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Brandi Hinkle to Visit Campus for Joel Gambill Distinguished Speaker Series


JONESBORO – Brandi Hinkle, a communications specialist at Entergy Arkansas and the former director of communications for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), will return to Arkansas State University Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 2-3, for the Dr. Joel Gambill Distinguished Speaker Series.

She will speak with students in the School of Media and Journalism, especially in the multimedia journalism program and to public relations/advertising students.

Hinkle, who is originally from Judsonia, attended Arkansas State from 1994-98 and earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and English. She received her master’s degree in business administration in 2006. She specializes in media and community relations and has a varied background in the field of public relations.

During her time at A-State, Hinkle was active in Phi Mu sorority, The Herald school newspaper, Chancellor’s Ambassadors, Panhellenic Association, and the Student Government Association.

She was on the Pulitzer Prize-nominated staff of The Jonesboro Sun, recognized for its coverage of the Westside school shootings in 1998. Hinkle then spent a year as managing editor at the Searcy Daily Citizen before moving to the director of public information position at Arkansas State University-Beebe.

In May 2006, Hinkle became an account executive at Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods in Little Rock. During her four-and-a-half-year stay, her clients included the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Springdale Chamber of Commerce, and several businesses in Eureka Springs, including The Great Passion Play.

She also served the state in senior communications roles at Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and is an adjunct instructor of business at ASU-Beebe and volunteers with Centers for Youth and Families, The CALL (educate, equip and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for children in foster care in Arkansas), and The Repertory Theatre.

She is a past president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Arkansas Chapter and Phi Mu Fraternity Central Arkansas Alumnae Chapter, and served several years on the A-State Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is a member of the Red Wolves Executive Den.

It's been more than a decade since Hinkle went to the bonus round on the televised game show, “Wheel of Fortune,” but unable to solve the puzzle. The answer “liquid soap” haunts her to this day. Also, she was reportedly the first person to howl for the Red Wolves on national television.

A member of the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council since 2018, she and her three children reside in Little Rock.

About the Dr. Joel Gambill Alumni Speaker Series

The endowed Dr. Joel Gambill Distinguished Speaker Series is named after the 1965 A-State graduate who wanted to bring the media world to A-State students. Gambill was the first fulltime instructor in journalism hired and spent four decades building the department into a national powerhouse. He served as department chair for 36 years.

His numerous awards and recognitions include being named Outstanding Educator by the Arkansas Press Association as well as the organization's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. 

Though he has many interests, he is most well-known, as one newspaper editor said, as Arkansas's foremost journalism educator. It has been said that editors and publishers looking to fill positions on the staff were accustomed to calling Dr. Gambill first. 

Brandi Hinkle

Brandi Hinkle