Archives for Alumni Profiles

Gymnastics chief of staff

Lauryn Rydl Turner’s (’96) time at Harding was influential in preparing her for her current role as chief of staff for USA Gymnastics. After finishing her time as a Bison cheerleader and graduating with a degree in math and computer science, Turner taught math and Spanish for three years in and near Jackson, Tennessee, while also coaching competitive cheerleading.  Though Turner said she enjoyed teaching,
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Photographic exposure

To celebrate Black History Month in February, Apple commissioned 32 Black photographers from all over the U.S. to capture their hometown through the lens of an iPhone 12 Pro in a series aptly named “Hometown.” Searching for talented photographers to feature, Apple reached out to Joseph Ross Smith (’18), professionally known as Joseph Ross, to photograph his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after graduating, Ross
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Oklahoma’s Secretary of Education

Profile: Ryan Walters By Katie Clement From day one, Ryan Walters (’10) has been influenced by and invested in education. From high school and college teachers to family to career, it has had a big impact on his life.  “I had several teachers who made a tremendous difference in my life while attending McAlester Public Schools,” said Walters. “I knew while sitting in my high
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Theatre with a twist

Profile | Jessica Pell Tate By Josie Parker Ending a year full of canceled events and disappointments, the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma found a new way of telling stories on stage through an immersive outdoor show. Replacing the stage with an evening stroll through Harn Homestead, a 10-acre living history museum in central Oklahoma City, this 75-minute, outdoor production created a more “COVID friendly” telling
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Breaking the cycle

By Megan Stroud De’Onte Garrett (’17), program director for Timothy Hill’s residential program in Tennessee, helps men from the ages of 17 to 25 develop independent living skills and workforce training. He visited Timothy Hill residential program in New York for the first time as a student during a spring break mission trip and instantly discovered his passion for the mission and opportunity to work
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Legacy teacher

By Josie Parker Christyn Simmons Henderson (’15) is in her fifth year teaching third grade at Searcy’s McRae Elementary School. Watching the impact her mother, who previously taught third grade and now teaches art for Searcy’s Westside Elementary School, has had on her students helped Henderson recognize her passion for teaching. She’d always imagined herself being a teacher, even playing school with her sister while
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Categories: Alumni Profiles.

Small agency, big impact

Mat Faulkner (’02) is the founder and chief idea officer of Think Idea Studio, a full-service marketing agency based in Searcy. Mat met his wife, Shelley Lawson, at Harding, and they have three sons. Think Idea Studio began with Faulkner working as a freelance graphic designer during school, expanded to a home-based agency offering graphic design, web design and photography, and eventually grew into the
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Categories: Alumni CMS and Alumni Profiles.

Faith in action

Sarah Felps Schecter (’84) found that stepping out in faith and trusting in God’s plan ended up being different than anything she had ever imagined. For more than two decades, Schecter has worked in education, and for the last 10 years she has served as the principal of the lower grades at The Oakridge School, a private school in Arlington, Texas.  “I love my kids.
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Categories: Alumni CMS and Alumni Profiles.

Making an impact

Carly Taylor Addison knew from a young age that she wanted to teach music.  “There was never really a question of what I wanted to do,” said Addison. “I had really excellent music teachers from kindergarten all the way through college. I saw firsthand what they were doing and wanted to do it when I got older.”  Addison grew up in the Irving, Texas, School
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Categories: Alumni CMS and Alumni Profiles.

Lifelong learner, teacher and artist

In October, a little more than 50 years after he graduated, Daniel Coston’s (’68) paintings were displayed in the Stevens Art Gallery on campus. The collection consisted mostly of Arkansas scenes with the addition of a few southern Delaware landscapes, several portraits and a painting from his time as a student in 1967 that Dr. John Keller, chair of the art department, pulled from the
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Categories: Alumni CMS and Alumni Profiles.