senior minister of Azle Christian Church in Texas. 

Lawrence W. Rodgers is the 24th senior pastor for the Historic Second Baptist Church of Detroit. He came to Detroit after leading the Westside Church of Christ in Baltimore. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from Howard University. 

Meagan Spencer earned her Doctor of Education in organizational leadership in higher education from Abilene Christian University. Her dissertation was titled “A Program Evaluation of a Rural Academic Nursing Partnership.” She earned a master’s in speech pathology from Harding in 2015. She has been an instructor of anatomy and physiology at Freed-Hardeman University since 2016.

Levi (’12) and Reatta Williams Walker announce the birth of a daughter, Emberly Kate, Nov. 3, 2020. They also have a son, Asher.


Mark (’12) and Amberly Rogers Finch announce the birth of a son, Cameron Seth, Feb. 17, 2020. Amberly is nursing supervisor at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. They live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Candice Meadows is a guest ambassador for 360 Blue, a vacation rental company in the Destin/30A area of Florida. 

Kate Scherer Wimer is a research and instruction librarian and assistant professor at George Fox University. She lives in Tualatin, Oregon. 


Lea Reinhardt married David Deutscher on May 23, 2020. The couple resides in Munich, Germany.

Amber Johnson Walker is the social media marketer and marketing coordinator for First Security Bank and was awarded this year’s Leadership Award by Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce at its virtual ceremony Dec. 11, 2020. She helps organize Entrepreneurial Women of Searcy, a network of 82 women business owners. She also volunteers as event, marketing and social media support for Beats and Eats, ThinkART Project and Searcy Holiday of Lights. Her husband, Will, owns Yesteryear in downtown Searcy.


Andrew Davis was chosen as 2020’s Searcy Police Officer of the Year by his peers. He formerly worked at Public Safety for Harding and is in the Arkansas Army National Guard. He is married to Katie Snell.

Mary Anne Gunter (MFT) is a doctoral candidate with University of Louisiana Monroe, where she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi National College Honor Society. In October 2020 she was named recipient of the 2020 Feldman Outstanding Research Proposal for Research in Family Policy Award from the National Council on Family Relations. The award recognizes a graduate student or new professional who has demonstrated excellence in research and potential contribution to family policy studies, particularly in the areas of gender/women’s issues or poverty. She is dual-licensed in the state of Arkansas as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor and is a certified family trauma professional. 


Micayla Mobley married Jackson Russell (’19) on Sept. 14, 2019. Micayla is a registered nurse at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 

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