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Arkansas State to Honor College of Nursing and Health Professions Alumni During Homecoming


JONESBORO — Five outstanding graduates of Arkansas State University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) will be honored as distinguished alumni during Homecoming activities Saturday, Oct. 12. The group will be recognized during a ceremony at 3 p.m. in Room 222 of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences, 2501 Danner Avenue.

The five distinguished alums are Tiffany Felty (Department of Social Work), Paula Smith (School of Nursing), Amy Shollenbarger (Department of Communication Disorders), Melanie Edens (Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences) and Stephanie Hedger Privett (Department of Physical Therapy).

Felty graduated from A-State in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas in 2007. She has been a therapist at Families Inc. since 2007, and is an active board member of the Mission Outreach Homeless Shelter.

In addition, she has served as field instructor for social work interns at Families Inc. since 2008 and has served as an adjunct faculty field liaison since 2010, teaching a field seminar class every semester. She has also participated on several social work department committees, including the MSW Admissions Committee, Field Advisory Committee, Community Advisory Committee and Search Committee.

Smith holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Arkansas State University and a Master of Nursing Science degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She is a registered nurse practitioner and has been the state school nurse consultant to the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education since 2007. She has previously worked as a tenured assistant professor of nursing at Arkansas State, a high school biology teacher, emergency room nurse and a school nurse.

Smith has been a content reviewer of numerous nursing textbooks. Currently, she chairs the legislative task force studying school nursing in Arkansas as required by Act 414 of 2013. In addition, Smith has served as a resource for the development and implementation of policies, including the passage of the Anthony Hobbs Act, which funded the placement of automatic external defibrillators on school campuses. Smith led the development of rules, training guides and statewide training of glucagon administration following the passage of a glucagon administration law in 2011. She is the recent recipient of the 2013 National Outstanding State School Nurse Consultant Award by the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants (NASSNC).

Shollenbarger earned her undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology from Harding University in 1993 and was unconditionally admitted to the Communication Disorders Master’s Degree Program at Arkansas State in June of 1994. She earned her masters of communication disorders degree in August of 1995 and began her professional career with the Paragould Public Schools that fall term. Shollenbarger remained a productive public school speech-language pathologist until she accepted a faculty position at A-State.

Shollenbarger is also enrolled in the Consortium Ph.D. Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders at UAMS, University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. She continues to make progress toward her doctorate degree. In the fall term of 2013, she accepted a tenure-track faculty position with the Communication Disorders Department at ASU.

Edens receives the distinguished alumnus award from the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences. A 1999 graduate of the associate degree in radiography, Edens went on to become nationally registered in both radiography and computed tomography. She began her career at then Methodist Hospital in 1998 while still a student and has remained since. Since becoming director of radiology 11 years ago, she has membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives and earned the 2007 “Outstanding Young Executive Award.”

In the Jonesboro community, Edens has been busy. She has previously volunteered with the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Salvation Army. She currently sits on the Environmental Committee for the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce.

Privett is the recipient of the Physical Therapy distinguished alumni for 2013. She graduated with an associate’s of applied science degree in 2000 and a bachelor’s of science degree in 2012. She has worked at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Jonesboro for 11 years as a physical therapist assistant during which time she has served as the center coordinator for clinical education as well as a clinical instructor.

Privett has been a mentor and speaker to groups and individuals about breast cancer and/or BRCA1 gene mutation. She has a passion for treating and managing lymphedema and edema using kinesiotape and manual compression as well as Parkinson’s disease.