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Five Graduates to be Recognized with 2021 Emerging Young Alumni Awards



JONESBORO — The latest recipients of the Emerging Young Alumni Award at Arkansas State University have been announced by the A-State Alumni Association and Student Philanthropy Council. This is the third year of the recognition program for Arkansas State's young alumni.

Individuals designated as Emerging Young Alumni are those who, through their personal participation, have made significant contributions to A-State, their profession or their community.

The five will be recognized at the Emerging Young Alumni Awards luncheon Friday, Oct. 15, starting at 11 a.m. in the Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Blvd.  Ticket information is online at AStateAlumni.org/EYA21.

Here are brief profiles of the five award recipients for 2021:

Phillip Butterfield

Phillip Butterfield, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), serves as a financial consultant in the Private Client Group at Stephens Inc. He works with high-net-worth clients across the country in the areas of investment management and complex retirement planning. He also assists small and big businesses with their management of company retirement plans. He advocates the importance of building relationships on trust, through judgment and integrity. Butterfield received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance with a minor in accounting in 2012, and played quarterback for the Red Wolves football team. He continued at A-State to earn a Master of Business Administration degree two years later.

In June, he joined the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network’s football broadcast team as an analyst. Additionally, Butterfield volunteers with several public service organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. He and his wife Brittany, who is a former Arkansas State women’s basketball star, reside in Little Rock.

Demario Davis

Demario Davis, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, was drafted by the New York Jets following his playing career at A-State, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in radio-television in 2011. One of the most consistent linebackers in the NFL, he set a career high of 125 tackles and five sacks with the Jets in 2017, and he became a member and captain of the Saints in 2018. He was named to the All-Pro Team in 2019, and he was selected by fellow NFL players to receive the Bart Starr Award in 2021 for exemplifying outstanding character.

In 2013, Davis started the Devoted Dreamers Foundation, the goal of which is equipping the next generation of leaders with the tools to be successful spiritually, mentally and physically. He is a member of the Players Coalition, which strives to end social injustices and racial inequality. His first book, “The Unsuccessful Champion,” was released in 2019. He shares his faith through ministry, conferences and media appearances. Davis and his wife Tamela have four children.

Jake Hampton

Jake Hampton is director of sales at Exact Sciences, a molecular diagnostics company specializing in the detection of early stage cancers, where he leads a team of more than 150 sales professionals. Hampton is responsible for the sales strategy, resource creation, training and professional development for the sales team.  His career includes roles of increasing responsibility at pharmaceutical and diagnostic organizations, working in training and leadership development, field sales and inside sales leadership.

A native of Stamps, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2005 and a Master of Public Administration degree in 2011.  At A-State, he served as president of the Student Government Association and received multiple recognitions for service and achievement, including the Wilson Award in 2005.  Hampton and his husband, A-State alumnus Matthew C. Hampton, reside in New York City and continue their A-State support though their endowment of a scholarship, as members of the Legacy Society, and Alumni Association 1924 Sustaining Life Members.

Katherine AufderHeide Holmstrom

Katherine AufderHeide Holmstrom of Little Rock, project manager for the business and economic development group of Entergy Arkansas, previously was senior project manager in the business development division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. In 13 years of community and economic development, she has assisted numerous major national companies to expand or locate in Arkansas.

A native of DeWitt, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in agricultural business in 2007. She also is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute. A past president of the board of directors of Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives (AEDCE) and executive director for the Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association, Holmstrom also serves a gubernatorial appointment to the War Memorial Stadium Commission. In 2021, she received the Economic Developer of the Year Award from the AEDCE. She and her husband Gabe have a son, Gus.

Dr. Earl J. Morris

A Jacksonville native, Earl Morris earned Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry at A-State in 2015 before earning Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2019. He is a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences with a specialization in pharmacoepidemiology and safety sciences.

Morris’s research focuses on the safe use of medications in older adults, and he has authored seven peer-reviewed scientific articles and more than 20 national presentations. He credits A-State’s Honors College and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute for fostering his passion for scientific discovery. His recognitions for service and achievement include the R. E. Lee Wilson Award in 2015, Lambda Chi Alpha’s “30 under 30” in 2016, and Mylan Pharmaceutical’s Excellence in Pharmacy Award. Morris continues his support as a 1924 Sustaining Life Member of the A-State Alumni Association and as a Wilson Fellow.