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Women's History 2022

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Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs, along with other offices, centers and student organizations across campus, is proud to present the calendar of events for the annual university-wide celebration of Women's History Month.

Women's History Month is the designated month worldwide that highlights contributions of women in history and contemporary society. The month features a variety of panels, socials, and community activities and events.

For the month of March, we have decided to spotlight women around campus to broadcast their resilience. The list of amazing women who have contributed to our A-State and local community are highlighted below and will be recognized this month!

2022 Women's History Nominees: Women of Character, Courage and Commitment

Dr. Evette Allen-Moore- Executive Director, Multicultural Affairs & Inclusive Excellence

Dr. Evette Allen-Moore is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement at Arkansas State University. She has obtained many degrees including a Doctor of Philosophy, Higher Education, Master of Arts, Communication Studies, Master of Science, Family Studies, Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies. She believes that Women’s empowerment means creating an environment where women can feel free to tap into their unique strength and talent and ultimately be their best selves. Women’s empowerment allows us to accept and unify women from all backgrounds to uplift and support in ways that help women gain equal access in various sectors. Women’s empowerment is the mentorship that encourages the next generation.

Ms. Candace Evans- Media and Communication Academic Advisor

Candace Evans, a Hot Springs, Arkansas native, proudly joined the pack in Fall 2009. Her passion is people and being a tool for all students. Candace Evans began teaching as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication. Currently, she is the advisor for the Department of Communication and The School of Media and Journalism.

Ms. Ashley Walls- Pre-Professional Advisor

Pre-Professional Academic Advisor and Instructor for the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She advises the following health programs: Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Dietetics, Health Studies, and Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences. She is in her second year here at A-State. Her favorite thing about A-State is the amazing students and having an active involvement in their education. Navigating college can be very scary for students, being able to help navigate them to a successful future has been so rewarding. Never be afraid to ask for help!

Ms. Rochelle Morris-Pre-Nursing Advisor

Ms. Morris joined Arkansas State University in November 2020. Her career in higher education spans over 20 years and began at the University of Phoenix. She has worked with many distinguished universities such as the University of South Florida, University of Tampa, and most recently Arkansas State University Mid-South campus just to name a few. Ms. Morris has held multiple positions within Academic Affairs, Student Services, Faculty Administration, and Advising departments at her previous universities. She is an inspirational author, podcast host, and life coach/mentor to many women and young adults when she is not supporting students within the School of Nursing.

Ms. Porsha McGregor-Academic Coordinator

Porsha McGregor graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology. Shortly after finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she began working at Arkansas State University in 2010. Since then, Porsha has worked in the College of Sciences and Mathematics in several roles, but for the past 10 years, Porsha has been an Academic Coordinator, where she has advised Biology, Chemistry/Physics, and Mathematics majors. In her time as an advisor, Porsha has helped many students achieve their goals of attending medical school, pharmacy school, and working for NASA, just to name a few. In 2019, Porsha decided to go back to school at Arkansas State to pursue a Master of Science degree in Psychological Science. She will graduate in May 2022.

Dr. Melissa Jackson- Wilson Advising Center Director

Dr. Jackson is a native of Osceola, Arkansas, and a four-time graduate of Arkansas State University. She joined the Wilson Advising Center in 2006 as an Academic Advisor and currently serves as the Director. She has also served as an instructor in the Department of Communications and the First-Year Experience Program. In addition to her primary role at the University, Dr. Jackson currently serves as the Chair of the University’s Academic Advising Council, a member of the University’s Undergraduate Graduation and Academic Credit Appeals Committee, and an Advisor for the Kappa Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, serving in her church, and spending time with her family.

Dr. Angelia Lorence- Professor of Metabolic Engineering

The most significant contribution Dr. Argelia Lorence has made to plant sciences has been the discovery of a novel biosynthetic pathway for vitamin C that involves you-inositol as the main precursor. Dr. Lorence directs the Plant Phenomics Facility at A-State and co-leads the Wheat and Rice Center for Heat Resilience (WRCHR; http://wrchr.org/), a consortium of Nebraska-, Kansas- and Arkansas-based researchers looking for rice and wheat varieties that are tolerant to high night temperature stress, one of the main environmental challenges limiting the yield of wheat and rice, the two most important crops worldwide. Since joining A-State in 2005, Dr. Lorence has secured over $18 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her accolades include a James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Endowed Professorship at A-State, the Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award from the Phytochemical Society of North America, Distinguished Woman in Science by the Congress of the State of Morelos, the Outstanding Hispanic Achiever of the Year Award from Hispanic Community Services in Jonesboro, and the winner of the 2021 Excellence in Diversity Faculty Award from A-State. She is an elected Member of the Board of the North American Plant Phenotyping Network and is a member of multiple editorial boards. Dr. Lorence received a doctorate in 1997 and a master’s degree in biotechnology in 1995 from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemical engineering from Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAMI) in 1991.

Dr. Jeonghee Choi- Associate Professor of Teacher Education

Jeonghee Choi, Ph. D., a native of Korea, is an associate professor in the Teacher Education Department at Arkansas State University. In 2004, she received a Ph. D from the University of Iowa in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on language, literacy, and culture. Dr. Choi is the public school liaison in Jonesboro, AR, and has been an early childhood/childhood educator, supervisor, professor, and researcher for 15 years.  She believes that women’s empowerment is that everyone can make choices in her life and carry them out freely, but at the same time be accountable for the choices. As women, we should be able to do this as independent and self-reliant beings, not as a mother, a daughter, or a wife.

Dr. Emily Bellis- Research Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics, Associate Director, Center for No-Boundary Thinking Division Lead, CNBT Division of Biological Systems.

Dr. Bellis is from Arkansas and earned a B.S. in Genetics at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) in 2010 and a Ph.D. in 2017 from Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR). She worked at Penn State (State College, PA) as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow through the National Plant Genome Initiative before joining A-State in late 2019 where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics and Associate Director and Division Lead for the Center for No-Boundary Thinking. Her research integrates genomic, phenotypic, and environmental data with machine learning to understand complex biological systems.

Dr. Shubhalaxmi Kher-Director and Professor of Electrical Engineering

Dr. Kher worked at SGS Institute of Technology and Science, Indore, India for over 15 years and served as a professor of Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering and Chair of Information Technology. She also worked at Oakland University, MI (2001) and Iowa State University (2004-2008). She served as Chair of IEEE MP Section and also as branch counselor of IEEE-SGSITS Student branch, Indore, India. She has published a variety of scholarly articles including invited papers and a book chapter. Dr. Kher is a reviewer for the Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems, Journal of Microprocessors and Microsystems, IEEE Transactions on Systems Cybernetics and Man, IEEE Transactions on Networking. She is also a certified yoga instructor and a learner for life. Her hobbies include reading, music, yoga, and gardening.

Dr. Charisse Jones-Branch-Dean of the Graduate School

Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch is the James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Professor of History, Dean of the Graduate School at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, and a 2021-2022 American Council on Education/Lumina Fellow at the University of Central Arkansas. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, she received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of Charleston, and a doctorate in History from The Ohio State University. Dr. Jones-Branch is the author of Crossing the Line: Women and Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II and the co-editor of Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times. A second manuscript, Better Living By Their Own Bootstraps: Black Women’s Activism in Rural Arkansas, 1913-1965, is now available from the University of Arkansas Press. Jones-Branch is currently working on a third book project titled “. . . To Make the Farm Bureau Stronger and Better for All the People:” African Americans and the American Farm Bureau Federation: 1920-1966. She is additionally a U.S. Army Persian Gulf War Veteran and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.

Dr. Patricia Robertson- Director of Undergraduate Studies

Patricia Quinn Robertson Johnston has been a faculty member at Arkansas State University since 2005. She has published a variety of scholarly articles, and she has presented papers at numerous academic conferences. Robertson practiced law for twenty years as a member of a law firm before 2005. She is licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Dr. Jerica Rich-Assistant Professor of Animal Science

Jerica J.J. Rich is the assistant professor of animal science here at Arkansas State University. She has obtained many degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from the University of New Hampshire in May 2015, a Masters of Animal Science from South Dakota State University in July 2017, and a Ph.D. of Animal Science from South Dakota State University in July 2020. Women’s empowerment to her has meant being privileged with the opportunity to share my knowledge with students in the College of Agriculture, to train them to be advocates for agriculture, and to inspire them to be responsible professionals and scientists in the agricultural community.

Nora Bouzihay- Assistant Director, Multicultural Affairs.

Ms. Nora Bouzihay is currently the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Arkansas State University. Bouzihay graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and received her Master’s degree in Public Service from the Presidential Clinton School of Public Service. She is currently All But Dissertation (ABD) for her doctoral degree in Higher Education emphasis in Student Affairs from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She has 7+ years’ experience in higher education/student affairs not only at the domestic level but internationally with the Department of State. Bouzihay’s research agenda focuses on minority, gender, and first-generation students both domestic and internationally within higher education.  On top of her work in higher education, Ms. Bouzihay has a huge passion for philanthropy and started the first head wrap company in Arkansas called NowaraCo to empower women and young girls around the world. Every three scarves purchased, one is donated to a refugee.

Ana Osorio- Admissions Counselor

Ana Osorio is originally born in Puebla, Mexico but grew up in Jonesboro, AR. She received her Bachelor’s in Marketing and is currently working on her Master’s in Strategic Communication with a Social Media emphasis. Ana is an admissions counselor for the Office of Admissions at Arkansas State University, where she recruits students from the greater NEA area. She is involved with the Hispanic/LatinX Faculty & Staff Association on campus, the NEA Hispanic Professional Network and currently serves as the advisor for H.O.L.A (Hispanic Outreach and LatinX Association). Her biggest passions are fostering mentorship to underrepresented students and working with the Hispanic/LatinX community to help build better lives for them and assist with any need they have.

Fatima Almoody- Instructor of Chemistry

Fatma Al-Amoody received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) University in 2000 and earned her Masters in Chemistry from Arkansas State University in 2017. Al-Amoody joined AState as faculty in 2018. She is an instructor at the Chemistry and Physics Department where she teaches 4 Chemistry courses in both lecture and lab. She also serves as the department’s Faculty Liaison, and communicates with high school teachers to oversee concurrent classes offered at participating high schools around the Jonesboro area.