Welcome to Arkansas State University!

february 2024

The PROPS program includes a monthly profile of an A-State staff member that works every day behind the scenes to improve Arkansas State University… because EVERY Red Wolf Counts!

Staff members are selected from a pool of candidates that is created from the PROPS nomination form.

LaVonda Evans

LaVonda Evans

LaVonda Evans was nominated by Kelsey DeFord for P.R.O.P.S. recognition. Kelsey says Lavonda “knows all that her job entails, and is an administrative superstar. She is always just a phone call away and willing to help new staff. A founder of PROPS, she goes to bat for staff members to get the appropriate training and recognition they deserve. I’m not sure how she keeps up with pursuing a specialist degree, being an admin assistant, and occasional instructor. But, I'm so thankful to have her as a friend and colleague!”

P.R.O.P.S. subcommittee members Madelyn Carson, Karen Nelson, and Madeline Ragland spoke with Lavonda recently to learn more about her and her experience at A-State.

Describe yourself in one sentence.
High-achieving, lover of life and children, dedicated, slightly neurotic, department mom.

What is one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your role on campus?
Patience. It’s important to be patient, have patience, and extend grace to anybody who is in any type of supportive role. Things change fast and the learning curve can be problematic. Be patient with others and extend patience to yourself. I am four years in and still learning new things every day. Don’t be angry with yourself for not learning things quickly.

Favorite quote or saying
My favorite quote would be from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara says, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” That quote is not a procrastination thing, but rather a compartmentalization thing. It’s a way of saying I’m not going to let this stress me out, I’m going to continue and push through.

If you could have another job or career, what would it be and why?
I am already doing things I love. I love my admin job and being the hub and support for the department. I am also in a temporary instructor line this semester teaching some Introduction to Sociology courses. The only other thing I’d ever want to do is teach. Teaching college students is the icing and sprinkles on top of what I already do.

In school I was best known for…
It depends on who you ask. With teachers, I think I was known as someone who was helpful to other students. I was often contacted by the principal to tutor students. I wasn’t part of the “in” crowd, but not in the “out” crowd. Classmates would say I was best known for having an odd family because my grandmother raised me.

What I like best about A-State is…
What is there not to like? To me, the best thing is being a part of something greater than myself, being a team player, and knowing you don’t have to be perfect to do a great job, but when you’re with great people, it makes work perfect.

If I could travel anywhere, it would be…
Anywhere with sand or sun. I could watch the water and scenery all day. But if I could go anywhere, it would be Fiji, or Sydney, Australia, or South America.

The best advice I ever received was…
From my grandmother and my mother. My grandmother was my matriarch. Her best advice was: “If you don’t know what to do, just be quiet and wait.” From my mother: “When you’re tired, just tie a knot and hang on. Don’t let go, don’t give up.”

Before retiring, what would you like to do?
Before I retire, I would like to visit every state in the continental U.S. Ideally, my husband and I would get an RV and travel the states for a couple of years.